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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 16 March 2012

Enjoy the journey

Sometime in the spring/early summer of last year I got a call about a navicular horse, lame in shoes, lamer still with wedges.

Fronts came off June, hinds a bit later (don't ask).

Regular readers of the blog will have seen how they looked straight out of shoes.

Left Fore side view June 2011.  Clipped for nerve blocks et al
Horse could not stand 'bare' on concrete, hence the straw

And then

Left Fore Oct 2011.  Note event line almost half way down

And yesterday

Left Fore March 2012.  Event line almost grown out

The horse* has passed a vetting including trotting a 10m circle on concrete. Hacks out sound over stones (shod companion couldn't do it and had to use the verge), schools and lunges happily.

I watched the horse trot up yesterday - the movement has changed from 'sewing machine' when shod (carer's words not mine) to positively floating.

And the behavioural changes are for me equally significant.  Used to have to be cross tied for tacking up etc.  Now will stand loose in the yard dozing while groomed, tacked up or trimmed.

Enjoy the journey?  Another client has asked that I blog about 'The Finish'.  Only there never is one, not until we pass over anyway.

The horses I attend prove to me time and again that give the right opportunities their hooves will continue to improve, regardless of age. 

Some will decline, from uncontrolled Cushings, Insulin Resistance or other metabolic disorder, but sort those out, feed the horse properly, work them appropriately and it is truly amazing how the hooves respond, even with horses in their twenties.

Age doesn't have to be a barrier to a healthy hoof and the journey never finishes.  So learn to enjoy it and appreciate the ride for whatever it brings.

* Note I am now excluding gender because too many people are starting to play the 'guess the horse' game and that is not fair on the carer's of the horses who have so generously agreed to their cases being put on the blog.


Nicole said...

So true about age. I learned to trim on an over 30 yr old pony who was so arthritic he could not stand long enough for the farrier. A change in diet, joint and pain supplements and a regimented trim schedule eventually brought down inflamation in his knees and his movement was much improved.

Lisa said...

This makes me smile.

Wolfie said...

Love success stories like this one. Glad that this caregiver took the time to do what was best for their horse.

amandap said...

Just fabulous! What else can I say except a huge well done to carer and all involved!

Types of Horses said...

@Wolfie: Me too ^^

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Southern England, United Kingdom