21 March 2015

Encouraging signs of improvement in Raven's feet

     While none of us (me, Sue or Raven) have a bit of the Irish in us, still, St. Patrick’s day brought good news. Matt, our farrier, came out to trim and shoe Raven.

    We’ve been faithful in applying the goop (60/40 iodine/Venice turpentine). This has resulted in an almost complete cure of the white line disease in his hind hooves. 

    Instead of putting shoes back on the feet, we decided to put them in 'easy boots'.

   This rubber slipper is well known to endurance riders, but it works just as well on a dressage horse with raggedy feet. This is perhaps the fifth or sixth generation of easy boot. First hitting the market waaaaaaaaay back in the 80’s, they were difficult to put on and remove, and made the horse’s hoof sweat. I remember pouring a cup of water from a horse’s easy boot.

 The boot technology has improved remarkably. This style is cinched down using Velcro. They seem to breathe much better, and perhaps the only problem is they are inclined to accumulate dirt inside. But we take them off every night, to let Raven’s feet breathe. We also apply the goop once his feet are cleaned off.

    They worked. Not only did they allow Raven’s hooves to grow out but they also kept his hooves dry. That helped the goop kill the white line. 

    They also protected his feet from sustaining anymore damage from our rocky soil. In fact, they did so well that his hind feet had developed a 'lip' (for lack of a better term) on the bottom of the hoof. 

   I took pictures of his feet on the 15th, before the trimming, and the 17th, afterwards. For some reason, some of the ones I took of the inside of his right hind didn't register on the memory card. 

   No matter. You can see a lot of new hoof growth coming down from the coronet. Matt is very encouraged at the progress that's been made on Raven's feet.

 If you look at the edge of the above photo of his left hind, you can see the 'lip". It's on the toe. This specific photo was taken 15 Mar 15. Below is the same foot,left hind outside, after trimming.

Compare it with the one below, from my post "A picture can cause a 1000 shrieks".
What an improvement!! And below is the photo of his sole, that I shot on 15 Mar 17. The odd coloration is due to the hoof goop's iodine, staining the tissue. I did NOT take pictures of the sole after Matt worked on it. Linea, the barn owner, has a sea of dogs who insist on being underneath one's feet.
When you squat down to take a picture of feet, the dogs take it as an invitation to kiss you. I hate being kissed by a dog. So the pictures didn't get taken.
But you can see that much of the 'garbage', as Matt calls the infected hoof, is gone.

 Below are shots of his right hind, taken last month (or was it January?), which wasn't as bad as the left, but was still not a very good hoof.

    And now, the same hoof as above, before trimming on 15 Mar:
I don't have pictures of this right hind hoof after trimming, but if you look closely, you can see a bit of the lip. Below is the right hind sole from 15 Mar, and you can see the lip on both the right hind and left hind sole.
   We are tickled at the progress that's been made. Even Linea came over and wanted to know what Matt thought. Matt, was..well, encouraged, but wasn't effusive. He's seen a lot of bad feet, and so he advises we stay the course. We'd love to take Raven out of shoes altogether. After coaxing these feet into growing better hoof, I cringe at the idea of putting new holes in them.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, we've also been feeding him a supplement called "Trifecta". It is way spendy, oh my gosh, but it certainly seems to be contributing to the new hoof growth. 

    It seems to me that the right hoof is growing out faster than the left. 
That's merely my pondering, though.

   I wish I'd taken pictures of the soles after trimming. Matt took off the bars. I don't think this is a good idea, but...what do I know. He seems to be fixing the feet, so....I'll keep my humble opinions to myself. 

    Next hoof trimming is on 5 May. The weather is improving and he's been on green grass for some time, so I imagine that will speed up hoof growth, a lot. We'll see.


Tails FromProvence said...

All the trimmers I've met take off the bars and I've even become brave enough to do it myself now. The farrier here explained to me that if they are no longer flush with the wall they cause pressure inside the hoof capsule.
What can I say. Like you I am no expert. I've read bloggers who talk about leaving the bars 'self-trim' but right now I will continue to take the advice I'm being given.

Khutulan said...

It does seem to be working, although I'm of the mind that the bars serve SOME purpose. But he goes sound after having them trimmed, soooooooooooooooo, what the hey.