Yesterday was ELPO farrier day in Cheyenne with Sassy and Killian.
Killian has not grown at all so we left him be.
We moved Sassy for Steve, and he was quite perplexed. Then he had me watch her with him. What we saw was that she has a hip out of place. It was quite obvious, because her right hip came up much higher than the left. She also had a pronounced head bob.
So, he did the leverage test on her hind feet. She clearly had some uncomfortable spots and he ended up putting shoes with a lateral wedge on. Then he moved her again and the head bob was gone, and her hips were much more even. BUT he said we still need to have her seen by a chiro.
Then he moved on to the front feet. First he trimmed off a ton of hoof. He kept go on and on about how much her feet had grown. I'll be honest, I had to really bite my tongue. I wanted to tell him that I felt that he left her way too long on the last visit and that is why it seemed like she had grown so much. Maybe I should have, but I didn't.
Then he leverage tested her again. She is much better on the right than when we tested her last time. So although she did still get a clog, less modifications were made to it, to get her comfortable. On the left though she still shows considerable lameness. Specifically on the outside toe. The outside toe is where that coffin bone was chipped. So she got her clog on that hoof to make her comfortable there as well.
We moved her out and she was looking much more comfortable. BUT this morning, I thought she looked as though she was short striding on the LF even at a walk. I will re-examine that again when I get home.
She still does not land heel first. When I mentioned that, he said that ultimately that is the goal but with some horses it isn't going to happen because they are always going to be compensating for pain.
That is what he said.
What I heard is, "We really are only giving her relief from the pain, we are not going to be able to heal her."
So 300 dollars later I have a horse that is more comfortable, and she does seem to be healing on the RF, but there is most definitely something still going on on the LF. I'm wondering if we are still dealing with a coffin bone fracture. I am seriously pulling my hair out over this horse. I am also seriously out of money. I think she needs a new xray of that coffin bone. I just can't do it right now.
This will be last visit with this farrier, because of the move. But he gave me "The Man's" (Gene Ovnicke) phone number and even called him while we were standing there and he agreed to take us on.
But is that what I want? I have read a lot of his stuff and he really does some great work. But I want to heal this horse, not just give her relief from the pain. If pain relief is all I wanted I'd nerve block the hell out of her and ride her till she is crippled. Or I'd give her the ultimate pain relief of a nice shot and deep hole in the ground. I'm sorry if that seems cold, but I am having a hard time watching her go through this.
On to better news....
When we got home, I unloaded 2 horses and grabbed another. Trax and I ran down to the arena and did a little work. We started slow, did lots of transitions, practiced our trail obstacles, back to transitions, just lots and lots of different things. Then we moved on to some canter work. I started out by just asking for a canter for a short ways and then asking for the trot again. He did pretty good. Only once did I have to ask more than once for the trot.
Then we went back to trot, walk, trot ,walk, trot walk, for a while. Then I asked for the canter again to the right. I kept him moving for a long time. We did lots of squares all over the place, never the same place twice so he had to wait for me to tell him when to turn rather than anticipating it. Then when I was ready to ask for the trot I said, "Ready aaaaaaand, Trot." Only he thought I was going to say "Whoa." so he tried to stop.
He did what?
Yes that is exactly what I said..."He tried to stop."
He planted his spotted butt right into the ground. But then I was saying trot, so then he took off again. But I had to laugh. He is darn sure trying!
So we walked and trotted a little bit more. Then we cantered to the left. Same thing, lots and lots of squares all over the place. He was rating me, had his head down, was waiting for my cues, and then when I thought we had done enough I said, "Ready aaaaaaaand Whoa." I planted my butt, and he in turn planted his. It took him 2 steps to stop and when he stopped I mean he stopped! It was the best stop we have ever had...EVER!
It was not a big fancy sliding stop. I don't care about those. What I mean is that he stopped on his hind end as best he could, and once he stopped moving he didn't try to take off again. He stood there stock still until I released him.
I gave him mucho mucho praise, swung down off of him and loosened the cinch. I could not have asked for a better ending to a ride. He got big hugs and treats and lots of grass to graze on.
I could not have been happier!