May 2021 – Mid Month Update

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.


In This Issue:

1. Could Your Metal Horse Have Caudal Heel Syndrome?
2. Mentoring Opportunity You Don’t Want to Miss


1. Could Your Metal Horse Have Caudal Heel Syndrome?

Could Your Metal Horse Have Caudal Heel Syndrome?

Caudal heel syndrome can be similar to navicular syndrome but it involves additional structures. This syndrome is most often thought of for low heeled, long toed horses but I also see it in Metal horses with very upright pasterns.

Lameness can come on slowly and because it often involves both front feet it may not show up as an obvious head bobbing lameness. Short stride and choppy gait is common. Tripping for no reason can be a problem. The horse may not want to freely move forward. Hoof testers show pain across the heels. Radiographs may not show much change. Sometimes sidebone will be present.

Metal horses are very stoic so pain may be more than the horse shows. One common sign is that the horse moves badly towards the end of the trimming/shoeing cycle and better immediately after a trim. These horses should be kept on a 4 week schedule.

Adequan injections can help with early cases. Acupuncture can help with pain. NitroPro can help with circulation to the hoof. Regular body work helps keep the shoulders free in these horses. Riding in a way that helps the horse balance over all four feet, rather than heavy on the front, helps the horse be less sore.

Nerve pain can be a big part of Caudal Heel Syndrome as nerves get irritated by swelling in the tight confines of the back of the hoof. Spine and Nerve is a supplement that is very helpful for nerve pain. Pain relief is often noticed within 10 days of starting the product but long term supplementation is needed.

As the horse gets more relief he will take longer strides and have a more correct hoof landing. The better the horse moves the less pressure is put on the back of the foot.

Don’t rule out Caudal Heel Syndrome just because your horse does not have a low heel. Your Metal horse can be suffering because his hooves are more upright and don’t absorb concussion well. With correct riding, trimming, body work and supplementation, your Metal horse can get relief and stay sound for longer. 

2. Mentoring Opportunity You Don’t Want to Miss

Madalyn Ward DVM is offering a unique opportunity for others to mentor with her. This can be done long distance with the help of technology so don’t worry that you have to miss out if you don’t live in her area. This one-on-one study allows Madalyn to design a program to suit your needs whether you are a professional, horse owner, or just interested in increasing your equine knowledge. You can choose from topics on “Horse Nutrition Mentoring Course – Using foods to heal” or “Homeopathy Mentoring Course – Beyond Arnica”. Don’t miss out on the chance to learn from a holistic horse expert. Email and ask for an application. Details about the program are available online. The number of students is limited at any one time so that Dr. Ward can spend time with each, so get your application now.

If your schedule just doesn’t allow you to commit right now to the 6 month Mentoring Course, you can still increase your equine knowledge and skills with books , ebooks, audios, or a self-paced online course open to anyone interested in learning more about the Horse Temperament Types. If you want to learn more about determining the temperament type of your horses, this course is the one for you. You can sign up and find more information at You can also get help from one of our temperament consultants to help in determining your horse’s type.

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About Madalyn Ward, DVM

This blog provides information based on my unique take on horse health and well being. The articles are based on experience of treating and working with horses for over 40 years. In most cases the articles are focused on an holistic approach to health and management. When conventional medicine offers good research or therapy, I share this information as well. Madalyn Ward, DVM