April 24, 2018
Touchstone - A Case History Of No-Heel Back by Joan White, Touchstone Tales Touchstone was starving to death. She had lost so much weight that even in her winter coat she looked lean like a greyhound. Except of course for that potbelly. You would not believe the number of people who called me aside and told me to cut down on the hay, or better yet get richer hay, and feed more grain. It even got to the point that people accosted me about not caring for her properly and threatened to report me to the humane society. I had to show them the Veterinarian bills from 3 different Veterinarians; and have the stable manager vouch that I was feeding her enough for 3 working horses, lots of grain, very rich hay, and not working her! Still she was loosing weight and looking poorly. I put a wooden yardstick from her withers to her hip and measured down 6 inches, and it continued dropping. We used the "weight measuring tape" on her. She was loosing gradually and constantly. Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and remedies were tried, and nothing worked. Stool Samples, Blood Samples showed nothing. Worming medicine had no effect. Touchstone was looking so bad that I cried every time I looked at her. I could not bear to take photos of her. Then I took her to a Tony Gonzales Farrier Clinic. He instructed my farrier of how to put the thickest wedge pad he had on all 4 hooves. After shoeing her, we measured her back. It had come up, 3 inches! She looked so much better that we went right out and took photos. Within 10 days of the wedge pads, she had gained 50 lbs. According to the "weight measuring tape". And she looked it! Her food was cut in half and she continued to gain weight at a safer rate. Her exercise was sharply curtailed and controlled, as she just had no sense. She felt great and wanted to jump and run everywhere! It took weeks and months of slow gradual exercise to give her the muscle she remembered having! A Heel can be cut off in one trim. It takes weeks and sometimes months to grow one back, and then only with help. Article 2 no-Heel Motion "toes up" shows that we, and the horses hollow our back and use our stomach muscles to hold us in balance. The "hay belly" accompanied by a "bony topline" is often the muscles constricting on the intestines to hold the balance. This constriction in extreme cases like Touchstone actually interferes with the blood supply to the intestines, that "takes the nutrients" out of the system. This makes a horse that is a "hard keeper", or in this case, starving to death, while eating plenty!
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