Laminitis. As a horse owner, a rider, or enthusiast, the word just makes you shudder, doesn’t it?

I’m convinced that few topics of horse health importance evoke as visceral response as this one. The outcomes for many of our favorite horses who have developed painful coffin bone rotation or sinking–whether these animals were famous as athletes or infamous in our own personal barnsÐhaven’t always been too sunny.


We all know a horse who’s battled laminitis; the first two horses I rode as a child eventually succumbed to laminitis. This mare, a Tennessee Walker named Sensation’s Beauty, was one of them (here, piloted by my mom with me in tow).

Given the importance of this disease to horse owners, I wasn’t surprised when my friend and trusted source Dr. Rustin Moore (DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, Bud and Marilyn Jenne Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical and Outreach Programs at The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine) told me the other week that he considered laminitis the No. 1 equine research concern/direction right now. And it’s not just because it’s a topic about which he’s passionate or there’s laminitis research going on at Ohio State. In fact, he said we really need to pay attention to the major laminitis study going on at Texas A