Dig Deeper When Tackling Inflammation

Examining the hoof, diet, gut health and stress can bring clarity

Pictured Above: Horses are designed to consume pasture and forage, but one of the biggest problems they encounter is an improper diet. In many cases, horses are fed a low-quality forage, then they receive high amounts of carbohydrates.

Hoof balance and proper shoeing or trimming are part of what you do daily, assisting each horse not only in comfort but also performance through movement.

Some horses are easier to manage than others when it comes to hoof health. In the more frustrating cases, we can encounter a variety of issues such as repetitive hoof cracks, poor growth, improper growth, reduced density or solidity and/or infectious problems including thrush and white line disease. These problems are not only frustrating for all parties involved but can equate to a marked reduction in overall soundness and performance. There is no tried and true remedy for all of these problems, but if we dig deeper, looking at the problem from a bigger perspective, sometimes the answers seem clearer.

Speaking from an equine veterinarian’s point of view and more than 20 years of experience, it can be stated that likely 80% of all equine lameness conditions are connected to the foot, either primarily or secondarily. In many cases, the problem stems directly from the foot, while in others the problem might be elsewhere, such as a joint or tendon, but often linked back to the…

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Tom Schell

Tom Schell, DVM, CVCH is a practicing equine veterinarian, barefoot trimmer, re­search­er and product developer for North Carolina-based Nouvelle Research Inc.

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