I have a ten year old Rocky Mountain named Mikey that has been riding mounted security patrol with me for six years. (He is actually very well known throughout The Woodlands because of the tricks he does and his awesome incredible personality!) I was a barefoot advocate before I took the job, but it was either put the shoes on or work somewhere else, so I asked them to start thinking about a rubber coated steel instead of the borium they had used and got a compromise from them..but that is not where I was going with this.
Mikey has never missed a day of work in our six years until two months ago. This horse…well, eats, alot while working…I feel it is the way God made him, to eat thru-out the day. He eats, or was eating, carrots, apples, cubes (alphalfa) as treats throughout the day, and then would have Safe Choice, 1 scoop, three times a day along with two handfuls of Stay Stron twice a day (i really love that stuff). I do not stall my horses.
They get to be horses. So, we had four days off beginning of June. My dad had fertilized a month or so before with no rain. Then, we had lots of rain about the same time we were off. I go to get him to go to work, which btw is usually a 10 hour day, and he can barely walk. Took about a week to dx. (won't go there). Founder, (.8 on one foot and 4.6 on the other) probably due to grass. He stayed with vet three days then my farrier put steel shoe with gel padding and he's in eighth week with one change of shoes/padding. Many questions, I guess. Mike loves his job, or rather, the attention he gets from his job, but as a Rocky, he really "pounds the pavement", ie, nothing ever really slow about this horse even walking, never running, but I do allow him to gait and if he is in a hurry to go to the potty spot (yes, they are potty trained), I have allowed him to lope.
Should he ever go back to work, even part time? Should I pull these special shoes off of him and let him heal w/o the shoes even though It hurts him to stand on them? How often should I get an xray to see how he's doing? I enjoy my job almost as much as Mikey does, but I don't EVER want…his health to suffer because of me…I have a mare I can take to up there to work, but she seems to…not really show emotions..she will pretty much do what i ask, but then not eat her feed or Stay Strong for 3 days after, and I don't know what to do about that either.
Do I just need to get another job? And if so, are you hiring! LOL,
I have lots of foundered horses that get back to "whatever". In fact, I can only think of a few out of hundreds and hundreds that haven't. I only wish you had read my articles ("Laminitis", Mineral Wise Salt Poor"-page 20, "Perfect Pastures" all in the magalog)….also wished you had found and watched my videos in the library section of the website BEFORE all this happened.
Right now personally I would get rid of the shoes for now.
I would follow the feeding advice on www.whattofeedyourhorse.com to the "T" and add for support the Joint Check supplement. Additionally I would add the Critical Care Laminitis formula since he is painful. Get him off all the other supplements and feed. If you don't have "new horse" with time of course that greatly varies I will be very surprised. The Critical care is the only pricey product but like your horse "there just isn't anything like it"
Hang in there and do not give up.. If anything will help nutritionally the above will but do follow the advice to the letter.
Thanks for asking
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