Founder Care

Founder Care for Horses

Treatments for horses with founder

The Outlaw Pad is an emergency aid that can greatly reduce or even prevent displacement which is rotation or sinking of the coffin bone (any movement). Horses that are foundering have passed the stage of laminitis which is only inflammation of the laminae. The actual rotation or movement of the coffin bone determines that foundering of the coffin bone has occurred. Time is always of the essence. For best results, call a veterinarian and farrier to evaluate and monitor the progression of founder. Always consider acute laminitis and acute founder an emergency regardless of how quick the horse responds to care and medication.


The first step is to stop any more damage to the foot. The use of a hard pad or other hard surface on the bottom of the foot will only compress the sole which is counterproductive for stopping bruising and abscesses so don’t use them. The coffin bone as it rotates into the sole pushes on two major areas of the hoof the coronary band and the sole. Not to diminish the other structures that are being damaged. As it pushes on the coronary band it pinches off blood flow to the circumflex arteries feeding the frond third of the hoof. By pushing into the sole and the ground, pad, boot and hard pad pushing back will cause bruising and abscesses in the sole. The Outlaw pad is designed to stop the damage in the sole. With the open toe design it opens up the circumflex arteries to increase blood flow to the front of the hoof. The Outlaw pad has a five degree heel wedge to temporarily decrease the pull on the deep digital flexor tendon reducing strain and further rotation of the coffin bone.


Evaluation at the time of onset should include x-rays to determine a starting point. Further x-rays can determine the progression of rotation and where you are with movement. Monitoring the progression or digression of the disease for the first 30-45 days is important. This will give you a good idea of the overall progression. The Outlaw pad gives you maximum stabilization of the third phalanx (coffin bone) while maintaining mobility. The Outlaw shoe has an adaptable load bearing surface to unload pained toe areas as it protects the sole and heel areas from ground forces. Temporary heel elevation by use of wedge to reduce the tension on the deep digital flexor tendon should be considered if there is enough sole growth to protect the sole. This extra elevation is added to the Outlaw shoe steel for chronic horses.

Treatment for horses with founder

To treat a horse with founder first stopping any more damage to the hoof is essential. The use of the Outlaw acute pad is required. With the help of a veterinarian the underlying cause will be determined and the appropriate medications will be prescribed. As for the feet there are specific actions that need to be done. One elevation of the heel to alleviate pull of the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT). Second stop the damage occurring in the sole by use of an open toe heart bar pad the Outlaw pad. Third increase blood flow in the hoof. This is done by medication and the use of an open toe pad taking pressure off the coronary band and reliving pressure of the circumflex arteries. Fourth protecting the heels of the foot. The Outlaw pad has a full heel support and pressure sensitive composite heel section. With magnetics imbedded in the heel pad to increase blood flow and reduce pain. Fifth and the most important the coffin bone is starting to rotate into the sole so any thinning of the sole by trimming or knifing out the sole by a farrier or veterinarian will only hurt this structure and compromise the sole area causing more bruising and abscesses. The sole of the hoof is a protective structure of the growth plate in the hoof. The only sole that should be removed is after looking at an x-ray to determine the thickness to see if any sole can be safely removed. Use the Outlaw pad to aid in the recovery of founder.


Founder is a life threating condition reacting on the internal structures of the hoof. The sole is compressed not allowing function and blood flow. The laminae is sheared from the coffin bone causing bleeding and extreme pain. The coronary band is compressed cutting off blood to the front of the hoof. The heels are compromised due to excessive weight shifting from flat to all weight on the heels because of extreme pain at the toe. This shift in weight to the heels compresses the internal structures not allowing them to function as intended. The Outlaw pad has been specifically designed and patented to treat and alleviate these specific concerns with founder. The Outlaw pad can be taped on or glued on the hoof. This allows the pad to be applied quickly and easily without further concussion to an already inflamed hoof. After the hoof has stabilized to a more normal state. We recommend switching to a steel open toe heart bar shoe to continue the healing process.

Other types of devise and their pitfalls

Thoughts on other forms of shoes, boots and gel pads that treat founder. Let’s take shoes for example you have a steel shoe probably a bar shoe or heart bar shoe it only has one function to support the heel and yes it does this extremely well but is limited. The heart bar shoe has its place as a heel support device only not addressing the other issues of founder. Foam blocks are used but they compress and shift the weight to the sole. This causes pressure and compression on the sole and again does nothing for the other compromised structures of the hoof. Gel pads are in the same boat as foam blocks they compress the sole causing bruising and abscesses. They both have to be taped and adjusted frequently. Boots are probably the worst thing you can use I don’t care how easy they are or how soft the ride is. With the coffin bone pushing down and the boot pushing back the sole is the ultimate looser. The boot holds in moister and dos not let the hoof breath. This extra moister will soften the entire hoof causing even more damage to the foot. You need a solid hoof to heal a get over the damage of fonder that occurred. The Outlaw pad gives you everything you need to treat founder without the pitfalls.

The best pad/shoe to use with abscesses due to founder

The Outlaw shoe/Pad treats both laminitis and founder. It was designed as an aid in controlling pain associated with the onset of laminitis and founder. The Outlaw shoe/Pad is to be used instead of foam blocks or diapers and other forms of padding. It is made of soft yet strong PVC designed for the horses hoof. The Outlaw shoe has been patented for the relief of pain that comes along with laminitis and founder. The Outlaw shoe was designed as an open toe shoe to release the pressure off the point of the coffin bone in the hoof capsule. As the coffin bone destabilize and sinks the sole is trapped between the coffin bone and the ground, bedding, foam brick pad or any other packing applied to the sole. This pinching of the sole causes bruising and abscessing in the already compromised tissue of the sole. The Outlaw shoe is designed as an aid in preventing abscesses and help with pain associated with this process. By opening the toe and stopping the pressure on the sole and coronary band it will increase blood flow across the front opening the circumflex artery. As the blood pressure decreases in the hoof capsule the digital pulse will decrease in turn along with pain. Use of the Outlaw shoe will increase the horse’s chance of a better recovery.