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The importance of comparing “apples with apples”

The importance of comparing “apples with apples”

By Alexander Papantoniou

Alexander Papantoniou

As CEO of FormaHoof, Alexander holds an undergraduate degree in Economics & Law and is an Alum of the Stanford GSB. He has spent most of his career as a successful tech entrepreneur, based out of the Middle East. He is a firm believer in creating passionate and driven teams, which led to the creation of the current FormaHoof executive organisation, all of whom have an equine background and a keen interest in improving equine welfare around the globe.

FormaHoof – a fundamental disruption in the equine world


FormaHoof, has always set out to be a fundamental disruption in the equine world. As a company, we did not however set out to claim that we are the replacement for all collective equine hoof care skills, we succeeded in creating a brilliant tool, that equine professionals may add to their offering and create a broader set of services and treatment options for their customers.

As with many other disruptive products, FormaHoof has been plagued by a series of misconceptions about what it does, and how it works and it is our firm belief that after a very successful year of growth (we are now (Feb 2021) present in 45 countries globally) it is time to set the record straight on some of the most common ones.

Misconceptions about FormaHoof


First and foremost, FormaHoof has no current comparative product. The proprietary LFM (Liquid fit moulding) technology was developed from the ground up to offer a brand-new mindset, include the latest materials and manufacturing technology, to create a completely new tool. It is neither a cast, nor a glue on. It will essentially rebuild a perfect hoof geometry (regardless of hoof condition), in a highly repeatable way. One of our earliest goals was to offer professionals a tool and a process that would be highly repeatable, which leads to standardisation of the results. You cannot have a bad day with FormaHoof.

Secondly, because of the unique ability the FormaHoof has to quickly conform to any irregularity in the hoof, it is a single tool that can apply to a multitude of conditions. The same mould can be used for treatments of laminitis, white line disease, hoof cracks and many other hoof related and general injuries. Therefore, customers should be aware that the avenues to make a return on investment on a mould (or a kit) are far more than any other available product on the market. This same principle applies both to professionals doing applications, but also for owners that might want to have a mould for a particular horse. The end result is the same, stabilise the condition, stop further deterioration – start the recovery process.

FormaHoof application cycles, time and cost savings


With an average of 6 weeks (and in extreme circumstances up to 12 weeks) between application cycles, the horse resides comfortably in the FormaHoof, in a variety of environmental conditions, without intermediary visits from applicators. There is no need to change bandages, change shoes, adjust boots – the application itself does all the hard work. By limiting the number of visits within a treatment cycle, and also limiting the amount of materials that may go into a treatment cycle (medication, pads, shoes etc) overall cost of treatment is reduced. The logic is simple, you may pay 200 USD 10 times, or pay 300 USD twice – customers should be aware of the numbers of steps in a treatment and objectively evaluate, ensuring they are comparing “apples with apples”.

Exchanging experience and gaining FormaHoof insights


As a closing note, a final piece of advice. When seeking consultancy about FormaHoof, ensure that you consult with someone with the relevant experience. We are constantly investing in new communication channels where owners and applicators can share the right information. Do not accept comments from underqualified individuals, such as “it’s too expensive” or “it won’t work”, rather engage with someone qualified and ask for an objective analysis of your case. Then decide when you are fully informed. We have an increasing list of cases where owners were told that their horse was terminal, but with the right knowledge and skill, survived with the help of FormaHoof.

Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


Winter Hoof Health with FormaHoof

Winter Hoof Health with FormaHoof

by Lisa Elliott

Lisa Elliott

MSc Equine Science

FormaHoof E-Learning & Community Coordinator

Lisa has a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Equine Science with a passion for Equine Nutrition. She has over 20 years horse care and management experience, loves heavy horses and is a keen follower of Eventing.

Hoof health is essential all year round, but the changing seasons can have a significant impact on your horse’s hooves. In this seasonal blog post, we look at caring for the health and integrity of your horse’s hooves during potentially the most challenging season – winter. Environmental conditions such as wet, muddy, and frozen ground can have adverse effects on horse’s hooves so it’s important to try to protect them as best you can with the right care and prevention.

Nutrition

The right nutrition is crucial in winter and throughout the year to create strong, healthy hooves so it’s important to ensure your horse is receiving a balanced diet which supplies key nutrients:

Energy


Energy and Protein are the two most limiting nutrients for hoof health and growth and if they are not supplied sufficiently hoof quality will be poor. Ensuring the diet provides the right energy balance is, therefore, essential to maintain hoof integrity. A winter diet made up of good quality forage should ensure energy needs are met well, but if your horse is working harder, additional feed may be needed to provide sufficient calories to maintain good energy levels.

Protein


Protein is vital for healthy hoof formation all year round.  Hooves are made up of protein and keratin, a specialised sulphur rich protein which is the same protein responsible for our own hair and nails. Amino acids provide the building blocks for proteins so it’s important to ensure the diet provides these. 

There are 10 essential amino acids (including the 3 major limiting amino acids, Lysine, methionine, and threonine), which horses are unable to make themselves and need to be supplied as part of a fully balanced diet. Methionine in particular is a key part of good hoof structure and formation because it provides a source of sulphur, which is essential for producing keratin. Methionine can also be used to produce the sulphur rich amino acid cysteine, which along with cystine is also vital in hoof horn formation.  Good dietary sources of protein in winter include good quality hay and haylage, linseed meal, alfalfa, and chia seeds. Good quality protein can also be supplied through a high specification balancer or hoof supplement.

