Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trying Something New-Edited With Better Photos

So, in case you hadn't noticed...there's been lots going on around here. I'm in a full scale push to bring every horse up to par in the next couple of months. Moon and Spooks = check. Bugs and Jet = check (at least they with the trainer...), Beretta = check (She's just doing her thing and growing up.), Frosty...well, we're working on that, Turk...we are working on that too...

I took Turk to the farrier to today to have him reset. I told the farrier this might be the last shoeing job on the horse. If I cannot make any real progress with him in the next couple of months, I'll be hauling him back to SD. When we got to talking about things, I told him about Turk's breaking open above the hoofwall...as well as told him that I think the horse is weak in the hocks. Turk has come along well enough that he can now hold his hind leads in a straight line as well as a circle. Provided I keep the circles nice and big. Well...big circles don't work for barrel racing. I have not been able to really get the horse to progress. The great thing about my farrier is that he is also a trainer. Reining horses specifically. Giving me advice from his trainer's standpoint...If a horse cannot hold a lead in the rear, it's because he is hurting in the front.

The vet/chiro I use was there today as well (just a bonus, I wasn't scheduled to see her) and between the two of them, they decided that proud flesh is not the problem with Turk's scar breaking open...it's the continued movement in his heel bulb that is causing the problem. So the farrier came up with a bit of a different shoeing tactic...
(Sorry, these pics were taken on my cell phone, but if you click on them they will go to full screen and you can zoom in to see the shoe. I will get a better pic tomorrow and add it.) He opted to shoe Turk's injured foot with a 'G' bar shoe. Essentially, it's a normal shoe and the inside heel is bent over. Doing this leaves the injured heel completely open and is supposed to allow it to drop down, as well as protect it from any impact. It looks crazy as hell to me, but I understand the principle the farrier is applying. This may be the only way to get Turk's floating heel bulb to drop down and hopefully begin to solidify.

The 'G'-bar shoe...


The entire loose heel is left out there to hang...


I guess it's hard to tell, but the heel is not actually touching the ground...
There is only 2 nails holding the shoe on, on the inside and one was specifically placed right in the crack. I'm not sure why the farrier did that. Possibly to try to immobilize movement? Anyway, I have to have the nails reset every 2 weeks and every 4 weeks, the farrier will trim and reset the shoe. He does not want any extra growth to accumulate.

As you can see, the scar goes all the way through the hoof wall...
Since there is still movement in the heel and inside half of the coronet band, the hoof wall continues to split before it actually forms. I'm not even going to pretend I think this will work...but the farrier seems to think if we can just reduce the independent movement and continued fracturing of the hoofwall, there's a chance this whole mess could grow out. I'm not above seeing if he is right. We have nothing to lose and I would like to see if the horse could actually ever recover.

This pic is just for my (and your) amusement...
That would be the fresh trimming of a 4y/o reining horse on the left and Turk's trimming on the right. Mighty big difference between my size 2 shoe gelding and that fancy little show horse. LOL

12 comments:

Mikey said...

I'm interested to see if this works. Want to see more close up pics!

Funder said...

That's a brilliant theory. I really hope it works! I don't understand shoe-hoof interactions well enough to know if it will or not. It'll be fascinating to see how it progresses!

cdncowgirl said...

omg not sure why it never crossed my mind before... "if a horse cannot hold a lead in the rear, its because he's hurting in the front" Thank you for that!!

Appy tends to pop out of his hind lead, not all the time but often enough that its something to take note of. And now that I think of it it usually happens when his shoulder is hurting.

It'll be interesting to see how that G shoe works out.

Shirley said...

You sure don't give up, I love your determination to do what's best for your horses.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Sometimes you have to think so far outside the box, you wonder if there ever was one to begin with. Then suddenly it all makes perfectly crazy sense!

The G shoe is a new one on me, but I have also seen farriers do some odd things and bring immediate relief to horses with horrible issues. Seeing a horse go from immense pain and walk off nearly sound as soon as it was done... blows your mind.

If it works for Turk, who am I question it? More pic's later? Very interesting. Nice that everyone just happened to be there.

kestrel said...

Genius! The concept is valid, I've seen similar things work. You have a great farrier...

Funder said...

Good pics!

Michelle said...

Cool idea. Never heard of this, but I'm interested to see if it works!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I've never seen anything like this before either. It's fascinating to me.

Funder-the basic principle is that a hoof will grow to pressure. Properly balancing a hoof before applying a shoe is the most important concept and one that so many farriers miss. The biggest problem with having a horse mis-shod (and I'm talking normal feet here, not something like Turk) is that you can make mistakes with barefoot trimming and not do that much damage, because the horse still has the ability to wear the hoof and a lot of times will self-correct. When you apply shoes...the hoof can't do anything but conform to how the shoe forces it to function. If that is wrong...the stress on joints, tendons and muscles is tremendous and I'm actually amazed that more horses do not break down. I see some absolutely atrocious shoeing jobs.

As a matter of fact, when the farrier got done with Turk, we was all sitting there watching another horse get his teeth worked on and the farrier asked the owner if she was having lead problems with her horse or if he loped better one way than the other. She kind of looked surprised and told him she was having problems with her horse's right lead. He just grinned and told her he would re-trim and reset her horse for her. There was probably close to 5 degrees difference between this horse's left and right hoof/fetlock angles. I saw it as soon as I actually looked at the horse's feet, but the owner couldn't see it at all.

I think I am actually going to have this farrier put shoes (at least fronts) on Moon. He knows exactly what a barrel horse needs and I am having problems with Moon getting a lot of flare on his toes. I've been able to keep him about right, but with traveling and some of the rocky ground outside of the arenas, I think fronts might help protect Moon's feet.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I really hope this does the trick. That hoof looks so painful.

Crystal said...

Wow that is pretty neat, kinda cool when a farrier is willing to try something that will work for an induvidual horse.
And the hoof trimmings were funny--such a big difference in size!

Cut-N-Jump said...

BEC's Having a farrier like that in your arsenal is priceless! I used to have one like that. The farrier I mentioned that works on the neighbors horse Tom, I had him put front shoes on my gelding once. Switched boarding facilities to a private home and in comes the Mr. Priceless...

One look at my horses front feet and he freaked. Pulled my horse out, pulled the shoes, trimmed and reshod on the spot for no fee. He left the old shoes and directions for the other lady to point out how they were wearing. My horse had straight legs, but Tom had him toeing in. You could see by the way they were worn.

The farrier we have now? Apprenticed under Mr. Priceless. Not letting him go. He checks my work on the big mare since she won't let him lift the hind legs. It's a trade off on her.