Your thoughts on a chronic hoof problem?
Okay, I'm new here, but I was hoping someone might have some advice for a chronic issue I have with my mare. I am not new to horses, but I have horses now for the first time in about 8 years. I have only had them since July. My mare is a 15.3 Shire/Paint cross, and I got her as a 3 in 1 deal, cheap coming along with my gelding. She had a colt at heals and is bred back. She was sold to me as just broodmare sound and not broke to ride. I was told she had a club foot on her rt rear. She came to me tremendously overgrown on her feet, and sorely in need of care - severely underweight and nursing an elephant of a baby, full of worms, teeth badly needing floated, you've all seen it before. Trying to balance getting her fed up enough to support her lactation and pregnancy and get some weight on her, without overdoing it was tricky but we have had no signs of laminitis. Now, onto the hoof issues. I've had my natural balance/barefoot trimmer working with her feet on a 4 week schedule since I got her, as well as exams and xrays by my vet. Her feet are structurally sound, other than being overgrown they were in remarkably good shape for the neglect she clearly suffered. She does not, my vet insists, have a club foot. What she DOES have is an old injury, likely a barbed wire fence, that cut through her coronet band, causing her rt rear to grow out with a crack, but nothing severe enough, they say, to hamper her riding ability as long as it is managed with regular trimming. After several months of re-hab with her I got both my trimmer and vets blessings to start riding. She's turned out to be an amazing mare, breaking her was a snap and she rides like a dream now. I do boot her when I ride. However, about once a week, whether I am riding or not, she has bad days with that hind foot and limps heavily overcompensating on her front left. She has chronic, deep thrush in that hind foot that nothing seems to clear up and I don't doubt that's a big part of the problem. Daily lysol soaks and daily application of antifungal/triple antibiotic mix has become a part of life, and I've tried just about every over the counter thrush remedy they sell at the local stores, and nothing seems to take care of it. I've not ridden her in over a month at this point, and few weeks back she developed a small abcess in the back of her frog/heel bulbs area that had me calling the vet out again. It cleared up very quickly, but it seems to me there is a bigger reason for this hoof to be such a chronic problem. Everyone insists based on appearance and Xrays, the hoof should be sound, yet it isn't. The vet did say that the crack in her hoof wall can make thrush a continual problem. This time of year, with mud being the norm in this part of the country, surely complicates things. The mare is turned out on 5 acres of cross-fenced pasture every day, with a lot of migrational movement throughout the day, and stalled in a clean dry stall every night. As a side note - the mare never limped more or seemed further aggravated by my riding, though I have not ridden her in some time because it bothers ME. She's not a heavy-hitting horse on the ground like some draft crosses - in fact with a little more work she seems to be gaited. I bought the mare with the belief that she couldn't be ridden, so not riding her is hardly the end of the world, but it would certainly be a perk since she IS such a nice, willing ride. Is the thrush the source of all evil? Do I need to just give her more time? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.