Sunday, April 21, 2013

When all else fails...go for simple.

We just got back from Cheyenne, where we met up with the farrier to check Sassy and have a look at at Killian. the weather was nice, we did not have to rush, and even had time for a little grooming this morning so that they didn't look like the "poor relations from the south".

We met him at another clients house, and she was so nice and warm and very chatty. I liked her quite a bit.  I wish I had gotten a picture of her horse that Steve was working on at the time. He was a Percheron, TB, QH cross, and he was massive!  she said she used to do dressage on him, and even won quite a bit.  I'll be that was spectacular to watch.

When he looked as Sassy, he had me move her before he pulled off the remaining clog. Even missing one clog she still moves better than she did before he started with her. So hopefully that means she is healing.  Then he looked at her "empty" foot.  I now feel like a total fool and terrible horse mom because it never even occurred to me to look to see if she had any nails left. She had one that had folded over and pushing into her sole. next time I know to look for that if she looses one and pull it out immediately. In my defense, I have never once owned a horse with shoes.  Mine have always been barefoot, so I just did know what to look for.   Anyway, it did not cause any damage, so that is good.

He gave her a quick trim and put a new set of clogs on, and she was so good for him this time. Never even gave him a second of trouble, even on the one foot she always fights on. I moved her out when he was done and she looks great!  Steve says that next time we will do another diagnostic to see what our next step is, but he feels that she is healing.

Can you say...YAY!

Next came Killian. He asked if he was lame, and I explained that he is not lame, but just feels so awkward when you ride him.  So he had me move him out.  We moved him in a circle and in a straight line and back in a circle again.

Steve said that his mis-step is so slight that he almost missed it.  When you move him to the right in a circle he takes shorter strides, but to the left he moves normal.  We attributed that to his shoulder issue.  So he looked at his feet then asked some more questions.

How long since he was trimmed? -8 weeks
Where do you ride him?  - On the road side, in an arena, in the pasture, on trails.
Does he avoid gravel?  Yes

Steve then explained that what he sees is that Killian is a horse with no hoof, or not enough anyways.  He isn't lame, but if you put weight up on him he is uncomfortable and so he is trying to lift his weight up off of his feet which makes him feel awkward.


He said he could test that theory very easily by having me ride him.  So I tacked him up and rode him down the gravel drive.  He trotted out pretty well as far as speed (he was a little wound up), but he was just as uncomfortable as always. Then Steve put just some plain old flat shoes on the front and had me ride him again.

I swear to you, I could feel the difference.  I could watch his shoulders and see that he was more comfortable.

He put two more on the back and I rode him out again.  He trotted out relaxed and with his head down.  I was amazed.    He is not as smooth as Trax, and it he probably never will be, but it wasn't uncomfortable to ride, so that is a major improvement.

Steve said, "Humans tend to over complicate things, sometimes it is just a simple fix."

It was pretty cool watching him too. I swear I thought Killian was going to go to sleep when he was getting the last shoe on.  I've never seen him act like that.  Steve did not trim anything off his hooves at all. All he did was file them down so the shoes would be flush. 

I asked if I should start giving him hoof supplement, but he said not yet. He feels that now that he has these shoes on, his feet will start to grow.  But we will revisit that again in July.

I asked him if he could refer me to an ELPO farrier in Arizona as July will be my last appt with him.  He said that not only does he have "a guy" , he has "the guy".  I guess Gene Ovenick has a place down there in Cave Creek and winters down there, so he will hook me up with him.  (yay!)

He told me it is time to start Sassy back on some light riding, so I need to set aside one day a week where I can work with her now.

I suspect that we will still pursue a chiro for Killian.  I am still pretty convinced that he has some back pain going on, simply because of the way he groans if I ride him for more than a few minutes.

All in all it was a pretty great day. We got home at a decent hour and right before the weather turned to crap again! 

Now it is time for me to go dye my hair, and get comfy and relax.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.


  1. Yay! I'm glad sassy is getting better!!

    It's also super awesome that Killian was able to be in less pain and a better ride with a simple fix!!

  2. Sounds great, and wonderful that he has someone for you in AZ as well

  3. Alright! Glad the shoes made him feel better :)