Heiro for Horses: Product Review
I’ve been quiet about this until now, but this past summer, I had my first experience in dealing with laminitis. It was mild and only in one foot, but I was concerned, as I well should have been. It occurred with Kady, who is no stranger to lameness, but I could tell that this time was different. It wasn’t just an abscess or a sore foot, but something more serious.
As I’ve written about before, Kady had a pretty severe injury to her front left foot long ago which left the hoof with a pretty bad split. Though I’ve never had x-rays done, I’m sure there is some coffin bone rotation. I can tell by the shape of the hoof and the way it flares badly, especially if I don’t keep it trimmed every four weeks.
All was going well this summer, but after a very wet spell, I decided to temporarily move my horses to a different pasture in order to give their current pasture a short resting period. It was as soon as I moved them back that I noticed a problem. Almost overnight, Kady became very lame. The kind that makes you cringe.
Once the problem started, I began keeping her in a stall and run during the day (with hay) and then slowly began to increase her turnout time at night (when sugars are lower in grass).
I bought Easyboot Rx’s to provide extra padding and comfort and they really seemed to help. Over the next few weeks, I saw a slow improvement, but I was still worried that if I turned her back out with the herd, the same thing would happen all over again.
Then one day, I was reading a copy of Equine Wellness Magazine and saw an ad for an all natural product called Heiro (by Equine Medical and Surgical Associates), which is targeted toward insulin resistant horses (which Kady definitely is). I was intrigued, so I looked it up online.
As it turns out, Heiro sounded like it would be perfect for Kady. According to the website, Heiro can be helpful for horses with:
- chronic sore feet;
- rotation on x-ray;
- cresty neck; and
- founder history.
As well as helpful for horses who are:
- on Cushing’s meds, but still foot sore;
- overweight even with restricted diet; and
- painful on hard ground.
Heiro is described as a veterinarian-developed, 100% all natural supplement using high quality, top-rated USDA certified organic herbs which will naturally help combat elevated insulin levels.
It contains a proprietary blend of fenugreek, ocean kelp, blue-green spirulina algae, cinnamon, ginger, willow, peppermint, milk thistle, alfalfa, Vitamin E concentrate, and Magnesium Oxide Mineral, with no fillers, no artificial colors, preservatives, melamine, pesticides or drugs.
Another thing that caught my eye is that the product is said to help horses become more comfortable so they can get back on grass pasture. This is ultimately what I wanted for Kady.
So I e-mailed to the company and asked if they’d be willing to let me try the product in exchange for an honest review on my blog. They agreed and sent me a 90-day supply of Heiro, which I started Kady on immediately. (It was the end of August by this time).
I followed the product directions and fed one scoop of Heiro in Kady’s morning feed each day.
Along with keeping Kady off grass during the daytime when sugars are highest, I kept her in the Easyboot Rx’s nearly full time. Within two weeks, I began to notice more improvement and she was moving more comfortably. By the end of September, she was no longer lame, and I was able to turn her out full time again.
Kady is in her upper 20’s and my kids don’t ride her much anymore, but when family came to visit from out-of-state in October, the kids wanted to ride. So I saddled up Kady and she was as peppy as ever in her boots. Then, just a few weeks ago, my son had a friend over who wanted to ride. Once again, I saddled up old, trusty Kady and she was perfectly fine barefoot this time.
I finished up Heiro several weeks ago and I’m happy to say that Kady is still doing well with full time turnout. I plan to use Heiro again in the spring, when Kady, as well as many other horses, are more prone to pasture-associated laminitis.
If you’d like more information about Heiro, please check out their website.