Understanding the Equine Foot Part 11 - Founder, Laminitis and the Laminar Wedge

As we come to the conclusion of this educational series from Linda J. Harris, "The Happy Hoof" (One more video next week and then we're done) I would really love to get some feedback. 

Have you learned anything new? 

Will you be applying what you learn to your trimming? 

Will you share what you've learned with your farrier or trimmer? 

How do you think this will affect your horse's hooves presently? 

Did you enjoy this series?

Would you like to learn more along these lines? 

Even though I've been trimming hooves since the late 1980's I have learned from watching Linda Harris' videos. Linda has come across things through her dissections that no one has noticed before but stand on their own merit. 

ANY trimmer or farrier needs to know what the FOOT of the horse looks like, its form and its function. Horse owners and trainers should know too. 

No hoof-no horse. 

There's no getting away from that. 

And as we've been learning and discussing, even through my articles preceding this series, we know how much the FORM of the equine hoof affects the FUNCTIONING of the hooves, as well as affecting the rest of the horse with regard to soundness, way of going, and capabilities of discipline. 

You see we work not just with the hooves with with the WHOLE HORSE. 

One simply cannot separate the hooves from the rest of the horse. 

This video goes over Laminitis, Founder and the Founder Wedge. If you don't know what the founder wedge is, then consider yourself lucky not to have ever had your horse develop one. 

For those of you who use the words Laminitis and Founder interchangeably, here's a quick breakdown of the 4 stages of LAMINITIS: 

1.  Developmental Laminitis: most horses will go through a bout with this sometime in their lives and recover fully on their own before it develops into the 2nd stage. The owners are oblivious to this as the horse presents NO clinical symptoms. Only after a month or so following the remission will the hoof display a ring or two around it. That tells you there was a laminitic event but it resolved on its own.  

2.  Acute Laminitis: This is the stage with which most people are familiar. This stage exhibits full symptoms with lameness of varying degrees, bounding pulse, heat, inflammed coronary and the horse will walk "as if walking on eggshells". If the horse is full blown acute then the "founder stance" is apparent where the horse will stand with the front legs forward and rocks back on his hind feet which are tucked under his belly. This is NOT something that any owner or trainer or horse lover wants to wake up to in the morning. FOUNDERED. 

3. Sub-Acute Laminitis: This is a mild period with less severe clinical signs. There is no mechanical failure of this foot. Often ends without permanent laminar damage. This is the most ideal end for Acute Stage.  

4. Refractory Stage: The refractory stage is when the horse does not respond or is minimally responsive to treatment within 7 – 10 day period of time. This stage can last indefinitely with clinical signs ranging from continuous mild lameness to severe foot pain and degeneration of laminar attachments, hoof wall deformation and sloughing of the hooves. This can be a lifetime situations. 

So, you see, "Founder" is actually the 4th stage of Laminitis. It is during this time that laminar wedges will develop. 

Now that you have a little better understanding of this, let's watch the video and see how detrimental founder and Founder Wedge/Laminar Wedge can be for the equine hoof. 


Gwenyth Browning Jones horse Santagate is the best-selling author of 10 Secrets to Healthy Hooves as well as a noted author for various international equine publications including The Horses Hoof, Equine Wellness, Natural Horse Planet as well as a contributing author for the 2001 United States Federal Mounted Border Patrol Training Manual. For the last 37+ years, she has maintained healthy hooves with natural trimming on thousands of horses and specialized in pathological rehabilitation hoof care for the last 20 years. She and her husband John keep a small herd of their own equine in SW Florida and continue to offer consults for horses in need. You can email to Gwen -- gwen.santagate@gmail.com or telephone in the US (239)-573-9687. For further information please click here:  www.thepenzancehorse.com 


Hey Amy — yeah, there sure is alot of good information there. Keep me posted as to how it all works out for you! Hey, the ‘foot’ is the ‘foot’ … and that’s what we REALLY need to understand before theorizing what the hoof capsules should appear like, right? ;)

Gwenyth Santagate April 03, 2018

I feel like I have really learned a lot from Linda’s videos, and I am excited to see how my 2 horses come along applying these ideas. Seems like good common sense, so I am very willing to give it a try. Thank you for sharing!

Amy Campbell April 02, 2018

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