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stagebirdthebaron

Dealing with a foundered horse.

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Hello all - I just recently purchased a horse (9 year old QH mare) that had foundered this spring. After talking with the former owner, I learned that she foundered from stress after having a foal get stuck on its way out being born (poor baby died) and no one getting to her for a while.

When my farrier trimmer her feet, he noticed that the lamina (sp?) was stretched out, and he got a little bit of bleeding from the sole part of her foot. We put pads and shoes on her, to help with the impact of the hoof.

In 20+ years of owning and being around horses, I've never had one founder on me, so I dont know much about it. This mare seems to be *just barely* off, to the point that I wonder if its just her way of going.

My question is, what do I do to make this better? Is riding her lightly going to cause her harm? Is there a way of knowing whether this will ever permanently heal?

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Hello all - I just recently purchased a horse (9 year old QH mare) that had foundered this spring. After talking with the former owner, I learned that she foundered from stress after having a foal get stuck on its way out being born (poor baby died) and no one getting to her for a while.

When my farrier trimmer her feet, he noticed that the lamina (sp?) was stretched out, and he got a little bit of bleeding from the sole part of her foot. We put pads and shoes on her, to help with the impact of the hoof.

In 20+ years of owning and being around horses, I've never had one founder on me, so I dont know much about it. This mare seems to be *just barely* off, to the point that I wonder if its just her way of going.

My question is, what do I do to make this better? Is riding her lightly going to cause her harm? Is there a way of knowing whether this will ever permanently heal?

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Hey, my mare foundered after we got her back from the breeders. She didn't conceive for us. We had the vet out to confirm any rotation and the farrier put shoes on her but turned them backwards for a few weeks to take the pressure off the toe area. She is rideable, such as easy trail rides. I haven't had anymore problems with her. She wears shoes on the front also. Best of luck to you! [Jump]

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Hey, my mare foundered after we got her back from the breeders. She didn't conceive for us. We had the vet out to confirm any rotation and the farrier put shoes on her but turned them backwards for a few weeks to take the pressure off the toe area. She is rideable, such as easy trail rides. I haven't had anymore problems with her. She wears shoes on the front also. Best of luck to you! [Jump]

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Founder is tricky... I've dealt with several different kinds, some severe, other's not. It really depends on your mare. I'd recommend having x-rays taken if you haven't already. This way you know if you're dealing with laminitis or a full on case of founder with coffin bone rotation. Laminitis is just inflammation of the laminae, founder is coffin bone rotation. If it is just laminitis, anti-inflammatories along with healthy motion and good hoof trimming are typically enough to bring the horse around. Founder is much more involved and treatment depends on the degree of rotation.

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Founder is tricky... I've dealt with several different kinds, some severe, other's not. It really depends on your mare. I'd recommend having x-rays taken if you haven't already. This way you know if you're dealing with laminitis or a full on case of founder with coffin bone rotation. Laminitis is just inflammation of the laminae, founder is coffin bone rotation. If it is just laminitis, anti-inflammatories along with healthy motion and good hoof trimming are typically enough to bring the horse around. Founder is much more involved and treatment depends on the degree of rotation.

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In the case of the gelding I cared for who foundered severely, we kept him on stall rest for a while, and afterward he could only go out on warm days with little wind, etc. He dropped a lot of weight rapidly, and always acted painful. We heaped his stall with shavings so that it was soft to stand or lay in. With him, he would stand only for short periods with many hours between. He got pressure sores on his hips, shoulders, face, and around his coronet area. The biggest ones were on his hip bones, about the size of a 50 cent piece, maybe a bit smaller. His owners gave him bute daily and treated the sores with swat to keep the bugs away, etc. He lived for several months before his coffin bone shifted and went through his foot. [Me Cry]

I'm so glad your horse isn't in this position! From the sound of it, she'll probably recover well. Corrective shoeing could definately help. I wouldn't ride her hard, probably not even above a walk. The just barely offness (is that a word?) may just be an indication that she's still healing.

