I've been meaning to write this blog all week. But, my life this week has been nothing short of hectic to say the least. I resigned from my job on Tuesday, and finished up on Wednesday, but thats another story....
As some of you know, about 6 weeks ago, I decided to take Sante barefoot. I knew that he would be very tender and ouchy, and those flatfooted thoroughbred feet of his would have to be booted in order to ride, but with all the reading i've been doing about shoing, I decided that I was prepared to make the change.
So! Six weeks ago the shoes came off!
A little background on my horse: came to me as a 16.2h malnourished thoroughbred with bad feet featuring two full length vertical cracks running from coronet to toe on both front feet.
After four months, I decided to put shoes on him "to take the load of the outer wall" 18 months later, the cracks look deeper, and there is absolutely no sign of them growing out.
A friend of mine organised a trimming clinic, and although i wasn't overly excited when it was first organised (I think i was freaking out about not having enough money, and it got in the way of what the course was all about) It wasn't until about a fortnight before the course that I REALLY started to look forward to it. By the time the course came, you couldn't shut me up, I spent the entire weekend asking questions and trimming Cadava legs.
I have since bought Pete Rameys book and Jaime Jacksons books, and am even considering doing a Diploma of Equine Podio next year.
But - back to the problem at hand. About a fortnight ago, I noticed that Sante was lame. i pulled him out on the Saturday morning and he was sore, stepping short in his front offside. So, i did a small maintenance trim on him, and measured him up for the ezyboots. On Sunday when I pulled him out, he was still lame, so we had a day of undemanding time and that was that!
Well. Last weekend when I arrived at the valley, I could hardly contain my excitement, as Sante's boots had arrived and I was planning on going for a ride. .. Until my agistment manager pointed out that "there was no way i was riding my horse as he was lame" it took me a while to realize that he wasn't joking, and I replied that I had noticed he was lame the previous week and beleived it to be from the run in. He also commented that the cracks on Sante's feet looked terrible, and htat I should be really worried about them. He told me to see Larry (the "traditional" farrier) and get him to put a shoe & brace on him. Although i didn't need an explaination, he went on to explain the shoe was to 'support the outer wall" and the brace was to force the outer wall together so it would begin to grow out.
I replied that I had just taken Sante's shoes off, and that they had actually got worse over the 18 months. He got shirty at me, and said "Look, I'm just telling you what I would do... now you know, its your call"
It really threw me. I was so confident that I knew what I was doing, and shortly after he gave me "his" advice, everyone else started giving me theirs "Oh definately put a shoe on it, Oh definately the brace, you just can't be to careful, you can't guess with things like this"
It made me sooo angry. By the time another friend of mine arrived (a certified barefoot trimmer) i spoke to her and she made me feel a lot better.. .told me to tell them to get f*&ked..
I checked Sante for an abscess, nothing. My friend attacked his sole & frogs with the hoof pick and he did not flinch at all.. So I poured peroxide all over the crack, which bubbled like crazy, waited for it to dry out and then stuffed copper sulphate in it, (sealing it in with blue tac).
On Sunday I nearly had a heart attack, I thought he had abscessed, but he hadn't, the growth closest to the corinet band had 'collapsed", the outer wall had 'dipped a bit'. So I poured more Peroxide into it, and stuffed it with copper sulphate again.
So yesterday, I was able to check on him (what with being newly unemployed and everything) I poured peroxide all over it again, and nothing happened (woot!) and I can just see the beginnings of new growth, the crack is just starting to grow straight and close.. so there is a strong chance that now the infection is gone, it will begin to grow normally.
I wish people would stop putting their faith in "tradition" and start questioning why they do things!!
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