Tag: horse with sore hooves

Is your horse in Pain? How to check your horse.


Checking your horse for pain issues is a complicated process that does require an experienced qualified person or vet to make a full assessment. There are things you, the horse owner can do & observe too to check for pain issues. The first sign can be observing your horse in the pasture and when your horse is moving around when being worked on the ground and when being ridden.
Things to look for are.
Are they holding or bracing any part of their body?
Are they limping or look uncomfortable?
Do they have any behavioural issues?
Is there body symmetrical (stand in front of your horse and check the way they hold their head) – does it hang to one side?
Do they cock their tail to the side when being ridden or tail swishing?
Do they rest one leg more than another?
Do their hooves wear unevenly? Or toes drag?

Not sure if you need a bodywork session? Here are a few basic tips you can use to help assess your horse to see if they need a soft tissue bodywork session, please note not all horses will show pain with these checks – its best to employ and practitioner to double check for you. Keep your eye on your horse’s face, ear’s and nose & body posture for any signs of discomfort.
1. Stand your horse on a level surface. Tie your horse up or have someone hold your horse for you.
2. Slowly run your hands over the horse and feel for hot or cold areas or any areas that may have a reaction.
3. Pick up each leg and feel for any tightness or restrictions.
4. Press your thumb or finger firmly into the areas with the arrows (see photo)
5. Run your fingernail or tip of a pen lid (you need something pointy) in the head to tail (caudal direction) or top to bottom, along the yellow lines.
6. Run your finger firmly along the green lines in a caudal direction.
What reactions do you get? Did you horse twitch or move? Did your horse throw his head or try to kick or bite? Did you feel any tight or cold areas? Did you see any nerves twitch?
Please seek professional help if you are unsure how to check your horse. Definity book a soft tissues bodywork session with your local practitioner.
Please feel free to ask Belinda during an Equine Touch session how to check your horse’s pain or how to help prevent pain issues. Free Saddle check and basic check with your Equine Touch session.

Feeding and Exercising a Horse with Laminitis

Mini's strip grazingGetting your horse or pony’s diet right with a case of laminitis is an essential part of their care and recovery. Here’s what you should be feeding:

Grass or pasture hay – preferably older hay (low sugar – no clover or rye) that is not mouldy

  • Wheaten chaff (small amount of Lucerne chaff or oaten chaff- for flavour), with no grain
  • Copra meal (coconut) – soaked in warm water
  • Minerals or mineral lick, but with no molasses
  • Add dose of Belinda’s Custom Loose Lick for your area
  • Vitamin C powder can also be added as a valuable supplement
  • Suitable herbs, as recommended by a herbalist, can be made into a tea – Chamomile and Rosehip are useful
  • Rescue Remedy can also be added to the horse’s drinking water to help with stress.

Here’s what not to feed during a case of laminitis, or to a horse or pony which is prone to laminitis:

  • Limit feeding of Lucerne hay or lucerne chaff
  • Clover hay
  • Molasses or feeds containing sugar
  • Any grain or feeds containing grain such as oats,
  • Pellets or bread
  • NO apples or carrots
  • Do not let your horse or pony graze on lush green pastures – especially at night or when it is frosty or extreme heat.

Exercise during laminitis

When your horse’s condition improves and it is able to move around, ensure your horse has adequate exercise. Begin with a five to ten minute walk twice a day, and increase this over time as your horse improves.

It’s important that your horse or pony is not confined in a stable or small yard for long periods at a time. A horse with laminitis should not be kept in a concrete floored stable. Correct bedding is essential – use rubber or deep sawdust or sand on floor, at least 10cm thick to ensure your horse’s comfort and recovery.