Melanie Carlson / Farrier in Hillsboro, Oregon

I am currently not accepting new clients, my schedule is full. If you have an emergency, feel free to email me and I may be able to arrange an appointment to help an animal in crisis. Thank you for understanding!

I specialize in rehabilitation, although I do maintenance work as well. I have had success in treating (halting the progression of or even reversing) the following conditions: rotation/laminitis (acute founder, as well as chronic subclinical laminitis), distal descent commonly referred to as sinking, 'navicular' diagnosis, thin flat soles, repeated abscessing, hoof wall cracks, chipping or 'shelly' hoof walls, toe landing, thrush, and more. I stay away from metal shoes and instead use fiberglass casting material, glue on shoes, and boots, all with soft cushioning pads to provide support and comfort during the rehab process.
My goal is to get your horse, donkey, or mule, bare hooved and comfortable. But I will NEVER leave an animal that's sore without hoof protection! Whether it is in boots, casts, or glue on shoes. And not all feet are created equal, if there is permanent bone damage, or a metabolic disorder, some animals may never achieve a thick healthy sole, and will need hoof protection for the rest of their lives (even if it's just while riding).
I am very happy to explain what the hoof is telling us. This can be wear patterns, ridges or grooves, cracks, flaring, etc, and is all very interconnected to health of your animal. Wear patterns can indicate a need for more work with a trainer to get your animal moving correctly, balanced and straight. Ridges, grooves, and cracking can indicate an imbalance in minerals in your hay/forage, or an overload of carbs (sugar, ie sweet feed, pasture grasses, treats, high sugar hay etc), a metabolic disorder, inflammation, and even in rare instances neurologic horses will have these ridges. The hoof is the window to how healthy (or unhealthy) all the other cells in the horse's body are. The bones, hair, muscle, skin, etc are all comprised of animal cells that your equine produces, and therefore we can look to the strength and health of the hoof as a little window to the health of all the other cells! If the hoof is falling apart, you can be guaranteed that is not the only part of your horse that is in serious trouble. But it is the part that we can see. (Pete Ramey calls the hoof the "canary in the coal mine"; if that canary is dying, so are you! If the hoof is falling apart, the rest of the horse is in serious trouble)
I have experience with diagnosed metabolic horses; PPID (cushings), IR (insulin resistant), and EMS. I can also help you to order blood tests from your vet to get an accurate diagnosis, and set up a diet plan that fits their diagnosis. The time from blood pull to spin and chilling is very important, as is the lab that your samples are sent to.
I can also help you with prevention of ulcers, which includes increased movement and making sure there is always a little bit of roughage in their stomach. The equine stomach is constantly producing acid, if they go without food it causes the stomach acid to wash into the small intestine. This can cause damage to the gut lining, as well as death to the beneficial bacteria, leading to "leaky gut" which allows the endotoxins (dead bacteria) to enter the blood stream. This can cause laminitis, repeated colic episodes, hind gut ulcers, edema along the belly line, and even a compromised immune system.

I carry EasyCare products, along with California Trace (minerals, both bulk and premixed), and some hoof care products for thrush that I make myself, you can find those products on my website. You can either order through my site, or send me an email (or text) of what you need so I can bring it to our appointment. You can think of me as a 'one stop shop'!
The shoeing I do is Glue on, and rubber has a lot more grip than steel or aluminium (and they are lighter!)! The glue on shoes typically last 5-6 weeks, sometimes longer but I don't like leaving them on for longer than 6 weeks. They meet requirements for shows, and events. Stay on in the mud, on trails, endurance races, and provide excellent grip for gaming. Contact me for pricing.

My business name is Heel First Impact, and you can find my phone number through my website. I don't have much time to respond to things through Facebook, so please send me an email or text directly, not through this website. I am a member of PHCP and the ECIR group. My schedule is pretty full, so contact me at least 3 weeks before your animals are due. Emergency calls are available for an extra charge. Thanks!


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