Below are pictures from 7/17/09, 2.5 months post shoe removal.
September 2, 2009

Sugar is a teenage mare, who has been dealing with chronic laminitis/founder for a few years.  She came
to the ranch in November 08 to try a different approach to healing.   Sugar began a diet of very low
sugar hay upon her arrival last November.  She was in overall good health when she arrived at the
ranch.  She had corrective shoes on when she arrived here.  The one thing that I really noticed about
Sugar was her muscle tone.  Upon first glance she looked like a very very fit horse, but when you
touched her body you realized that her muscles were extremely tight & hard, it was as if she was doing
constant isotonic exercises.  Sugar received regular massages but still the muscles remained overly
toned.  Sugars hooves were also very tender when she arrived.  Any material packed against her sole
bothered her.  

On March 30, 2009 Sugar had her shoes removed, her hooves xrayed and boots fitted.  The xrays
revealed rotation of the coffin bone and thin soles.  Despite this somewhat expected finding,  she
responded almost immediately to having her shoes removed and boots put on.  Her body loosened as
she walked off in her new boots.  

There were several ups and downs over the coming few months, mostly due to a boot coming off and
therefore having to walk on her newly unshod hooves.  But her recoveries after these episodes,
became quicker each time.  She began moving with allot more confidence when out walking and soon
began trotting and cantering freely in the arena.  As her pain lessened her ability to sustain faster gaits
for longer periods of time increased.

Sugars diet was slowly tweaked between the months of November 08 & July 09.  Her occasional doses of
pain relieving bute were slowly removed and she was given devils claw instead.   During this period of
time, her hooves grew in beautifully at an increasingly normal angle.  The foundered look of her hooves
is quickly leaving.   The change in diet was obvious thur the change in her hooves.

In August 09 she began her fully mineral balanced diet.  Sugar had her regular hoof trim in late August,
after she had been on the fully mineral balanced diet for several weeks.  
Linda Cowles, her trimmer,
noticed that Sugars hooves were very different this trim.  She was able to take allot more of Sugars heel
height down and Sugar remained somewhat comfortable.  If all continues well, Sugar will begin spending
some time out of her boots in her sandy paddock.  She has already been spending time in the arena,

The other thing that has changed dramatically is Sugars body.  Her constant muscle tension is gone.  
Her muscles are loose and pliable.  And the biggest difference in her body,  is now that Sugars
metabolism is no longer speeding due to the constant muscle tension, she is gaining weight.  This
should even out nicely as her ability to exercise increases.  

Below are pictures from March 30, 2009, the day she had her shoes removed
above are of
Sugar with
her person,
April, her
Cowles and
Dr. Steve
Wood of
Cotati Large

Photo to the
right is
Sugar &
April going
on Sugars
first shoe
free walk in
a long time.
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