Loosie, Patty, thank you for your very specific suggestions! I love it and can/will implement.
Jayne and I went out and did 15 miles with boots all around today (no inserts yet). He was moving out and free like I've never felt him do shod or not, even down a gravel road. He was also repeatedly offering me a big, extended trot when he wanted to canter and I wasn't letting him, which he has only ever done once before. Ever.
I might be drinking the kool-aide to think I'm doing the right thing/heading in the right direction, but my apparently happ(ier) horse is pretty darn convincing.
Cool stuff and questions (I haven't been to the hardware store to buy padding yet, I think that is on the agenda for tomorrow as my shopping list is starting to get long). A new round of photos posted Equine Photos by SharpieBird | Photobucket
One, look at how his rear hooves have straightened out! His RR was worse, pictured below 8 weeks ago and today.
His heel bulbs on the rears are nearly on the ground. Will the heel start growing down rather than smooshed forward? Why do they look kind of bulgy above where the heel hoof wall starts to grow on both the fronts and rears (easy to see in last pic)? Is that normal? He has gained a central sulcus in the rear frogs recently. That is a good thing, right?
I think I need to rasp his front heels a bit? And the toe seems a bit long too? But how do I do that when the sole is like this? The yellow bits are the parts that are in contact with the ground and the prints he leaves with water on dry concrete. I think I shouldn't touch the sole, but the sole around the edges and then back at the heels is in contact with the ground, so if I take the wall in those places, the sole will be longer than the wall, which seems like it would be uncomfortable? I have a knife now. I think the thrush in the fronts is under control, the frogs are starting to look fatter in the parts closest to the digital cushion and seem like they might shed off the outermost part. 15MAR14 Copy 1.jpg
As always, I appreciate everyone's advise and patience.
Golds (aka good things):
1. He is doing better barefoot over gravel. Rather than dramatically slowing down and picking his way over the gravel-strewn concrete walk that is part of our life as he used to, which is admittedly not a very foot-friendly surface, he now only slows slightly. Hesitation over just the plain gravel path is now minimal and wouldn't be noticed at all by most folks.
2. His feet continue to grow and change. While I would not yet describe his frogs as 'full and healthy' on any foot, they are no longer obviously unhealthy or shriveled. Now they're somewhere between 'not bad' and 'could be better.'
3. The scratches and thrush seem to be finished. (Though I hope I am not jinxing myself). His central sulci no longer pack full of anything, his pasterns seem happy, nearly all the scabs have dried and fallen off, and his frogs are no longer threatening to come off in great nasty chunks.
Blues (still to work on):
1. Not landing heel first yet. Not surprised, but I want to get there!
2. I cannot find a way to pad the renegades that seems to want to stay in place. He LIKES padding, but it always seems to move or twist or fall out out after a mile or two.
3. After just 3.5 weeks since I last rasped anything, I found two small areas of lateral hoof wall wanting to separate/break out on the fronts, and the toes of the rears were starting to crack at the unpigmented wall/WL junction a little. I was quite surprised to see that so soon.
And neither blue nor gold, but we have our first 50 mile ride next week and I am very anxious. The boots seem to work great, but 50 miles is a long way. I hope it's not muddy. :(
His heel bulbs on the rears are nearly on the ground. Will the heel start growing down rather than smooshed forward?
MYBE BUT Why do they look kind of bulgy above where the heel hoof wall starts to grow on both the fronts and rears (easy to see in last pic)? Is that normal? He has gained a central sulcus in the rear frogs recently. That is a good thing, right?
I intend to get some pictures again soon, but we completed our 50 mile ride in renegades without issue. Unfortunately there were many lost boots, lost shoes, and stone bruises among the horses over the two days and I feel lucky that we were able to avoid that.
I trimmed him two days later (I had been putting it off until after the ride), and luckily for me, we have a farrier coming out at the end of this week who is supposed to be very good at barefoot as well as forge-work when needed, so I hope to have her take a look and pay for a consultation at least.
Patty, I am not sure what your last post was meant to say?
I have noticed a ridge, circumferential on all four, though more noticeable on the sides than the fronts of each hoof and more prominent on the RF than the LF hoof. It's not really an isolated ridge properly though where it's a bump in the normal growth though. It's about an inch down from the coronary band, and the hoof just... gets about a mm wider on each side (medial and lateral) above that band, but is smooth, though not so much on the dorsal surfaces where you just feel a slight unevenness. As I said, hard to describe without pictures, so I supposed I'll hope that it shows up better than I can explain with words when I take them. We switched hay suppliers and went barefoot in Jan IIRC, so I suppose this could a ring from either of those changes.