Biotin and the microbiome


Biotin is one of the most well-known nutrients when it comes to good hoof health. This sulphur rich B Vitamin is a vital for the production of Keratin for strong, healthy hoof horn and has a key role in tissue growth and maintenance.  Biotin and other key B Vitamins for hoof health are actually produced through fermentation of forage by the microbes in your horse’s hindgut. 

 

Ensuring your horses hindgut microbes are happy and healthy will help them  produce all the essential B vitamins your horse needs. A compromised microbe population won’t be able to do this, so it’s important to ensure they are supported through the right nutrition.  A diet rich in varied forage can help develop a healthy microbial population, alongside pro and pre-biotics to support and nurture beneficial gut microbes.

 

Research has shown that providing around 20mg of Biotin daily can help hooves to strengthen and grow but to be fully effective it needs to be provided with other nutrients such as methionine and zinc. Biotin and its co-nutrients can be

provided through a good balancer or hoof supplement, but it is important to be aware that hoof horn  can take 9 to 12 months to grow down fully from the coronet band, so horses with poor hoof quality will need to be fed it all year round.

Vitamins and Minerals


There are a number of vitamins and minerals with vital roles within hoof health and formation. Essential minerals include zinc, copper, manganese, sulphur and calcium which all have a structural role within the hoof wall and support cell function and proliferation for optimum hoof growth. Vitamins A, E, C, and the B vitamin niacin are also important for hoof health and integrity. A balanced diet consisting of good quality, varied forage fed alongside a good balancer or hoof supplement will help ensure you provide your horse with all these essential micronutrients.

Omega 3 fatty acids


Fats play a pivotal role because they retain the natural moisture and pliability of the hoof wall, resist the absorption of water from the environment and prevent bacteria and fungi from entering the hoof horn all of which is essential during winter. Fats contain both Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, but horses need a higher level of Omega 3 fatty acids for optimum health. Omega 3 fatty acids have numerous benefits associated with their anti-inflammatory properties and help support strong, well growing hooves. Good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include fresh grass but when this is lacking in winter, they can be provided through linseed meal or oil.

General winter Hoof Care

Although hoof growth is generally slower in winter, regular visits from qualified hoof care professional are still essential to optimise hoof health.

Always make sure your horse’s hooves are checked for abrasions and cracks and picked out regularly to remove mud and other debris. If your horse is stabled for long periods over the winter, pick out any wet bedding and ensure this is kept clean and dry to help prevent infection and thrush. If your horse is shod, snow can often ball up in the sole so this should also be removed when necessary.

The hoof is believed to be strongest when it has a stable moisture content of 25%. However, this is difficult to maintain, especially in wet winter conditions. When the hoof is exposed to excessive amounts of water, moisture floods the hoof structures, weakening the hoof horn. Wet conditions can also cause the hoof wall to expand and contract allowing bacteria to invade the capsule, where they can multiply and produce a painful abscess. Additionally, cold, icy weather can mean paddocks will freeze, causing the ground to become extremely hard and result in bruising to the soles of the horse’s feet. Most common winter related hoof problems can be avoided with FormaHoof.

Why use FormaHoof in winter?

FormaHoof has been tested in sandy deserts, over rocks and mountains to the snowy alps and provides proven benefits to your horse during winter month. FormaHoof can provide much needed protection as part of a winter hoof care regime to help combat the many challenges of winter.

The unique application means the sole and hoof capsule are protected and supported when the ground is hard, helping horses to cope better in tough, frozen conditions. FormaHoof protects your horse’s hooves from absorbing large volumes of water whilst creating a clean, moist environment where the hoof can stay naturally hydrated and maintain a healthy moisture balance, helping to keep common winter conditions like thrush, cracks and abscesses at bay.

FormaHoof winter tips


In particularly snowy and icy conditions, the Traction application is perfect for providing excellent grip. Studs can be added directly into the application for even more grip if needed.

Storing your FormaHoof Advanced Polymer correctly, at room temperature, prior to the application process is key to a successful winter application.

Snowballs appear as snow when the warm hoof touches the ground and re-freezes when touching the cold metal of the shoe. FormaHoof imitated the perfect natural barefoot and is non-metallic, whilst snowballs are a problem for horses with shoes there are no snowballs building up in a FormaHoof application.

Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


Cotterel Polo Farms – A farm at the cutting edge of polo training

Cotterel Polo Farms
A farm at the cutting edge of polo training

Featured article at Polo Times, UK (February 2021)

Cotterel Polo Farms is using FormaHoof applications to provide extra comfort and protection to a number of horses on the farm. Working closely together with FCA David Andrade from Diamond C Farrier Service, a long-term partnership was found with the mission to give maximum comfort to the ponies.

About Cotterel Polo Farm

Owned and managed by polo couple Jennifer “Jenny” Luttrell Benardoni and husband Francisco Benardoni, Cotterel Polo Farms is a year-round competitive tournament Polo organisation. A medium-goal season is run over the summer where players enjoy well-nourished, pristine pitches, thanks to the region’s ‘semi-arid’ climate. After the summer season, the horses travel to compete in the competitive winter season in Indio, CA where the Cotterel team has had a long standing presence on the California circuit. The Cotterel team also operate their own breeding and training program and in recent years has developed an exciting collaboration with the Valiente Polo organization in Argentina, led by Adolfo Cambaiso and managed by Roberto Zedda. In recent years, the Benardoni’s have further developed the Cotterel facilities into one of the most secluded polo ranch destinations in the USA, offering on site lodging for both human and horse. Three brand new polo fields, 160 stall stabling, exercise track and a breath-taking onsite, 25 room luxury lodge which has been expertly renovated from the original two story barn historically used for working draft horses in the 1920s, welcome teams and players alike for the summer months to train and compete, with the facilities and support to achieve their best polo season yet. Jenny and Francisco are meticulous in the preparation for the sport. Nothing is left to chance and no stone is left unturned to ensure the best preparation of the horses on the farm and recently Jenny and Francisco have implemented a new solution to common hoof issues to improve horse performance from the ground up: FormaHoof.

