About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Oh, sweet Lazarooooo
What a face he has :)

 Some good news; We got our IR test results back and according to both the endocrinologist at MSU, my Vet and the IR calculator created by Dr. Kellon; it shows he is not IR.
Great news, I don't have his numbers (they are coming in the mail) but I will double check and firm up that is true.
If he had shown up as IR, that would mean his metabolic system had dramatically changed since he foundered.
I am also hoping to move Laz to a new boarding facility (I need him closer to me I have decided) and that opens up options for barns and set ups.  Dry lot paddocks versus free roaming.  More on that to come...

They are still coming and going but mostly coming.
The vinegar/water helps with immediate relief but something is causing him to welt up.
The welts change and new ones pop up and old ones disappear so I still think??? it's bug related.

Laz is walking so much more soundly 
and we do light rides and sometimes I chose to hand walk him if I think it's too hot or he's a bit more ouchy
We road walk for a mile to get our exercise
 Laz likes to grab vines, tree leaves along our walk and stir up ALL the insects that were quietly sleeping

 Here is a quick shot from yesterday; of his club foot (Right Front)
You can see the white line is starting to come back together with the beveling that is being done and it shows old blood where the wall was pulling apart from the sole and laminae
Old shot below of same hoof for comparison, just from early June;
I did another White Lighting soak on his RR, to keep cleaning out that seedy toe.
He has a black hole that showed up on the xray that I still treat. 
That RR hoof wall does NOT grow, I swear...all other 3 hooves grow like normal, but this RR still has some immense false sole, so we are taking it slow, trimming, and hoping for more sole to naturally come off as we trim some out.  
Frankenstein foot  showing laminitic lines:( 
But hopefully, with our newer trimming changes, he will start to grow out a better hoof like all his other three have.
Laz is still gimpy on it and there is still some bruising showing up under the sole.
There a few thoughts as to why this hoof is still under stress and it may be the excess of false sole didn't allow for proper growth, which was caused from shoes/wedges to begin with. But...time will tell.

Here's a  recent video after his last trim where we really took a closer look at this front and how he was using them, and really beveled (if that is the right term) at  his toes and he is moving better (even though slight)
The theory is to engage the sole, AND the frog and keep the hoof wall in the front off the ground for a better breakover
Slowly but surely :)

I leave for 2 weeks for vacation, so Laz will be on 100% rest (remaining on 24/7 turnout) and hopefully will enjoy his time off  while just munching his hay and chilling in his dirt lot.
We'll get right back to our routine when I return :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Explanation of IR

What is "IR"
"IR" stands for Insulin Resistance
Not to be confused with PPID (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction) or Cushing's (PCS)

Why am I concerned about IR?
It's strongly associated with horses that have had laminitis 
(maybe as a reason for A. causing it or B. how they react to diet after laminitis)

The science of it-for the nerds like me:

Physiology Review-  taken from online www.ivis.org
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that stimulates the uptake of glucose by tissues when
sugar is abundant (i.e., after feeding). Skeletal muscle and adipose tissues are the major sites of
insulin-mediated glucose uptake, but the liver also
responds to insulin by increasing the uptake of glucose from the blood. 
Insulin binds to receptors on the surface of plasma membranes. 
It triggers aseries of internal events that results in the movement of glucose-transporter proteins (GLUT4) to the
cell surface, which facilitates rapid glucose uptake.
Insulin plays an important role in the storage of energy by moving glucose into cells where it can be
stored as glycogen or converted into fat.
This condition is defined as the failure of tissues to respond appropriately to insulin. 
There are numerous mechanisms responsible for IR including reduction in the density of i
nsulin receptors on the cell surface, malfunction of insulin receptors, defects in
internal signaling pathways, and interference with the translocation or function of GLUT4 proteins.
 IR and Laminitis
All of the pieces of the puzzle must be assembled
before we can fully understand the association between IR and pasture-associated laminitis in horses
and ponies. There are two broad mechanisms by
which IR could pre-dispose horses to laminitis:
(1) insulin resistance might impair glucose delivery
to hoof keratinocytes, or (2) insulin resistance could
alter blood flow to the foot. The first theory is supported by results of a study performed by Pass et al
in which it was shown that hoof tissue explants kept
in culture separate at the dermal-epidermal junction when deprived of glucose.
 Furthermore, GLUT4 proteins
are found in equine keratinocytes, which suggests
that insulin-stimulated glucose uptake occurs in the
hoof. Studies examining the relationship between
IR and blood flow have not been performed to date in
horses; however, insulin is known to act as a slow
vasodilator in humans, and IR has been associated
with a decrease in peripheral vasodilation.
If IR is a determinant of susceptibility to pastureassociated laminitis, then what triggers the laminitis episode itself? It seems that non-structural
carbohydrates (NSC) within pasture grasses play an
important role in this process. Most NSC measurements include simple sugars, starch, and fructans
(polymers of fructose), and levels of these components vary considerably within grass according to
geographical location, soil type, weather conditions, and time of day.
NSC are likely to affect the susceptible horse in two ways. First, excessive sugar
consumption could exacerbate IR like it does in diabetic humans. Second, consumption of large
quantities of NSC might alter the bacterial flora
found within the large intestine. These alterations
in bacterial flora are thought to increase the production of as yet unidentified triggering factors for laminitis that may include exotoxins, endotoxins, or vasoactive amines.
Alterations in large intestinal bacterial flora have been induced by orally administering oligofructose (a fructan) to horses.
Here is another great site to read for IR and why it's becoming more prevalent in our horses
Whoa, right????
Yea, welcome to my world.
To simplify-there are reasons things happen.
I'm trying to figure out WHAT caused Laz's laminitis.
Was it Putomac? If so, that means he didn't have an IR reaction to grass that caused his laminitis. 
If so, is he now considered a true IR horse, or non IR? 
Did that bout make him more susceptible to becoming an IR horse?
Laminitis to me, is like Pneumonia. Once you have it, you can get it again much easier so I want to have all the answers I can to allow for his diet to be catered to his needs and his health.

Here are some easy symptoms to look for if you suspect your horse may be IR and shows signs of foot sore:
cresty neck
voracious appetite
'easy keeper'
patchy fat (sholders, rump, elbows, neck)
orbital eye fat
weepy/draining eyes
stretched white line

According that list, Laz has the last two symptoms, so we MAY be lucky and he may not be IR, which will help me adjust his lifestyle/diet.

If you think your horse's feet are sore-start dissecting their diet (and trim).
They are RELATED completely. Not always (but so so so often!!!)

Luckily, I have Michigan State University so close to us, and they are one of the TOP schools for Animal Science
The IR test that I am doing is THIS

There is so much more to IR and diet and horse's hoof health, this post could go on for hours.  Many of you could add to this, and please feel free!!! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too HOT to handle

 It's been HOT here in Michigan and seems like everywhere!
Laz is still doing exceptionally well and is walking better and better everyday.
I still notice that he's landing toe first on his club foot (front right) so I'm hoping that too, will change in the future.  His Right rear is much better and my new trimmer encouraged me to ride Laz around at the walk to help his sole to self shed which is has a bit (but probably mostly to her small trimming adjustments too).
Laz and I strolling around the property
 Don't judge the yoga capris, tank top, flip flops or riding Laz in his rope halter with barrel racing reins, lol. 
Hey...at least I rock the helmet law :)
Look at that low, happy head :)
Hot day but not a hot headed TB 
 Then, this past weekend was my 5 yr wedding anniversary, so we escaped to Torch Lake, Michigan
Have you ever been???
It's literally like Carribean waters but in Michigan. 
The water is crystal clear and a turquoise blue....insane beauty!!
This was the sunset the first night
 Oh, and the second night
Who cued the Swan family to come swim in?
 In the morning, swimming in the cool water during the HOT sun was amazing amazing amazing.
I kept wishing that I had Laz with me, for an awesome ride in this water.
He would LOVE!
 Driving home, we had a summer storm above our head the whole 4 hours home.

