February 2021 – Mid-Month

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse


In This Issue:

  1. Horse Temperament: Does your Metal horse have sore heels?
  2. Tango With Horses Community Call with Madalyn Ward, DVM


1. Horse Temperament: Does your Metal horse have sore heels?

The Metal horse temperament is generally strong and tough but their Achilles heel is – their heels. The Metal horse has a tendency to contracted, sore heels. Confirmation can play a part as many Metal horses have short, upright pasterns and boxy hooves. This naturally upright hoof can become contracted when shoes are applied early in the horse’s life.

Strong bones and tight tendons help the Metal horse temperament hold up to very hard work. The tight connective tissues of the Metal horse interfere with suppleness so when his heels hit the ground the concussion is not absorbed by the joints up the leg. It is common for hard working Metal horses to develop bruised heels and corns under the shoe.

Circulation to the front legs can be a challenge for the Metal horse and this is related to his diaphragm and sternum. The Lung and Large Intestine are the organs associated with Metal and both of these organs lay right next to the diaphragm. Any inflammation of the lungs or large intestine can cause a blockage in normal movement of the diaphragm and in turn pulls on the sternum where the diaphragm attaches. Even a slight twist in the sternum will cause major shoulder stiffness and interfere with the blood and nerve supply to the front leg.

Reasons for front heel pain in the Metal horse:

  • Naturally upright, boxy hooves
  • Shoes applied at a young age
  • Tight connective tissues which don’t absorb concussion
  • Circulation problems secondary to a twisted sternum

Prevention of sore heels involves a careful evaluation of shoeing and trimming methods. If possible keep the Metal horse barefoot so his heels can have normal motion and function. If the Metal horse must be shod, pay special attention to his heels and use fill in pad material to provide stimulation to the frog. Focus on exercises that improve the suppleness of the Metal horse so his joints can absorb concussion better. The diet of the Metal horse should include adequate quality fat to nourish the skin and internal hoof tissues. The Metal Balance formula supports healthy joints and connective tissue. Regular osteopathic evaluations will help assure there are no twists in the sternum that could affect blood and nerve supply to the shoulders and front legs.

Prevention of heel pain in the Metal horse:

  • Careful trimming and shoeing only when absolutely necessary
  • Focus on suppleness when training
  • Adequate fat in the diet
  • Regular osteopathic evaluations of the sternum

Once heel pain has developed in the Metal horse it can be very hard to treat. The Metal horse has a high pain threshold so by the time he limps there is significant pathology already developed. In addition to all the preventive measures you can add herbs to help with pain. Spine and Nerve is one of the best for the Metal horse with chronic heel pain. Acupuncture can be used to increase circulation and provide local pain relief.

Prevention is sure a better plan. ~ Madalyn

For additional help in understanding the individual needs of each Five Element horse temperament check out Horse Harmony and our online course.

2. Tango With Horses Community Call with Madalyn Ward, DVM

Thanks to Andrea Datz for hosting a Community Call videoconference with Madalyn. If you missed it, you can see the recording at https://tango-with-horses-online.mn.co/posts/january-29-2021-community-call-dr-madalyn-ward-recording

You can also see interviews with Dr. Ward and Kim Bauer on the Webinars with Wendy series at:

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