Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Comeback Kid

The visit with the vet/chiro/farrier team assembled for the benefit of Turk turned out nothing short of a miraculous prognosis and an immediate and significant improvement for the paint horse.



The vet/chiro did a quick eval on Turk's traveling ability and noticed something immediately that I have never noticed and most likely would never have noticed. The horse's injured heel is actually what is called a 'sheared heel' and each bulb moves independently. I have heard of the term before, but had never seen a horse with it and certainly have never grabbed Turk's heels and pulled on them like the vet did. It was amazing the amount of movement that was in his damaged heel.

We discussed the options and neither the Dr or I felt that a chiropractic adjustment would do much good at this point in the venture. I decided to go ahead with the shoeing, as I really believed the horse absolutely needed some relief and support for BOTH if his front feet. The farrier looked at the horse and determined just as quickly as Mrs Mom did that Turk's uninjured foot (and leg) was in jeopardy due to the stress it has suffered supporting the horse all of this time.

Before the shoeing...


After the shoeing...


Pretty dramatic difference huh?

I think eventually Turk will stand square and equally on both front feet. It's probably a habit for him to stand with that left front out there a bit and he'll need time for his muscles and balance to even out.

Here's the pic I posted a while back after I had trimmed Turk...

That deep cleft is where the movement is in the bulbs. Mrs Mom was right on target when she said to drop that inside heel more. I did have the heels level, but to accomplish what needs to be accomplished, those heels and that heel in particular needed to come down.

Like this... This was after the farrier trimmed Turk's foot. See where my thumb is? That is how much the inside heel and bulb need to drop down to be even with the other heel.

To accomplish that, the farrier put on a bar shoe...

And left the injured heel and that quarter 'float' ...
That means, he took the inside heel and quarter down so that they were not tight against the shoe. He wanted that space in there so that the injured heel would have the room to drop down to meet the shoe and as we keep re-shoeing (on a 6 week schedule), the farrier believes that the injured heel will spread back to were it needs to be and Turk's foot can finally get solid and heal so that it won't move and cause him pain.

The farrier called all of this around Turk's crack, scar tissue...

And did away with it... Can you all see up by the hairline on the inside heel (right side of hoof) the bulge in the hoof wall? That was Turk's foot working at spreading out from just my trimming his feet. I may not have been able to accomplish everything this farrier is going to be able to, but at least I had his feet coming in the right direction.

Originally, the farrier was going to put a bar shoe in Turk's uninjured left front as well, but due to the massive spread going on, he had to put a regular shoe on... Again, Mrs Mom hit the nail on the head with what was going on with this foot. If you look at the heels on this foot you can see the difference in Turk's heels. His outside heel (on the right side of the picture) was migrating forward and spreading away from his frog. That is the side of his hoof that there was getting to be more hoof to than the inside.


Although, I was making a bit of progress on that as well... If you notice on the inside of his hoof, about an inch down from the hairline, there is a bulge there where Turk's hoof was starting to come back to it's proper thickness. Obviously, the farrier took a lot of hoof wall flare off of Turk's hoof wall and that dramatically improved this hoof's appearance. Since the shoe is centered correctly, Turk is now putting pressure centrally on that hoof and the walls will continue to grow down in a more correct manner.

After the shoeing was done, we took the horse out and it was nothing short of a miraculous change. You could just see the horse visibly letting down and relaxing. We worked him in the round pen for a bit and it was like watching a different horse move. With each passing circle, he became more relaxed and actually started using his back. Something I have not seen this horse do before.

For good measure, I had the chiro acupuncture his shoulders and back to help release all of that built up tension and ease his muscles...

About 20 minutes into it, he began to stretch his neck out and yawn. I mean really, really yawn. He did not go to sleep like Moon did, but he did cock a hind leg and lick his lips a lot as well. When the Dr pulled the pins, she had me feel his shoulders and his back. The difference in temperature was absolutely amazing. The horse was just radiating heat off of his back. He as almost too hot to touch.

