Saturday, 18 May 2013

Day 1 Post-shoes

Today was Tuxedo's first full day sans shoes. So far, so good. The photos below will at least give you a good idea of the state of his hooves when the shoes came off. You can see a generally good shape, though with some angles and toe to change, and a fairly strong looking wall. His frogs are very fleshy and big, which is quite surprising for a shod horse.
Near fore

Near fore

Hind hooves

Near fore underneath - showing those big frogs! You can see the flare and flat shape of the foot.

Off hind - you can see the absence of weight-bearing wall on the outside. This could be our problem hoof, thinks trimmer-extraordinaire, Kirsten.

Off fore underneath - bit dirty to see but he wasn't being especially co-operative at this point!

Near fore inside area. The chunks missing shouldn't pose too much of a problem though you can see the bit of flare to the shape of the hoof

Off hind, I think!

Near hind with a bit of nail still stubbornly embedded

Off hind outside.

Near hind from the front. Looks quite good.

Off hind. The shape is quite vertical. Could be problematic from a weight-bearing point of view.

Off fore.

And this is Tuxedo!

I am increasingly impressed with this horse's feet. After I'm guessing on-off shoeing over the last couple of years, his hooves don't seem much the worse for it. Obviously, the shape and compression is not great, but he is not uncomfortable in any way and appears to be coping well.

I took him for a walk on the road today - gravel and sand. He was remarkable. A few short steps to deal with some sharper bits of gravel, which I would expect for even a hardened barefoot horse, but otherwise fairly good. His walk is not striding out, but that could be partly due to excitement as well.

I had Robyn the bodyworker out to see them both yesterday and, all in all, it was a pretty depressing visit. While Rose's pelvis appears to be really good, strong and relatively even, she has suffered another injury, this time to her elbow on the opposite side. I noticed as I was walking her down the road back to her paddock last week that her whole shoulder looked like it was popping in and out as she walked. It looked really awful, but she didn't seem particularly fazed. I texted Robyn who suggested it could be a couple of different things but I had booked her in for yesterday in any event so left it til then.

Robyn thinks Rose has injured the elbow joint or the strong ligament involved with pulling the leg forward (I think - I wasn't quite across what the actual injury is as it all went fuzzy after "may not be able to ride her much" and "there's really no treatment for it"). Basically, the joint is not working properly and, as it keeps moving outside the normal range of motion, the joint will wear out and major problems will ensue. There is a chance she will recover of her own volition, but there seems quite a big chance she won't.

I'm pretty devastated. She is such a promising mare and I can't quite get my head around what it all means. Second opinions are always worth getting so I may well get around to doing that, but she's almost 7 months pregnant so it's not like I'd be jumping on her anytime soon so the urgency just isn't there.

To top it off, it turns out Tux has a similar problem but his is the degenerative kind and it's in the early stages. Apparently, problem elbows are just starting to be diagnosed (like navicular syndrome 20 years ago), so I'm hoping more research will be done around this issue and treatment options become available in the future.

In the meantime, I'm starting to feed them both MSM, which I fed with some success to Assegai, and magnesium chloride, which is apparently very important for all sorts of things - more on that next post! It's not that Tux is not rideable - far from it - it's just something to keep an eye on down the track, and he may not have as long a career as another horse without the problem. I will try to find out more and post it.

Moving the day after tomorrow - EEK! So much packing, but so little energy. It's hard to get excited about moving two geriatric horses out to a property with no arena, no jumps, no water troughs, even! I shouldn't whinge, not in the slightest, as not very many of us get to live on a property within half an hour of work, but I'm just a bit down on it all. Horses are always a gamble, aren't they!

Off to watch Eurovision to cheer me up. :)

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Check it out - I made it into print!