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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Monday, 7 November 2011

It's not always about the fronts and some heavy petting :-)

I get very fond of all the horses I do, but I have to be honest there are some that are a bit special.  This post features one of those.

I don't think I have ever deshod a horse that was in as much pain as this guy.  His face was literally wrung out with it.  We just got on with it, gave him a tiny bit of very gentle hand walking to help get his circulation back and then put him to bed.

The next time I did him was one of those moments I will remember for the rest of my life.  I can't say he was sound, that would be an over stretch, but he was so much more comfortable.  But the remarkable bit was his behaviour.  He was all over me like a rash.  The 'snog' had all the enthusiasm and intensity of a brand new puppy meeting friends.

During his trim, any time he could reach he spent with his lips in my hair wufferling and snuffling and generally making up. Talk about heart breaker! :-)

Then came the tougher times. A stitch was found in his shoulder and the vet upon removing it pronounced he would always be lame and that the owner would have to get him remedially shod and put him on daily bute.
Any time he backed up he had trouble with his hinds and he just couldn't 'come through'.

His owner - a genuine horse woman who always puts her horses interests first - decided that in the light of previous experience (she had had similar diagnoses on previous horses which came sound bare) and the fact that he had been so lame in his natural balance shoes that she would keep him bare and give him the time he needed.

Wind forward 9 months or so and he is sound in walk and trot on hard surfaces.  He's not been cantered on the road............  he can back up as well :-)

A lot of the time, the focus is on the front feet as these are often the bigger problem.  But for this guy, although his fronts weren't brilliant, his hinds have undergone the bigger change.

These feet may seem 'odd' when compared to the parameters that some schools of thought set.  But the final test is 'sound or lame'.  And he was very lame and now he is sound.  So I'm figuring this guy is happy with that.

And as always congrats and big hugs for the carer for putting the horse's welfare first.

Oh and can you see the changes?  Note that he was shod in NB shoes which were a little more than 1.5 inches apart at the heel.

LFS March
LFS June

LFSR March
LHS March
LHS June
LHSR March


jenj said...

It's funny you should mention the snorfling that this horse was giving you. One of mine does that to my new trimmer too. He's never done it to anyone else. My trimmer says a lot of horses do that to him and swears it's his shampoo, but... maybe not?

Congrads to horse and owner on such enormous improvements to the feet!

Lucy Priory said...

Hi Jenj - yes I used to say it was the shampoo too. Then I found some peeps took me a bit too seriously....

There are some seriously snuffly horses out there, esp when they have their fronts up on the stand, but this guy will bend practically double so he can keep his snozzle doing the snuffling.

He is super special - I think he has another year or so to go before he is fully rehabbed. But I'm pleased with him so far.

He is also sadly looking for a new home. Ideal for someone who loves to snuggle with their horse as much as ride them.

ZJT said...

can we see a pic of the whole horse... pretty please! well done owner for not being tempted to go down the 'traditional' path.... lets continue to forge new paths for our horses! so sad that he is now looking for a home :-(

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Southern England, United Kingdom