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In the case of the gelding I cared for who foundered severely, we kept him on stall rest for a while, and afterward he could only go out on warm days with little wind, etc. He dropped a lot of weight rapidly, and always acted painful. We heaped his stall with shavings so that it was soft to stand or lay in. With him, he would stand only for short periods with many hours between. He got pressure sores on his hips, shoulders, face, and around his coronet area. The biggest ones were on his hip bones, about the size of a 50 cent piece, maybe a bit smaller. His owners gave him bute daily and treated the sores with swat to keep the bugs away, etc. He lived for several months before his coffin bone shifted and went through his foot. [Me Cry]

I'm so glad your horse isn't in this position! From the sound of it, she'll probably recover well. Corrective shoeing could definately help. I wouldn't ride her hard, probably not even above a walk. The just barely offness (is that a word?) may just be an indication that she's still healing.

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Please go read the FAQ section of this farriers site... www.keithseeley.com partcularly about pads, shoes, etc.

There has been A lot lot lot of research at many universities here and overseas the past decade that has changed the way many up to date farriers and vets view how to best treat founder. Unfortunately unlike medical doctors who by law have to stay updated on the latest treatments, farriers don't, so they will still do what they were taught 20 years ago and think you are crazy if you say you don't want to apply shoes.

The vets at my University have treated quite a few foundered horses over the years this way the above guy does with dramatic success to compare it to the "conventional" treatment they would have normally prescribed. What they have found is this new way is far more effective, quicker and gives long term soundness compared to the traditional way. Every horse treated this way went back to being fully sound and rideable, while only some of the shod horses did and the others were never considered completely sound.

Anyhow, food for thought...just another treatment option to look at. My farrier has a few founders to the point of coffin bone penetration that he treated this way and they are doing great and recovering well. He's pleasantly surprised that something so simple can work so well.

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Please go read the FAQ section of this farriers site... www.keithseeley.com partcularly about pads, shoes, etc.

There has been A lot lot lot of research at many universities here and overseas the past decade that has changed the way many up to date farriers and vets view how to best treat founder. Unfortunately unlike medical doctors who by law have to stay updated on the latest treatments, farriers don't, so they will still do what they were taught 20 years ago and think you are crazy if you say you don't want to apply shoes.

The vets at my University have treated quite a few foundered horses over the years this way the above guy does with dramatic success to compare it to the "conventional" treatment they would have normally prescribed. What they have found is this new way is far more effective, quicker and gives long term soundness compared to the traditional way. Every horse treated this way went back to being fully sound and rideable, while only some of the shod horses did and the others were never considered completely sound.

Anyhow, food for thought...just another treatment option to look at. My farrier has a few founders to the point of coffin bone penetration that he treated this way and they are doing great and recovering well. He's pleasantly surprised that something so simple can work so well.

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Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle.

Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling.

So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too.

I wouldn't recommend backwards shoes though. From what I've read and seen, while some horses luckily make it through, foundered horses shod with backwards shoes have the highest chance of the CB penetrating.

Being backwards the shoe doesn't take pressure off as once thought, instead it actually shifts the horse forwards (they will lean towards the open area of the shoe) and this not only creates pressure points where the shoe ends on each side it basically gives the coffin bone a hole to fall through. You actually want to support the coffin bone so it does not shift or drop any further, not leave it suspended so that it drives downward with each step. It's so hard to explain....

[ 09-04-2005, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]

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Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle.

Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling.

So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too.

I wouldn't recommend backwards shoes though. From what I've read and seen, while some horses luckily make it through, foundered horses shod with backwards shoes have the highest chance of the CB penetrating.

Being backwards the shoe doesn't take pressure off as once thought, instead it actually shifts the horse forwards (they will lean towards the open area of the shoe) and this not only creates pressure points where the shoe ends on each side it basically gives the coffin bone a hole to fall through. You actually want to support the coffin bone so it does not shift or drop any further, not leave it suspended so that it drives downward with each step. It's so hard to explain....