It's SO hard to travel when you have such a sweet boy waiting at home.
I'm always torn and feel so guilty when I leave him.
That combined with my insane work load, it's been for a hectic summer for me.
Last night, I got to the barn at 7:30ish (home by 10 pm..ugh)
Lazaroo was itching his bites. 
While I was gone, he got more bites and his little hives popped back.
Not as bad as before, but enough that I gave him a vinegar/water sponge bath and then sprayed the bejesus out of him.  
I also broke down and bought a fly sheet for him today.
I leave again in two weeks, for TWO WEEKS and am having major anxiety about leaving him.
I want to make sure he is armed with everything while I am away.
Have you ever left your horses for 2 weeks? 
I think I need Uguard for myself.
 My baby face
He looks like such a handsome young colt here :)
Getting a chest rub on my back from some handsome star studded OTTB 

 I also had given Laz a bit of a hair cut to allow some ventilation in preparation for this heat, a week or so ago.  His standing has gotten more square too, now that he's able to stand pain free on his right rear, YAY!
Thursday morning, I'm also having my vet do an IR test on Laz
I'm all about knowing what is going on with him and firming up how his system is running now.
I'm doing the new Non-fasting test recommended by Dr. Kellon.  
He can't have 'grain' (his T/C feed) or carrots (treats) 15 hrs before test, but he can have his hay like normal and be out like normal. No forced exercise but normal turnout is good.
It will help me decide his grazing future and his feeding/diet needs that much better.
Wish us luck that he isn't IR.......I'm hoping that assuming his laminitis came from Putomac fever, that he won't be, but we'll see.  I'll post results when I get them next week, back from MSU.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Clubbin' it

 Hives are much much better!
In fact, dare I say, they aren't Hives right now...they are just bug bites.
The vinegar/water trick is amazing.
I went this morning to spray the Big Brown Boy but a down pouring storm (lighting!!!) came in a flash.
I had bought a new spray (Endure) that I've read good things about to test out.
I so wish I could continue with the natural horse spray but they really aren't enough for his protection.
If this doesn't work any better, I'll go back to the natural.
See below, glossy skin and less bumps. Still has some along belly and shoulders and rump but neck is clear
 No more swollen neck-thank god.  That really freaked me out.

So, let's change gears and talk about Club Feet.
Laz has a club foot on his Right Front.
See below; that is his grazing stance....always.
ALWAYS the RF back.
I can about a billion pictures of him grazing and they all look like below.

 So what creates a Club Foot?
Seems there may be more to it than we know.
Bowker mentioned he's researching more about it.
Michelle and I talked about it.
Either the one leg is shorter (ie the clubbier) and so the hoof grows at a steeper angle, to get to the bottom quicker.  An example was the fastest way from A to B is a straight line.
What is interesting is how it effects the shoulder.
See below; his non club leg/shoulder
 Below; his club shoulder, pushed back as he was grazing
 Back shots

My personal theory...Laz has a short neck in comparison to his long legs.  So, he has to extend one leg back, and being he seems to be Right handed, that is the leg he chooses.  I'm sure I could be way way wrong...it's just MY personal theory.  
What are your thoughts?
Does your horse have a club?
I'm willing to bet, it's on the right leg.
Saturday, was HOT.
Mason got hosed off about 17 times
I scrubbed the boys water tank clean and replaced with yummy fresh water

"Hi Mom...I'm hots again....more pwease"
 Rainbows bring Chocolate :)

 I rode the sweet Lazaroo for about 45 minutes.
We walked (except for one tiny canter up a hill on grass-it was our 1 second of xc'ness) lol
I rode bareback in shorts/flip flops/tank top yanked up to tan my WHITE stomach and a helmet.
Thankfully no one saw me except for some country bumpkin hauling his 4 wheeler than made Laz spook out in the front yard.  
 We had a great few property trail rides very successfully
Look at this happy ears!

And a little video for you:

And..do you all drink this?
Coconut water (not milk)
It re-hydrates you wonderfully (oh, and it also cures a nasty hangover)

Just had to share...