FormaHoof Traction - Maximum protection, support and grip for sport horses

We are all familiar with the unfortunate but sadly accurate phrase, ‘No foot, no horse’. Foot welfare is so important across all equine disciplines, including polo. To focus on this pivotal area we caught up with Formahoof and Cotterel Polo to see how problem feet might be treated. FormaHoof is a liquid-fit, reusable mould system that offers a highly effective and easy to apply solution to every hoof care challenge, from laminitis and white line disease to thin soles, collapsed heels or conformation, developmental and poor hoof performance issues. Cotterel’s ranch manager, Francisco discovered FormaHoof when looking for a solution to the many hoof-related issues the farm faced on a weekly basis. Francisco comments, “We utilise mainly thoroughbred-type horses, many of which experience on-going hoof-related issues and we were constantly looking for something to try to keep them comfortable. I found FormaHoof and I immediately reached out to find a farrier in our area who used the products. We met David from Diamond C Farrier Services, showed him some of the hoof issues we were dealing with and he was confident that our horses would thrive with FormaHoof. He was right. Horses that walked up lame, walked out sound almost immediately!” “The first Cotterel ponies to receive the FormaHoof were mainly those that had serious, diagnosed hoof issues,” said owner/ player Jenny Luttrell Benardoni. “One of our homebreds, Panamera, suffered a laminitic event that left her with excessive damage in the right hoof when she was three-years-old. We turned her out for a year and a half with no training or riding because she was not sound until we found Formahoof. With the first application, she was sound and we were able to put her right back into work. Within a period of 10 months we were able to finish breaking and training her to play polo. She is now in her first competitive polo season here in Indio.” Although Cotterel found success with more serious hoof issues, the advantages were also evident when using the product on more common hoof issues. “It seems to us that by putting the horses at the correct hoof angles, plus the increased blood flow in the hoof leads to faster recovery times,” said Francisco. “We also put one of our homebreds, Moonshine, in FormaHoof to help heal a tendon issue. Within 12 weeks not only did we see an improvement in the tendon, but we noticed she developed bigger shoulder muscles than she had prior to her injury.” The Cotterel team continued to see great results in their competitive tournaments in California last Winter and expect the same in their summer polo operation in southern Idaho.

Download the full article here

 

For more information about Cotterel Polo visit their #FormaHoofEquestrian profile or website and social channels.

Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


FormaHoof Academy is Open for Enrolment!

FormaHoof launches online training academy to certify equine professionals

WATERFORD, IRELAND

Created by FormaHoof’s team of equine experts, the FormaHoof Academy gives farriers, vets and equine practitioners all the theoretical knowledge and practical insights needed to use FormaHoof to help their clients’ horses overcome a multitude of hoof related issues; from laminitis and white line disease to thin soles, collapsed heels or conformation, developmental and poor performance issues. Even if you’re not an equine professional but are simply looking to expand your knowledge and to fully understand the benefits and application process of FormaHoof for your horse, you can still benefit greatly from the 3-part course.

FormaHoof CEO Alexander Papantoniou comments

“2020 was a difficult year for many industries around the world. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic made face-to-face contact impossible in many situations and for an emerging technology such as FormaHoof, the challenge arose to develop a methodology that would allow for the rapid upskill of new applicators across the globe, in a consistent and sustainable fashion. We needed a system that allowed applicators to be able to complete training on their own terms and in their own time, taking into account the busy schedule of vets and farriers and so we are delighted to launch the FormaHoof Academy.”

 

“When we started the FormaHoof certified Applicator (FCA) program, we knew that combining it with the FormaHoof Academy certification would add an extra layer of security for owners purchasing a FormaHoof service, because they would have assurances that the applicator had completed a formal training that is properly assessed by experienced FormaHoof technical consultants.”

Our FCA’s are our partners


Our FCA’s are our partners in equine hoof care around the world; skilled applicators that are helping their client’s horses overcome a multitude of hoof related issues, from laminitis and white line disease to thin soles, collapsed heels or conformation, developmental and poor performance issues. Through the FormaHoof Academy, the skills and knowledge of these applicators are formally recognised, official certification achieved, and access gained to expanded FormaHoof possibilities, from additional bonus material to enhanced promotional support for our FCA’s own local businesses.

If you are a horse owner or stable manager, perhaps your own farrier would be keen to learn more and to become FormaHoof certified? We would be happy to get in touch with them and answer any questions they may have, so please feel free to share this information, or send us their details and we can get in touch.

Filmed in real time


The FormaHoof Academy has been filmed in real time on actual customer horses, to ensure that the experience is as authentic as possible. Covering the basics of a FormaHoof application from start to finish (including trimming techniques), the Academy also discusses best practices for treatment of common hoof problems with FormaHoof. Techniques for business development and customer acquisition are also addressed in the Academy program, giving you the know-how you need to grow your business.

Who should apply


Access to the Academy is open to everyone with an interest in learning FormaHoof techniques, but completion of the Academy assessment and full certification as a FCA requires submission and approval of proof of professional business. All applicants should have fundamental hoof care skills as the FormaHoof Academy is geared toward the transference of FormaHoof best practices and not general farriery techniques.