[ 09-04-2005, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Katie-Nicole:

Founder is tricky... I've dealt with several different kinds, some severe, other's not. It really depends on your mare. I'd recommend having x-rays taken if you haven't already. This way you know if you're dealing with laminitis or a full on case of founder with coffin bone rotation. Laminitis is just inflammation of the laminae, founder is coffin bone rotation. If it is just laminitis, anti-inflammatories along with healthy motion and good hoof trimming are typically enough to bring the horse around. Founder is much more involved and treatment depends on the degree of rotation.

Ditto. If it were a truly bad case ... there's supposed to be an old witch doctor kind of guy in TN or KY named Morse who can sure help a bad founder.

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quote:

Originally posted by Katie-Nicole:

Founder is tricky... I've dealt with several different kinds, some severe, other's not. It really depends on your mare. I'd recommend having x-rays taken if you haven't already. This way you know if you're dealing with laminitis or a full on case of founder with coffin bone rotation. Laminitis is just inflammation of the laminae, founder is coffin bone rotation. If it is just laminitis, anti-inflammatories along with healthy motion and good hoof trimming are typically enough to bring the horse around. Founder is much more involved and treatment depends on the degree of rotation.

Ditto. If it were a truly bad case ... there's supposed to be an old witch doctor kind of guy in TN or KY named Morse who can sure help a bad founder.

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Ok I edited this because I got confused a bit. I said toe which I believe is way wrong...

According to my reading this evening placing a 18" or 20" wedge on the heel or wrapping a roll of elastic gauze beneath the frog to minimize rotation of the CB.

They say also to make it as soft as possible, what about a full hoof protection such as duct taped styrofoam? Or would just putting it at the heel be best? Just asking questions one always has to keep learning!!! [smile]

quote:

Originally posted by UCequest:

Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle.

Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling.

So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too.

I wouldn't recommend backwards shoes though. From what I've read and seen, while some horses luckily make it through, foundered horses shod with backwards shoes have the highest chance of the CB penetrating.

Being backwards the shoe doesn't take pressure off as once thought, instead it actually shifts the horse forwards (they will lean towards the open area of the shoe) and this not only creates pressure points where the shoe ends on each side it basically gives the coffin bone a hole to fall through. You actually want to support the coffin bone so it does not shift or drop any further, not leave it suspended so that it drives downward with each step. It's so hard to explain....

[ 09-04-2005, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: SpiritHorse ]

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Ok I edited this because I got confused a bit. I said toe which I believe is way wrong...

According to my reading this evening placing a 18" or 20" wedge on the heel or wrapping a roll of elastic gauze beneath the frog to minimize rotation of the CB.

They say also to make it as soft as possible, what about a full hoof protection such as duct taped styrofoam? Or would just putting it at the heel be best? Just asking questions one always has to keep learning!!! [smile]

quote:

Originally posted by UCequest:

Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle.

Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling.

So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too.

I wouldn't recommend backwards shoes though. From what I've read and seen, while some horses luckily make it through, foundered horses shod with backwards shoes have the highest chance of the CB penetrating.

Being backwards the shoe doesn't take pressure off as once thought, instead it actually shifts the horse forwards (they will lean towards the open area of the shoe) and this not only creates pressure points where the shoe ends on each side it basically gives the coffin bone a hole to fall through. You actually want to support the coffin bone so it does not shift or drop any further, not leave it suspended so that it drives downward with each step. It's so hard to explain....

[ 09-04-2005, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: SpiritHorse ]

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quote:

Originally posted by UCequest:

[QB]

Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle.

Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling.

So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too.


Having read your previous posts, I musta misread it, thinking the ole timers didn't know nut's from bolts and had it all wrong. Having read this post however, I guess you just met some oletimers who convinced ya they really did know nuts from bolts....at least to the point you just acknowledged practices that have been around for lets say just a few decades more than you are old.

[big Grin]

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quote:

Originally posted by UCequest:

[QB]

Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle.

Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling.

So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too.


