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post #51 of 66 Old 09-05-2013, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Met with my farrier out at the barn today and let me just say again how blessed I am to have found him.

I think he could see in my expression how discouraged I was with the whole ordeal and he kept reminding me how better Whiskey's feet already looked. He pointed out the new growth evident already. He was like "the trick is, dont focus on the bottom where all the junk is going wrong. Just look at the top and keep reminding yourself that the good stuff is coming!". So that's what I am going to keep trying to do.

He watched him move around and said he was too uncomfortable to go without shoes, but that shoes would cause extra problems since he is afraid the nail holes on his FR would get bacterial. I think the way he put it was "with the entry point here in the front with that crack, and the entry points provided by the nail holes, I just dont think thats a recipe for success".

So, no shoes was the verdict. He's coming back out to (DISCLAIMER: I could be about to explain this completely wrong- so if sounds nuts and entirely insane, it probably is..and I apologize) glue some plywood shoes on? From what I understand?

He originally suggested I order some hoof boots for him and I had to cringingly admit to not being able to afford those right at this moment. His case of pneumonia plus his ulcer meds took a big chunk out of my emergency vet money. Especially since I had just finished paying the bill for Drifter's arthroscopy. It would probably take me 2-3 weeks to afford the boots because I'm just the type of person that has major anxiety if I spend all of my alotted "emergency" money without a bit left over.

But, anyways, (sorry for the veer off course) .. he brainstormed with me for a bit and said the plywood thing is what he thinks hes going to do, but that he would give his old instructor from shoeing school a call and run it by him as well.

We have turned Whiskey into a case study for his website! I grabbed some pics tonight but my camera is dead, I will have to post them tomorrow.And I will post pictures of whatever it is we end up doing next week as well. The hole in his FL toe is completely grown out, and the giant hole/crack on the FR has made progress, but its still there.

I was told yesterday when speaking to his old owner that their farrier had told them to call him whenever Whiskey's shoes fell off so they often had his feet done every 11 or 12 weeks. Just whenever a shoe fell off. So, my farrier thinks thats why Whiskey's feet look the way they do. He says once we get the cracks grown out and support him until they do, he believes his feet will be fine because they grow out in a great shape. But the stress of the long toes he had with his previous owners stretched the lamina and stuff and caused the cracking and the opportunity for the WLD.

I believe thats how he explained it anyways. My farrier lingo isnt very good so something might be getting lost in translation. So another foot of mountain climbed! We are one foot closer to the top. Like my farrier said as he got into his truck to go, "Just focus on how far from the bottom of the mountain we are - how far we've come up. Don't dwell on how far away the peak looks". I told him I was going to print out the pictures I took of Whiskey's feet the day I got him (the ones posted on here) and look at them every day to show myself how far hes come. He's gonna get there I know. Just gotta keep the faith!
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post #52 of 66 Old 09-05-2013, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Sounds like you've got a great plan together.

I've never heard of plywood shoes, but it does make sense. Plywood will protect his hoof and still have some give to it...and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than those rubber glue-ons.

I tell you, every time you update, it just makes my day knowing that this horse has such a better life with you than he's likely ever had before.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #53 of 66 Old 09-05-2013, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks smrobs! I have emailed with his breeders (the people at Myers training stables in South Dakota) when I was trying to discover more about his breeding and purpose and they seemed like great people! It is actually the ranch that has his dam little french rose and also his grandfather on his dams side, Frenchmans Guy!

Whiskey was just a case of a young horse off the racing QH track that sadly fell into a new horse owner's hands. I have stayed in contact with the girl who owned him, and I always tell her how much I respect her for realizing they were not in a good situation together and selling him. He was her first horse and she is only 13. Drifter was my first horse and I cant imagine selling him, and here I am 23! So she made a great decision. I know he's going to come into his own and in a year I will probably look back at all of this and be amazed at how far he's come. It's definitely been an experience but I've gotten a fantastic horse out of it, and I'm learning a lot! Which is always good :)

Plus, the support and knowledge of everyone here on HF helps a ton! Its really great to have a community of knowledgeable horse people to bounce ideas around with and who provide support, etc. Its hard to beat that!
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post #54 of 66 Old 09-20-2013, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Finally an update with pictures!

Well, we gave Whiskey about 2 1/2 weeks to adjust to barefoot and it just wasnt happening. Granted, I know they need longer, it took Drifter a bit longer when we first did it, but he wasnt half as uncomfortable as whiskey was.

My farrier believes it was just too much too soon. I think the way he put it was that his walls just arent there to support him at the moment, so he couldnt get comfortable. He believes once the cracking is under control than we can leave a little wall to help support his foot and try the barefoot thing again. I THINK that's how he put it. It was yesterday evening and we talked about so much that my mind gets a little bad at remembering it all. Especially since all of this is so new to me.

Well, anyways. Since he didn't want to nail in shoes and risk compromising the hooves further, he got creative with plywood, some pads and really strong glue he ordered. He said it would offer Whisk the support he needed without nail holes, and saved me a little money as well. The finished result is slightly beverly hilbilly looking but Whiskey is loving it and its definitely doing its job.

