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Ringbone? Or Poor Hoof Form?


This is quite an incredible case study, who was horribly lame and who had serious ringbone. The changes in her joint ossification, as shown by the radiographs, after her rehab are simply amazing!

It begs the question, and one which I have asked many times over the past year myself in relation to Dancer’s ringbone, can ringbone be attributed entirely to poor hoof balance for much of a horses life? And furthermore, once the joint is damaged, can it be improved or does it the end of that horses riding life unless we choose to go down the route of joint injections?

I know this particular case study is an extreme, but its my belief from the research I have done, the understanding I have gained, the super professionals I have been lucky enough to work with and the results I have seen occur in Dancer, that many ringbone cases can indeed be attributed to poor hoof balance but more importantly, that the physical damage can be improved.

More and more evidence is coming to light that such supposedly permanent joint damage can actually be reversed either in part or even fully in some cases. 

Through the use of slow motion video and balancing the hoof according to the individual horse’s footfalls, mineral-balancing the diet, the use of nutraceuticals and correct stimulation and management, ringbone damage and subsequent pain can definately be improved. It certainly has worked for Dancer. When she was diagnosed, she was really quite lame. A year on she is no longer lame and is being ridden. She hasn’t had any joint injections and is not on any pain relieving drugs.

“The Morgan mare is believed to be about 15 yo.  She was found at auction in MA. Due to her severe lameness (grade5/5 at a the walk), no one wanted her and for several weeks she wasted in the auction pens.  She was shod, but according to the sellers it did not help, and even with Banamine she was completely lame on some days.  She was in danger of getting picked up by a slaughter-bound truck when by chance the current owner found her and purchased her for $400. 

This horse clearly has a very advanced case of high, apparently articular, ringbone.  According to the veterinary diagnosis, it was the most severe case ever seen by that vet and the horse would never be sound for riding.”

Ringbone? Or Poor Hoof Form?

Jo Hughes


Posted on by eljohughes

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