Can Equinell™ Hoof and Mane Oil help a horse with navicular disease?
It’s tricky, and complicated. The navicular bone acts as a fulcrum, a sort of chock, between the tendons and the coffin bone. When anything goes wrong you know it pretty quickly, because it’s extremely painful.
It has bursae around it to make the movement smooth, and anyone who has experienced bursitis knows how bad that can be. The thing is, a horse can experience severe pain (and remember, if more than one foot is affected it can’t limp to relieve the pain) and still have an entirely correctable disorder.
Navicular disease can be caused by many things. Incorrect footfall is emerging as one of the most common causes. Because it usually occurs in the front foot or feet, it has been assumed to have something to do with weight bearing. This is partly due to the fact that a horse stands more or less on the navicular.
However, thanks to modern diagnostic tools and photography, we are learning that horses land heel first with their hind feet because their anatomy requires this. Even if their heels hurt, they have to do this. In the front feet, not so much.
If their heels hurt, they can use a toe-first landing. This appears to be one of the most common causes of navicular syndrome (the pain and lameness that occur when the navicular bone is inflamed).
Exactly how reversible this is is not yet known, and will be different for every horse; maybe for every hoof. However, in the old days if your horse was diagnosed with navicular anything, you started looking for a new horse.
Maybe out of the corner of your eye, but you knew the end was coming. These days, not so much. A very good farrier, with knowledge and experience, can potentially reverse the pain. However, the first goal will be to fix the heel pain that caused the problem in the first place.
Thrush and bruises are the most common causes of heel pain; even heel bruises, which probably occur as the horse tries to avoid both heel and toe first landings, can be caused by thrush.
We encourage you to read our reference materials regarding navicular disease. Even now, this disorder is not well understood, and what IS understood is complicated. But at the same time, while Equinell™ Hoof and Mane Oil cannot fix what has gone wrong with the navicular, we believe it can relieve the conditions that lead to, and maintain, pain in the navicular.