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MelanieC
Jan. 2, 2011, 01:44 AM
When I bought my horse a few months ago he had pretty bad slipper feet -- not sure what originally caused them but he was on a sort of minimal farrier schedule in the months before I got him (owners didn't want to spend money on him) that undoubtedly exacerbated the problem.

Over the past few weeks he has exhibited on/off lameness in front (sometimes pretty bad, 3/5 according to the vet) that gets worse when he is in regular work. Prior to purchasing him he was being hacked casually but not much else. He has not been working hard since I bought him, but he is being retrained for dressage. My trainer has been bringing him along at what I consider an appropriate pace and not asking too much of him, but it is definitely more regular work than he had been in for a while.

We've done a couple of lameness exams and x-rays of the front feet (which were clean). The vet's best diagnosis is soft tissue injury due to stress caused by his super-low heels and long toes. My horse is currently on stall rest and bute, hand walking only for exercise, and my vet is talking to the farrier about a long-range plan for dealing with my horse's feet.

My understanding is that dealing with this hoof morphology is a long-term project, and that's OK with me because I can't ride much for a while for a number of reasons anyway. What I was wondering is if in the meantime there is more I can be doing to help my horse. I know that if he were a human athlete they'd probably recommend rest, maybe heat and massage. I've ordered an anti-inflammatory supplement with MSM and am considering contacting a massage therapist. I'd be happy to massage him myself but I know that if you don't know what you are doing you can cause more harm than good, and I don't know what I'm doing.

Any other advice? Thanks in advance.

alto
Jan. 2, 2011, 04:43 AM
Sorry to hear this.

Ultrasound?
Did vet do any blocks?

Maybe post some details as to what work he has been doing, also turnout situation, stable conditions etc

JB
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:37 AM
What is there, exactly, to discuss with the farrier about a "long range plan" for the feet? It sounds, based on your description, like a no-brainer for a competent farrier - trim the heels back, get the toe back. Shoes with wedge pads may be beneficial in the short run to correct the hoof angle nearly immediately while the trim is worked on to correct the actual foot (which may take many months).

It's hard to mess up a horse's muscles by doing some massage work yourself if you're already going into it with some trepidation :) Worse case is usually that you don't do much/any good, but even then it probably still FEELS good (and makes you tired and maybe sore LOL!!). There are many good massage books out there if you want to learn some techniques.

deltawave
Jan. 2, 2011, 10:12 AM
You have a couple of hoof options, assuming your diagnostics are finished and you're not going to go with an MRI, etc.

1. Start aggressive corrective shoeing, probably with some sort of wedge shoe or wedge pad.

2. Pull the shoes, turn the horse out, and let it begin growing a better foot with frequent and thoughtful trimming.

The horse I'm leasing had a DDFT/navicular bursa injury last summer and is rehabbing now after surgery. He has low heels and progress has been SLOW getting them to improve. Per the vet's recommendation he is in natural balance wedge shoes. Interestingly, the hind feet, currently unshod, have improved dramatically. I floated the idea of pulling the front shoes while he was in recovery but the vet didn't think that was a good idea at all and wanted those heels UP, which means, for now, doing it with shoes/wedges.

He's doing well and will stay in the wedge shoes for as long as he needs to, but porbably if he cannot come sound and is eventually turned out for a long time, the shoes will probably come off and see what Mother Nature (and my farrier) can do.

SBrentnall
Jan. 2, 2011, 06:43 PM
We just had a similar issue with my horse. Low heels and long toes lead to a tendon strain that's given him three months off.

I got a new farrier who specializes in corrective shoeing. He did three shoeings using Morrison shoes--aluminum shoes with a wedge at the rear. He said it's important to reduce the pressure on the heel to restore good circulation and allow the heel to grow again. He also said that too many farriers will respond to this problem by simply chopping off the toes, which doesn't change the angle at all.

