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Laminitis! First time treating .... MORE QUESTIONS Last Post!

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  • #21
    You might find some useful information on pads and boots on Pete Ramey's site, as I believe those are the boots he uses.


    • #22
      Originally posted by SCM1959 View Post
      4LeafCloverFarm -

      I guess the Soft Ride website is the best place to buy the pads?

      Unless you get specific instructions from the vet, based on the x-rays, it's probably best to stick with the pads that come standard with the boots

      Some pads will change the angle of the hoof and the tension that is put on it. Without having a clear understanding of what the purpose of each model of pad is, you might do more harm than good. So stick with the pads that automatically come with the boots UNLESS your vet says differently, OR the vet and farrier confer over the x-Rays and farrier tells you different, based on that conversation

      It is pretty easy to overthink the issue when there are so many options. They are great options as long as the Buyer has the knowledge to know which is the best choice. Annnnd, be prepared to discover the pads that work now may not work at some future point ---- you may have to buy a different model as the hoof changes


      • #23
        Call the soft ride horse boots and they will help you. Measure your horse's feet first. It was late at night and I was overwhelmed when I got the diagnosis for my horse. I could not decipher their ordering instructions. I sent an email late at night and then followed up with a phone call. They did everything and I just called with my address and card. My vet measured my horse's feet and I could not even figure out the correct size boot to order. The boots arrived in 2 days.

        My vet told me to order the therapeutic laminitis orthotics and the boots come with a regular set, so I have 2 sets.

        my only complain is that my horse got a nasty fungus. Buy the human DRY spray on athletes foot fungal stuff.


        • Original Poster

          My farrier was here this morning and I feel so much better after long discussions with him. He is going to help me choose the gel pads for Rocky. I have already sent him the links and I made screenshots of the pads that I *think* I should get. He said he would like to see Rocky's heels lowered (not raised - duh) about 2 degrees for this shoeing cycle.

          He traced Rocky's feet for me and I have my measurements all ready. As soon as he tells me which pads to order, I will send my order in.

          frisky - thank you for the tip about DRY. I will get some today!

          Rocky was able to tolerate having his shoes pulled very well. Bill was very good to him, working on his front feet for a short time and then working on the back, to give him time to rest. He recommended a gram of bute afterward to take the edge off the soreness caused by the farrier work. Rocky was much more sore going back to his pen than he was coming out earlier this morning.

          Bill also walked the pasture that Rocky was in, looking at the trees and bushes. As I said earlier, Rocky was in a different place for a few hours on Thursday and then Friday morning -- wham -- he could not walk. I can't help but think something happened on Thursday. Bill did not see anything that stood out as alarming.

          I am going to ask the veterinarian to do the cushings blood test this week. He mentioned needing time to do the test because he has to work with the blood (spin it?) before it is sent to Cornell.

          I am also going to contact the Clemson University Extension office to do an inspection of my larger pasture (where Rocky is normally turned out 24/7) to ask them to take grass samples and to tell me if there is anything amiss there.

          COTH is just a font of information!

          Last edited by SCM1959; Aug. 16, 2019, 07:49 PM. Reason: correction


          • #25
            Was there grass in the "other place" where he was Thursday? He may very well just not be able to tolerate grass at all right now... and perhaps never again. Only time will tell. But for now, I'd not reintroduce Rocky to grass. He needs a dry lot and good quality hay thats not sky high in NSC. Though I still think Rocky should be tested for Insulin Resistance (IR) in addition to the cushings.

            Glad your farrier was able to help with the boot sizing and pads.
            ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


            • Original Poster

              4LeafCloverFarm , Rocky is out 24/7 on mostly fescue. His paddock (where I put him each night) is beautiful, nearly weed-free fescue. The larger pasture where he is turned out is essentially the entire 4-5 acres of the front part of our property, which includes our "front lawn", which is actually not as beautiful and weed-free as Rocky's paddock. He is a horse who truly does not graze non-stop like some do. He eats a bit and then he walks around but mostly, in the summertime, he goes down a little hill under a large stand of trees where it is very breezy all the time. There is grass there, but he doesn't really eat it. That is the place to cool off and snooze. When he wants to eat, he comes back up the hill and eats around the front lawn a little bit and then he crosses the driveway and eats in the less-beautiful part of the front part of our property. The front lawn does have a good amount of centipede which is a warm-season grass in SC ... but the part he eats the most is the fescue. If I had to say how often he is actively eating during the day it would be perhaps 15-20 minutes per hour. He is quite lean and his ribs are slightly apparent on each side.