 

The fee for the FCA course is EUR 99 + VAT, which covers the costs of the core online training, the certification process and the assessment. Our team of experts will continue to add modules to the e-learning environment in the future, many of which will be free of charge to Academy students. New specialist courses on topics such as White Line Disease and Foal Conformation abnormalities and treatments are also in development, to give graduates in-depth knowledge of these specialist areas and which will be available to purchase separately.

 

The cost of purchasing a Starter Kit (or any initial quantity of moulds) is not included in the Academy fee. However, upon successful registration to the course, participants shall receive a discount code for their first purchase.

How much does a FormaHoof Application cost?

How much does a FormaHoof Application cost?

At FormaHoof, we care for our customers and their horses. We want you to understand the pricing of our product and think beyond the price tag. With the info given below, we want to share an insight in the mould cost. However, FormaHoof doesn’t regulate the prices a farrier, equine podiatrist or vet charges for the application. Service charges vary by region and therefore, we think it wouldn’t be right to set a price for the professional work to prepare the hoof and apply FormaHoof on a horse for everyone around the globe.

Barefoot Mould Application Shoe

How much does a FormaHoof Application cost is quite a difficult question to answer as FormaHoof can be used for such a wide range of podiatry issues in horses, from major restructuring of the hoof capsule after surgery to simple balance adjustments to enhance performance. And consequently, the amount of FormaHoof AP that will be used in an application will vary considerably.
As a FormaHoof mould can be used 50 to 100 times if cared for properly, the per-use cost of a mould is around just €3-5*.

Traction Hoof Application

A certified FormaHoof applicator will be able to achieve a good application with approximately 3 tubes of FormaHoof AP per pair of feet, for a cost below €50* per hoof, including mixing tips (based on mould size 4-4.5).
Consequently, the FormaHoof materials cost per hoof for a normal sized application can be as low as €55* per hoof.

FormaHoof Performance Front Mould Application

Hooves in different sizes require different amounts of material, which will result in lower or higher quantities of FormaHoof AP. Furthermore, where the hoof has structural abnormalities that require larger quantities of FormaHoof AP, the per application cost will obviously increase. However, the vastly reduced rehabilitation costs and time and the fact that a lame horse can come sound and return to work far quicker with FormaHoof means that FormaHoof offers exceptional value for money.

Talking about pricing, we would like to make you aware, all our moulds are produced in the European Union and run through an in-depth manual quality check, before being shipped out to you and the world.
We stand behind our products and want to ensure you only get best quality hoof care products delivered. We also stand behind our customers with exceptional customer service and care, if you have questions regarding our products or shop please contact via the contact form.

*Prices are based on pure product cost, no VAT, shipping and local service charges for hoof trimming and application excluded.

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Recovery journey with FormaHoof from loss of hoof capsule

Recovery journey with FormaHoof after the loss of the hoof capsule

BY HORSE OWNER LILLIE AND FORMAHOOF CO-FOUNDER ROBERT STEVENSON, AUSTRALIA

Robert Stevenson FormaHoof

Robert Stevenson

GRAPHIC WARNING!
This article may include images that shock, offend or upset you.

 

Robert, a farrier with many decades of experience in equine podiatry and hoof care and has worked and consulted in some of the most prestigious equine organisations and centres around the world.

 

Muffin suffered from a loss of circulation to the lower leg as a result of a tourniquet situation created by a feed bag getting twisted around his leg. The bag cut off the circulation to the area which resulted in enormous damage and ultimately the loss of the hoof capsule.
Once the hoof capsule sloughed off, Muffin was unable to bare any weight at all on the leg and Lillie, his owner, was advised to have him put down.

“I just couldn’t make that decision as I wanted to give him some time and a chance to survive. Once the hoof started to cornify, Muffin could start to put limited weight on the ground and very slowly the hoof started to grow down from the coronary band. I took him to the vet again for X-rays to see what was going on and once again was told to put him down because the recovery and rehabilitation process would be too long.”

 

“I was devastated, but by chance was tagged in a post on Facebook about FormaHoof and thought it looked fantastic. It took a while for me to decide to go ahead not knowing if it would work or not. But I decided to give it a go.”

“Muffin was sedated, I had the extra hoof cut off, the area medicated with FormaHoof anti-bacterial and then FormaHoof was applied. What a difference it made!!! Muffin was immediately move in comfort and although he still has a long recovery process ahead, he now has a future.”

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Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


FormaHoof treatment for laminitis

Laminitis Case Study

in cooperation with Andrea White, Canada

Libby is an 18-year-old registered Canadian Horse in Ontario, Canada. She was entrusted to the care of the Canadian Horse Rescue and Re-Homing society to find her a new home.

Andrea White is a dedicated horse lover who has loved this Canadian breed since they got their first mare – a Canadian/Arab cross. Karli, Andrea’s daughter, who runs their barn, also had another Canadian on the farm, so when the word was put out for Foster homes for Libby, Andrea and Karli gladly signed up to take her on.


Andrea had no knowledge of what condition Libby was in, other than a picture of her in a field with a pasture mate. She didn’t look to be in terrible condition, so finding her an adoptive home through CHRRS would have been easy. When Libby stepped off the trailer after a 3-hour ride from the only home she likely had ever known, there was a feeling of shock and heartbreak seeing her condition. Her coat was long (it was June 16th) and should have shedded out over a month ago in Canada. Her feet were like platters, overgrown and cracked. She was obviously experiencing a lot of pain in her feet, but her personality shone through and knowing there was more going on, Andrea and Karli adopted her anyway.