After the Morrison shoes, we transitioned to a regular steel shoe and a slightly wedged plastic pad underneath. By next time, he may be back in regular shoes. His heels have grown and the angles are much more upright. He's also moving better than he ever has--in fact, he has a collected trot that we didn't even know was in there!

asterix
Jan. 3, 2011, 10:42 AM
Soft tissue injuries can take a long time to heal. Does the vet think it's in the hoof itself? Those can be hard to visualize without spending real $, although a good lameness vet can do more than you think with ultrasound.

If you know what specific ligament/tendon you are dealing with, then, yes, there could be more you can do; shockwave, for example, can facilitate healing. Repeat ultrasounds can give you a good picture of how far along the process is, which in turn will give you some guidance for how much movement/exercise to reintroduce and on what time frame. There are other treatments that can be expensive if you don't have insurance, but first you need to know exactly what the injury is.

The farrier is key for keeping him sound over time, but the injury has to heal.

If it is not financially feasible to do the diagnostics on what the injury actually is, then I would take it VERY slowly indeed. If he is not sound, I would not do ANYTHING but handwalking if you don't know what is wrong. Only once he is sound would I very gradually introduce small area turnout and walking on good ground under saddle, and go slowly from there.

deltawave
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:39 AM
What are Morrison shoes, please?

Rick Burten
Jan. 3, 2011, 06:00 PM
What are Morrison shoes, please?
Dr. Scott Morrison,DVM is a veterinarian at R&R in Lexington, Ky. He is also a farrier. He designed a series of aluminum horseshoes to treat a variety of hoof pathologies. When folks mention a Morrison shoe they are most generally referring to this one. http://www.grandcircuitinc.com/proddetail.asp?prod=MORSGCMOR

SBrentnall
Jan. 3, 2011, 08:08 PM
When folks mention a Morrison shoe they are most generally referring to this one. http://www.grandcircuitinc.com/proddetail.asp?prod=MORSGCMOR

Yes, those are the ones we used. Fantastic shoe--my horse moved unbelievably in them. Because they're aluminum, you can wedge the rear (that would make a steel shoe too heavy).

It's also important to rocker the toe to adjust the breakover. it took my horse a couple of days to get used to this. I think he wasn't used to his feet responding so quickly!

deltawave
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:00 PM
Any different than the wedged aluminum Natural Balance shoes? That's what my boy is wearing.

MelanieC
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:04 PM
Thank you for all the info. I apologize but it has been a very busy few days.

I have not had ultrasound done. The vet did block both front feet the first visit (which ameliorated but did not entirely eliminate the lameness) and the left (worse) front the second visit (same result although more drastic). X-rays look great.

My horse has been working about four days a week, a maximum of 45 minutes at a time, and pretty light work -- either lunging/groundwork or undersaddle but nothing hard core. He is new to dressage and learning to accept contact, etc. after training for Arab breed shows (hunter pleasure, saddle seat, etc.). Unfortunately right now there is no turnout at all as the pastures have standing water in them (common in the PNW) but the horses all get some arena time during the day (not mine as he is on stall rest/handwalking only).

The stable conditions are good -- clean and big (either 12 x 12 or 14 x 14 box stall) with mats over wood over dirt (I think). He can walk around in there. He has a number of toys but I am worried that he is very bored -- he is a rather busy horse and requires a lot of mental stimulation, although he is also very stable and not prone to anxiety behaviors. He has neighbors he can see and interact with through bars.

The vet suggested Natural Balance shoes and mentioned rockering the toe. From my research it appears that barefoot + frequent trims is also an option. I don't anticipate riding regularly for quite some time and am fine with him having time off if that's what he needs in the meantime. The barefoot + frequent trims sound like a good idea to me because my horse's feet appear to grow very fast in addition to growing forward, but at any rate we have a farrier appointment on Friday to make all these decisions.