You may have seen this video already

The words are so beautifully written and so so true. 
I know many of my readers will totally related to this, if not all of you.
Enjoy your Perfect Horses!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rewind for a brief moment

So, life happens but it got put on the blogger back burner as I was tending to Laz McSoreFoot 
But, now that we are on an UP, I thought I should show you some pictures that I've been wanting to share
Mid June, I headed back home to Chicago (actually I'm from Evanston which is the first North Shore Suburb north of Chicago).
Hello gorgeous!
For those that haven't been to the lovely Chi-town...you are missing out.
It's an amazing, amazing city.
Previously mentioned, when I was home for another weekend, I saw that the Field Museum was running a special show "The Horse."
Surely, I wasn't going to miss that!!!
So, it was on my "To Do List" as it ends this August.

 I guilted my adorable non horse loving cousin (but LOVES her some Laz) to the Field.  
She's always game for a good time and lives in the City  
Play date!
 Meet Sue
She's scary and cool
She's the largest and best preserved T-Rex
Can you imagine seeing Sue in her hey day.
No thanks!!!
 And, below, the Pi`ece de R`esistance...
No cameras were allowed in, but ooopsy.
Behold from left to right; the Kentucky Derby trophy, the Preakness, the Belmont and ....the freakin Triple Crown.
Overall "The Horse" exhibit was fun and we cruised through the history and other fun facts in about an hour.  Nothing earth shattering and definitely could have touched more on the emotional side of the horse, but it was pretty cut and dry, but decent enough.

 Ever so conveniently, when you walked out of the exhibit, this store below was waiting for you.
To take ALL your money
It is basically the store of any horse loving 6 yr old wanted.
Or any age for that matter
I walked away with two $1 rubber Bay horse toys
and this LOVELY metal aged horse head hook. 
I'm going to hang him somewhere else in my home office, for my purse to hang proudly on.
Can you believe, it was only $9 bucks!
 And I saw this!
The Greek eye on a horse shoe...too bad, so sad that it's hanging the wrong way. 
So, I passed. 
I didn't want our luck running out, as it is positioned to do by hanging the shoe this way.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A little break

Ask and you shall receive :)
We got a little break today
Hive/welts/bug bites looked a bit better today on their own.  
I did Marissa's lovely suggestion of 3 parts H20 to 1 part white vinegar sponge bath on the Prince today, and yum.... it felt cool to the touch, it kept the flies off him while he dried and totally made the welts depuff instantly. Pretty cool. 
And at the cost of 1.99 a gallon of vinegar..I'd say a nice thing to have in the tack room.
I'll do a second rinsing tomorrow as well, and if this continues to improve, I wont put him on Tri-Hist and she'll have saved me about $80. Um...thank you!! :)
What is so funny, is I have a vague memory of my Yiayia (Greek grandma) putting vinegar on my bug bites while visiting her in Greece.  Damn, Yiayia-ahead of her time.

After Laz's sponge bath, I hand walked him.
He is walking totally normally now, trot is still limpy but he has a lot of bruising on his RR.
I assume that will take a while to heal.
I have been applying my Absorbine Green dressing that has Arnica in it, so hopefully that will help.
I rode.
(cue angels above to sing in harmony)
It had been since May 23rd, but whose counting? ;)
I hopped on bareback/halter ghetto style and we just walked.
Walked around the arena, out onto the front of the property on grass and along the sides of pastures. 
 Trimmer Michelle said that riding him at the walk should help his feet out and help him naturally wear his thickened sole down but to keep off gravel due to his bruise.
We are happy to walk.
Laz marched around like a proud OTTB with a job.
Licking his lips, ears perked and smiling girl on his back.
We rode like we hadn't missed a beat.
I love this horse.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Can we get a break?!

Ok, so some humor here.
IF anyone was ever tempted by my horse's handsome good looks and wanted to steal him....they would return him with a note that read "No thanks...too $$$ to keep."
Moving on. 
Poor Laz.
This poor boy is made of fine china.
Thin skinned doesn't even describe it.
I was gone for the 4th weekend, and when I came home Monday, I was greeted with bug bites all over his body.
I even said to a boarder, "this almost looks like hives!"
I cold hosed him to give him some heat and itch relief. Let him dry and sprayed with fly spray. Some kind we've always used.
 Next day, it was worse.
I went to the tack store and bought some M-T-G hoping that would help the skin irritation and bites.

