Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pea Gravel, All Scraped Up and Caudal Hoof Photos

Yesterday, Pie was apparently enjoying his pea gravel at the lower end of his paddock too much.  He apparently rolled all the way over and got his legs through the board fence and managed to scrape himself up pretty thoroughly, including a big scrape down the back of one hind, smaller scrapes on the other hind and a big scrape on the inside of one front leg between the shoulder and knee.  Fortunately, all the wounds were superficial, and he's completely sound.  He must have had his legs well through the fence boards to get scraped up in all those locations.  I inspected the fence this morning, and sure enough, there were bits of hair stuck to one board and numerous scrapes and indentations on the boards made by hooves as he thrashed around.  I'm not sure how he managed to extricate himself - it must have been quite a struggle - but I'm glad he managed.  The pea gravel does slope downhill a bit at that location, so I can see how he could have rolled all the way over pretty easily there without even meaning to.

I'd already planned to install more pea gravel in his paddock on both sides of his shed, to give him dry footing and a comfortable place to lie out of the wind.  Another 14 tons of gravel were delivered and installed this morning - we've now put a total of 28 tons into the paddock.  I certainly hope he limits his rolling to the locations near his shed from now on, and stays away from the fenceline!  The gravel will also help to deal with the run-off from the shed roof, which has been a problem.  The middle of the paddock will still get somewhat muddy, but things are much improved from a footing point of view, and pea gravel is supposedly very good for developing healthy hooves.  I'm planning to get both Dawn and Drifter some time in the paddock so they can also benefit from the gravel - our dry lots turn into muddy messes any time it rains or snows, and are not good for horse hooves at all.  We also leveled up the gravel along the fence line a bit to reduce the chances of him getting stuck again.

Here's some photos of our new, improved, pea graveled paddock - this is what 28 tons of pea gravel put down about 6 inches deep looks like - I believe the depression in the center indicates a nap was had - away from the fenceline:



And just for fun, and in particular to start documenting changes in the heel structure of Dawn's hooves, are caudal photos of all 12 hooves (here's a recent post showing the soles of their feet).  Please excuse the imperfect angles and sometimes blurry pictures.

First, Dawn.  Left front:


Right front:


She's been out of front shoes for about two weeks now.  Note that her frogs and digital cushion are underdeveloped, which is about what you'd expect.  Also note how the hoof wall in the heel area is contracted and compressing the frog - those horizontal lines halfway down the hoof wall are evidence of this. As her feet grow out over the next 6 to 9 months, I would expect some decontraction of the heels and development of the frog and digital cushion.

Left rear:


Right rear:


The rears aren't too bad - her feet would be even better if she had exposure to a greater variety of surfaces of different textures and hardnesses.

Now Drifter.  Left front:


Right front:


Drifter's got a decent heel structure, although it's interesting to note that the right front has a somwhat less developed caudal structure - this is the foot with the longer, narrower frog and some contraction in the heel.  He's extremely sound on all surfaces though, including rocks, so some of this may just be natural variation.

Left rear:


Right rear:


Not too much to say about Drifter's rears - they look pretty nice with decent caudal structures.

Pie - left front:


Right front:


Left rear:


Right rear:


Pie has very nice, well-developed caudal hoof structures.  I believe that the teardrop shape in the center of his heels is evidence of the good development of his digital cushion - his really excellent feet and legs were one of his big selling points when I was horse shopping.

And, for those of you who made it this far through the post, here's a bonus picture of Dawn doing her snuggle thing where she rests her chin on my hand and presses her nose to my shoulder - she loves to do this while I'm grooming her:


14 comments:

  1. I love your gravel set up! One day I hope to be able to provide such environment for whatever barefoot rehabs I will have at a time :)
    I will look forward to update photos!

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  2. Love the gravel photos - inspiration! The Dawn snuggle is the very best.

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  3. I know I've said this before but I learn so much from your blog. Even though I am currently sans horse, I still find your posts very interestng. In my younger days, I did have a horse and I was also in 4-H for many many years. I've learned more about hoof care from you, among other things than I did while I was in 4-H. Thank-you.

    Oh, and that photo of you and Dawn was so worth the wait. Very special.

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  4. I guess the lesson is pour the first gravel in the middle of the paddock? Poor boy.

    Love that picture at the end!

    Smokey does that snuggle thing too. Lily does something similar, but I have to initiate and then se leans in and closes her eyes. Sweetest thing ever.

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  5. I envy your pea gravel!

    Love the hoof photos and Dawn's snuggle.

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  6. Poor Pie, glad he wasn't hurt too bad. I always worry about those soft spots that are so inviting, when they are near a fence.
    Beamer likes to snuggle too, he lets me give him head hugs..... and kisses on the muzzle.... and about any kind of lovin' he can get!

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  7. Good idea to have some gravel shipped in. Sand and gravel are random things that get horse owners all excited! :-)

    Good shots of the hooves - I always think that I should document my horse's hooves, but always think about it after the farrier has fixed any problems...!

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  8. Oh what a great snuggle pic :)
    I hope to convince the current BO's to get Pea Gravel and I'll split the cost! I'm going to shoot for Spring...I've casually mentioned how great it is for their feet, so hopefully it happens :)

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  9. Glad Pie wasn't hurt badly with his rolling antics. We're getting this before the winter in our catch pen too. The muddy mess is just too much to deal with.

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  10. Silly Pie! I'm glad he wasn't hurt more.
    I love that last pic of Dawn. How sweet. :)

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  11. I actually saw my Tucker get cast in the middle of the pasture on a hill. He lay down to roll with his feet uphill, couldn't quite make it all the way over and was stuck. As I hurried out, he somehow managed to shimmy himself into a better spot and got his feet to the lower side of the slope and, rather embarrassed, got up.

    Love the gravel. I could use a bunch around here....

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  12. Love the pea gravel nap angel, and especially the snuggle picture! :)

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  13. That pea gravel is awesome!! I use it in my barn, but I sure wish I could afford to get more for the barn on the lease land and low spots. I love the stuff.

    I'm glad everyone is still doing so well. :D And I love the last picture.

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  14. So glad Pie did not harm himself worse! Love that pea gravel ...the exra should help.
    I learned a lot from the hoof photos.

    Your snuggled Dawn face is The Best capture- ADORE THAT PHOTO ,and mare!
    KK

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