Tom Presgrove has shod Bonnie for more than 20 years and helped nurse her through bouts of laminitis. Thank you, Tom! Bonnie wears aluminum shoes set slightly back on her front feet. The aluminum is more forgiving than regular horse shoes. Bonnie remains barefoot on the hind feet. In this shot, Gregg feeds Bonnie willow, which eases stiffness from her previous bouts with laminitis (see Founder Chronicles), and discourages any pain-cycle the nail-hammering may cause. Little Bit, the 20-year-old Shetland Pony in an earlier post, who is another laminitic type, also benefits from the occasional dose of willow.
Willow can be given to horses long term without side effects. Learn more about this wonderful benefit of the willow tree as well as other herbs for horses in A Modern Horse Herbal by Hilary Page Self. We do have a limited supply of dried willow for sale by appointment at our place. Bonnie also eats dandelion, fresh or dried, as part of her anti-laminitis regimen.
(Read about Bonnie, a real-life horse character in the novel Winning Bet, available in paperback and on the Amazon Kindle.)