What would you do?
   

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What would you do?

This is a discussion on What would you do? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Lunging would you expect young unbalanced horse to look sound

 
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    08-20-2010, 11:25 PM
  #1
Trained
Exclamation What would you do?

As some of you may know, I've been having some difficultly with my mare, Ricci. To sum it up, the insides of her front cannon bones along her tendons have been swollen for the majority of the last 5-6 months, but my vet determined the problem was in her feet. From splints to what looked like bowed tendons [strained tendons from standing so underneath herself from having no heel], the last 5-6 months have been touch and go. I have only ridden her maybe half a dozen times since this first came up, but have started lunging in side-reins recently. I pulled her shoes Monday [she's only needed them for trails/rocks/pavement and goes barefoot in the winter anyway], and she seemed just slightly off today, but I could be too skeptical and nervous to push her too hard. Her legs are still slightly swollen, but don't seem to be warm. Ugh.

So the big questions;

1) Should I continue this "touch-and-go" game, or give her the winter off and see how she is in the spring?

2) Should I get a second vet/opinion?

3) Should I keep her barefoot or go back to shoes [natural balance and most recently my vet suggested heel wedges?]?

4) If I continue to touch and go, what can I do to best support her legs? I've been using my no-bow wraps while lunging because it's the most supportive thing I have. Is that a bad idea? Does it do nothing? Should I get something better?

5) I have liniment, should I use that? Before or after exercise?

I only want to work her because she looks like poo. Her topline is vanishing, she's losing all her muscle tone. She's finally starting to look like an 18 year old mare, and I HATE IT. BUT, if having several more months off would be in her best interest, I'll do it. What would you do with her? She's my everything, and her health is of utmost importance to me, I just don't know what would be best...

Cookies for anyone who read this, and then ice cream for the ones who reply. Please. I really need some insight, I'm at a total loss. =|
     
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    08-21-2010, 04:34 AM
  #2
Trained
I would get a farrier out if the vet thinks it is her feet. Other than that I wouldn't have any clue :(
     
    08-21-2010, 09:03 AM
  #3
Trained
I've already got a farrier [vet recommended] working on them. He's seen the x-rays, the last two times he had natural balance shoes on her, and this last time, I pulled the shoes. I understand that changing the angle can take a ton of time, but there do seem to be chunks of time when she does look sound.
     
    08-21-2010, 01:42 PM
  #4
Yearling
Remember that even if her feet are perfect she could have lingering soreness. I would give it time before making big changes. If you just now pulled the shoes give her time to get used to it before deciding you need to put them back on.

IMO it's a lot more about the quality of the balance and the trim - the shape of the foot for the horse than whether or not they are wearing shoes. A bad or unbalanced barefoot trim is a million times worse than a good trim with shoes and vice versa.

Edit: If you feel like no progress is being made it can't hurt to have a second opinion from a different vet AND a different farrier! That must be so frustrating :( I probably would have a 2nd opinion just to ease my mind!
     
    08-21-2010, 07:24 PM
  #5
Trained
Thanks Deerly. I know she needs time to adjust to being barefoot, she always gets several days off when we go from one to the other. As I said, I pull shoes every fall and put them back on in spring. She's always been sound in the pasture barefoot.

She does look better today, not as swollen. I didn't lunge her or anything though, because I'm worried about pushing her. The biggest problem is I don't have any money for a vet to come out, and it'll take some time before I can save it up. Hours got cut at work so I'm kind of screwed for the time being.

When I first got her, the first farrier I was using was doing really well with her, but was so unreliable and always late. But now I wonder if I should have stuck with her. Ricci was sound the entire year I used this farrier. She's a little... off though, and I'm not really comfortable having her back out. Guess it's time to farrier shop a bit.

Anyone else have any input? Alwaysbehind, have you read this? She read most of my previous threads, perhaps I will PM her. =]
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    08-21-2010, 07:46 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerly    
IMO it's a lot more about the quality of the balance and the trim - the shape of the foot for the horse than whether or not they are wearing shoes. A bad or unbalanced barefoot trim is a million times worse than a good trim with shoes and vice versa.
!
What she said! Lol!
I definity prefer barefoot, with easyboots for trailrides, if extra protection is needed. But a bad trim isn't going to help any. . .
Good luck with her!!!
Also, www.barefoothorse.com is an AMAZING website, and the woman who publishes it is very helpful. If you email her pictures of Ricci's hoofs, perhaps she could offer additional insight.
My opinion about rest vs. work is that as long as she can move around if she wants to (pasture, paddock, etc.), you can't go wrong with letting her rest and heal. . . You can always get her in condition again.
I hope things work out!
     
    08-21-2010, 08:01 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
I wouldn't worry too much about letting her lose muscle since you can always build it back up once she's comfy again. I mean, it may take a while but it will happen. If it gives you any hope, Lacey was completely retired for at least 5 years, from ages 18 to 23, and was allowed to become severely overweight [no muscle tone whatsoever] and she's doing really well muscle-wise now at age 25. I mean, yeah, her topline isn't as nice as I wish it was and she has areas that I wish had more muscle, but she's comfortable working hard and she can do everything I ask her to so I'm taking what I can get since I can't expect her to have perfect musculature at her age. :)
Of course, it's taken me two years to get her here but my gut tells me that you're not going to let Ricci get 400 pounds overweight so I think she'll probably recover faster.

I hope you get this all figured out and get back on track with your girl. :) You two will be in my thoughts!

*hugs!*
     

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