Today, it's no better. 
I have put in a call to my vet who mentioned it may be sun burnt skin from spray having oils in it.  There are oils in spray being it's a natural spray, but the original issue were small bites that moved into some allergic reaction.  His poor neck looks like a wrinkly puppy.  Was it the M-T-G?? Ugh...I feel like I always try to do the right choice, but somehow I get dooped.  I read all about M-T-G and how great it was, etc, etc but I guess I didn't think about  the sun causing it to irritate the skin. If that is the reason...
 He suggests picking up some Keratolux shampoo, rinsing him off and starting him on Tri-Hist granules that won't interfere with his laminitic system.  He also suggested putting him in a bubble..I mean, a fly sheet and neck cover.  
I'm not sure the neck cover/sheet will last with his herd mate biting/play antics so not sure I'm excited about spending $100 for that to be a shredded rag in no time.

In hoof news, Michelle came out last night, keeping in fashion with our weekly trims.
She's awesome.
Laz is doing great in her trimming care.
He has some major bruising that is coming up exposed as she slowly takes down his false sole.  Hopefully, after that clears, we'll see a difference with his movement and see if he can trot limp free.
She also mentioned showing me how to rasp him and for me to learn about trimming/balance/etc.....I am NERVOUS and excited about that!!! To have the tools and knowledge would be great-to be dependent on my skills-very scary.  She assures me I would be fine, so we'll be together for a few months and cross that bridge later.
She also thinks I should pop back up on Laz (when this hive situation is clear) and put him back to work, walking.  Give him some time off from trotting until next week, and we'll analyze from there.
That was great news, since it's been since May 17th since I've been able to ride him.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Wednesday evening, I was honored to have been granted a visit by Dr. Bowker and his rehabbing trimmer, Michelle.
To say that it's lucky that we are so close to MSU is short changing it.
We are SO lucky.
My husband asked "So, who is this Bowker?" as we were waiting in the barn to meet. 
I said, "Let me put it into basketball terms for you. Imagine if Tom Izzo came to your Bball practice to work with your team and give you coaching advice, and plays and drills."
He said "whoa."

It was so beyond interesting.
It was so great to listen to Dr. Bowker's thoughts and new things he is studying and how everything is tied together.  We talked about club feet, shoulder atrophy, dental work, etc etc.
My brain actually couldn't absorb it all, but it wanted to.
I came home and wrote down everything so I could review and remember things for a later date.
I felt my mouth hanging open, listening with such intent.
I was humbled. Above that, Michelle and Dr. Bowker were two of the most genuine people I've met as well.  Kind, caring, thoughtful and very detailed.

The direction we are going in now is to have Michelle temporarily, trim slowly, weekly to get Laz in a comfortable position. 
Changing some angles, working on the toes/heels, false sole, etc.
All SLOWLY as to keep him comfortable.
From what I gather, Michelle works on rehab cases so as soon as we get back set up correctly, we switch back.

 I can't tell you how humbling it is to have professionals like this, viewing Laz's xrays, talking about how sweet he was (and he was such a good quiet boy !!!) and all the work we've done to get him to where he was today.

 I find this picture below so funny.  
Everyone looking at Laz's hoof, constant discussions and Laz is "Laaa Deee Daaaaaaa"
I think Laz really trusts that people are here to help him
Actually, I know he does.
So, too bad I didn't go to vet school. 
I know that I would have LOVED every second of it.
Or well....maybe I can consider this my 'in field' training for research.

We are excited to see how Laz reacts to these small changes in his feet.
I am very hopeful, and excited.
It's great to add to our team to keep him moving in a great direction. 

Yesterday, I was finally, after a month and a half, able to hand walk him for 20 minutes in the arena.  Laz walked well and is adjusting to his new angles nicely.  How great did that feel??
Well, let's just say-amazing.

Happy 4th everyone!!!