I am not inclined to go crazy with diagnostics at this point if tincture of time is the most effective therapy in the long run. It is not critical that he be back in work quickly. I'd like to be riding, but it's not like I'm a professional or anything and I'm more concerned with his welfare. I will look into shockwave therapy.

I hadn't looked into insurance as I've only had my horse for a few months. Would there be a point in getting insurance now, or would any therapy be excluded under a new policy at this point since he's already been seen by a vet?

Thank you all VERY much, this discussion is very helpful.

deltawave
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:06 PM
Unless you lie (thereby committing insurance fraud) on the paperwork for insurance, the current lameness/injury/area will almost certainly be excluded from a major medical policy.

SBrentnall
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:08 PM
I am not inclined to go crazy with diagnostics at this point...I will look into shockwave therapy.
I don't know what the prices are like in your area, but around here, an ultrasound is WAY cheaper than a course Shockwave. I certainly wouldn't invest the $500+ for Shockwave without doing an ultrasound first.


I hadn't looked into insurance as I've only had my horse for a few months.
It's too late now, since you'd be required to provide a vet report and the vet would be obliged to report the lameness. In the future, it's best to get insurance immediately. I contacted my insurance company before I signed the contract on my horse to get a quote, then used the pre-purchase exam as the vet report. My horse was insured before he set foot on the trailer to my place, and I saved the cost of an extra vet exam.

Patty Stiller
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:39 PM
Any different than the wedged aluminum Natural Balance shoes? That's what my boy is wearing.The wedge aluminum natural balance 'PLR' (Performance Leverage Reducer) is similar to the Morrison roller, but key to using either one (or any shoe for that matter) is the trim and shoe placement . Removing all that under run heel then placing the shoes accurately around the coffin joint is a key component.
Simply wedging up under run heels will only serve to crush them more.

asterix
Jan. 3, 2011, 09:41 PM
yes, my suggestion on shockwave was only if you get a proper diagnosis; you can't just randomly shockwave the area and hope it's going to the right place (I mean, you can, but it's not likely to be all that helpful).

You can certainly use time, but it is a gamble. You need to know that you might put your horse on stall rest, pay board, not ride or have him advance in his training, and have him still be lame in 3 months. Or 6.

I don't mean to be a downer, but I've dealt with lots of soft tissue injuries. The more clear and complete the diagnosis, the better I was able to rehab the horse. It's not that a diagnosis necessarily lead to costly interventions, but it led to more informed decisions on my part.

There is also his quality of life to be considered. Extended stall rest is tough on horses; it is worth it, if it leads to soundness. If it doesn't, they might as well get turned out sooner rather than later and at least have a better life. Impossible to know without a diagnosis.

NorCalDressage
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:15 PM
yes, my suggestion on shockwave was only if you get a proper diagnosis; you can't just randomly shockwave the area and hope it's going to the right place (I mean, you can, but it's not likely to be all that helpful).

You can certainly use time, but it is a gamble. You need to know that you might put your horse on stall rest, pay board, not ride or have him advance in his training, and have him still be lame in 3 months. Or 6.

I don't mean to be a downer, but I've dealt with lots of soft tissue injuries. The more clear and complete the diagnosis, the better I was able to rehab the horse. It's not that a diagnosis necessarily lead to costly interventions, but it led to more informed decisions on my part.

There is also his quality of life to be considered. Extended stall rest is tough on horses; it is worth it, if it leads to soundness. If it doesn't, they might as well get turned out sooner rather than later and at least have a better life. Impossible to know without a diagnosis.

Ditto -

MelanieC
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:42 PM
Thanks again. I would like to get him sound (as in really sound, not just able to work) as soon as possible. Asterix, you're right, I am concerned about his quality of life. I am not sure if the vet mentioned ultrasound during the last visit but I am battling a really bad cold so I may just be forgetting right now.

