Originally Posted by hyperfocus2011 View Post
Keep the shoes off! She will adjust and her feet will get used to being barefoot. When the blacksmith returns make sure he only trims the outter hoof wall and NOT the soul or frog! You will see after a few months neither foot will look different. They will turn natural and she will be able to run on gravel even with you on her. The clefs in her heels will open up too which is a good thing!
Sorry to say but I think that's too rosy a prognosis to be realistic. True, all that *might* happen, even if the horse is forced to 'adjust' despite being in pain, but it depends on a lot of factors and odd feet becoming a matched pair - especially in a few months - and 'gravel crunching' feet may never eventuate.
I agree with keeping the shoes off, not trimming sole or frog *unless they need it*, which is generally very little & infrequent. With the right treatment, the horse should improve on hard/rough ground, but it depends on how long her feet have been compromised for, diet, environment, management, etc, as to how much they may improve.
I agree with others that it sounds likely the swelling is 'stocking up' due to lack of movement. Have you called a vet Manca? Does the swelling go down if you walk her around a bit? She obviously has quite compromised feet, which she can now feel without the shoes. Don't know if there was also a lot of thrush that meant the need for such severe frog paring, but that would also leave her overly sensitive.
Firstly Manca, let me say those are pretty reasonable hoof pics for critique purposes! It looks to me like she has very flat soles around the toe and rings - albeit quite minor looking - on her feet which indicate she could be laminitic - whether it's a current 'attack' or not - and may have little thickness of sole covering the internal structures. Therefore I'd be careful to protect her feet where/when necessary to allow her to move comfortably without risk of stone bruising, etc. I do not believe in forcing a horse to just go bare & 'adjust', because aside from it not being nice for them, I don't think it's helpful for rehab & developing healthy, strong feet, as there is risk of further injury and also the horse will not be using her feet properly.
You speak about her being OK in the grassy paddock & sand stall, which is great. I would not lock her up at all if poss, but keep her in the paddock & encourage her to exercise as much as possible *so long as she's comfortable* hopefully she can do that bare, but if it takes boots & pads, that's what I'd do. If she does require protection even in the paddock, this is not *generally* a long-term thing.
As her heels are a bit high & frogs recessed, I would be using frog support pads in the boots, to give them more support & stimulation until the heels can become more level with them. It appears that there is little if any more heel height that can be removed now - you don't want to trim into live sole - but with time this may change & also unpared frogs will grow fuller.
As for the farriery, in so much as I can gather from the pics, I would have possibly 'scooped' the quarters a little and would have rolled the walls, especially around the toes, that's about it. Oh and not pared the frogs at all, except in the case of removing flaps & overhangs & opening up the central sulci, *IF* they were thrushy. On that note, whether the farrier pared because of thrush or just... because, I'd be spraying her frogs daily with apple cider vinegar or such, to discourage infection while they grow back.
As for the odd feet, it depends on why they're like that & how long as to whether they may change. That left could be more upright naturally, due to injury, posture, heel pain, etc. If it's due to heel pain that can be resolved, and other injuries may be resolved with bodywork, but she may always have odd feet & either way, I think it's important not to force the issue but to work with the feet that she's got to keep them *well maintained* & they'll change over time themselves, if they're going to.
Oh btw, it depends on a number of things, including the weather as to whether grass is 'dangerous' with regard to lami. It's usually spring & autumn when horses are most at risk, but can be any time. Is your horse overweight?