How can Boots or Shoes Help My Foundering Equine?
Founder is such a scary word. Everyone in the equine world cringes when they hear it. But what if your horse, pony, donkey, or mule is foundering? What can you do to help them find relief?
Having a good set of boots or shoes is key to helping them find relief. Adding some extra cushioning to these boots or shoes is extremely helpful. The type of pad is important.
Let’s go over the types of boots/shoes that we offer here at Chimacum Tack:
The Therapy/Road Boot
These little boots are made by our harness maker. They are a simple leather top, stapled to a hard rubber sole. There is NO toe break over so these will not be the best option for a foundering pony. Why? Because having a good toe break over is key to helping them more around more comfortably. They shouldn’t struggle to roll their hoof over when walking.
Here is a wonderful article by Pete Ramey (click on the colored word Breakover --> to see the article): Breakover
You can see that the hoof stops well back from the toe of the boot. This will put extra pressure on the pony’s flexor tendon as they try to bring their hoof forward.
So, break over in a boot/shoe is important!
Equine Fusion Trekking Shoe
The Trekking shoe is a great option for driving but not the one I would choose for founder rehab. The simple reason is this shoe fits quite snugly to the hoof making it more difficult to put a cushioning pad in the shoe. When I have done founder rehab I have found adding extra cushion to the boot/shoe is very important to the comfort of the pony. I use the Comfort Pads from Easy Care: Comfort Pads
Also, this shoe has openings on the front which allow debris to enter the shoe. Not something you want to have happen when your equine is wearing the shoes 24/7.
Equine Fusion Active Shoe
This is my choice for founder rehab. It has an enclosed top that fits snugly to the pastern of the equine which means less debris inside the shoe. It also has more room in the shoe for the extra padding. AND it has a wonderful break over in the toe!
I want to talk about the padding a bit more here. The Comfort pads are an excellent choice because they come in different firmnesses. You can get the soft (green) pads, the medium (black) pads or the firm (red) pads. If you have an equine that is suffering from acute founder the soft, green pads seem to bring the most comfort, offering extra support to the entire bottom of the hoof relieving the pressure on the hoof wall. These pads come in large ovals, 2 to a package. If you have a mini or a pony you will get quite a few pads from each oval, making these very affordable.
The dampening pads that can come with the Equine Fusion shoes are NOT soft. They are simply a piece of added rubber to help the shoe fit a little more snugly if the shoe is a little too large.
As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.