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Splitting hoofs

Rehabbing Talia

When Lauren De La Fuente brought her horse Talia home for the first time, she suffered from brittle, chipped hooves. Lauren knew they needed some TLC so Talia could be the healthy and happy horse she was meant to be. We talked with Lauren about Talia’s journey and how DuMOR Ultra Shine and other products are helping this horse heal.

TSC: Thanks for joining us, Lauren. Can you tell us more about Talia?

Lauren: I’ve owned Talia for two years. I purchased her in 2015 when she was only halter broke and had been sitting in a pasture for three years. She wasn’t being abused, but she was slightly neglected and definitely not cared for to my standards.

TSC: How did Talia come to live with you? How did you learn about her?

Lauren: In 2012 I found an online ad for several 3-year-old, un-started, Percheron/Thoroughbred crosses. I quickly fell in love with them! I wanted to purchase one so badly, but things did not work out.

Fast forward to 2014, I met one of my now close friends on Craigslist (I know, it's crazy!). She had an ad up looking for help putting miles on her two young horses. I went to meet them, and I was immediately drawn to them. They were 5 years old at the time, with about 6 months of under saddle training. They were some of the quietest horses I had ever ridden.

I asked my friend where she got them and she said she bought them from a man in the next town over. She also told me she had helped him market his other horses, and that he had one more left for sale (Talia). As my friend told me more about the horses she helped sell, I started putting two and two together...Talia was one of the horses I had seen for sale 2 years ago! She and I were clearly meant to be! I visited her twice and knew I had to purchase her. So, January 17, 2015 I did. A lot of people thought I was crazy for purchasing a 16.2hh halter broke 6-year-old, but I knew she was something special.

healthy hoof

TSC: When you first noticed the issue with Talia's hooves, what did you do? How do hoof problems impact a horse's overall health?

Lauren: I noticed that Talia's feet were in bad shape the first time I saw her. They were dry, brittle and badly chipped. I knew with some hard work and TLC they were fixable, so I did not let her feet deter me from purchasing her.

If I had let Talia's hooves stay in the condition they were in, she would have been one unhappy horse! She loves to jump and is extremely athletic. With her hooves the way they were, she would have been very limited in her physical activity. Thanks to the help of DuMOR Ultra Shine and a knowledgeable farrier, her hooves have made a complete 180! Within a month on the product, her hooves started to grow out much healthier and stronger. 

TSC: We saw that Talia had been injured. How did the injury happen, and how is she doing now?

Lauren: It took about 7 months to find out what was wrong with Talia! She somehow managed to tear her right middle patellar ligament, which is very uncommon. Talia is in good spirits, she is a happy and easy going horse. She is currently able to be turned out in a small paddock and is getting hand walked twice a day. In the next couple of weeks, she will be promoted to some very light under saddle work. It will be her first time under saddle since January!

Rescue Horse

TSC: As you began rehabbing Talia, what kinds of Tractor Supply products did you find the most helpful? And are you her primary caregiver or is a vet also involved?

Lauren: My friend who helped me find Talia is a vet, so I asked her opinion on what kind of products I should buy. She knew Talia's feet needed some TLC so she suggested that I start her on DuMOR Ultra Shine. I highly value her opinion, so I purchased some for Talia as soon as I could. Not only has DuMOR Ultra Shine improved her hoof health, it has made her coat incredibly shiny! I am constantly getting compliments on her coat, even from people who know nothing about horses!

Since Talia's injury, I have also started her on an electrolyte supplement. I was afraid she would not drink enough water throughout the day (since she had to be in her stall 24/7 at first), so I purchased Apple-A-Day from Tractor Supply. I monitor her water intake and have been pleased with the results. She drinks adequate water and that makes me a happy horse mom.

For the past 5 months, my current vet has been very much integrated into Talia's life. He was the one who found her injury and has come up with her rehab plan. As far as day-to-day with Talia, I currently board her at a very small barn (3 horses, including her), so I have a big part in her care.

Healthy horse

TSC: You mentioned Talia is a show horse. What kinds of shows does she do?

Lauren: Since Talia was only halter broke when I purchased her, I spent our first year together establishing her ground work and getting her starting under saddle. Talia had her first show season last year. I started her out small, doing local schooling shows to get her accustomed to "show life". We've done a couple hunter/jumper shows and a couple combined training shows so far. My goal with her is to turn her into a show jumper. She is extremely athletic and is a talented, careful jumper.

TSC: It sounds like she’s really on the mend and Tractor Supply Co has been happy to be part of it. What would you say was Talia’s favorite treat from our full line of equine supplies?

Lauren: I would say Talia's (and my dog Rhett's) favorite product from Tractor Supply is the MannaPro Peppermint Nuggets. They're the first treat I have ever seen her get excited about.

TSC: Now that she's feeling better, what is Talia's favorite thing to do? 

Lauren: Talia loves to be groomed, eat treats (especially Manna Pro Nuggets and carrots), and go on trail rides!

TSC: Is Talia the first horse you ever rescued? Is rescuing horses a big part of your life now? 

Lauren: I did not rescue Talia from an abusive situation. She had been turned out into a pasture for 3 years with several other horses and given very minimal care and handling. (Hence her terrible feet!) I do not feel that she was necessarily neglected, but she was definitely not given the care and attention that she gets now.

I do plan on rescuing in the future. I am very interested in rescuing and rehabbing PMU foals. I would absolutely love to take "unwanted" horses and make them into something spectacular for someone else to enjoy!

TSC: How would you describe your experience rehabbing Talia? How have products from Tractor Supply Co helped you help your horse? 

Lauren: Rehabbing Talia has been an interesting experience. I have learned so much from my vet and from doing a lot of personal research. It has been stressful at times, but it's made Talia and I bond closer together than before. Tractor Supply Co. has been an influential part of Talia's rehab. When I found out she was going to have to be on stall rest, I drove to my local Tractor Supply and purchased a Himalayan salt lick and a Likit to keep her entertained. I also purchase my supplements (DuMor Ultra Shine and Apple-A-Day), fly spray (Pyranha), and all of Talia's treats at Tractor Supply. Anytime I have an equine related need, I make Tractor Supply my first stop. I appreciate Tractor Supply a lot, not only for their outstanding customer service but also for their unbeatable prices!

TSC: Thanks so much for stopping by, Lauren, and thanks for letting Tractor Supply Co be part of Talia’s journey.


Follow Lauren and Talia’s journey on Instagram at @in_stride_ride