I have had my horse for almost 2 months. He had his first trim with me 2 weeks ago, by a farrier who comes highly recommended around here (by people I trust), and who is supposed to be trained in natural hoof trimming (barefoot trimmer??). The short of it is, 2 weeks later and my horse is lame.
The longer of it is this: at the time of the trim, his left fore had a longer heel than the right (the right heel actually seems "under-run" a bit). The farrier took off a LOT of this left fore hoof. To all appearances, it looks "normal", but he was quite tender on it for a few days and is now what you can only call lame. There is no heat anywhere in that leg or foot. He will stand on it normally while grazing, but as soon as he moves to walk, he limps noticeably. The farrier kept calling this a club foot. Yes, the heel was longer than the right, but it otherwise didn't have a club "look" to it. Regardless, he was saying that the ligaments need to stretch out and and once they do he'll feel better, etc. etc.. IF it was a club foot, I've read up on that and discovered that the effected ligament does NOT always stretch!! In some cases surgery is used to cut the ligament and so on. Anyway, back to the trim and current state of my horse.... I am trying desperately to find another farrier and get another opinion...harder than it would seem -- I'm new to my area in terms of having a horse, don't know a whole lot of people (other than the ones who recommended this farrier!), and you'd be amazed at how many people just don't return phone calls or e-mails.
Something else I was reading recently in terms of lameness after a trim, was about making sure the horse's feet are balanced. It makes sense, but in all my years of having horses, I can't say that's a term I ever came across when discussing trimming. But I do "get" it.....is it possible he's lame because he IS off balance in his front?? Would a good farrier know this and know how to correct it automatically?
In the meantime, I am going to improvise a pad on this foot tomorrow, first to just cushion the sole, and then, I may add a small wedge to add some height back on that heel. If the pad alone helps, I'll guess his sole is very tender and needs the protection, and go buy an EasyBoot. If the pad alone doesn't quite do it, but the wedge does, then I'm going to be pretty certain that it's the ligament that's suffering here.
Thanks for any advice or info y'all can toss my way!