Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coming Home
 Yesterday was hoof trimming day.  The horses were pretty overdue.  Scout's fronts didn't look too bad but his hinds have a tendency to get weird if left too long.

Cindy's blog inspired me to take photos.  They show so much that you might not see when you're in the moment.  Unfortunately I couldn't get photos of the hooves on the ground - too much snow.  Here's a before and after of his left front.  He probably hadn't been trimmed since November.  My bad, but I didn't feel they looked totally out of hand.  Feel free to critique.  I'll say right away that the reason I trimmed his frog was to keep it from trapping muck in the collateral grooves, and because the tip had a layer that was about to slough off anyway.  If frogs are dry and healthy, and especially if they have a nice callus, I'll leave them alone.


I trim with the lead rope draped over their back, and Scout was feeling a little bit goofy.  He suddenly decided there was something scary down by the creek and he absolutely had to take off  and run around like a dork for a while.  Bella was more than happy to join in.  I don't think there was really anything there, I think it was just an excuse to let off some steam.

"I think I'm done now."

  This is one of Bella's front hooves.  I wish I'd cleaned it up better.  It has a bump right in front of the point of the frog.  You can see a kind of U shape there - that's not just dirt, it's the edge of an area of thicker sole.  So does this mean the hoof wants more support under the tip of the coffin bone?  She's had this for a while.  I wonder if it contributes to or gives a clue as to the cause of her lameness.  She is lame in this leg, but the other hoof has that same bump.  I think I can see here that she's wearing the left side of her hoof more than the right (your left and right as you look at the photo, not hers).  Whatever that might mean.

  I decided to take Bella for a little adventure.
I love her so much.  She's...  She's indescribable.

Thinking her way through a tight spot:
I tend to try to distance myself from Bella, because she's not really sound and I had decided not to go on with trying to ride her.  But she's really amazing.  She and I have a bond that's not like any other.  I swear she's a unicorn in horse's clothing, she carries such inner peace and magic with her, and she only shares it with me.  :)

Which leads me to my announcement that I'm going to try to make her my riding horse.  I have some options.  I can take her to WSU for a full lameness exam.  Sounds like they're pretty thorough.  It's expensive - somewhere between $300-$500.  I might not be able to do it for a while.  OR I can just start her on an expensive supplement like Cosequin and see what happens.  OR I can take her to a corrective farrier for a set of shoes.  That would have to wait until the weather was more shoe-friendly.  I feel like the answer probably isn't in shoes.  I think this problem is somewhere higher up the leg.  Unless she needs shoes to change her hoof angle, which is possible.

Which sounds like the right thing to try first?  I think I know what the right answer is.  I want to do something NOW though, and that will have to wait a bit, while I get funds together.

Now back to our story.  Scout didn't like being alone.
"Left Behind"
Then he really, really wanted to come out for a while.  But I had other work to do.

 Here's Huckleberry feeling very proud of himself for helping me.  Very rarely, when Scout is pounding on a gate with his hoof, I tell Huck to get him.  This time he did, with a vengeance!  He hit that gate so hard his lower body flipped under it.  Luckily Scout didn't step on him.  Boy oh boy was he PROUD of his good job.  This dog really should have been a working dog.  Blue, on the other hand, no.

At the end of the day I squeezed in a little walk with Pedro.  I couldn't resist his forlorn hee-haw, begging to come out.


Cindy D. said...

Gosh I am just so impressed with your knowledge of the equine hoof. Seriously!
I also think it is quite cool that you can trim with just a lead rope over their back. Not a lot of people can boast that.
I am not going to critique because I really don't have a clue. But when we have our Equine Blogger Commune in some warm place, maybe you can teach me!
I do like it when you post pics when you have trimmed. I learn quite a bit each time.
I think the professional lameness exam is where I would start. I feel like identifying the region of the issue is pretty important in knowing how to procede. Welcome to my world.

Paint Girl said...

Personally I would have a complete lameness eval done for Bella. That way you know exactly what needs to be done to make her better. It could be something that a joint supplement might help, or it could be something more. It might end up more expensive in the long run trying different things just to see what "might" make her sound. Lameness eval will pinpoint if not the exact cause, then close enough to be able to treat properly. Example: My Arab showed up lame a couple years ago and thought it was an abscess and finally had vet out. After doing nerve blocks and finding out that the lameness was in the knee (her knee had been buckling a couple years prior to her becoming lame). She was diognosed as having arthritis. It's pretty severe and I put her on Adequan and a joint supplement. But found the joint supplement didn't seem to help. So she is on limited riding and I only use her if I have too.
That is my honest opinion! :)
She is so pretty and I sure hope you can figure it out so you can ride her!

Kara said...

I vote for complete lameness workup- better to know exactly what you are dealing with than nonspecifically treating for something you are not sure is the issue. I'd call treating before you know what is wrong a potential waste of time and money. Too bad it is expensive to find out and you might not like the answer too...

Keechy said...

Argh I miss trimming! It is so fascinating isn't it! I itch to get my hands on any overgrown or wrongly-trimmed feet I come across.

I'd be going for the vet exam. It's cheaper than a new horse, and the new horse could have problems anyway. It's worth a gamble in case it's something you can fix and you'll get to have your dear Bella for your riding horse. Or if not, at least you will know. Well you'd hope so anyway but it isn't always how it goes.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I go for the Hoof Evaluation. It may be cheaper in the long run.

Our Mustang meeting is Thursday - tomorrow if that makes any difference. We sure do miss you.

Your pictures are so good. Thank you.

Abby is better this morning but will be on stall rest for a while. I don't imagine she will be riding her anytime in the near future. That is sad.

Erin said...

you might check out the barefoot horse forum on yahoo - they are super helpful. PS all my horses have that toe callous you speak of.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Sounds like we're all on the same page - lameness exam it will be. :)

Erin - I love that group on Yahoo. I was on it for years. Left a long time ago, I just don't have time for the volume of emails that go through there. But I think it's one of the best places to learn a lot about hooves. I'd kind of forgotten about it, to be honest...