I have had Mitchell since december 8th 2010, so just about 5 weeks now, and my farrier came out around a week ago and shod Mitch for me, on the front only as the ground is very hard. (When I trialled him his hooves were a mess and he had 3 shoes on [yes 3 ] and one came off while I was trotting him, so we finished with 2).
Now while my farrier was trimming one front hoof, I think it was the right side I can't remember , he pointed out a bruise to me, which he cut out and told me that it was big enough to have been 2 joined together, and it had been there for some time. Once he had cut out as much as he could without cutting the hoof to short, he pointed out to me where it still was in the hoof, some of it was in the heel. He put the front shoes on for me and that was that. (I thank him very much for this as he was insanely busy that day and still turned up and did a very good job as usual)
I went to ride him a few days later (I let him get used to having shoes on properly first) Walking was fine, trotting was fine, no limp in either of them, but there was no way he was cantering, and for the few strides I coaxed him in to doing they were very choppy and obviously uncomfortable for him, so we stopped and just kept to a walk and the odd trot. The other thing is he wouldn't turn left for a while without a lot of convincing, but by the end of the ride he was fine.
Now what I really wanted to know is, do horses heal like humans and bruises just go away, or do they have to be cut out by the farrier? Or do they not go away?
I never noticed it and Mitch never played up until around 2 weeks ago, sure he had the whole testing water thing but not so much as refusing to canter or turn left, shaking his head etc, which lead me to believe he was sore hence why I got the farrier out in the first place.
My goal was to compete Mitch on 19th February at the local sports day on the flat and possibly over 70cm sj, but I won't be competing him at all if I can't get him completely sound before then, I'm not one of those people that takes pride in competing an unsound horse.
But if it is supposed to go away, and it doesn't within the next few weeks I will be getting the vet out.
What can I do with him in the meantime? He is only 7 so I don't want to leave him in the paddock any longer than I have to.