              On Thursday, I turned him out into our pony's larger paddock for a few hours because the air conditioning repairman showed up unexpectedly. Rocky's paddock was in full sun with minimal shade and the pony's paddock has a lot of trees. I didn't want to trust the repairman to be sure to close the gate and lock it when he left (because Rocky is turned out on the front part of our property, we lock our driveway gate). I had to run a quick errand so left Rocky in with the pony for those 2-3 hours.

              The pony's large paddock is mainly a dry lot, with some grass, and a lot of weeds that we purposely allow to grow up to slow the water flow that comes through that area during heavy rain (which we have had a lot of this year). There are bushes and trees in there that Rocky is never around in his usual day-to-day life. There is a large grassy area (same grass as Rocky is on each day) and that is where he usually hangs out if I have to put him in with the pony for a short time. I was not home for those 2 hours that Rocky was in there but he was beyond the weedy area when I called him to come out of there once I was home and could lock the driveway gate when the repairman left. That area beyond the weeds is where I took my farrier this morning to see if he noticed anything particularly alarming. The only thing he saw was a black walnut tree that is now overhanging that area. The leaves are not in reach and the nut pods are still firmly attached. I had not realized how much that tree had grown, and it is now on my husband's honey-do list to prune those overhanging branches away. I may even get a tree service out to cut down the tree as we do not need the pony eating the nuts or the fallen leaves in the fall.

              I will be sure that the Clemson extension agent goes all over the pony's large paddock as well as Rocky's overnight paddock and his larger grazing area.

              I have a friend who is very knowledgeable about metabolic problems in horses, laminitis, treatment, testing, etc. and I chatted with her today. She used to live in my town but now lives 3 hours away. She told me that I have had him for 12 years and have managed him very well ... that more than likely I am not going to find a problem in the pasture grasses... but she suspects IR or PPID. She has had TWH for years and proactively has her horses tested once they are 20 years old. Two of hers showed some changes and they are taking Prascend daily.

              Rocky has not had much hay this summer as the grass has been sufficient, but when he does eat hay (and of course that is all he has had since August 2nd), he eats timothy hay from Standlee. I buy the compressed bales from our independent feed store. What little grain he has had, and he has had this for at least 10 years, is Triple Crown Senior which has an NSC value of 11.2, if I remember correctly. I was not feeding him according to the weight requirements on the bag -- I only gave him 3/4 scoop (standard feed scoop size) per day. Naturally he has not had any more of that since August 1st.

              My farrier told me that a good thing to do with Rocky during this recovery stage is to take him for short walks -- about 50 yards total on the soft grassy area outside his pen. He is moving around a lot now inside the pen vs. just standing there and only moving because I moved the muck bucket full of hay. Since he is moving on his own a lot, my farrier said he is feeling better, so the little bit of hand walking will be good for him. Once the Soft Ride boots come, I can walk him for longer distances ... and yes, I will put a muzzle on him when I do the hand walking just in case he dives for grass.

              I called our veterinarian today and left him a message that I want Rocky tested. I believe he has to be off of bute before the testing, is that right? If so, he will be done with the bute treatment for the scratched eye on Thursday.



              • #27
                Well, all I can say is that certain IR/PPID/Laminitic/Foundered horses are fine on managed access to grass, until they aren't. If he were my horse, right now, so soon after an acute bought of laminitis, I would not have him on any grass, no matter the variety or density. But that is just my experience.

                I had my pony tested for cushings and IR this spring and he had to fast before the test (no grain/feed/supplements, just hay) and no sedation (he is not fond of strangers). But I'd ask your vet about the protocol for the tests.
                ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


                • Original Poster

                  4LeafCloverFarm - I have no intention on Rocky going back on grass anytime soon. He will be in this pen until we figure out what is going on. That's why I have called my vet to ask for the testing because I need to know what caused this. I also want my pasture, his paddock and the pony's large paddock to be inspected by the Clemson University Extension Agent ... something may have changed that I am unaware of.