 

Andrea and Karli’s first step was to fix Libby’s nutrition. “We got Libby on a probiotic immediately and some low NSC supplements. At the time we didn’t realise how important this was for Libby, it is just a normal thing we do with our horses.”

The second step was to take off Libby’s excess hoof. “This was done in two sessions. Since Libby had obviously not seen a farrier in a very long time, it took well over an hour to get her trimmed up properly. Two trims and we thought we were heading in the right direction.“

Libby was vaccinated, her teeth were floated and blood work was done, which diagnosed Cushings and IR. But Libby was very, very sore, so it was time for X-rays.

Andrea continues “Libby had X rays that would break your heart. X-rays, that in former times would have been a death sentence for her. I knew by the look on my vets face and his words that this would be a long shot in saving her life. We had to try though, we owed it to her, and Karli and I were not going to give up without trying. So, we began our journey with Laminitis.”


Libby was placed in casts in August and Andrea was told to keep her in a stable with deep bedding and as little movement as possible. Her legs and hooves were iced with ice boots twice a day and with ice gels in between – 4 times a day she had something cold on her feet, to help to try to alleviate the pain. However, it was clear that the casting was not comfortable.

 

Libby stayed in her stall 24 hours a day for the first 4 weeks, until she started showing that she could move better. “As soon as we could we allowed Libby to wander the barn while her stall was cleaned and then back in her stall again until the next day. Another 4 weeks went by and then she was casted again, which then meant another 4 weeks of being very uncomfortable. She was lying down for hours, just to take the weight off those feet. But again, she slowly started to move a little better so we could start to let her out and about.

 

“My heart was breaking, but I wasn’t prepared to give up. Throughout this time, I joined several groups on Facebook about Laminitis. I learned a lot about the disease and how to help manage it and help horses recover from it. What I found was that what works for one horse does not work for them all…Libby was no different and we had to take our cues from her.

 

“I knew that traditional shoes were not going to work for her. There was too much separation and the way Libby handled a trim indicated that she would not do well being shod. My daughter and I looked at many other possible approaches and FormaHoof really stood out to us. It would give her the support she needed and the comfort she wasn’t getting from casting. Don’t get me wrong, casting did what it was supposed to do. It wasn’t pleasant in my eyes, but it worked, bringing her coffin bone angles around to a much more normal angle. There is still some way to go, but casting got her well on her way, giving hoof wall support while the new, healthy hoof grew in. Had I known about FormaHoof earlier however, I would have gone that route first.


“After two rounds of casting, looking at FormaHoof as well as another option and after consulting with my vet and Randi – my wonderful farrier from Fisher Farrier Services – I purchased the starter kit and we planned to take the casts off and to do the FormaHoof application. But X-rays first.

 

What I saw on the X-rays was a significant improvement, even though I’m not versed in reading them. Even as I took pictures and texted them to Rob, he confirmed they looked good. Tears were flowing. After 5 months I saw the results of putting her through what we did. Her back feet were good enough that we didn’t require any further “casting”.

 

We put Libby in FormaHoof after the casts came off. She had a little trim and more X-rays and I have to say, I felt joy seeing her walk around the next day. It still wasn’t a perfect walk, as she was once again adjusting to new angles and learning to adapt, but after many years of neglect I felt like we had made significant progress. What I can say is that her pain medication requirement dropped significantly. We let her out almost immediately to walk around the barn and it wasn’t long before we took her outside and let her enjoy the outdoors, even just for a short while. She rolled, probably for the first time in as many months… and even gave a little buck! And she just seemed so happy and thoroughly enjoyed walking around and stretching her legs.

 

For her second FormaHoof application, we followed in the footsteps of many others and added glitter to her moulds. Let me say, it was FABULOUS. We had such fun doing it. It went much smoother than the first time as we had a better handle on the process and her feet were smaller as the excess had been trimmed further, so they fitted better in the moulds. We measured her feet for the moulds when they were casted, so it was a best guess as to the size.

 

After 2 applications, it was decided that she could go barefoot to finish growing out her hooves. The stretched laminae are gradually reducing and Libby is now on a 4 week schedule to keep her comfortable. She is out for the day now and only comes in at night with the rest of our herd. I am looking forward to the day that we can find out what she knows and hopefully she can be an ambassador for the Canadian Horse Breed and FormaHoof.

 

If I ever have to travel the Laminitis road again, I will not hesitate to put the horse in FormaHoof. It will be my Go-To from here on out!”

FormaHoof have a special discount code in honour of Libby’s story, where customers using the code LIBBYFH at checkout in the FormaHoof shop will receive 50% off a box of resin, for orders with a total value of €1,000 or more. This offer applies in addition to FormaHoof’s regular bulk discounts.

 

Libby’s journey can be followed on Instagram following #lifeoflibbythecanadian

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FormaHoof becomes Welfare Aware partner of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust

FormaHoof becomes Welfare Aware partner of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust

WATERFORD, IRELAND

FormaHoof Ltd is pleased to announce it’s support for The Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Ireland’s largest dedicated equine charity.

 

Sharon Power, Co-Founder & C.E. of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, comments:

 

We are delighted to have FormaHoof join our Welfare Aware Scheme. Companies that join up support the work of the IHWT and demonstrate to their customers and the public that they have a commitment to equine welfare. FormaHoof is a company committed to the welfare of equines and care of the equine hoof. As the old saying goes “No hoof, no horse”.

