Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Trim

Well Farrier was here today, and I asked him to not put shoes back on Trax because we were going to boots.  He was totally okay with that.  I guess I shouldn't be so surprised since after all, he is my horse, right?

Here are pictures of his hooves after the trim.

Well not "Right" after, he had to do a few things first.

Things like....

Escape from the round pen where I put him to chill out while the other horses were being taken care of.

Then he found a nice spot of long grass to graze in.

Then he saw me coming and we played, "Catch me if you can" in the arena, which happens to be missing once side of fence due to some construction we are doing.

Then he extended the game to the driveway.  As he headed out towards the road I thought "I'm gonna shoot this horse if he makes an escape through the neighborhood today"  But something in Sassy's pen caught his eye, and he went in there first.

Then he had to whinny and cry for his herd because once he realized he couldn't get back to them, then he was lonely.

Silly old paint horse!

Right Front from the side
This is the one that always grows a little more upright

Left front from the side
I'm kind of not digging the toe on this one. 
Right Front
Left Front

Right Rear

Left Rear
I should have cleaned them a little better because the manure in the rears make the crevices look deeper on one side than the other, but really they are about the same.  Also when trying to hold his rear hooves while taking pictures, my angles got all funky so I don't think these pictures are that accurate.

Charlie didn't take too much off of him I don't think.  I noticed that when walking him across the gravel drive, he didn't seem too tender which was a nice surprise.   One thing I notice from the pictures is that it sort of looks like his left front is "toeing in".

Doing the measurements was interesting to say the least, but I got them done.  His fronts are a little harder because that long toe throws him off on the size charts. But I decided that I do have a rasp and I think I can make some adjustments so that the boots will fit.  When I say it throws him off I mean that width wise that foot is a 4, but length wise it is a 5 but it is only 1/16 of an inch from being a 4 so like I said, I think I can fix that.  I'm gonna try anyway.

DD mentioned getting a rubber mallet.  I'm pretty sure there is one in TC;s shop. I hope.

One thing I wanted to ask in my last post but forgot, for those of you who use or have used the boots in the past.  Do you use them on all four or just the fronts?

We talked about options with Sassy, and one thing that has me a bit discouraged is that while he was working on her it REALLY bothered her to have to stand on her left front.  I mean really really.  He asked me if she had been injected, which she hasn't, and we discussed that. Not that he was saying I should. He was just curious. He isn't a huge fan of injecting, but says that sometimes it is the right thing to do.  I did bring up the subject of heel first landings, and the possibility that by getting her to land heel first we could stop the progression.  He is in the "Toe first is the symptom, not the cause" camp.  So I didn't even bother asking if he would be willing to help me try a different approach.  I have been doing some research looking for farriers around here who are in the other camp, and may be making some calls soon to seek out something different.   I had 2 different vets tell me that I needed to try what we did this time, and clearly it isn't working. I mean if I keep her buted she has some relief, and in fact if I move her in a straight line she doesn't limp hardly at all, but the minute you turn her or put her in a round pen she is pretty darn lame.

I did some reading on the Nervectomy that I was told we could try.  I won't be doing that.   One thing I thought of the other day is that both vets diagnosed her with navicular but both said it was mild.  There are horses who are much worse than  her who do fine with what has been done to her. So why isn't it working?  What else is going on here?  So many unanswered questions with this horse.  I wonder if I ever will find the answers.  I keep saying, I'm going to give up, but something inside me says to just keep trying a little longer.  So I do. I understand that I am the steward of my horses and it is up to me to recognize when it is more humane to let them go than to keep pushing on.  Perhaps if I didn't keep reading all these stories of navicular horses who are healed, I'd have given up.  Maybe I still will give up.  I'll bet anyone who has been following this blog is sick and tired of my constant "I just know this time it will work" posts.  LOL

I was not going to have Killian done but decided at the last minute to go ahead and get it done while Charlie was there.  Killian's feet actually are looking pretty good I think.  He is a horse who does great in a shoe so new shoes he got.

Tomorrow I'll go get my boots and hopefully have time to get them on, try them out a little and take some pictures.  If not, it will be this weekend for sure.


  1. Only have time for a quick note, you might want to wait a little before getting boots IF he is sound enough barefoot. Those feet are gonna change and what fits right now might not latter. If he is ouchy and you want to ride though, get em!

    I'll try to take a closer look later.