My farrier said to walk him around let him get used to them, plus to help him scuff up the bottoms a bit. We walked up and down the rocky road, no problems! whiskey didnt miss a beat. Walked around the hard ground in his pasture he had been limping on and he did awesome. I let him loose in the round pen to see how he felt and he wanted to run and buck around so bad but kept slipping a bit. He eventually figured it out and the slipping went to a minimum.

As far as his feet go, his RR that had the huge abscess crater in is HAS GROWN OUT! Its gone!! Theres a slight divet where the last bit is growing out, otherwise you cant see a thing. His back feet made the transition to barefoot great. Hes only had front shoes since I bought him and has transitioned well. His frogs in his back are looking fantastic, I'll have to get pictures of those later.

His fronts. His FL (labeled FR in my first post I wasnt thinking correctly) was the one with the huge long crack. It is still there, but we have been keeping a close eye on it. Both my farrier and vet guess it has grown out at least an inch or two in the last 2 months. It reached all the way up to his coronary band and no longer is anywhere near that far up his foot! Yay for new growth. His FR has also grown out. That crack is pretty much gone.

Overall, he is doing fantastic foot wise. Progress is slow but its there which is what is most important. Excuse the glue on his front feet, there was no way to sand it down and paint it because if its location on his foot, and he wanted to make sure the shoes held up to his shenanigans. Like I said, its not really pretty, but its working!










Definitely changing from the lazy young guy I unloaded off of my trailer that first day. Also, I received more information about his farrier history from his old owner. She was asking me how we were treating Whiskey because her current horse is starting to show the same problems. She mentioned her farrier told them to not worry about calling him until Whiskeys shoes fell off themselves, so Whiskey was going 12-14 weeks without foot care

She asked me if I was having trouble sedating him for my farrier and I simply answered "we have never had to". He is also getting LOADS better about picking up his feet. He has his moments but they are few and far between now. He is so used to me doing it that he is even anticipating what leg I want next. I'm going to have to change up the order on him! ha ha
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post #55 of 66 Old 09-20-2013, 08:23 PM
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Your farrier can think outside the square! I'd personally choose boots if possible, over glue on affairs like that, so I could take them off to clean/treat the feet frequently - infection can be a really big problem, esp with cracks, especially if they're not opened up to clean any infected material out.

I don't understand why - or agree with - having left the toe squarish, with all that excess at the toe quarters though. Do you think he got slack with cutting the ply to shape, or did this on purpose for some reason?
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post #56 of 66 Old 09-20-2013, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure about the toes being squared and I am hesitant to make a guess for that reason. I can shoot him a text or call and ask him.

We actually ended up trying boots last week, but Whiskey was uncooperative about getting them on. It was a nightmare and I eventually just gave up.
. The gluing was actually recommended by the farrier from the vet school when my farrier and I approached him with our predicament. He said since out main issue was the wall wasn't strong enough to support more nails, that the gluing should work better. I believe they were also supposed to look neater with the finished result but Whiskey resorted to his old "holy terror" ways.

We did grab some more X-rays of his feet just to make sure there wasn't something else going on since he was so tender barefoot. He also inspected that crack and said he didn't see any more instances of infection. He was finding live tissue. I think the shoes are only supposed to be on for a week or two, in which I am hoping to work with Whiskey more on boots. That would be the ideal solution I know. They also mentioned hospital plates might have been an option, but they believed this was still effective and a little nicer to my bank account.

It's definitely very unconventional and his feet look like an eyesore, but he is moving great again. I was worried about him for a bit there. I'm just ready to get us to the point where none of this is no longer needed.
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post #57 of 66 Old 09-21-2013, 09:05 AM
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the stretched toes are causing the cracks. The whole foot has drifted forward, heels and toe and the farrier is shoeing to the distortion. If I shod this horse the heels would be trimmed back to the level of the sole (and the widest part of the frog) where they should be. Left as long as they are they are running forward and driving the toe forward as well. and the frog is not being allowed to be art of the load bearing and shock absorbing structure. The way this is right now doubt this horse is landing flat or heel first. I can bet that at a walk he is landing toe first . After the heels are properly trimmed, the shoe must be set back under where it SHOULD be. That removes the abnormal leverage from the toe that is splitting it.

ONLY THEN can the whiteline disease that has settled in can be successfully treated.
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post #58 of 66 Old 09-21-2013, 09:08 AM
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the glue and shoe shown will not help at all. The shoe is way forward still. The mechanical CAUSE of the cracks has not been addressed. So sad that a VET who sees this crap hasn't a clue either.
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post #59 of 66 Old 09-21-2013, 09:11 AM
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PS I will be surprized if both of those shoes stay on more than a week or two because the toes are soooo long that his breakover is badly delayed and the forefeet cant get out of the way of the hinds in time. good luck.
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post #60 of 66 Old 09-21-2013, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks patty I will keep all of that in mind! He actually is landing heel first right now. I frequently take slow motion video to check on this, and he is landing heel first. He wasn't when I first bought him but he is now the majority of the time.

Also if you read through this thread you will see upon exploration of that foot during his PPE it was discovered he did not have severe white line like originally thought.

I appreciate your input and I will definitely be discussing everything you mentioned with the people I have been working with. Thanks!
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