FormaHoof CEO Alexander Papantoniou comments:

“Formahoof is extremely pleased to announce our support of the IHWT. We have been impressed by the organisations efforts in promoting horse welfare in Ireland, and have found that it’s progressive goals reflect our product ethos, which is “to provide next generation and compassionate, non-invasive treatment for most equine hoof pathologies” contributing to an overall increase in horse welfare. We look forward to the possibilities for further collaboration in the space of compassionate hoof-care education in the future.”

About IHWT


The Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Charity No. CHY14634 was established in 1999 and formally set up in 2001 to help the plight of neglected horses in Ireland and was Ireland’s largest dedicated equine charity.

It was established to provide a dedicated centre that is equipped for dealing with the rehabilitation and re-homing equines. We care for an average of 65 horses and ponies at our Equine Centre in Woodenbridge, Co Wicklow. In recent years we have had up to 100 rescue horses in care and the IHWT has become a specialist rehabilitation centre for Thoroughbred type horses.

At our Equine Centre we deal with many rescues most of which have suffered from severe neglect and cruelty. Our staff will work with local Gardai, NGO’s and Government authorities when necessary.

The cost of running IHWT is over €300,000 per annum so we rely on grants, fundraising and donations from members of the public to continue helping horses that have suffered. The length of rehabilitation of equines at IHWT will vary depending on injury and the condition of the horse/pony when they are rescued. IHWT has a huge rescue and re-homing success rate with hundreds of horses and ponies re-homed in Ireland, all who would have died through neglect if it had not been for intervention. In some cases, decisions have to be made to put an equine to sleep, in order to minimise an ongoing disease or serious complication.

We are grateful to the Department of Agriculture for an ex-gratia grant in 2019 of 75,000 and Horse Racing Ireland for a grant of 70,000. This is an essential support for our operations.

You can make a real difference by making a donation or by re-homing one of our rescues.

More information can be found on https://ihwt.ie

FormaHoof becomes Welfare Aware partner of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust

How to re-home an Irish Horse Welfare Trust rescue

Our primary objective here at the Irish Horse Welfare Trust is to re-home the horses and ponies that pass through our gate into suitable, caring and loving homes. These equines in many cases have been fully rehabilitated. We encourage all horse lovers to consider the option of re-homing a horse or pony from our facility. It is always a hugely rewarding experience. More than ever we need long term homes for our horses and ponies. If you are in a position to give a loving home to one of our rescues, do get in touch by filling out our Loan Home Application Form.

How to re-home an Irish Horse Welfare Trust rescue


Our primary objective here at the Irish Horse Welfare Trust is to re-home the horses and ponies that pass through our gate into suitable, caring and loving homes. These equines in many cases have been fully rehabilitated.

We encourage all horse lovers to consider the option of re-homing a horse or pony from our facility. It is always a hugely rewarding experience. More than ever we need long term homes for our horses and ponies. If you are in a position to give a loving home to one of our rescues, do get in touch by filling out our Loan Home Application Form.

IHWT – RETRAINING OF RACEHORSES Ireland


IHWT through THE THOROUGHBRED CLUB aims to support owners, loaners and riders of former racehorses and to promote the re-training and re-homing of ex-racehorses throughout Ireland. Hundreds of horses leave racing each year. Many of these horses could be re-schooled for other disciplines. The Thoroughbred horse is intelligent and versatile and can be re trained for many other disiplines including Dressage, eventing, hacking, showjumping, Polo.

 

It takes a minimum of 6-9 months to re-train and re-school an ex-racehorse and this time can increase depending on the individual. Racehorses come out of a highly stressful career and it takes time for them to settle into a new type of work. Most horses adapt happily given the chance and can go on to do other disciplines such as Hacking, Dressage or Show jumping. They are however not suitable for novice riders and need a lot of care and attention.

 

Ex-racehorses should be assessed during the first few weeks for any behavioral or other problems. They should be visited by the dentist and chiropractor. The horses have to adjust to a new diet and routine (especially those coming straight out of racing). Individual diets need to be formulated. Only when all of the above is done can the re-schooling begin.

 

Re-training starts with weeks of long reining and then some lunging before a rider is introduced. Once ridden work commences horses are worked with 3 or 4 times weekly in a combination of short flatwork sessions and hacks out – in company first and then hacking alone. Although some ex racehorses find this very stressful.

The Horse should get lots of daily handling and grooming and daily turnout in preparation for a new career living in a new home.

 

Many ex-racehorses that have come through the IHWT have gone on to have successful careers in showjumping and as leisure and riding club horses.

IHWT Retraining of Racehorses Ireland also offers support to people who have taken on ex-racehorses and may be experiencing difficulties. Master Classes and training clinics are run and anyone who is interested in attending these events should email: [email protected]

IHWT Educational Courses


Over the last ten years the Irish Horse Welfare Trust has developed a number of Education Programmes aimed at horse owners.

We have worked in Limerick in Moyross changing lives of horses and children and young adults with an interest in equines. Working with the Garda Youth Diversion Project the IHWT courses have proven to be one of the most successful of the projects. Courses act not only to improve equine handling and care skills but also motivate each and every one of the participants. Many have successfully graduated the equine programmes with a FETAC qualification and a greater understanding and love of the horse.

 

Courses in Horse Care & Welfare have also been run in Wicklow, Darndale and Finglas (Dublin) with many young people and adults gaining new skills and a deeper understanding of caring for their horses and ponies.