    1. Okay thanks. I was only going by what the website said about measuring right after the trim.

  2. I notice Easyboots have a new one called the trail something. Cheapest boot they have. Looks a bit like the Old Mas did. They were great. Easy to get on too! If those fit you could get him some and always buy some more expensive ones if you end up wanting to do more miles or if his feet change later on. As to fornt or all round booting, I did either depending on the terrain I was to ride on. My QH had bee shod all her life till got her and her feet improved a lot but were always a little touchy on our rough gravel trails. Her I booted all round for every trail ride and she loved her booties. My draft I didn't boot much at all but if i did it was two or four depending. I think it is good that you are addressing each horse differently depending on their needs, and i understand wanting to hold on and kept trying for your girl. My QH mare was off in her knee for nearly the whole 5 years i owned her (and vet says had been buted when I got her) but i kept trying things because she was a sweetheart. She had a happy life with me even if we didn't get much riding, and when the time really came I knew. If it comes for Sassy, you will too. You did for Danny.

  3. I have heard the same, the feet change so much over time that what fits now, won't later on. It's true too if you watch their feet as they transition.

    As for injecting Sassy, it's different for every horse, every case. What works on one, may not work for some...

  4. I can see some issues with these feet, but I'm no expert. If you know anyone who does the ABC Hoofprint trim, get them to look at all your horses. Here is the website address
    Cheryl Henderson has done so much research into the horse's hoof that is leaps and bounds past any other school of thought on dealing with lameness. If anyone can fix Sassy, it would be her. She is on Facebook too.

  5. A few thoughts on these...They are still quite long, but just coming out of shoes and on dry ground that is not a bad thing. It's much better then trimming them short and leaving him to hobble around. If you can, try working him in your arena to toughen the feet and let them self trim. If he is sound enough, ride him out on the trails. If not, I think he will get sound enough if you can work him enough (as long as he is not sore!). Both feet are a bit long, but especially the that LF, you will probably start to see some chipping and breaking. If it is just small chips, it is noting to worry about, just the foot trying to correct itself. You just don't want huge chunks breaking off and making him sore, anything that makes him sore will set you back.

    I think that if you continue with barefoot, his feet will get more compact and will likely go down a full boot size. Any boots that fit right now will be too big later. That said, you may need to bite the bullet and get them if he is too ouchy. Overall, there is a lot to like about these feet and if you give them time to transition they will be up for just about anything.

    As for boots on the hind, let Trax tell you. If he is sound bare, then don't boot (same for front actually:).

    Re. Sassy, the traditional treatments sure don't seem to be helping her. I don't know if the "barefoot" thing will work either, but it seems worth a try if you can find a good trimmer to help you. Injections and nerve block are just more band-aids IMO. They only treat symptoms and only for a while. I wish I had better answers for you. Good luck.

    1. Okay Thanks, that is some good info for sure. I will ride him in the arena this weekend, and then maybe out for some light trail work depending on how he does. One thing that I was pleasantly surprised to see was that when I was leading him across our driveway, which is "paved" with 1" base rock he did not show near as much soreness as he did before he got his shoes. That tells me that he is toughening up quite a bit. Truth is none of our desert around us is super rocky by any means, mostly sand with some small rocky patches.

      I actually bought the boots today, but haven't even taken them out of the box yet. Perhaps I'll hold off just a bit. :-)

  6. Two boots on the front vs. four boots is something we've been debating a lot over here the past few months. I use boots on the front only. My friend and the endurance riders around here use four. My farrier says that the fronts should be sufficient for trail riding, because they take most of the concussion. He had other reasons too, but I can't recall them all right now.

  7. Hi Cindy! I'm over for a visit with my $0.02. The hooves are too long for starters- meaning the wall is too long and there's a lot of compacted, dead sole that needs to come out. If you rasp the wall down to the current level of the sole that stuff should be able to start flaking out. As that happens keep bringing the wall lower until it gets to where it wants to be. You'll feel it at the coronet band, too long wall feels "sharp" at the coronet band, healthy wall has a "firm roundness." Hard to explain but keep feeling them as time progresses and you'll see what I'm talking about. The biggest problem for this horse is the bars, especially on the photo you labeled left front. Yowzers are they ever long and deep, they are where her pain is coming from. They will need a lot of work and time to get sorted out.

    She would probably benefit from wearing boots and pads. Simple boots are easy to fit and stay on even if they are too big- but they rub. Easyboot gloves stay on better but are a pain to fit (get a fit kit before buying). Usually hinds don't need booting as much so hopefully you won't need to worry about that.

    If you're on Facebook I recommend joining this group: Cheryl has a ton of information there you will find helpful- and it's free!

    I'm also going to do a healthy bars post for you, I just need to get some pictures :)

    1. Interesting that you should say that "this is where her pain is coming from" This is actually my "sound" horse! He is ouchie on the rocks, but good in the arena. I have some easy boot trails to use on him for trail rides and now that I have filed him down a bit more they should fit perfect.

      Thank you for your .02, I always appreciate it. and thanks for the link I will check it out.