Having read your previous posts, I musta misread it, thinking the ole timers didn't know nut's from bolts and had it all wrong. Having read this post however, I guess you just met some oletimers who convinced ya they really did know nuts from bolts....at least to the point you just acknowledged practices that have been around for lets say just a few decades more than you are old.

[big Grin]

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[smile] Back to basics Old Timer. We humans tend to make things SO more difficult and complex than they need to be and if we would have only taken the simplest approach first!!! We tend to think the more money, contraptions, wraps, etc we can put on them the better job we are doing and the more we love them.

I had a beautiful show mare that foundered many years ago and I treated her the conventional method...stall rest, wedge pads, heart bars. I even tried magnetic therapy and accupuncture and spent thousands. She never got better and I retired her to hobble around the pasture on nearly daily bute figuring I'd keep her as comfortable as I could until I felt she was unhappy with life.

Then I had two broodmares founder about a year later. I was heartbroken.

Through the recommendation of a friend whom I thought was crazy, I had just started using a natural trimmer on a navicular gelding as a "last resort" to see if I couldn't help him since corrective shoeing wasn't working. So I told the guy to give the trim a go on the broodmares too since he assured me without hesitation it would work. What he wanted to do was far simpler and made so much logical sense compared to what my vet and farrier wanted to do. I took a chance and went against what my vet told me.

The mares were nearly sound and moving better within one trim. By the 3rd or 4th they were sound as can be. All he did was a trim, a bit of a diet change, and told me NOT to stall them. I went and got my foundered show mare that had been lame for 3 yrs at this point and told him to pull the corrective shoes and trim her. She was running around the pasture within a few trims too. I was stunned. She is now used in lessons again and even taken to shows by students.

The navicular gelding is sound as well...I am able to compete on him again and ride him in everything from Fox Hunts to cross country. After their success I couldn't help but be sold.

I don't want to turn this into a "natural trim" thing since some people get really hot under the collar. I just want to give my experiences. It is simply a great way to rehab foundered horses, the absolute most effective in my opinion.

The website UC gave above is a top Journeyman II farrier, not a natural trimmer. The University of Michigan is going nuts with what they have discovered with this and it has led to tons of more research. I know of many farriers that now treat founder this way (not just natural trimmers), BUT these are farriers that are constantly wanting to learn more and keep up with new advances. They aren't the type to be stuck in their ways not willing to try something new...or as old timer said, it's actually old!

So, many farriers and vets will say "that won't work, they have to be shod." So it's a matter of doing what you are most comfortable with (or rather what your horse is most comfortable with). It's hard to go against what your vet or farrier says so I don't blame people for a second that don't choose to.

If anyone with a foundered horse does by chance wants to find a farrier that does this kind of treatment my trimmer has a list and I can try to find one for you in your area. Good Luck!

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[smile] Back to basics Old Timer. We humans tend to make things SO more difficult and complex than they need to be and if we would have only taken the simplest approach first!!! We tend to think the more money, contraptions, wraps, etc we can put on them the better job we are doing and the more we love them.

I had a beautiful show mare that foundered many years ago and I treated her the conventional method...stall rest, wedge pads, heart bars. I even tried magnetic therapy and accupuncture and spent thousands. She never got better and I retired her to hobble around the pasture on nearly daily bute figuring I'd keep her as comfortable as I could until I felt she was unhappy with life.

Then I had two broodmares founder about a year later. I was heartbroken.

Through the recommendation of a friend whom I thought was crazy, I had just started using a natural trimmer on a navicular gelding as a "last resort" to see if I couldn't help him since corrective shoeing wasn't working. So I told the guy to give the trim a go on the broodmares too since he assured me without hesitation it would work. What he wanted to do was far simpler and made so much logical sense compared to what my vet and farrier wanted to do. I took a chance and went against what my vet told me.

The mares were nearly sound and moving better within one trim. By the 3rd or 4th they were sound as can be. All he did was a trim, a bit of a diet change, and told me NOT to stall them. I went and got my foundered show mare that had been lame for 3 yrs at this point and told him to pull the corrective shoes and trim her. She was running around the pasture within a few trims too. I was stunned. She is now used in lessons again and even taken to shows by students.

