Mild lameness? When to get worried...?
So Lacey was pretty darn "off" on gravel about a week and a half ago and I just figured it was because she had gotten her hooves trimmed the Friday before and her hooves had been a little long.
However, yesterday when I went for a ride over that gravel, Lacey was still very off on it. I would have figured that a week and a half would have made her more comfy but she seemed possibly even worse that the week before. She was stumbling less over every single rock, but she was stumbling harder over the ones that caused her to stumble and she was actually bobbing her head while briefly trotting (I thought I'd just check).
It's defintly her left front hoof/leg that's the major culprit. She's stumbling on her right front too but not nearly as bad as the left front.
She's totally fine in the pasture and pretty ok on asphalt (maybe a little short strided but no stumbling...). I've felt her feet for heat=no heat/pulse or anything that indicate a founder situation...
I gave her some bute this evening just to see if that helps since she seemed a little stiff today after our ride yesterday (we went on a trail that was mostly dirt/pine needles which she had no issue with, we just walked).
The one thing I can think of is that right before she got her hooves trimmed, we had gone for a ride where she was being a major jerk and we ended up cantering (it was one of those, "she's taking off with me and won't stop so she is going to run until she begs to stop" situations) over quite a stretch of gravel/asphalt stuff in such a way that her hooves ended up looking visibly worn in the toe area... The trimmer said she couldn't see any bruising the next day but maybe that wore down enough sole that it's causing this? I had figured that if that was the case, she should be much better by now...
When would you start getting worried? I don't want to just leave it and leave it until it's a bigger issue (if it's something more than just her soles being a bit too thin...) but I don't want to jump the gun, call the vet, be all freaked out, and have it be nothing, you know?
What do you, more experienced horse owners think? :)
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.