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Best Practices for the foundered pony? Also opinions re: Soft-Ride boots please.

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  • Best Practices for the foundered pony? Also opinions re: Soft-Ride boots please.

    We have taken on a foundered pony as a retirement boarder for an absent owner. I would like to know what "best practices" are for the previously foundered pony.

    I know that:

    1) keep weight down (last place already did a good job of getting weight down)
    2) low starch food (have switched him to grass only hay and 1/2 cup of ration balancer 2x day)
    3) limited grass (our grass is pretty much dead here right now and will have a muzzle on him for next spring). On limited grass during the day and dirt paddock with grass hay at night.
    4) corrective trimming (my farrier saw him already, pulled his shoes and trimmed so as to create break over with toe, a little bit trimmed from heel area so as to put as much sole as possible on the ground, trimmed nothing from the sole. He is a bit slipper toed; farrier already working to correct that)

    We have recent xrays, he has some coffine bone rotation already. When farrier saw him he felt he was not stable due to pulse at back of pastern, uncomfortable stance and slight seperation of hoof at the front of the coronet band. He recommended some anti-inflammatory (started pony on .5 gram bute 2xday)

    Farrier and vet recommended Soft-Ride boots, curious to hear if anybody has experiences with them and how well they stay one. This pony lives out 24/7 and they will need to have some staying power!

    I will order some I think but in the mean time I am going to rig up up a homemade pad made with wedge of foam insulation to duct tape on his front feet.

    Am I missing anything? I have had a previously foundered but stable pony before, this is first one with acute condition.

    What is most recent recommendations regarding this condition?

    Any opinions on the Soft-Ride boots?


  • #2
    Soft Ride boots are great for horses that need cushioning, but they will not stand up to anything other than very slow walking in turnout. They're really designed more for rehab/stall rest.
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


    • #3
      Don't even ask for opinions. Just go to the soft-ride.com website and order the boots. If you'd called them earlier today, they could have fed-exed them over night to you and you'd have them by 11am tomorrow. BTDT.

      Get the boots. They really are exceptional. I learned about them from eventgroupie2's Willie thread, and bought them right after Willie got them. Best therapeutic boots ever.


      • #4
        Get the boots. NOW. They are worth every penny. I just ordered another pair this am and they shipped them out already. But but but... they are NOT designed for turn-out and thats the problem I'm running into. I posted a new thread earlier to see if anyone has ever tried putting the orthotics into another boot (old macs, Cavallo, etc) - no responses so I'm guessing not. The orthotics are thick so i really don't think i can fit them into another more durable boot. They are big and kind of clunky but they work - saved my mare's life as I was on the verge of putting her down (mechanical laminitis in one front foot). Your looking at around $300 (thats if you add on the specialty orthotics) plus shipping but yes they are worth it. My mare will be in these boots while turned out (small area - not her normal field as they won't stay on or last) until we have enough hoof to put shoes on.
        "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


        • #5
          I used the Easy Boot Trail 24/7 for roughly 5 months on my gelding with low-grade laminitis last fall/winter. He lives outside in a 1/4 acre turnout and the boots never came off. I used the medium density pads to start and then switched to firm (they will last longer). I had planned to order the Rx, but Easy Boot said the Trail would be more appropriate for long-term turnout.

          You do need to check the boots every day for rocks, and I used a baby powder with zinc oxide (Caldesene) to absorb any moisture.


          • #6
            Honestly, if he's not stable I'd leave him out on dirt and manage his intake completely (no dead grass even) until he's stable.

            We had a pony at the last barn I was at that had rotated and was stable and was out 24/7 with a grazing muzzle on for 12 on scrub land and she still managed to founder again (vet said she's not allowed on grass again... ever).

            No clue about the boots.


            • #7
              I have a lovely little pony that foundered every time the previous owner looked at her funny. She was on pergolide, dry lot, had soft ride boots, no work. Pony was overweight but carefully monitored. I took her on as a project. Guess what? She is now 100% sound, no meds, no boots, and a competitive short stirrup pony. I really think putting her back in a careful program of exercise did so much good. I got her at 17 y.o., so there's always hope for turning things around.

              As a side note, I have small pony Soft Rides I don't use, if anyone needs a pair?


              • #8
                Soaking hay can help if they are really sensitive. Soft-Ride boots were literally a life saver when my Thoroughbred mare foundered a couple years back. Absolutely worth every penny plus some.
                Making Your Ambitions a Reality at Secret Ambition Stables.
                Quality Welsh Ponies and Welsh Crosses bred for sport
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                • #9
                  If the pony is not stable, I would advise against turnout for now, and the boots might be exactly what you need. If you can limit him to a stall or small paddock until he is stable, that would be better. How long have you had him/been treating him?

