My mare Freyja has the exact same injury, although on a rear hoof. Believed to be caused by a fence incident when she was quite young, she had been unsound on her feet the majority of her life when I got her.
It's taken nearly a year, but she has now been riding sound for almost 4 months. She will probably never be sound for HEAVY riding, but pasture sound and for light riding she is. It took good nutrition, keeping the foot CLEAN AND THRUSH FREE, and CONSTANT TRIMMING to get her where she is now. Not to mention a good amount of sound advice and some guidance I got from Loosie there.
I trim every 4 weeks on that mare without fail. I keep her in a dry environment. I added only a very marginal hoof supplement to her diet, I think hoof supplements do only limited work in terms of healing a hoof like that - it's really coming down to addressing the root problems of good nutrition and FREQUENT and REGULAR hoof care. Thrush invading the crack was the biggest problem I faced due to the fact her rehab was in the middle of winter.
The hoof does grow out with a "flaw" there from the coronet, but it stays together and uncracked now, and she moves solid on it. I stopped riding her for 8 months.
Here was Freyja's foot in the beginning (actually this is after her 3rd or 4th barefoot trim...she still had a lot of hoof to come off at the time, but we had started with full slipper feet as well). I'll have to get a recent picture to show you where it is now.
My advice to you - listen to Loosie, the girl knows her stuff. Get your horse trimmed WAAAAY more than you are doing now, and stop riding until the structure has time to heal together!
Also wanted to add, Pete Ramey's DVD series "Under the Horse" is very worth the money. I'm in general not a fan of paying large amounts of money for any "horse DVD" and usually think they are a crock - however his DVD series is 10 discs long, hours upon hours and jam-packed full of information to get you on the right track with both the nutritional and biological aspects of hoof care. I highly recommend you get it.
I think walking around on your own willingly is very different than being made to walk around for a riding lesson.
Just my opinion.
I can not imagine riding a horse that over due for a trim, let alone one whose hoof looks like that.
I agree with you. "Riding lesson" was literally 20 minutes of walking. I totally would not advocate any kind of heavy riding, or a rider any bigger than my little girl. I definitely want to help him heal, not make him worse. Her riding lessons over the next 2 months will be on her pony, but the pony is REALLY green, and so she was using Max (the new guy) to help her grasp the mechanics of steering using her leg pressure in conjunction with her hands.
My advice to you - listen to Loosie, the girl knows her stuff. Get your horse trimmed WAAAAY more than you are doing now, and stop riding until the structure has time to heal together![/QUOTE]
I want to clarify, I just got this guy the day before yesterday. He has not been trimmed or shod in about two months, the shoe on his bad foot fell off days after it was put on. He will DEFINITELY be getting regular trims every few weeks. The only one riding him is a 40 lb. Child, and even that is by no means going to be frequent. She has ridden him two times; once for about 5 minutes around our yard, and once for 20 minutes in an arena at a walk.
Perhaps that is not even healthy for him, and I certainly will discuss with the trimmer what he should and shouldn't be doing.
When his shoe gets pulled and he gets his first trim, I will also be fitting him with hoofboots and padded insoles. When my daughter rode him, he was wearing an easyboot with a thin pad inside, but likely that set is not going to fit after trimming.
And, I love Loosie's posts! I spent 3 hours last night on Pete Ramey's website, and links I followed from there. . . I would like to buy his dvd set when I can- the articles and photos on the website are incredibly informative.
We will have to agree to disagree on this subject.
I personally do not think it matters how much the rider weighs. With a hoof like that and the neglect to the others because of no trim I think any forced movement is not right. Lunging with no one on his back is just as wrong.
I'll agree to disagree, but I don't think we disagree as much as it may seem. I definitely wouldn't lunge him! Hoping to get the trimmer up Monday morning (it is a 11/2 hour trip) but I may be able to haul him somewhere and meet her on Saturday- figuring out a plan today.
Firstly, thanks for the plug Indy & I'm rapt that Freya's doing so well now! Yes, I'd definitely be interested to see some recent pics. How's your young fella too, BTW?
I too am not a fan of outlaying money on horsey DVDs - would rather learn first hand & study research myself - but I bought Pete's DVD set Under The Horse (& have since also bought the 'That's My Horse' sets) primarily to better educate my clients - bought 2 copies to use one as a loaner. Of course I don't know everything by a long shot & thought I'd learn a bit more myself, but I was blown away by just how good they are, how much I learned! Easily worth the $300 IMO, even if you already have a good idea about the workings.
Now back to subject at hand... Payette, I too would advise you wait until the horse gets a good trim before doing anything like work with him, especially on firm or rough ground, but a bit of walking around on softish ground will do him no great harm & no more harm that walking around in his paddock. But once he's *well* trimmed, and as you plan to get hoofboots to keep him comfortable & adequately protected, the more exercise the better!