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Managing the older laminitic
How I worked with a laminitic mare to improve her health and well being
Last year I took on an elderly Welsh Section B mare when her owner could no longer care for her. 

Laminitis is a challenging condition to manage, especially in 'good doers' like our native British breeds. When I took on my Welsh mare she had suffered for a long period of time with laminitis which meant that progress to improve her condition and make her more comfortable has been a slow and careful process.

To start with she was a 'moody mare' who had even bitten and kicked her owner, but as I got to know her and started to understand her physical issues it became very obvious that her temperamental behaviour was rooted in her discomfort.

Initial care to make her more comfortable included fitting her with hoof boots and pads, and limiting her turn out on grass in order to reduce the amount of sugars she was consuming. I then spent many months working with her on the ground to build trust, using bodywork sessions to make her more comfortable, and assessing her further to see what physical issues could be contributing to her laminitis. It became obvious that her laminitis was primarily being caused by metabolic issues.

As I worked with her using a variety of complementary therapies and natural herbs and supplements she gradually became able to move with less discomfort and was eventually able to move freely around my track and meadows. Her levels of comfort improved and so did her temperament and now she is a much happier and more alert pony who is less withdrawn. She is now happy to be fussed and enjoys the attention – but only on her terms, as she is a mare after all!

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