Laminitis – an inflammatory condition of the sensitive laminae of the hooves. Characterised clinically by mild to severe lameness especially of the front hooves. There is heat and pain at the coronets and in bad cases the pedal bone can penetrate the sole of the hoof.

Spring is here in all its lush green extravagance and with it that surge of rich field grass that us horse owners dread. Our land, being in a river valley seems to hold very fertile soil and it becomes a problem for us if a horse is prone to laminitis. Sammy with his thoroughbred genes eats all he wants and burns it off without effort, unfortunately it looks as though Sunshine is going to have problems. This week he was lame after a night in the stable so is now on “box rest” and a diet of hay.

Sunshine is a strong character and is obviously furious at being restricted, he broke part of the back wall of the stable (wooden) and got very stressed being on his own. On the second day I let him out on limited grazing for a couple of hours and he was able to let off steam galloping up and down the field. It calmed him down and I kept Sammy in the corral whilst he was in his stable. My next stage is to try a grazing mask to limit his grazing but allowing him freedom in the field.

Just when I think I’m going to have less work I have more! When I bought Sunshine he wasn’t supposed to be prone to laminitis – tant pis as they say here.