Founder is a scary thing. It’s very painful for the horse on several levels. The good news is, with today’s research and protocols founder IS reversible. We are learning more and more about how the parts of the foot actually work, what causes which parts to grow and where and how to affect the most positive changes on each of those tissues. There is still much more to learn, but we are learning enough to know that there is a new age in hoof science and in equine farriery still to come. The ways of the ‘old ones’ is slowly being mostly disproved. There is some of the old knowledge that’s being proven as true, but much more of it is being disproved. Be that as it may, the sad new is, most founder cases never should have occurred. Based on my experience, I believe most founder cases are caused (unknowingly) by their owner or caregiver. We tend to take TOO good of care of our horses. We over feed, over treat, over pamper and over nurture them. In short, we ‘kill them with kindness’. They are not Poodles or Hamsters or Parakeets or the family’s new grandbaby. They are horses. The more we allow them to be horses, the better off they will be. I firmly believe that the best prevention for founder is by allowing horses to be horses. I do realize this is very difficult in some parts of the country. But I still believe it’s an obtainable goal. Be kind to your horse. Listen to your horse. You are your horses’ best chance for peace, happiness and a healthy life. Each horse is an individual and they are much the same as people in so much as they each have individual personalities. Nurture and cherish that personality, but by no means allow them to walk all over you or anyone else. They are large and powerful (and the largest are the little ponies, at least in their minds.) Be sure to convey your wishes or your directions clearly and concisely so they may have a clear understanding of your intentions for them. Discipline with a kind hand and never with more harshness than the situation calls for. In other words, when you are met with aggression, be swift and sure, but with no more aggression than you were shown. You can be firm, but be fair. Don’t bully your horse, but don’t baby them either. You will be rewarded with a loving, responsive equine companion.
Thank you for reading my article. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Happy Trails, and remember, Horses are People too!!