My horse has a known OCD lesion in his left stifle (on a non-weight bearing surface) and I have been planning to get that ultrasounded so may as well do it all in one shebang I guess. The irony is that he has had zero problems in the back and remains fine back there.

asterix
Jan. 4, 2011, 07:41 PM
It does really depend on location (which he can narrow down with blocks).
If it is INSIDE the hoof, ultrasound is limited. I have had one very experienced lameness vet tell me (and show me on my horse) that he can see a fair chunk of the deep digital flexor tendon via ultrasound, but not ALL of it. And there are other things in the hoof as well.

If it is above the hoof, then ultrasound may be a wise investment to give you both an actual diagnosis and a baseline for a recheck.

Inside the hoof gets you more into MRI territory, which can be super expensive. For an uninsured horse this may mean going the slow and hopeful route. I had to do this with a horse who was chronically problematic up in front before MRI was available. He came sound, and then went lame again; this time we could MRI the foot and found a very big lesion on the DDFT. We were able then to properly rehab that and adjust his lifestyle (ie, retire him from competition), and he remained sound on that foot.

Good luck!

cyberbay
Jan. 4, 2011, 08:46 PM
Don't know if this would help, but a lot of people have taken their soft injury horse and just tossed him out in the field and left him there for a year. If the horse couldn't go b'foot, they really stayed super on top of the shoeing and trimming and all of that.

Then, a gradual re-introduction to work. The turnout prevented the stall craziness, the hairy handwalking, and the very stressful early rides, as the horse was already moving around and mellow.

Not sure if you have a diagnosis at this time? Anyhow, site of injury would help decide if the above approach would help or hinder...

MelanieC
Jan. 4, 2011, 08:56 PM
The injury appears to be in his foot as the vet blocked his heels. I think. Then again, I am guessing you can't really block much farther up or else the horse is stumbling around due to total lack of proprioception. Please bear with me. This is totally new to me; this is my first horse. I'll have to talk to the vet again. It would make sense if he didn't mention ultrasound if the injury is somewhere that US wouldn't visualize. Honestly, the impression I got was that my horse just has some sort of sprain but like I said, this is all new to me. Also, the underrun heels are a longstanding problem that I was made to understand would take a long time to correct.

If I turn him out I'll have to move him to a different barn. He's currently at a training barn and as I mentioned there's no turnout in the winter (which is pretty damn long here in Oregon) due to the pastures being underwater. He is a horse who would probably be pretty bored turned out -- he really likes human interaction -- but it probably wouldn't be worse than being stuck in a stall. Anyway, one step at a time. I'll talk to the vet and the farrier on Friday and try to get a better idea of what is going on.

Thanks again everyone. Much appreciated.

JB
Jan. 5, 2011, 08:48 AM
You can absolutely block higher than the heel :) But if he went sound at a heel block, there's no need to block higher.

Underrun heels can make those heels quite sore - Navicular Syndrome if you will.

Until his angles are in a much better place, by whatever means, even if that's wedge shoes/pads, I wouldn't be forcing any exercise, not even hand walking.

The hoof form may well take a full growth cycle to really fix, but that does not mean the angles can't, and shouldn't, be fixed much more quickly, like 1-2 trim cycles. The artificial means of doing that (ie shoes, pads, whatever) then modify based on how much the trim is changing the foot, with the goal always to be to remove any wedges. I'm not saying that goal is always attainable, but it should still be the goal

purplnurpl
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:21 AM
absolutely!

under run heals causes excess pull on the suspensory.

very possible he is sore with no tear.
or has some blips.

a wedge show lifts the heel and takes stress of the suspensory.

usually a large wedged shoe is aluminum. and for the rehab of suspensory issues (if the soft tissue discussed is from suspensory) the shoe might be made with a slight rocker so the horse can choose where he would like to put pressure at any given time--as the wedge shoe will put more pressure on the front of his foot, with a bit of a rock and can then rock back on his heels and so forth.

these are just ideas to ask about though.

if it's just the heels you have a waiting game. yey! NOT
the one thing about heal blocks is that it blocks out the navicular bone--which is where ALL of the wires tie in. So there is always potential that he has some sort of soft tissue damage there...but I'd say from the description that most likely his feet just hurt. The only thing they can do is back those heels up and maybe you could pack him yourself every other day with magic cushion.

and yes, you can block from the tip toe to the shoulder!

alto
Jan. 6, 2011, 05:29 AM
Was this the same vet that did the PPE on this horse? is he certain that the stifle (rear left I think) is not impacting the front end & exacerbating his lameness?