                  Once the test results come back, I will have a better idea of how to go forward. He will also wear a muzzle when and if he is re-introduced to grass so that he can't gorge.

                  Also, once I have the information from the Extension Agent, I will know more about what is going on with the grass he is exposed to and will be able to make a better decision about what to do.

                  I so appreciate all the information! I am having to learn on the fly. Luckily he is safe now, in the large pen, bedded thickly with the pellet-type bedding that disintegrates into a fine sawdust. It is so soft and cushy in there! He is eating well, pooping well (well-formed & moist!) and he has 4 water options, all of which he is using. He has a 50 gallon low trough, a 5-gallon bucket hung fairly high in case his feet hurt when he leans way down, and 2 over-the-rail feed buckets that are hung chest-high. I fill the muck bucket with timothy hay morning and night and he is eating nearly all of it (I fluff the hay up -- I do not pack it solidly like brown sugar). It seems he throws some of the hay over the fence to his pony buddy, ha, ha.




                  • #29
                    One other tip for the initial stages - make ice bell boots. Get your hands on 4 gel packs that are roughly 4" high. Then get a pair of bell boots that are 2 sizes too big for your horse. XL or XXL usually works fine, but Davis makes nice big draft sizes too. Use vet wrap to secure the ice packs to the inside of the bell boots. Toss them both in the freezer for a few hours. Now you have ice boots that cover the heels, coronary band, and much of the hoof - without having to lift the foot.


                    • Original Poster

                      Okay, I am obviously over-thinking and am so hot that my brain is mush.

                      The Soft Ride boots arrived yesterday but by the time I got home after picking them up, it was after 7 PM and I did not have time to study them and figure out how to fit them.

                      Got up extra early this AM, hoping to get them fitted and on Rocky before my young son got up dice. Here he is at 6:00 AM.

                      So ... finally got the turquoise orthotics out and the oranges ones in and ..... which is the front? And why does the velcro on the orthotics not match the way the velcro goes in the boots?

                      Is it supposed to go the same way? Stupid me did not notice how the turquoise orthotic was placed.

                      The straps come from the back and fasten toward the middle front, right?

                      Is there a right and a left boot? Should I have the strap with the Soft Ride logo on the outside or the inside?

                      I have watched a couple of videos but they are just advertisements for how good the boots are.

                      No instructions came with the boots except to be extra careful trying them on because they cannot be returned if they are dirty.

                      It would be nice to have "front" and "back" on the bottoms of the boots for no confusion for addled, worried owners.

                      Rocky's feet are really sore today. He has been barefoot since Monday waiting for these boots. And, I was to drop Bute to 1 gram a day starting yesterday. I think he still needs 2 grams a day. Good news is his eye ulcer is looking wonderful -- you would never know he was swollen like he had been in a boxing ring last Friday.

                      My friend is coming over to help me because I just feel so unsure of myself trying to get these boots on.

                      Should we let him out of his pen (about 18 x 18) for a bit to let him walk around in the boots to get used to them? It is nearly 100 degrees here today and no shade other than in this pen unless he walks a long way in the boots. Maybe it is better to just leave him in the pen?

                      Maybe tomorrow morning I could put him (with muzzle) into his smaller paddock (where he used to spend the nights before this laminitis episode) under supervision to allow him to walk around a bit? It is shady there in the morning. Also the Clemson University Agricultural Extension agent told me yesterday that (1) our grasses are good -- nothing alarming and (2) early in the day is better for less sugar. I am thinking maybe 30 minutes in that paddock?

                      Both the farrier and the Ag agent recommend walking around with the boots on to increase blood circulation to his feet.



                      • Original Poster

                        I finally got through to Soft Ride Customer Service and I did have the pads in backwards. Apparently the size number is on the back of the boot (it is raised up 4N) and I am to match the frog area of the orthotic to the size number. There is no right or left boot until you put the boots on and then the right boot is the right boot and the left is the left.

                        I used a permanent silver marker to write FRONT L and FRONT R on the boots. On the back of the boots I wrote R or L. My horse is wearing boots for the Mentally Impaired Owner -- if he was on the playground, the other kids would laugh at him.

