Navicular

Here is my story of my horse diagnosed with navicular syndrome and how we fought back. I'll cut to the chase and tell you that I ride him every day. I hope you can find here something to help you and yours.

In the Beginning

Thirty years ago I had an appaloosa that was diagnosed with navicular. His fetlocks were short and upright, predisposing him to concussive ailments. The vet's outlook for him was grim. "You can put bar shoes on him, but eventually it will get worse and he'll be unrideable." There was no hope. I didn't have the money to make him a lawn ornament so I gave him away to someone. I made sure the new owner knew about the vet's diagnosis and what the vet said he'd need for proper care. It broke my heart.

Xrays Don't Tell the Whole Story

Every time I considered buying a horse after that I had its front feet xrayed in an attempt to avoid another heartbreak. I was told by my vet that he had seen the absolute worst xrays, revealing ominous changes in the bones, on perfectly sound horses, and yet other horses, that had perfectly clean xrays, were dead lame. Nowadays this is not called a disease, but rather a syndrome, i.e. a collection of symptoms centering around heel pain. There is new and promising research being conducted in this field. The bottom line is that they still don't know what causes it, and in fact, there may be several different causes, but there are many more options to help your horse.

The Good News

Although there isn't a easy cure, there are many more options for horses diagnosed with heel pain and I'm about to tell you my story of one of my horses that came back from the brink. I hope it gives you hope and ideas to try if you and your horse are dealing with the same problem.

Follow this link for more on my search for navicular answers.