A nice vet exam from the GM clinic (2 rider horses are lunged)

http://www.usefnetwork.com/GeorgeMorris2011/
1-5-11 session 3

Tom Bloomer
Jan. 6, 2011, 08:30 AM
absolutely!

under run heals causes excess pull on the suspensory.
Incorrect.

Under run heels (assuming a broken back hoof-pastern axis) would cause excess pull on the deep flexor tendon taking more load than it should due to less load sharing with the suspensory apparatus.


a wedge show lifts the heel and takes stress of the suspensory.
Incorrect.

The angular-strain relationships between the fetlock joint and the coffin joint are INVERSE.

Elevated heel (assuming a broken forward hoof pastern axis) increases suspensory load and decreases deep flexor load (though it increases the deep flexor load duration.)


usually a large wedged shoe is aluminum. and for the rehab of suspensory issues (if the soft tissue discussed is from suspensory) the shoe might be made with a slight rocker so the horse can choose where he would like to put pressure at any given time--as the wedge shoe will put more pressure on the front of his foot, with a bit of a rock and can then rock back on his heels and so forth. It may help you to review the anatomy of the distal limb and then review the concepts of levers, fulcrums, and pulleys.


these are just ideas to ask about though.

if it's just the heels you have a waiting game. yey! NOT
the one thing about heal blocks is that it blocks out the navicular bone--which is where ALL of the wires tie in. You must have different wiring diagrams than I do.

asterix
Jan. 6, 2011, 10:43 AM
I have no idea about the difference between front and hind, but after my horse had hind suspensory issues we were told no, no, no to wedges (he had been in wedges behind because it seemed to help his hocks).

Patty Stiller
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:42 PM
absolutely!

under run heals causes excess pull on the suspensory. WRONG Low heels and/or long toe cause stress to the deep flexor tendon and to the supporting ligaments of the navicular bone, and to the back portion of the collateral ligaments of the coffin joint, but not the suspensory ligament.
very possible he is sore with no tear.
or has some blips.really? I wish I had superman MRI vision.

a wedge show lifts the heel and takes stress of the suspensory. again WRONG. a wedge INCREASES stress to the suspensory ligament.

usually a large wedged shoe is aluminum. and for the rehab of suspensory issues (if the soft tissue discussed is from suspensory) the shoe might be made with a slight rocker so the horse can choose where he would like to put pressure at any given time--as the wedge shoe will put more pressure on the front of his foot, with a bit of a rock and can then rock back on his heels and so forth. what a bunch of mis- informed hooey.


if it's just the heels you have a waiting game. yey! NOT
the one thing about heal blocks is that it blocks out the navicular bone--which is where ALL of the wires tie in. Boy I am rolling on the floor now laughing at your total LACK of functional anatomy knowledge.

So there is always potential that he has some sort of soft tissue damage there...but I'd say from the description that most likely his feet just hurt. His feet hurt. No shyt , Sherlock.
The only thing they can do is back those heels up and maybe you could pack him yourself every other day with magic cushion. There is a lot more to do than that.
:lol::lol::lol:

Tom Bloomer
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:51 AM
Low heels and/or long toe cause stress to the deep flexor tendon and to the supporting ligaments of the navicular bone, and to the back portion of the collateral ligaments of the coffin joint . . .
True. AND along with that comes the following educational course of instruction.