                  My farrier glued custom heart-bar shoes on my foundered pony. They stayed on for a long time, and worked well for him. So, while the boots are a great option, they are not the only option.


                  • #10
                    My horse is going through this now. Before I got softrides I made pads out of memory foam, old camping pads, 3/4 inch felt. The pads that were the best were "double deckers" meaning 3/4 inch felt PLUS 3/4 in memory foam-foam from old skito inserts, felt from an old western pad. They went inside the old macs and cavallos I used before getting the softrides. The felt compressed very quickly to about 1/4 inch, but the memory foam stayed cushy. These worked well as interim boots but eventually rubbed his heels.

                    My guy has been in softrides now for 1.5 months. He is turnout out in a large level sandy outdoor arena surrounded by his buddies in pasture.

                    The softrides are a godsend. No rubbing at all, but I do powder his heels with antibacterial foot powder. They only come off when he gets super frisky-OR when I take them off to give him massage, pour out any sand, etc.

                    A trick to putting them on (uber simple tho) is to center and lay the front piece right over the front of the hoof equilaterally then velcro them on.

                    I feel we are ever so lucky to have these boots. The inserts are great-one thing tho, be sure you measure carefully. Talk to the folks there if you are not sure which size to get.

                    Good luck!


                    • #11
                      Bump.. did anyone find out if you could put the softride pad in another boot? My horse got the softrides off the first day wearing them and I am stressing out.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wondrlnd77 View Post
                        Bump.. did anyone find out if you could put the softride pad in another boot? My horse got the softrides off the first day wearing them and I am stressing out.
                        No unfortunately not yet. I went to Equine Affaire a couple of weeks ago and brought the insert with me but was only able to find one booth there that had hoof boots - I didn't like the boots at all and there was no way a Softride insert would fit in them. I'm still searching though....

                        Have you tried to tighten up the pastern area? What helped with my mare was using an old washcloth and wrapping that around it and then securing it with vet wrap. Also check and make sure you have the right size - my mare is wearing two different sizes right now and that helps keep them on (her laminitis foot is much smaller and using the same size boot as her good foot didn't work). I also have double bell boots on (she normally wears a small but I have large on her now due the size of the Softride boots) - these seem to help too.

                        But despite all that she will manage to get one off every now and then :-).
                        "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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wondrlnd77 View Post
                          Bump.. did anyone find out if you could put the softride pad in another boot? My horse got the softrides off the first day wearing them and I am stressing out.
                          I'm pretty sure they're made only to go in the SoftRide boots. The biggest thing is to make sure they are fitted well and often that means ordering two different sizes (they do allow you to mix and match). I have two personal horses who foundered in SoftRides right now, both are young and put everything in their mouth...so I was really worried the boots would be destroyed immediately. They started chewing the Velcro tabs and turning them slightly but hadn't actually gotten them off (yet), so I started spraying the tabs with Rap Last (just hold your breath!!) and it's worked for now. I'm prepared to pull the duct tape out if need be, though! I hadn't thought of putting bell boots over but I also might try that.


                          • #14
                            I know I've read somewhere that the soft ride pads fit in another boot, but can not for the life of me remember which. I did not have problems with the boots coming off with my horse, but did have to do as above and spray the velcro with RapLast to keep my mouthy one from yanking on them. The boots and pads also sometimes spun, not staying in place properly on him, as his feet did change in shape with resecting. I had him wear "socks" with his boots, wrapping the hoof with some vet wrap prior to putting on the boot to help it fit better. I've read some people use actual tube socks to accomplish the same. My guy would have loved that...more to pull and tear!


                            • #15
                              I was lucky to get a top show pony, a small named Giggles. She had foundered, I think that is the only reason we were able to end up with her. She wore heart bar shoes, got no grass, 1/4 dose bute, and as much turn out in the dry lot as possible. Her feet never went longer than 5 weeks without the farrier. At shows she wore Ick boots every night. No Dex, ever. This pony packed so many kids around Devon, WIHS, ect. We didn't under saddle unless there were 6 or less and counted on moving back in the conf. but she put so many smiles on faces thru the years all the extra care and attention was well worth it. Great jump, big step, no you could always count on being in the jog. I think with carefull care and management (and a bit of luck) founder is not the end.


                              • #16
                                Soft Rides are awesome and I successfully used them 24/7 in a dry lot situation for at least 4 months before they needed replacement. I live in AZ where mud and wet wasn't an issue and the horse was quiet so they stayed on. Without a doubt they were a lifesaver.


                                • #17
                                  I duct taped them tighter around the pasterns, and that seems to work for now. The boots are clunkier than I thought they would be- I guess I envisioned them being a little snugger on the foot. Before the boots came I had homemade lily-pads that I elastikon-ed on which were working great, but I was spending a small fortune in elastikon!