In addition the IHWT has developed a new online e-learning training course in HORSE CARE & WELFARE. The course comprises 8 online modules with 2 optional practical days also available. Modules cover legislation around horse ownership, Horse Behaviour & safe handling along with feeding, stable management, first aid and much more. The course has been developed is association with Horse Racing Ireland and RACE. A quiz after each modules helps to assess the learning and participants receive a certificate on completion of the course. Course details can be found at: https://www.equinetraining.ie

 

Further information about IHWT can be found on https://ihwt.ie/

Treating Navicular Disease with FormaHoof

Treating Navicular Disease with FormaHoof

by Joel Brown, USA

Joel Brown BSc(Hons)AG APF-1

JC Shoeing
Servicing: Wyoming, Southwestern South Dakota, Western Nebraska, Colorado
307-477-1177

“My formal farrier education commenced in 1978 and coming from a ranching lifestyle, sound horses have always been the foundation of the cowboy life. No sound horse meant no work. Throughout the years of ranching, shoeing and continuing education, including my return to farriery school in 1995, lameness issues have driven the conversation. My search to proactively address the issue of soundness and structure led me to FormaHoof. I reached out to Dr. Debra Taylor of Twin Creeks Podiatry and Rob Stevenson of FormaHoof and was blessed to spend my FormaHoof training with Dr. Debra, a master of the equine foot and pathologies, for which I am very thankful!

 

From a horseman background, my approach to farrier science is based on a holistic viewpoint, addressing the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, to enhance comfort and balance, across all equine types and disciplines. In totality, the hoof is the foundation that the horse stands on. FormaHoof provides a progressive modality enabling these goals, whilst providing the horse with a voice in the conversation; towards an enhanced and productive life. The process also benefits the relationship between the horse and owner – happy horses make for a happy life.

 

I look forward to this new era; combining farriery, Podiatry and horsemanship, as one understanding is worth a thousand techniques, with one goal – the betterment of our equines.”

Joel kindly summed up the information about a Navicular case he is working on and documented it for FormaHoof, together with much footage to show the great improvement in this horse. The next check-up is imminent and all ongoing documentation of this case and many others can also be followed on Joel’s Instagram account.

History of the horse:


This quarter horse was a referral with a navicular history. Bilateral lameness, toe landing with contracted heels. Radiographs of the horse disclosed cysts on the navicular bone, but no degeneration. Osphos (clodronate) regimen and a shoeing package to ease breakover with sole support had been followed, but the owner wasn’t happy with the horses shortened stride and balance. Additionally, through these shoeing cycles no sole and caudal growth was noted; the foot was static. The end goal was a foot balanced around the COR and a healthy caudal aspect overall; barefoot or shod.

 

At the initial review, M/L and A/P balance with the trim was set as best it presented, heel and dorsal toe angles disparity and a base narrow conformation were considered in setting up the mould.

 

Heels were elevated in the pour, allowing the horse the opportunity to add heel structure during the cycle, as CS, DIM and a felt pad provided concavity and support to the weaker structures.

JC-Shoeing-Navicular Syndrome-1st-

1st FormaHoof Application: April 8, 2020

Mould type used: FormaHoof HP Traction
Size: With a skinny caudal foot it is fractious to get stepped into the mould without slinging it. Therefore a size 4 hind was used for these applications.

 

Observation before the first FormaHoof application: Heels came back more caudal toward the widest part of the frog while gaining 1 degree at the dorsal toe angle, which looks without radiographs to be a HPA for the horse.

 

Goals: Positive heel and bar growth. As the external sole structure improves with less distortion, the target is to straighten up the bars to just go above live sole plane to build correct external markers, then mass.

 

Notes: “Next time it can help to pour the heels weighted in the mould to increase heel mould depth, a tricky one but even at a passing grade for application seems comfortable and the foot improved.”

Check-up: April 28, 2020

Application check at 3 weeks on a navicular case – mid cycle trim.
The opportunity presented to review the horse, mid cycle. With the base narrow conformation, a medial flare had been an ongoing issue.
This was addressed with a simple rasp trim of the application, the dynamic review notes a flat landing and smooth stride, matching the owner’s expectations.

 

Notes: “I’m very satisfied with the static and dynamic evaluation of the horse and the integrity of the FormaHoof application. As the horse is base narrow, I applied mechanics with a medial trim and a touch more toe roll to enhance the breakover. I removed the traction devices (studs), navicular cases can exhibit discomfort in the center of the frog and posterior. Additionally, the medial coronary band has relaxed from the initial appointment and the horse is landing flat, loading evenly, breakover and stride length is greatly improved. The horse and client are happy.”

Check-up: April 28, 2020

Video: A dynamic view of a navicular case in FormaHoof after the first 4 weeks. The balancing act in navicular therapeutic work is relieving posterior hoof discomfort; the past history has been from toe landing to a short choppy stride in a COA breakover package now to FormaHoof. As the conformation is base narrow, slight medial trim of the mould on the near front, at 3 weeks, enhanced the overall balance. The ability to adjust the balance as the horse is given the opportunity to grow new hoof structure is a real benefit.

JC-Shoeing-FormaHoof-Navicular-Disease-2ndFH

2nd Application: May 8, 2020

Six weeks past the first FormaHoof application, the second set is on!

 

The sole, frog and bar growth has been extensive and although a weak structure, the heels expanded and grew. The DIM remodelled into the collateral grooves; it was initially modelled across distal P3. Noted a 1-degree increase in toe angle. The choice at the second application was to elevate the heels again, and follow the same sole prep, promoting caudal engagement and heel growth.

 

Notes: “Very pleased with the sole, bar and heel growth, the stressed coronary band is much improved and HPA matches the horse. At the initial consultation, it was agreed a shortened cycle would facilitate growth of improved structure and realignment at a shorter cycle would facilitate these goals.”

