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For a nice description of this problem, please read the following article of naturalhorsetalk (pdf, 361 kB).

Chronic Founder

In hooves with chronic founder, the coffin bone has a bad connection to the hoof wall. The toe wall
is growing forward and cannot support the weight of the horse, the heels are growing longer!

Trimming a Foundered Hoof

blood from the laminitic attack is seen in the streched lamellae

The coffin bone needs to be tilted back into its natural position, close to ground parallel

-> shorten heels, frog and side walls, don't shorten toe from below
-> trim bars correctly
-> take back bottom 3rd of the hoof wall parallel to the angle that is growing down from the coronet
-> you might expose streched lamellar horn that is soaked with blood from an acute episode, don't be scared

When you remove the painful toe lever, the horse will often start licking as a sign of pain relief.

Within the next months, the horse should be kept on smooth ground without stones or high abrasion,
as the hard horn of the toe wall is missing and the tip of the coffin bone is only protected by sole horn.

Provided correct nutrition (low amount of sugar, sufficient and balanced minerals and trace elements for
healing and metabolism, no poisonous plants like white clover), recovering liver and good metabolism,
the hoof wall will grow down parallel to the coffin bone again.



In this pony hoof, the laminar corium was inflamed during an episode of metabolic laminitis. You can see the blood in the streched horn lamellae at the toe.

As a result, the toe wall is pulling away from the coffin bone, while the heels are still growing in the downward direction. This leads to a steepening of the hoof, which puts more load on the toe, which is then overloaded.

1) Shorten the heels
to their proper height. This can in most cases be determined by looking for solid sole
in the bar triangle.
The red spot that you see in the heel bar triangle of the right picture is bruising from the previously high heel. The sole is still very thick.

2) Trim the frog to
new heel height

3) Trim the bars straight and shorter than hoof wall

4) Shorten the toe vertically, e.g. by
using a nipper, to the White Line

5) Rasp the bottom
3rd of the hoof wall parallel to the growth of the new hoof wall
at the coronet

6) Finish the hoof wall forward of the tip of the frog with a "mustang roll" to reduce tension and counteract flaring

6) Check the stance of the horse. The cannon bones should be vertical, the pastern loose and the horse should land slightly heel first on smooth ground.

7) Do not put the horse on highly abrasive ground or stones. Tenderness may cause it to put more weight on the toe - this may be detrimental to healing or cause inflammation of the corium.

8) Be sure that you've eliminated the cause
of the laminitis attack.
This may include:
- high amount of sugar (fructanes) and starch
- White Clover in the meadow, especially when stressed by overgrazing
- poisonous plants
- lack or imbalance of magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, manganese
- Cushing's Syndrome



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