When founder is diagnosed, either by x-ray or through examination externally, it is important to get the inflammation down quickly, both by immediately icing/hosing the legs and modifiying the diet to a lower starch diet. Once the horse’s lifestyle is addressed, it can begin the process of re-growing a hoof where the hoof wall is well-connected to the sensitive laminae. with proper trimming, this well-connected wall can actually reshape the angle of the coffin bone and reverse the damage done to the hoof! This can happen because instead of the coffin bone sinking down is a combination of many factors.
When a horse is shod with steel shoes, there is no support under the coffin bone. Then, the laminae, weakened by diet, “lets go”, as if velcro were pulled apart and the white line gets bigger. The hoof then appears like an elf’s slipper because the laminae creates a wedge in front of the toe. If a natural trim is not implemented at thispoint, this lamellar wedge can get bigger when the horse cannot break over in front, and if there is no mustang roll to dissipate the horse’s energy.
Therefore, a trim for a foundered horse needs to address the excess toe so that the horse can break over as he steps without further pulling the wall away from the hoof capsule. In this way, well-connected wall can grow down through the hoof, thus normalizing all the structures inside the hoof as the coffin bone re-align itself with the outer wall. This kind of change is very good!