how bad can hooves get in 4 months?
I need some serious advice on what to expect from my geldings feet when I go to see him in 6 days. I will explain the situation below
I have my horse kept at an agistment property whilst I am in session at univeristy. I planned to bring him home (roughly 7 hour drive) during thr 4 month xmas break. However, he is not a good traveller, looses a lot of condition and sweats really excessivly, to the point its dripping off him on a cool day. The travel back to home would take 3 days with a transport company as they had to go up to Sydney first then back down to my location. Last time he did it he came out the truck white from head to toe with dried sweat. I didnt want to really put him through it and I am unable to tow a float myself because of my license condtions (P plater.) I thought instead he could have a 4 month spell because he had been worked pretty hard during session.
I found a lovely place that agisted spelling horses in large communal paddocks with great pasture. Over all the other places I looked it, it looked best for him on such a long term basis. The conditions were I would be down maybe 2-3 times during those 4 months depending on work commitments and the place was to organise a farrier for him along with the other horses every 4-6 weeks and were to check on his condition and if he were to drop condition I would decide how best appropriate to adress his feeding needs. But otherwise he would just be out in the paddock with a few other horses. He is a fantastic keeper on pasture so I wasnt worried about the feed side of things.
During xmas, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and over those 4 months she was in and out of hospital and very unwell with chemotherapy. I was primarily looking after her. I would plan to go down and see Macka (my horse) but then mum would get really unwell and I didnt want to leave her for the time it would take me to get there and stay a night or two. I would call them and ask how he was and they said he was fine, looking fat and healthy. I continued to call them every few weeks over the 4 months and never managed to make it down.
anyway its a week before I go back to session and I am bursting at the seams to see him, I had missed his precense certaintly over the last 4 months especially with everythign going on, usually he is a big part of my veg out time emotionally and physically. I got a call today from a friend who happened to be at the agistment place looking at a horse for sale and she saw Macka as the farrier was up and he was waiting to be trimmed.
She said his feet looked like they hadnt been done since I left. Completely overgrown (were talking 4 months here!) and massive spilts especially in the fronts. She stayed to watch him be trimmed. Instantly it was very obvious he had thrush from the stink as the farrier picked out his feet. The farrier opted to cut off all the infected material which involed macka running off on a few occassions because of the pain.
She talked to the farrier about who to talk to about the horses management and he said theyre not here currently. She then called me.
So obviously I am extremely frustrated and angry with the agistment owner. But more so I am so worried about him. He is now very lame. I am desperate to get down there but I cant until this week is over. I think I just need to know what to expect. Before this he had fantastic barefoot hooves, could walk over sharp rocks like it was pillows. I am wondering what the extend of this neglect is going to be. I doubt the thrush will be gone just by cutting out all the infected material. And what will this mean for his feet? being so neglected then given a very severe trim. Mainly what I am asking is how bad can they be to the extreme? I need to prepare myself to what im goign to find. and if he is desperatly lame because his feet as so raw is there hope they can return to their rock crunching state? or will he need to be shod asap??
Obviously I need to adress this with the agistment place, as it states in the contract they are responsible for hoof care and regualr farrier visits. I am as of current tryign to contact them. But Macka is my priority, and I need to know he will be ok first.
Very much needing some advice here.
It's a tough situation you have.
Thrush can lame a horse. So you may have had a lame horse either way eventually.
I think I would keep calling around to find a transport company that can get him to you faster.
By not being there as frequently, you have lost control of the situation, and allowed others to take over and not do a good job.
I would find a reputable farrier for the horse and religiously send him money to do your horse when he is due.
I think the caretaker can send you a picture of your horse now and then, it's not hard with cell phones.
Will he be lame just until the infection is gone and his hoof starts to grow out again? Or is this something that could turn into a permanent issue in his hooves? When hooves are trimmed this much is there much chance of them coming back to their previous health?
Thanks for the reply. Ofcourse this is my fault aswell, I should have gone to see him and make sure he was getting the care I was paying for or asked for photos or otherwise. I will post photos of his feet next week when I see him (I am goign down to see him hes not being transported here)
I think that he has problems that will eventually be trimmed out, and needing preventative care where the thrush was. It should not be a big deal if done on a tighter schedule, like 5-6 weeks.
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