Chamois - navicular and unrideable at age 5? This was what Pam, his owner, was told about her young horse. I hear this silly misdiagnosis all the time. Vets can't very well take your money by telling you they have no idea what is causing lameness so they throw out terrible words like navicular, arthritis, bone spurs, ad nauseum. Chamois is now 7 years old and as you can see in the picture above, he's as sound as the day he was born.
(Click on images to enlarge pictures)
The two pictures above are Chamois's right forefoot. The picture to the left was taken 2-1-06. Note the huge callous buildup after removing the shoes just 4 weeks before. The picture to the right is the same hoof today, 2-12-08. Chamois is completely sound on all surfaces. UPDATE: I'm still trimming Chamois and he's still sound while trail ridden on rocks and participating in Parelli trials as of 7-1-10.
Testimonial from Pam Kramer, January 2008:
"Three years ago, my 5 yo palomino, Chamois, was diagnosed by a veterinarian as having navicular changes as shown in x-rays. He suggested leather pads and gel inserts. I found it very hard to believe that a 5 yo that had only been ridden very lightly was evidencing navicular changes, particularly since he had no history of navicular disease and his parents were still going and showing strong well into their late teens. But there was no doubt that the horse was lame in both front feet, the left being the worst. I had my farrier put on the pads and gel and found this worked for almost a year. However, this was not in any way correcting the problem. It was just hopefully slowing it down. I refused to accept that there was no alternative to this.
My boarder found Natalie and thus she came to my barn. I asked her to take a look at Chamois and we pulled his shoes and pads. He was very contracted in the heels of both front feet. Natalie trimmed him and made her first modifications to his feet. Two weeks later he had grown tremendous callouses on his front feet (see pictures) and he was going sound. As the weeks went by, he shed the callouses as his sole became hardened and his heels began to decontract. Long story short, it is now three years later and Chamois is still completely sound. All 5 of my horses are now barefoot and sound. My mind is at ease knowing that all my horse's hooves are the way nature intended, thanks to Natalie!"