Many veterinarians "fix" this LT/LH condition by prescribing "trim all the toe, leave all the heel, then add a 5degree wedge."

After a few years in this "prescription" the horse still has the original pathology, but NOW it also has pedal osteitis AND chronic suspensory issues.

Yea, like David Bromberg said (. . . starting at about 1:09 into the song), "I took that class. Graduated Phi Beta Goddamn Kappa from that school." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mVhFwztRp8)

JB
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:12 AM
Many veterinarians "fix" this LT/LH condition by prescribing "trim all the toe, leave all the heel, then add a 5degree wedge."

After a few years in this "prescription" the horse still has the original pathology, but NOW it also has pedal osteitis AND chronic suspensory issues.

But, don't leave it all on the vets ;) My CJF did this very thing, though he wasn't even very good at getting the toe off :no: If only I knew then what I know now :(

MelanieC
Jan. 7, 2011, 11:39 AM
Hi everyone, thanks again. This was not the same vet that did my horse's PPE, but the vet is aware of the OCD lesion in my horse's left stifle. He doesn't seem to think they are related since the underrun heels are a much more obvious proximate cause -- my horse's heels are REALLY low. His feet also appear to grow extra quickly to me, but like I said I'm not experienced and it may just seem that way because they are growing forward instead of down.

My horse will be off for a while no matter what for a number of reasons. I am half inclined to go the barefoot/frequent trims route because it sounds like wedging (the vet recommended Natural Balance shoes, but I think he was assuming I wanted to get my horse back into work ASAP and there's no time pressure actually) would just be a band-aid. Some articles seem to indicate that it would exacerbate the problem. On the other hand I would like my horse to be comfortable and right now he's obviously not.

My trainer/BO (who is very knowledgeable and who I love) and I had a talk and I may be moving my horse to a barn with turnout since right now we are taking up a training space that we are not really using (the training sessions have turned into lame horse mental stimulation/hand walking/hand grazing sessions) and there is no turnout where we are. If he is to be turned out for a few months then is there a need for him to have shoes? The challenge now is to find a place with winter turnout in the Willamette Valley that is close enough to home for me to pop over and see him regularly...

Farrier is coming today -- will update everyone then.

Thanks again, I am continually impressed by the amount of expertise here.

purplnurpl
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:56 PM
hmmm...sounded to me like the poster has just started looking into this stuff and not quite sure what the diagnosis is.

so unless the OP is planning on spending 2K on am MRI then guess what gets to be done?

waiting.
like I said.

I like simple diagrams.
http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/equestrianworld/phpwIXOhz

http://www.theequinest.com/images/horse-foot-anatomy.jpg

looks to me like everything ties in low/in the foot. Therefore a non existent heel and under run foot will cause excess flexion in the fetlock which then puts more pressure on the entire soft tissue apparatus that runs down the back of the horses leg.

purplnurpl
Jan. 7, 2011, 01:03 PM
Many veterinarians "fix" this LT/LH condition by prescribing "trim all the toe, leave all the heel, then add a 5degree wedge."

After a few years in this "prescription" the horse still has the original pathology, but NOW it also has pedal osteitis AND chronic suspensory issues.



is there not a podiatrist that has done a proper study on this?

Patty Stiller
Jan. 7, 2011, 07:04 PM
Yes there are proper studies and that is why Tom B, Tom S Rick and myself all understand these issues. We keep up to date on hoof science studies. It's part of our jobs to do so. Unfortulately some farriers do not. And some veterinarians do not.

Tom Bloomer
Jan. 8, 2011, 07:12 AM
But, don't leave it all on the vets ;) My CJF did this very thingWhen it comes to horses,
CJF is to horseshoeing as DVM is to "licensed medical professional."

Tom Bloomer
Jan. 8, 2011, 07:18 AM
is there not a podiatrist that has done a proper study on this?What is a "podiatrist?"

