Sunday, November 09, 2014

Styrofoam Pads - First Aid for Laminitis!

I was reminded today when looking online for some dental impression material for hoof packing that these styrofoam pads - along with a roll of duct tape - belong in every barn! (And on every veterinarian's, farrier's and other hoof professional's truck.) You may never need to use them but the styrofoam pads can be a lifesaver for a horse with acute laminitis while you get the diet and other factors in line.
You need at least three sets that fit your horses to start - on heavier horses they will compress quickly so you may need to stack three pads in two to three days or less. If you have small, average and large horses, you should keep three sets in each size on hand.
The newer instruction video is easy to follow. If the horse has a lot of extra toe length and you're not adept at trimming you may need your farrier/trimmer to trim and bevel the toe for you. But you can apply the foam while waiting for the trim or before shoes are pulled.
Initially, get the hoof as clean as you can but if the horse is really sore that may be difficult - you can spend more time on "super cleaning" with a vinegar rinse in a squirt bottle between the first and second pad application (and some medicated powder can help with "hoof funk").
I can hear now "OMG, $33 for 3 sets times 3 or 4 sizes? I can't afford that!" Believe me - when you see your horse suffering from the pain of laminitis, you'd be willing to pay hundreds to relieve that pain (and the emergency vet bill will be at least that). So a few dollars spent on "insurance" now ("something providing protection against a possible eventuality we hope never happens") will be well worth it if you ever do need it.

With best regards,
Patti in Vail AZ - where Fall has fallen
(and only 42 days until Winter Solstice)

PS - Dental Impression Material can be the long term support solution to help you rehab your horse in boots. Check with your local farrier supply or see the links below.

About EDSS Styrofoam Pads
EDSS Styrofoam Pad Instructional Videl
EDSS Sole Support [Dental] Impression Material

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Riding Instructor

While I'm still recovering (much more slowly than I'd like)  from my broken/sprained wrist which has kept me away from my keyboard for much longer than I expected, I'd like to go off topic and introduce you to The Riding Instructor

In her most recent blog post Don’t Trust Your Beginner Riders with a Beginner Instructor, Barbara Fox writes about one of her favorite subjects - the importance of mastering the basics.

Good riding requires a knowledge of good basics. Good basics come from good instruction. It requires attention to detail and a desire to improve. Good riding requires patience and endurance and goal setting. Competition and fancy horses are not a requirement for developing an excellent set of basic skills. Competition should always be a test of our progress and should never be our end goal. If it becomes our end goal and winning become our only desire, then we resort to short cuts, gimmicks and tricks and we lose much of the real value of a life with horses. In the end we are riding only for a prize and not for the love of the sport.
The Riding Instructor  is one of the few blogs I unhesitantly suggest everyone subscribe to. Especially in the West, a lot of new riders seem to skip the basics and go right to "kick = forward and pull = stop" without a lot of understanding about what might motivate a horse. Whether you ride at a NFR Finals or Grand Prix level, or if you, your kids or your grandchildren are new to the world of horses, you will definitely learn something new each time you read one of Barbara's posts.

With best regards,
Patti in cloudy Vail AZ
where the first rain of summer is trying to happen.

The Riding Instructor
Don’t Trust Your Beginner Riders with a Beginner Instructor
Horsemen’s Ground School – What’s Not To Love?