Who we are

Welcome to Laminitis Help, a site for horse owners whose animals have developed laminitis or founder.

Robin Hood, Stitches and Kurt.

Robin Hood, Stitches and Kurt.

In 2009, I launched this site by saying: If you own a laminitic horse, I don’t need to tell you that you live in a world unlike any other — one filled with frustration, desperation and guilt, and one where you’re only as happy as your laminitic horse each day. I posted a survey at the time to allow people to share their experience with the hopes that we’d spot some trends for what was causing laminitis or perhaps working as a treatment. I took down the survey once new developments made it irrelevant.

A lot has happened since 2009, and the future for horses with laminitis may be less grim. The new injectable drug Laminil, a mast cell stabilizer, may provide a means for stopping an acute bout of laminitis while the trigger of the bout is determined. This could prevent a lot of damage to the foot.

I have become much more of a student of hoof care thanks to a farrier who has been helping me trim my horses by email. I was originally of the opinion that there was no point in spending a lot of time on the hooves unless you could stop the cause of the laminitis. Not true. You can create new problems by not addressing deformed growth in the hoof.

Also, new products have hit the market to lower insulin resistance in horses, and at least one has helped my two geldings over the last two years.

Robin Hood and Kurt, both now 21, are my last two horses.

In 1997, I moved six healthy performance horses to a new farm in Missouri, and all of them foundered. My lovely mare Angel is the pretty face in the website header. She developed an acute case of laminitis during a three-week stint of icy, wintry weather in February 2004. By that summer, her feet looked like they would fall off (second photo). Somehow, by the next year, she was back in business (third photo), though never without severe damage to her feet. She just willed herself to get around. I lost her in May 2011, when her left coffin bone not only disintegrated beyond recognition but also developed a fracture. Not one researcher in the world could give me any hope of saving her.

I lost Stitches in September 2010.

Laminitis has been my life for 19 years. I have searched high and low for something on my farm that would cause my horses so consistently to develop this disease when their relatives living in similar settings on similar diets have not suffered similar fates. I will keep plugging away at this until we know what happened here. Join me if you’re looking for a place to hang out.

Latest posts

Check hay, feed for high iron levels when treating laminitis in horses

Your horse’s diet may be full of excess iron, which studies have linked to insulin resistance.

Is laminitis linked to rising temperatures?

Researchers from The Netherlands have published a study tying human diabetes to increased outdoor temperatures.

Filtering water stops laminitis in horses; water tests indicated iron level was safe

Both geldings have seen huge improvement in their feet, even though they are eating grass around the clock.

Iron overload likely caused my horses’ laminitis

In “Clue” like fashion, I’m declaring the cause of my six horses’ laminitis over the last 18 years as an excess intake of iron from weeds, trace mineral blocks and well water, leading to insulin resistance and the insulin form of laminitis.

Feed more hay to laminitic horse, equine nutritionist says

We’ve created the insulin resistant horse by doing all the wrong things in the name of helping, according to Juliet Getty, Ph.D.

Vet examines why some laminitic feet return to soundness

Some horses recovering from laminitis and coffin bone rotation become sound even though the hoof wall no longer is parallel to the bone. Dr. Debra Taylor, DVM, looks at possible explanations for this occurrence in a video posted on thehorse.com.

What is the link between laminitis and horse smegma?

Horse smegma is not a topic that gets a lot of press. I’ve been on a mission to find the definitive study on smegma and laminitis, and I don’t think it exists.