Tom Bloomer
Jan. 8, 2011, 07:25 AM
Yes there are proper studies and that is why Tom B, Tom S Rick and myself all understand these issues. We keep up to date on hoof science studies. It's part of our jobs to do so. Unfortulately some farriers do not. And some veterinarians do not.
Dang, Patty, its just leverage and gravity. :lol:

frisky
Jan. 8, 2011, 10:01 AM
If this were my horse, I would get a firm, good diagnosis.

It is also highly unlikely I would be turning my horse out this time of year in particular if my horse had a soft tissue or suspensory issue. A foot diagnosis might be different. I certainly wouldn't be turning my horse out because someone needed a training stall. If my horse had a suspensory problem, at the very least, I would keep my horse on stall rest (maybe find a place with a run) for the rest of the winter and then find good turnout once the weather had turned.

JB
Jan. 8, 2011, 10:05 AM
When it comes to horses,
CJF is to horseshoeing as DVM is to "licensed medical professional."

That's sort of my point though. Just because you have letters after your name doesn't mean you know what your doing.

MelanieC
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:03 AM
An update: my horse is still lame -- he seems to be a bit better, but the issue and general pattern have not really changed. He appears to be the worst on his left medial heel but also seems uncomfortable on the right. When I pick up his left fore to mess with his feet and he is bearing most of his weight on the right, he will sway a little as though he is not comfortable. He is so stoic though that it is difficult to tell. He has been on stall rest and hand walking this entire time. Luckily his attitude remains great and everyone is pretty amazed at how good he is given how little activity he's been having. He is still gentle as a kitten with me. I hand walk him off-lead and have been clicker training him to keep him mentally stimulated. He now heels on both sides and know how to go find his Jolly Ball on command. :)

My horse is now barefoot and on a program of 3 week trims, to facilitate heel growth and also because he appears to have a white line problem in both front heels. He's just had his first 3 week trim and the farrier is pleased with the growth and improvement in his angles. I had the vet and farrier out at the same time this week and we all got on the same page about the trims. My horse has a large crack of the left heel that may explain some of the lameness, as well as some odd trauma to the fronts of his hoofs (looks like what happens to your big toenail if a horse steps on it, more or less) that we don't know the cause of. My vet suspects that the crack may be related to an old abscess and opened up my horse's left heel a bit. I'll be bandaging it to keep it clean (looking into soft breathable boots) and using Durasole periodically to disinfect.

I am thinking that if we resolve all of his hoof issues and he is still lame then I will look into further diagnostic imaging. Right now with all the hoof issues and his angles still being pretty off I feel the most comfortable solving those problem first before doing more digging.

I'm moving my horse out of our training barn to a barn closer to me where he can have a 12 x 24 stall and daily turnout when he is cleared for it and where it will be easy for me to pop over and hand walk/clicker train/change foot bandages/whatever with him. I'm about 10 weeks pregnant and didn't plan on riding after the first trimester anyway (I'm 38 and we went through a lot for this pregnancy, not taking ANY chances), so my horse can have the next several months off if he needs them (with regular vet and farrier progress checks). If he goes sound before I'm ready to ride there are enough trainers and barn rats where we're going that I should be able to find someone to help me get him back on track. In the meantime I am thinking of taking some lessons in groundwork and long-lining because we both need to learn more in those respects anyway.

This is the plan so far but any input would still be welcome.

Thanks, Melanie (and Danny)

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 30, 2011, 09:50 AM
First i'm going to echo JB just for the sake of hearing it again because it's sooooo true!

Melanie- you sound like you've got a good grip on the situation and are acting logically instead of out of emotion, so pats to you. Stay alert, take regular photos so that you have a digital record of what the heck is going on.... don't want to become a frog in a frying pan!
If things start to not work, speak up.
I didn't read if you've had them done yet, but radiographs are a helpful tool, especially when trying to get feet into better form ;)
heck, my horse is sound and once I find a vet worth touching my horse in this town we're taking rads just for curiosity's sake