The final prognosis is that the farrier believes he can have the horse 100% sound in 3-4 shoeings. He said even if that injured heel did not move completely into position and solidify, that the improvement would be significant enough that I would have a pain free and sound enough horse to do whatever I wanted to do with him. The Dr. 'pinged' the horse's fetlocks and coronary bands and found them to have very good circulation, even the injured heel and she does not believe that there is any significant or permanent muscle or joint damage to any part of his body. Getting him back into balance and properly conditioned is up to me now and I cannot wait to take the new and improved Turk for a spin. There is no doubt in my mind this horse would make an awesome barrel horse, now I know he can...We are going for that!

Hahahaha-Moon and Turk do not like each other...and now they are going to be traveling buddies. Oh goodie for me (sarcasm intended)!!

12 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

Great to see the work that a good farrier and team work can do! Anyone out there that has a good farrier ,treat them like Gold!!! they are getting scarce as hens teeth.Its a hard job and so many no longer want to do it. I know I treat mine well ,do not want to go back to trying out a new one and trying to get on a client list! Yay for Turk, he is a good looking fellow and I can't wait to see you running barrels on him

Mikey said...

That's a very good prognosis! I'm glad you were able to get everyone out there together to go over your horse. Your farrier did a kickass job!!!
Can't wait to see what Turk does on the barrels now!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

So glad you approve Mikey. I knew there would be an improvement, as my brother used to keep front shoes on Turk in the summer because he got so tender when the ground got hard, but I sure didn't expect anything as good as this.

fern-The only reason I started trimming my own horses again was because of the scarcity of even adequate farriers in SD. Now I like the fact that I can work on my horse's feet. But it sure is nice to know that if I do need a horse shod I have found someone who is not going to F* them up.

Breathe said...

I continue to find farrier work mysterious and wonderous. I'm glad Turk is feeling better! That crack looks so serious, its incredible to me how he could manage at all...

Crystal said...

Wow, what a difference a good farrier can make! I am so glad we have a couple around here. I am amazed after looking at all that difference he put up with all that before. Should be a fun horse to ride now.

Melanie said...

Wow...what a difference that farrier made, and wouldn't it be nice if we could fly Mrs. Mom out to our places for trimmings and shoeings??? LOL

Turk is quite handsome, as are all of your horses...how old is he?

Oh, and I am glad that you enjoyed the pow wow photos. I can just imagine Megan out there as a little blondie...lol!! It is hard to sit still when those drums get going and that singing starts, isn't it?

Paint Girl said...

Looks like Turk will be getting back to work real soon! That is so great that his prognosis is so good. Can't wait to see him running barrels!

Chelsi said...

Holy Crap!!! That's amazing! I would never have thought an injury like that could be made sound! hats off to you and the pros you brought in. It will be so cool to see that horse working... I bet that foot will raise a few eyebrows once he's being hauled:)

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Mel-Turk is 12. Just hitting his prime-LOL.

Turk has been moving so well. One thing I have really noticed is that he is crossing over so easily in the front. I've never seen this horse use his shoulders like this.

I turned him out for a couple of days so he had room to move around and to give his muscles a chance to relax and he has decided he does not want to be caught again. He's not going to like it if I have to get the 4-wheeler out to get him cornered- <:O.

Sounds like it is supposed to cool off around here a bit in the next couple of days. I really need to get back to riding.

Callie said...

Wow, That is a dramatic difference before and after shoeing! Glad you found him some relief, Wow, what a difference in the pics!

Stephanie said...

That is amazing - I learned a ton from this post, personally I had no idea heel could do that - great job on Turk!

Danielle Michelle said...

Wow! I'm impressed! You have a great farrier. Keep taking pictures as he continues his treatment - I definetely have learned something with this...

Talk to me about HOT! This is rediculous weather! I'm up at about 5:30 and by 7:30 am just done. Even though I'm teaching swimming it's a warm water artisian and it's actually too hot inthe water also. I'm miserable!