JC-Shoeing-FormaHoof-Navicular-Disease in horses

3rd Application: June 2, 2020

Once the old applications have been removed before the third application; the changes show further improvement in the sole, bars and heels. Straight and tight structure replaces the shelly flaky structure, shown four weeks previous.

 

“A great improvement in the digital cushion was noted as the structures relaxed and widened.”

 

As the structures were more aligned, a less intrusive trim was applied, retaining the sole depth, heel height and frog. The FormaHoof Antibacterial spray and heat with proper prep was utilized, along with a 4 mesh ply thru the heels at the pour. Good improvement in the defined goals, another degree of toe angle was gained, no additional elevation was applied in the pour as the heels were set “in the ground.”

 

The horse is moving the best the owner has seen in years; carrying in a full work schedule and the remodelling goals are on track. A barefoot application was applied on this application; with a little less polymer through the toe, which should allow the goal of a longer 8-week-cycle, facilitating the toe wear ideally through the application, to further remodel the A/P balance.

 

JC-Shoeing-FormaHoof-Navicular-Disease in horses
Notes: “It’s an awesome change in 60 days, FormaHoof has opened the door for a better future for this horse and owner, I’m happy to be able to offer this opportunity for the horse to rebuild its foundation – the hoof.”

 

Changes: Switched to that new barefoot front mould to go for a full 8 week cycle, even if the application might need some extra trimming. The horse runs a medial flare as it is base narrow, in my opinion trimming to balance often grows a straighter, correct structure.

 

For additional information about this case, feel free to contact Joel directly.

FormaHoof-JoelBrown-Navicular-w19-9

UPDATE: 19 weeks in FormaHoof, August 19, 2020

Joel Brown:
” I used a month cycle between applications as I needed to finally trim the heels back The goal for the last month and a half has been to map the foot, exfoliate and primarily trim the weak structures and toe. This allowed a heel trim off 3/8” or so towards the widest part of the frog while the dorsal toe angle has remained a consistent 56 degrees. I’ve worked toward a symmetrical pair of fronts as the underlying base narrow and pigeon-toed issues cause capsular rotation and a noticeable height and thickness of stratum medium, the heel angles are getting more symmetrical to the toe angle and I’m pleased the m/l hoof walls are balancing out. As the frog descends and the foot deepens the remaining issues look to be on track to find proper balance. I’ll reapply at 6 weeks next week which will be about 26 weeks in Formahoof. Horn density and quality are much improved, I’m still chasing a bit of stretching in the Zona Alba, but as there’s a dominant larger right hoof, trimming exactly to the sole plane has been secondary to symmetry of pairs and establishing balance. Seems there’s always a trade-off.”

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In this blog post, Equine Scientist and FormaHoof Team member Lisa, will explain, what laminitis is, how it occurs and how you can help reduce the risk to your horse through the right feed and nutrition.

Laminitis in broodmares

Using FormaHoof to manage such chronic laminitis cases dramatically improves quality of life for both the horse and everyone in the horse care group!

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Effective hoof care management is crucial for the health of stallions, broodmares and foals. Chek out FormaHoof's tips for various hoof related scenarios in the reproduction cycle.

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Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


About Navicular Disease:

“Navicular disease is one of the most common causes of chronic forelimb lameness in the athletic horse but is essentially unknown in ponies and donkeys. Navicular disease is a chronic degenerative condition of the navicular bone that involves 1) focal loss of the medullary architecture (with subsequent synovial invagination), 2) medullary sclerosis combined with damage to the fibrocartilage on the flexor surface of the bone, 3) traumatic fibrillation of the deep digital flexor tendon from contact with the damaged flexor surface of the bone with adhesion formation between the tendon and bone, and 4) enthesiophyte formation on the proximal and distal borders of the bone.” (source: https://www.msdvetmanual.com)

 

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Negative Plantar Angle (NPA) by Yogi Sharp, UK

Negative Plantar Angle (NPA)

by Yogi Sharp, UK

Yogi Sharp

Farrier and Blogger
Servicing South England
Phone: +44 7772 856561

“I am Yogi Sharp Farrier and As a farrier studying for my Bsc in farriery science I have seen that every aspect of horse care is closely interlinked, what I do to the bottom closely affects the rest of the body and vice versa, day in, day out, across the world, people are researching these relationships and writing papers on the real science of equine care. I believe its important this information is made more accessible to the equestrian world. from owners to practitioners to vets, so people can provide the best care for their horses based on real science.”

Negative Plantar Angle (NPA) has been linked to many higher pathologies by peer-reviewed studies (Fig.6) and has been linked to antalgic posture (AP) seen in most of these pictures.

 

External hoof pastern axis often correlates very well with phalangeal alignment radiographically (fig.4), but is often missed due to the compensatory posture adopted by the horse (Fig.3), when the metatarsal is vertical, the broken back HPA is evident.

 

When AP is assumed a non-vertical metatarsal creates a straight HPA, but affects the posture of the limb putting strain on the entire musculoskeletal system (Fig.5). Creating more ideal position and orientation of the hoof changes the posture. As kinetic chain, bio-tensegrity and myofascial theory suggests this will create more ideal load on the entire musculoskeletal system (Fig.7).

 

In these cases FormaHoof has allowed elevation without weight, the coupling of elevation and length more optimally orientates the hoof and subsequently the limb (Fig.2+5) and this influence will extend further into the trunk.

 

Hoof pastern axis, phalangeal alignment and a positive palmer/plantar angle are important in whole horse integrity.