Hi - I was just reading your answer about ringbone and shoeing of a paso fino. I have a 5 year old paint mare that was just diagnosed w/high ringbone tiny bit of arthritis and a small bone spur. She isn't lame but she does have some behavior isssue and is only green broke. I had her shoed w/ heels elevated when we began wking w/her . My daughter then was haveing problmes and we decided to not let her ride the horse till we can wk out the behavior issues and get her to a good trainer. I have since pulled the shoes. I am giving her a fantastic joint suppliment and want to begin training again. You alluded in your answer about " improvement" w/ ringbone what all can I do to insur that she stays sound and how can I "improve" the conditon with shoeing or other therapies.

Thaks for your help    



Hi Heidi,
Good hoof form is very protective to a horse.  Whether it's a horse getting injured or becoming injured further, if a horse has proper, healthy hoof form, it will stand the best chance of staying healthy AND healing from injuries already received.  That's the power of natural hoof care...it respects the nature of the animal and that animal's ability to heal itself.  As soon as we interfere with steel shoes, disaster results.  If we feed excessive or deficient nutrition, disaster again.  If a horse is kept locked up in a stall or doesn't have the chance to interact with other horses, most will do poorly.
Get some proper fitting boots (see www.easycareinc.com or www.horsneaker.com) and instruct the trainer on their use if needed.  I have had good results with ringbone and other bony problems by adding some extra magnesium to the diet (magnesium oxide is the ingredient to look for in a supplement).  Hopefully you have someone who can help you achieve good hoof form, not just flatten off the horse's hooves as if she were to be shod...a nice trim is world's different from the way a farrier trims prior to shoeing.
Your chances of a longer life of soundness are greatly increased by making natural hoof care a part of your routine with the horses...it's usually not an easier way to go, but you and the horses will be happier in the end.
Dr. Tom T.