Good morning! I am happy to be here at The Horse Forum, having been recommended by mutual friend Trinity. I am new to this forum but not new to forming in general, so I hope I will already know how to play nicely. :o) I am active on another horse board but attendance there has really dropped off, particular in the hoof care forum.
I just moved to SW Michigan from north central Illinois, and have owned my mare for 14 years. Of course the more I learned about her foot care the more particular I was about who trimmed them, and went through a series of trimmers before finally found one who saw, innately, what Tuesday’s feet needed. Unfortunately we made a short-notice and FAST move only a few months after finding her, so now I am at square one again. Tuesday stayed at a boarding stable in IL over the winter while we found a place and ot settled, and she has been home with me now for about six weeks.
I am willing to share as much history as anyone cares to know and thinks beneficial or interesting to hear, but the basics are these: I have owned this mare 14 years and she is now 21 years old. Several years ago she was diagnosed with navicular syndrome and x-rays confirmed mild to moderate navicular bone deterioration (lollipops.) I made a trimmer change at that point and had some amazing results, although the trim method never changed with her changes and in the long run it was not working for her. Because of years of compensation she also is suspected to have arthritic changes but unconfirmed by radiographs. A maintenance dose of Previcoxx makes all the difference in the world in how she feels and moves.
She is an un-papered grade Paint with a QH dam, 15 hands on the button and around 900 lbs in ideal weight. Creeps up around 1000 pounds in the summer if I am not careful about her grass. She is mostly a pasture pet, although I do hop on and do a little road riding. Our trail-riding days are probably over, as much as I wish it were not true. She gets dry-lotted (about 30’ by 30’) at night and has a small grassy area temporarily fenced for day-time turnout. She has as much grass hay as she wants to finish at night, and about a half-pound each of Nutrena Safe Choice Senior and Purina Enrich Plus.
Horse has been home for....six? weeks? I tweaked a little but now it is time for serious attention because already serious changes are occurring. Some good, some not.
I am unable to find a reputable barefoot trimmer in SW Michigan, and the two highly-reputable trimmers I managed to contact do not come this direction and have no one they are comfortable recommending. I am much more confident with a good professional watching my work and guiding us, but that is no longer an option…at least for now, I keep hoping I will find someone.
I have some very important points I would like to bring up before I post some pictures:
1. I am reading, reading, reading, and watching recommended videos. I am on my second read-through of Ramey's Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You, and reading updates and articles on his website. I am watching the Ovnicek videos on ELPO, and reading some great websites like heike-bean's to study good bare feet. I thoroughly understand the basic concepts, understand the general changes that have to occur, but am having a heckuva a time with actually applying trimming tools to Tuesday's feet. I am clumsy and rough with the nippers, a little better with rasp and knife.
2. When I post pictures asking for critique or guidance, unless I specify otherwise I will benefit most from recommendations for changes to make in the immediate trim time. The detailed information I have received in the past from some uber-smart people is invaluable, but I have a really, really hard time processing too much information at once. I completely understand that the big picture is what is going to improve my knowledge of good trimming practices, though, so there will definitely be times when I am going to want to examine long-term goals in addition to immediate needs. It is just that I can only absorb so much at a time. I literally had to watch the Ovnicek videos in two or three minutes increments.
3. I did my first "real" trims today (yesterday, May 6 2014), managed to get the fronts sort of done. I thought I was being very conservative, especially for me, except for finding that frog apex as Gene shows in that awesome mapping video. My horse is quite sore now, especially on the right front. I never did get her casted in Illinois when a friend was kind enough to send me casting materials, and I think I am going to employ them now. But first I want a trim critique.
So, on to some pics.
First, I want to say that I realize she is holding a LOT of false sole, a surprising lot especially in the back where her feet don't even look over-long. In all my reading I come across some moderately-conflicting opinions on removing it, so I have been fairly conservative but will pick away at obviously crumbling sole.
Second, she is very sensitive when I am trying to clear overlaid bars in her hind heels, even when I do it a smidge at a time. I have uncovered some bruising, and I hope that is the reason, but I am soooo nervous about going too far! My A-Number-One problem, hands down.
Thank you in advance to all who are willing to advise me in my journey, I really need some more eyes than just mine on my work.
Third, I am going to post a full set of all feet before trimming, then a few separately after trimming the fronts
Okay, enough talk. I will try to let the photos speak for themselves. I guess I will find out here in a few minutes if there are hard limits to pictures posted. I will do them in this order: various angles of right front, right hind, left hind, left front, then a few of the fronts after I “trimmed” them that morning. I will ost each foot in a separate reply, since it has been my experience this eliminates going over picture limits per post.
Right front: (this is the one she is real ouchy on after
trimming) Really deep gullies around frog apex, indicating a good deal of false sole, I understand. (more pics to come)