Friday, March 8, 2013

New Farrier/Trimmer and Pie is Smart

Dawn, Red, Pie and I met our new farrier/trimmer this morning, and we were (or at least I was) impressed.  My horses are exactly three weeks out from their last trims (by my old farrier/trimmer, resulting in Dawn being very sore for almost a week and Red sore for several days, Pie being Pie was fine).  I told him that my issues with my old farrier were that he often trimmed my horses too short, and took too much off the toes, and also rasped the hoof wall at the hind toes and over-beveled the toes. He looked at each horse and their feet carefully, and said that they'd all been trimmed so short that they were only now at about the point he'd have wanted them at after finishing a trim.  He also wants to see how their feet grow before doing any trimming, so he'll see where we are in 6 weeks.  The only thing he did was some slight shaping of Red's left hind on the lateral wall - he commented that Red must have some pain in his left hind or back to have grown his foot that way.  Bingo - Red's hock arthritis is somewhat worse on the left hind, and he's always carried his left hind farther under his body, causing more weighting, and therefore growth, of the lateral aspect of that hoof.  I mentioned that, when I got Red, his right front was unusually narrow and long, probably because he'd been pulling with the toe, rather than landing heel first, in compensation for the left hind.  The farrier said the right front looked pretty good now.  He also noticed Dawn's thin soles and her dangerously long and low hind pasterns - he said she's likely to develop suspensory desmitis due to her conformation (the link has good descriptions of the condition, but I don't necessarily agree with the shoeing recommendations in the link).  I've been aware of this for a while, and she'll be 16 this summer. Since she's sound in work so far, he agreed that keeping her working for now, as long as she doesn't show signs of pain, is a good plan.  She won't be doing any jumping or significant collection or extension, so we hope she's good for a while.  There is no particular trim or shoeing that would prevent it, and trying to shorten her toe to change her breakover (which my previous farrier apparently was trying to do) really isn't necessary or appropriate.  The farrier agreed that Pie has exceptionally fine feet, and said that he's now really a bit too big to be a rope horse - which is funny because the old man who started him and sold him to me said he was selling him because he was too small (at that point) to be a rope horse!  I wonder what the old man would have to say now that Pie's all grown up and much bigger.

Both Dawn and Red had minor reactions yesterday to their EHV-1 vaccinations of the day before.  Dawn got an injection-site lump the evening of the injection on one side of her neck - the side that's had cellulitis before - and the lump had gotten larger by yesterday morning.  My vet told me to use hot compresses twice a day, and also put on some DMSO cream once a day.  I did that yesterday, and the lump looked better this morning.  We did a hot compress again. If it hadn't improved, or if it gets worse, I'm to put her on a 10-day course of SMZs, but it looks so far as though that's not necessary.  Red got a bit of a fever - his temp was 101.8 yesterday evening - but he was eating and drinking well and wasn't mopey or depressed.  I gave him a 500-lb. dose of Banamine (we were more than 24 hours past his vaccination, so the Banamine shouldn't have depressed his immune function), and an hour later his temp was 101.1. This morning his temp was back to normal - under 100 - and I'll be checking again this afternoon.  Daily temperature checks are part of my routine now, until the EHV-1 outbreak at the other barn is declared all clear.

Since Red seemed to feel OK, we had a short ride yesterday, with some walking and a bit of trotting.  Pie and I had a more substantial ride.  We started with some in-hand work to reinforce his stepping over and under with the hind legs - he's really picking up shoulder-in in-hand quickly.  Then we rode.  He's clearly getting the idea - he stepped over with his hind end nicely in the corners at all three gaits, and I didn't have to put my leg as far back to get the response I wanted.  He also did some very nice spiral-out work with his hindquarters on an outside track, and some leg-yield and shoulder-in.  What a smart Pie!

6 comments:

  1. The new trimmer sounds like a keeper so far!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The farrier sounds knowledgeable and as if less is more in his book. Sounds like a keeper.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a super farrier. I think he is going to make a huge difference in your horses's hoof health and soundness.

    I've been lucky so far with no reactions to vaccinations, but it's something I always keep an eye out for. Hope everyone recovers quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A horse being sore after a trim is a red flag. There are those who think some soreness is necessary when making a "change", but I disagree. No change should be so severe that a horse's movement is inhibited. This completely contradicts the healing of the horse as a horse whose movement is reduced is entering trouble.

    I am glad that your new farrier decided to do nothing initially. Establishing a baseline of observations and photos is so important.

    I think that the trimmer I used before taking over Harley's feet trimmed his hinds toes too short. He was less able to place his hind feet under his body when standing still, even though I think the intent was to improve his balance over his feet. I think that he stands and engages much better now and his hinds definitely look different. I will have to give my trimmer a raise! (that's me, I am going to double my pay from zero to zero. :) )

    ReplyDelete
  5. Val - I agree. Some trimmers think that a horse being sore is necessary to change - I disagree - feet grow from the top, based on proper nutrition and exercise and you can't chop them into shape like blocks of wood. That said, sometimes horses will be sore not due to anything a trimmer did - this is almost always due to either a nutritional problem - too much sugars and/or mineral imbalances - or to a horse needing casts or boots during a transition to barefoot or when dealing with unusually difficult terrain.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting - we appreciate it. No spam or marketing comments will be published.