                        My friend came over and what a wonderful help she was! She stood at Rocky's head and turned his head so he would shift his weight so I could lift his foot and clean it thoroughly and then brush it out and blow on it to be sure all debris was gone. Then she had the boot ready -- I felt like a surgeon --- when I put my hand back and I was able to fit it on him, toe first, then heel and then lower his foot to the ground.

                        So far he is just thinking about the boots. He hasn't tried to walk in them yet. I moved his bucket of hay to encourage him to move in the pen. My friend thinks he should stay in the pen today and tomorrow I could walk him say 20-30 feet back and forth near the pen and put him back. Depending on how he does with that, I could repeat later in the day or not.

                        This is my friend who "shares a brain" with me. We say that some days we are not sure who has custody of the brain. And some days whoever has it forgets it at home.



                        • #32
                          It's great you can be humorous & self-deprecating in such a tough situation and have not only such a good friend but knowledgeable -- if she's not horse knowledgeable she does have a boat load of common sense and knows what to hand you when you need it

                          You did everything right -- fried brain, heat exhaustion and all. This stuff is so overwhelming in the beginning but the care will soon become automatic

                          As an FYI, I always washed the insides of the boots and the pads in hot water and Dawn dish soap to keep the yuk and fungus out --- in my kitchen sink

                          I would turn the boots upside down on old towels in a dark corner of the kitchen counter overnight to dry -- (my horse is shut in at night), and put the clean boots/pads on in the morning.

                          Hopefully the boots /pads do their job. Don't forget trimming needs to be done 4-5 weeks so the farrier can make progress instead of playing catchup on a 6-7-8 week trim. My foundered horse's hooves grew fast before he foundered, now they grow at Mach 80.

                          Whiteline disease (WLD) can also be on issue so be watchful for that. You might want to have something like Thrush Buster on hand just in case. I have better luck with it due to it having gentian violet in it. Something else may work better for your horse

                          Please keep updating. This is great info plus a great journal for you to look back on


                          • #33
                            Make sure you remove the boots daily to check for any stuff that might get stuck inside and to check the hoof itself. I always remove the boots every AM and PM and clean them out (long time Soft Ride user here but have switched to regular boots as laminitis crises has passed). Generic gold bond powder will help a ton with the smell and keeping the boot dry inside. The way I put the Soft Rides on is logo on the outside and just keep it that way.

                            I'd keep him in his small pen. The boots are not designed for normal/large area turnout (or riding!!). He should feel almost instantly better with those boots.
                            "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                            • Original Poster

                              ryansgirl and walkinthewalk - I think I am to keep the boots on 24/7, correct? I will take them off in the morning to be sure all is clean and sprinkle in some more Gold Bond powder. Should I take them to the house and wash them thoroughly -- leave them off about an hour? He would be barefoot on very soft bedding when I take the boots off.

                              He did not move around much today for a few hours after putting them on, but when I went out at 8 PM for nighttime hay, I could see that he had moved around the pen quite a lot.

                              I know these are not boots for riding and are also not for turnout in large areas, but both my farrier and the Clemson University Extension Agent (who had a horse and used Soft Ride boots for him) recommended that I walk him daily to allow him to move a bit more than just shuffling around this pen. He is a long horse chest to tail so there really isn't much room in there. If he stands with his tail to the rear-most panel, he probably only has to take 6 steps and he is at the front. I am going to see how he is feeling in the morning. I will put the pony into another small pen so he doesn't "help" when I lead Rocky out of his pen for a short walk ... maybe 25 feet or so and then we will do a large turn and go back. If and when I decide to bring him to his night-time paddock for a bit more space, I think I will section off a smaller area. I would like him to be able to walk a bit on his own for more than 6 steps.

                              This is quite the learning curve.

                              I will take a photo tomorrow of his Boots with "FRONT" written prominently on the front of each boot. It looks rather funny.



                              • #35
                                Yes keep them on 24/7 but you still need to check them daily - taking them off to make sure nothing has gotten inside that will irritate him for a few minutes is fine. The generic gold bond will also help with any rubbing which can happen easily (another reason to check them daily).

