Jennifer Vallieres - Natural Hoofcare
Certified by the American Hoof Association

Serving Middle Tennessee

FOUNDER: (Video case study)

Mr. Frizzer foundered back in April '10, the cause of the founder is still uncertain. He was diagnosed with Lymes disease around that time, so the vet thinks that may have been the original cause. It is hard to say. Shortly after he foundered his owners made any necessary changes to his diet, they built a dry lot for him and put him on a low-sugar feed. Despite the changes in diet Mr. Frizzer continued to get worse and worse, he had become so sore that he started lying down quite a bit. He was on pain meds but despite this he could get no comfort. There were bulges on his soles at the toe, a sign that the coffin bone is close to penetrating. Even though the diet was right he was still lacking proper hoofcare and this is what caused him to get worse and worse. A couple more months like this and he would have eventually been put down. Luckily his owners found me just in time and I started working on him right away. Within a few weeks after his first trim he no longer needed the pain meds, he could get around comfortably enough. After the second trim he was even more comfortable, still not sound but much more comfortable than where we started. After the 3rd trim he was quite sound at the walk. After the 4th trim... well you'll see in the video. The first video shows you just how bad Mr. Frizzer was before I started trimming him, the second video shows him after is 4th trim. Enjoy!



It was his owners idea to take videos of him through out his founder rehabilitation, thanks to them I am able to share with you these great videos. Pictures say a lot but videos say even more. I really want people to understand that founder is not a death sentence and that a foundered horse can be rehabilitated back to a normal, sound state. It takes teamwork though, the owners must provide the horse with the correct diet and lifestyle and be willing to stick to a regular trim schedule (4-5 weeks). These are the "ingredients" to success. Mr. Frizzer's owners do an excellent job of ensuring he gets everything he needs to allow for success, as you can see:) In a few months I will be adding "before and after" pics of his hooves, so check back!


Original cause of founder is unknown, this mare was being boarded out of state when it happened. She was then brought back home but things continued to get worse, she had become so bad that the coffin bone on the right front had penetrated the sole and owners were told she should be put down. Fortunately, owners got my number from a friend and figured they'd give it a try, this mare had no other options left at this point. She was on 2 grams of bute per day and could barely walk, despite the meds. I immediately went out there and started working on her, during her first trim I was unable to trim her back hooves at all because she was putting all her weight on her hindquarters and off her painful front feet. I had to leave the hinds untrimmed, there was no way I could pick them up. I advised owners to keep her in a dry lot and give a low-carb feed (which they were already doing) and that I would have to be back every 4 weeks. After about 2-3 weeks owners were able to take her off bute, she was comfortable enough to get around her paddock without the meds. At the second trim I was able to trim all 4 hooves because she was standing much more squarely, she was now able to carry more weight on her fronts. Very good sign. It only took a couple months before the hole in the sole had closed up and we were well on our way to resuspending the coffin bone. It has now been a year and she is getting ready to be put back into light work under saddle. There are virtually no signs of founder left, she has grown in beautiful hooves. Her muscles, joints and tendons will still need some time and exercise to heal, as they had become severly stressed when she was foundered. She is getting regular chiropractic treatments to help with this. Owners did a fantastic job of helping this mare get through this very difficult time, needless to say she is a much happier horse now:)

                                        AUGUST '09                                                       JULY '10






*This pony's hooves are still a work in progress, but I wanted to show how you how much difference can be made in 3 months.         

This pony was in tremendous pain when I first started working on her, she was badly foundered and her toes had gotten so long they had curled up on all four hooves. Original cause of founder was probably due to a lack of hoofcare ,more than anything. Her owners had a very hard time getting someone to come all the way out to trim just one pony, so her hooves just grew and grew. Fortunately, they had gotten my number from a friend of theirs and I immediately came out. The first trim involved the use of a hack saw, to get those darn curls off and help give a more normal shape to the foot. I suggested that the horse be taken off sweet feed (high-carbs) and be put on a grass only diet with the use of a grazing muzzle if necessary. It has now been 3 months and the hooves are beginning to take on a more normal shape, you can see the healthy hoof wall at the top 1/3 of the hoof. This healthy hoof wall will make it all the way down to the ground in about 5-6 more months. Although she is much more comfortable she is far from being sound, yet. She still has much hoof to grow but as the months go by she will feel more and more comfortable. She is kept on a 4-5 week trim schedule.



                   MARCH '10                                                         JUNE '10



This pony was diagnosed with 12-13 degrees rotation in both fronts, in other words, he was foundered. The cause was most likely due to a high-carb diet, getting too much green grass. His owner then put him in a dry lot and I began working on him, he was kept on a 5-6 week trim schedule. Within a few months there was noticeable improvement in the concavity of his sole, a sign that the coffin bone is moving back into the correct position. A few more months and all of the white line separation had grown out and there was no more slippering of the toe. Reducing the carbs in his diet by keeping him dry lotted and keeping him on a regular trimming schedule is what allowed for a successful rehabilitation of this pony.  



          NOVEMBER '07                                                          SEPTEMBER '08 




                           JANUARY '07                                                         JUNE '08



                           JULY '07                                                       JULY '08