The new trimmer was here Saturday. All we did was visit and she took some video's of Sassy moving. She seems like she has a pretty good handle on what she does for a living. She has a plan of attack in mind. I think that is a good thing.
She is very outgoing, a little opinionated, but also very compassionate about what she does and understands where I am coming from. In fact, the very reason she started doing what she does is because she had a horse, just like mine, and conventional methods weren't working. She had to learn in order to fix her own horse, and moved on from there.
The pan is to give Sassy a few more weeks to grow out. Then we will pull the shoes and see what is going on with her frogs up underneath there. If there is Thrush we will treat for it. and then she will be in pads and boots. She says that I should be able to use the boots I have (we did some measuring) or I can opt to buy a pair of EasyBoot Transitions. Either way I need to get some pads ordered so they are here when it is time to pull the shoes. She will not be in boots 24/7, but it will be more like 16 hours on, 8 off. When she is off she has to be in soft sandy terrain.
We did talk about pea gravel and her assessment is that although in some states it works great, in AZ often times the gravel we get is not nice and round but more jagged, and can some times cause more bad than good. So I will probably opt for the sand. I don't know if I will haul some in or just work her pen so it is softer.
One of the things she talked about is the vet she works with. This vet is over on the west side of town and he strictly does lameness. Nothing else. She said that through him she has learned that there are so many underlying causes of toe first landings that have nothing to do with the hoof at all. He has told her that he see's at least 1 horse a week with toe first landings that is actually caused from neck injuries. The second most common is tears in the flexor tendon. She also said that very often these are misdiagnosed as navicular because, well lets face it, most of us cannot afford an MRI.
One thing that she asked me which has me a little nervous is about what happened when we did the nerve blocks on Sassy. She wanted to know if she was 100% sound. Well the answer is no. It was more like 95. An indicator that there is likely some soft tissue damage.
That doesn't mean she can't be healed, but it could explain a lot.
The plan of attack is pull the shoes, put on the boots and use the pads to give her cushion. The trim that day will be slight. Then in four weeks, she will get another trim. and we will keep at that for a while and see if we can get her landing on those heels. It will take some time, but if after 2-3 months she is still not landing heel first, then there will be no doubt that there is more going on. Then I will have to decided if I want to try to go on. I think it will depend on if she is any better at all. If there is progress then I will go on. If there is none then I will be done. If there is no progress then it will be likely that there is some serious soft tissue damage and the treatment for that is way beyond my means.
At first it was hard to not get my hopes up. For some reason that has changed. I do not have high hopes anymore. I'm not sure why that is. I mean yes I have hopes, but I'm more prepared for it to not work this time around.
In other news, I am very excited about next weekend. I had to cancel my plans for Ranch Versatility for a while, but there is lots of other stuff going on. As it turns out there is an American Stock Horse Assoc Clinic just 25 min from my house next Saturday. It is relatively cheap to join in and I get to go! There is a competition the next day but I won't go to that. It would double the money I'd have to spend and also I've decided not to rush my horse this year. I am perfectly happy to go to the clinic and then go home and practice what I learned for a while. On Top of that, there is another blogger going, and I am excited to meet her.
I also found out that a couple of streets over from me there is Sorting practice every Saturday, so that is something else I can do for almost nothing.
So when one door shuts, another one opens...I guess that is how life works, huh?