                                Short walks are fine with the boots as long as you aren't forcing him (which may mean he is uncomfortable).
                                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                                • #36
                                  In my case, the boots came off every night BUT my horse was stalled at night and he had to wear trail boots back then. His stall is 12 x 14 so he had ample room to move if he wanted to.

                                  This was back in 2012, when therapy boots and pads were not readily available. I kept my horse in Easy Care's Boa boots, which they no longer make --- too bad as I love those boots.

                                  I had to make my own pads as anything available on the Net at that time was terribly expensive and did not last any longer than anything I could think up.

                                  I stuck With Easy Care when they rolled out their therapy boots because they had a customer service lady who knew more than some vets and was a lifesaver in helping me pick a boot style and fit Joker for founder and not trail riding.

                                  FWIW, the grip of the boots was also crucial. Finding a tread that would grip yet still let him slide a little bit could have been hair pulling had it not been for that customer service lady, who was a horse owner:!

                                  Another reason I took those trail riding boots off at night was due to heel rubs --- they weren't meant to be on a horse 24/7 so I was very thankful Imhad a decent sized cushy stall to put my horse in at night. His stall has ~14" of limestone crush with grid mats on top, and shavings on top of the grid mats.

                                  we have come a long way, in seven years, regarding therapy boots


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thought I would pop in with an update.

                                    Rocky is obviously feeling much more comfortable and is acclimating very well to the Soft Ride Boots. The first day that he had them on, he stood pretty much in one place for quite a while as if he could not believe what had happened to his feet. By the end of the first day he was moving around much more and he laid down and got up easily.

                                    My first time to remove the boots and clean them, and clean his feet could not have gone better!

                                    I got all kinds of supplies ready ... I figured I would have him stand on a towel once I got the boots off so that he wouldn't get his feet messy once I had inspected them and brushed them off. I laid the towel down in his pen and walked him over it a time or two so he would know it was safe. I used a lighter colored towel because I know that a dark color might look like a hole. He is wearing a fly mask 24/7 so that he does not scratch his eye again eating hay from his muck bucket and I am sure he doesn't see as well through a fly mask. So he was not thrilled with this towel thing, but he was game to try. Once I had established that he would stand on the towel, I got everything ready for the CLEANING OF THE BOOTS. I decided to do one at a time (take off/clean/put back on) because I was paranoid about somehow mixing up the boots, even though they are clearly labeled. I undid the velcro straps and he stood nicely on the towel. And then, to my great amazement and joy, when I stood at his side and leaned over to ask for his foot, it was in my hand instantly! THIS is the way my horse is! I was easily able to remove the boot. I felt his foot and brushed it off and even smelled it to be sure it wasn't getting thrushy. I put it down on the towel and got to work cleaning out the boot. He stood right there patiently. When it was time to put the boot back on, I stood next to him and touched his leg and the foot came right back up. I was able to get the boot on quickly and efficiently and then put his foot down so I could do up the straps. The other foot was the same way -- easy-peasy!

                                    The veterinarian came today to take blood for the IR and Cushings tests and was very pleased with Rocky's progress. I took him out of the pen on his lead and walked him back and forth. He was even able to manage a somewhat tight turn in his pen so that we could exit. When we went back into the pen, I laid the towel down and Rocky walked right onto it. The vet was very pleased with how easily Rocky lifted his feet up for me once I had undone the boot straps. He looked at both of his feet and said they looked great and he approved of the trim from the farrier. I was in the pen cleaning up when he arrived, and there were 2 manure piles, one quite fresh. The vet agreed that they looked good and healthy. He noted that Rocky is drinking from all 4 water sources and he said I am feeding him the right type and the right amount of hay.

                                    I told him that the farrier was very optimistic, and he said so long as we don't have any setbacks, we could be riding again in 6-8 weeks. I'll take that!

                                    We should have the results of the bloodwork by the end of the week.

                                    Thank you to everyone who has helped me with this. COTH is just the best.


                                    PS Forgot to say, he is feeling this good without bute! He had his last dose on Saturday PM. Nothing yesterday and nothing today. Also his eye is healed and totally clear. Yay!