The navicular gelding is sound as well...I am able to compete on him again and ride him in everything from Fox Hunts to cross country. After their success I couldn't help but be sold.

I don't want to turn this into a "natural trim" thing since some people get really hot under the collar. I just want to give my experiences. It is simply a great way to rehab foundered horses, the absolute most effective in my opinion.

The website UC gave above is a top Journeyman II farrier, not a natural trimmer. The University of Michigan is going nuts with what they have discovered with this and it has led to tons of more research. I know of many farriers that now treat founder this way (not just natural trimmers), BUT these are farriers that are constantly wanting to learn more and keep up with new advances. They aren't the type to be stuck in their ways not willing to try something new...or as old timer said, it's actually old!

So, many farriers and vets will say "that won't work, they have to be shod." So it's a matter of doing what you are most comfortable with (or rather what your horse is most comfortable with). It's hard to go against what your vet or farrier says so I don't blame people for a second that don't choose to.

If anyone with a foundered horse does by chance wants to find a farrier that does this kind of treatment my trimmer has a list and I can try to find one for you in your area. Good Luck!

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quote:

Originally posted by AztecaScout:

[QB]

Yikes, sorry that was SUCH a long post...me and my story tellin'!


Excellent reading! After 40 years of working on the nutrition side, I've had the opportunity to watch and be a part of many theories, research and operations applications. Few things ever really change. What does change is generally extensions or modification of the ole time "basics". Over the years, I've made some observations that amaze me. Those in the business of livestock, be it horses cows or whatever, depend on them as their very livelyhood and approach it in a very different mindset. They have to learn virtually everything there is, science, research, application and operations, to hedge against loss in hopes of scratching out some profit. Most of my operations accounts knew bout as much as I did with all my degree's and most knew what it took to doctor and care for their herds, using the vet's as a last resort. On the other hand, the hobby horse industry is a very different animal. Far to many folk's buy horses, bring them home and don't know whether to feed them bacon, eggs and grits, or do you really have to buy that stuff called horse feed. When they get that figured out, they don't have a clue what the requirements are and how to feed to the requirements of nutrition. Just the blind leading the blind.....over feeding and throwing the dollars away, or under feeding and spending the big bucks on vet's. A strange world, this horse world, and I learned a long time ago not to even try butting heads with them, as they have it all figured out in between each of their crisis'.

Anyway, a very good read you provided in your story!

[ 09-05-2005, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: Ole Timer Still Learnin ]

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quote:

Originally posted by AztecaScout:

[QB]

Yikes, sorry that was SUCH a long post...me and my story tellin'!


Excellent reading! After 40 years of working on the nutrition side, I've had the opportunity to watch and be a part of many theories, research and operations applications. Few things ever really change. What does change is generally extensions or modification of the ole time "basics". Over the years, I've made some observations that amaze me. Those in the business of livestock, be it horses cows or whatever, depend on them as their very livelyhood and approach it in a very different mindset. They have to learn virtually everything there is, science, research, application and operations, to hedge against loss in hopes of scratching out some profit. Most of my operations accounts knew bout as much as I did with all my degree's and most knew what it took to doctor and care for their herds, using the vet's as a last resort. On the other hand, the hobby horse industry is a very different animal. Far to many folk's buy horses, bring them home and don't know whether to feed them bacon, eggs and grits, or do you really have to buy that stuff called horse feed. When they get that figured out, they don't have a clue what the requirements are and how to feed to the requirements of nutrition. Just the blind leading the blind.....over feeding and throwing the dollars away, or under feeding and spending the big bucks on vet's. A strange world, this horse world, and I learned a long time ago not to even try butting heads with them, as they have it all figured out in between each of their crisis'.

Anyway, a very good read you provided in your story!

[ 09-05-2005, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: Ole Timer Still Learnin ]

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