Case Studies

Case Study: Revel (AKA His Lordship)
Age: 29 
Breed: Welsh Cob

History:  Revel is a former performance Jousting Horse, who was lucky enough to find Beccy 10 years ago.  Far from Retired, Revel enjoys daily hacks. Revel has been a long term sufferer of sweet itch and was diagnosed with Cushings in 2015. 

Barefoot Transition:  In June 2016 Beccy felt Revels older horse hock and stifle changes were making it hard for him to lift his feet high enough for shoeing, and decided it was time to transition him. 

Revel's hind shoes came off first and he was immediately fitted with comfort pads and cavallo sport boots, which Beccy set about leading him out in. Two weeks later the front shoes were removed and Revel was hand walked to get him used to wearing boots all round, and to allow the conformable therapeutic pads within to compress, then ridden work resumed. By October 16, Revel's front feet were scoring highly enough for him to start tarmac work unbooted.  It is likely that Revel will always need to be booted for longer hacks on his hinds, because his hock and stifle issues cause him to scuff his hind toes and the boots and pads help to cushion his action. 

Lessons Learned:  The speed Revel's transition, despite his age, is most likely down to his management.  Revel is on a zero grass diet and lives in a purpose built coral with woodchip and sand surfaces.  His bucket diet (from which most of his nutrients are derived due to his reduced molars and pre-molars) is high fibre, high oil, low sugar and zero starch and balanced with a inexpensive powdered mineral supplement, this diet not only helps to support his system to grow healthy hoof, but also minimises the chances of the insulin resistance inherent in cushings disease from causing him issues.  

Another key element to Revel's fast transition is the amount of work he does. Revel ensures Beccy never has to wonder if it's time to retire this horse because if he doesn't get his daily ride, he stands at the gate stomping his feet and neighing.  Once out Revel treats Beccy to regular fast work which he generously offers every time they come to a track or bridlepath!! Use of the cavallo sports coupled with thick conformable pads allowed Revel to keep right on working through his transition, which ensured his joints were kept mobile and supple throughout. 

Every horse is different, and every transition is different, but Beccy, who also feels that Revel's hock and stifle mobility has increased since transition, is very happy with her decision to transition her older boy.