                                    • #38

                                      Way to go Rocky!!! He sounds like such a sweet and willing soul!

                                      And YAY!!! On you for all your extraneous labor and your willingness to go the extra five miles for Rocky


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Back with an update and of course I have more questions.

                                        The vet texted me yesterday to say that Rocky has tested positive for Cushing's. He said Insulin was a little high, also, but that may be because of the Cushing's. I texted back, asking what the actual numbers are and how far out of normal range Rocky is (because of course I want to post those numbers here to get the official COTH opinion!). I want to know the numbers myself so that I will know, in subsequent tests, whether we are making progress or regressing.

                                        I have a few questions at this point.

                                        The vet is ordering the Pergolide for me and it will be in pill form. I have read several articles and all warn about the Pergolide Veil of depression and decreased appetite. Any ideas on how to avoid this? Is there something to take that will eliminate this (sort of like anti-nausea when getting chemo)?

                                        The Soft Ride boots are just wonderful. Rocky likes them very much and has been very cooperative when I have to take them off to clean them out and put them back on. They have not gotten stinky -- well, not too stinky. His feet still seem to smell fine, although I am now smelling the very faint scent of thrush/wet horse feet. We did have one very rainy day this week -- all day rain -- and since then I am feeling like I need to really wash the boots and set them in the sun to dry. I have noticed that with the boots off, he is not as confident taking steps around his thickly bedded pen as he is with the boots. I assume that is normal ... after all, the orthotic pads are like walking on little pillows. Because of how thick the fabric is, I know the boots will take a long time to dry. I anticipate it taking about 8 hours. Can he be out of his boots for that long? The bedding in his pen is very cushy. I think someone has mentioned stalling her horse at night and removing the boots then? On the other hand, I am also feeling like having his feet exposed to air and dry bedding might be good for them?

                                        Finally, I am now concerned about the muzzle I bought for him. I bought the Best Friends-style muzzle, basically a basket-type thing that straps on just like a halter. I have read several accounts of this type of muzzle really bothering horses. Other muzzles that I have never heard of are being recommended. Since I think he will be wearing this muzzle a lot ... should I have another kind of muzzle on hand just in case this Best Friends-type does not suit? If so, what should I get?

                                        Oh yes, another question: Should I just get the Pergolide from my veterinarian or does anyone know of a reliable source that would be less expensive? I don't know how much it will be yet from my vet. The fact that he is not telling me is rather concerning.

                                        ETA -- Just read something last night that said decreased corneal sensitivity is a real problem with Cushing's horses! The article said the reduced (or increased?) cortisol affects the nerves in the eye so the horse is not as sensitive as he normally would be to stalks of hay or grass rubbing on his eyes. This certainly explains the corneal ulcer we dealt with a couple of weeks ago. Rocky now wears a fly mask nearly 24/7 since he is still eating hay from a large muck bucket. If he is in his large paddock, I put hay on the ground, but when he has to be in this pen, I put the hay in the bucket so he doesn't fling it around and pee on it.

                                        Which brings me to the last question -- for now -- last night when I was cleaning his pen and re-doing waters, he stopped eating hay and peed. A little unusual that he did that in front of me, but whatever. It was a good strong stream. I went about my chores and then he tried to pee again. A trickle. And again. Nothing. And again and again with a little trickle each time. All total -- about 7 pees right in front of me. What is up with that? I have had him since 2007 and this is probably the only time that he has peed in front of me. Should I clean his sheath to check for a bean? Call the vet? Just observe him? He is eating and drinking very well -- which is very normal for him.



                                        • #40
                                          Very sorry to hear of the Cushings diagnosis. There are a lot of folks with a wealth of knowledge on COTH that can help with your questions on Cushings/PPID.

                                          As to prescription meds, I get my dog and horse meds online through AlliVet. Much cheaper than my vet and they didn't even carry the Equioxx my Senior is on now at my vet, so no choice but to get it online.

                                          As to the peeing, yes, check that the sheath is good and clean. If he continues to strain or seems to not be able to empty his bladder, then yes, I'd consult the vet. There are several things that can cause strange peeing episodes. But as long as there is no fever, eating and drinking normally, and appears comfortable, I would not find it alarming (as in an emergency).
                                          ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~