So over the last 2 years I have learned that vets and farriers are people too...they make mistakes. All you can do is do your research, have an open mind, and get a 2nd or 3rd opinion.
These xrays were taken from 2006 - 2008 and are of his front hooves. I was misled into believing that my horse's arthritis problems and conformation defects should be covered up by artificial means i.e. wedge shoes. By the end of 2007 I realized that the wedge shoes were a short term solution that made things worse in the long run. I ended up making the decision to use "natural" barefoot trimming techniques on my horse. "Natural" has a bad reputation...partly because horse people hate change...partly because most of the time it isn't done correctly. My vet agreed reluctantly...my farrier outright refused. So I took matters into my own hands and started trimming my horse's feet. I believe he is now sounder and healthier than he has been in years.
^^May 22, 2006 left front hoof. Extremely poor trim that constituted the "need" for wedge shoes...supposedly.
^^November 9, 2006 right front hoof. Coffin bone already looks funky. It almost looks like an artificial founder. This was a rubber composite pad beneath a regular shoe.
^^February 22, 2007 left front hoof. Aluminum wedge shoe because the rubber composite pad was crushing his heels.
^^ February 22, 2007 right front hoof.
^^July 9, 2007 left front hoof. Coffin bone sinking.
^^July 9, 2007 right front hoof.
^^October 22, 2007 left front hoof. The coffin bone is actually reacting the opposite of founder. The toe is pointing up! And the heel is sinking down! At this point I took matters into my own hands and forced my farrier to remove the wedge shoes.
^^April 23, 2008 left front hoof. First barefoot x-ray. Now the toe is long in this xray. BUT...look...heaven help us we have some actual heel growing and the coffin bone is finally starting to look balanced and parallel!
^^April 23, 2008 right front hoof
^^June 2008. Finally a sound hoof...that has a heel and is starting to look normal!
Now keep in mind that through most of this...my horse was competing succesfully in hunter flat classes, equitation classes and dressage events. We won our year end divisions in 2 clubs! My horse was not showing lameness through any of this...BUT...I always felt like something was off. I knew that he could be performing even better. I have been doing the barefoot trims for almost 6 months now. You can tell that his legs just "feel" better. It also has reduced the "stocking up" that was an everyday problem for us and I have stopped giving him his joint supplements that were an absolute necessity last year. I believe that all of this is due to the fact that his hoof circulation has improved 100 times over without shoes. Anyway...that's my story...and I'm sticking to it.