Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pedicure Break

It's been a crazy week at work with the phone ringing off the hook, assignments flying at me faster than I can prioritize them, way too much overtime, and I even had to drive into town late at night to hand off some equipment to a coworker, so it feels like I haven't had a single break all week. However, I did get outside for a little over an hour when my farrier arrived to work on the horses' hooves. I was able to do a quick photo shoot with him while he worked on Lostine, because she's always so well behaved that I don't have to hold the lead rope.

Catching the horses was rather entertaining. Lostine ran from the halter and ran straight at my farrier, who put his arms out wide and said "WHOA!" He cornered her so I could get the halter on. Then Gabbrielle had to follow in Lostine's footsteps by running from the halter as well, and again my farrier stopped her. By the time it was Bombay's turn, he learned from the girls' mistakes, and just walked right up to my farrier to say, "Here I am. I'm ready. Get to it."

I talked with my farrier about Gabbrielle's limp at the trot. He said that he could tell by the way her hooves were worn that she was putting more weight on the left front leg, and when she uses her right front leg, she puts the weight on the inside, because she had a lot of hoof wall on the outside. He mentioned that when she was younger, her right front hoof appeared to be a bit clubbed, but it has improved since then. He made some adjustments in how he trimmed her to see if it would help with her limp, but when I moved her out at the trot afterward, we didn't see any improvement. He thinks the problem is in her right front shoulder too.

I have the phone number of an equine chiropractor, but literally every time I pick up the phone to call him for an appointment, I get interrupted or someone calls me on another line about something urgent that has to be done at work. I probably need to invest in some x-rays of the shoulder and the entire right front leg as well. I've got an appointment for something else tomorrow, so all of this will have to wait until next week.

You can probably guess that I haven't had the time to get more estimates for a wall around the paddock too. My nosy neighbor was out setting a world's record in the amount of time she spent spying and eavesdropping on us. Each time I caught her peering at us from over the roof of a car or from behind some other object, she'd suddenly pretend like she was looking for something she lost.

Since this is such an old injury or condition, I seriously doubt much can be done for Gabbrielle, but at least I can find out what exactly is the problem (hopefully) and can get an assessment of whether I can at least ride her at a walk. Unfortunately, my farrier told me about a client of his whose horse went lame and she spent thousands trying to find out what the problem was, and the vets could never figure it out.

My friend reminds me all the time that Gabbrielle would make a great broodmare with her conformation, fine head and bloodline, but I really don't want to go into the business of breeding, nor do I want a fourth horse. I'm contemplating leasing her as a broodmare, though. She's my buddy, so I wouldn't sell her, but I wouldn't mind giving her a job to do, as long as being pregnant wouldn't put added pressure or pain on whatever is causing her lameness. I'd also have to make sure that her lameness is the result of an injury and not some genetic condition. Knowing that her one hoof is a bit wonky worries me from a genetic standpoint, though. I'll just have to wait and make my decisions when I have more information. In the meantime, she's just enjoying being a pasture ornament and getting an occasional carrot or two.

9 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

I would think x rays art the least before you give up hope.And Equine chiropractics or someone like Kevin from Bluequine might be able to make a difference. Sounds like any way it goes GAbriell has a loving home with you

Sydney_bitless said...

I wouldn't give up hope. I worked al summer to get my friends horse back to soundness from a 14 year binge of weaving we thought she destroyed her limbs. As my equine health and disease professor said: 1 year of 24/7 turnout heals all lamenesses, 2 years cures them. How true after battling with this mares weaving issues she got 24/7 turnout and free choice hay and after the first week she hasn't taken a lame step.

photogchic said...

Did the farrier do any hoof testing? I would do some x-rays...my advice, find a vet with quality x-ray equipment. The vet I used for Maddys fracture had the most amazing stuff and it was about $360 for 24 shots. My regular vet has mobile x-ray machine she has used on other peoples horses....I wouldn't even pay for that kind of x-ray...very poor quality and you can't see anything. So ask around and find out who has top notch equipment...there is a world of difference.

Breathe said...

I hear you. We are on phase two of Lily's soundness issues. I hope we can get it figured out. Since we board we can't really afford a brood mare...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Scary for me reading this post. Apache's just a pasture ornament/pet now, too. Her lameness seems to come and go. It's more noticeable when she's walking uphill.

The Vet/Chiro/Massage Therapist is finally able to fit me in next week on Thursday, and I really hope she can help me figure out what's going on with Apache and help me get her well.

It's taken me such a long time to get back into riding after my previous injuries and surgery, and Apache has been a huge part of that.
We were just getting started together and I've not even owned her for a year yet.
It would be tragic if her lameness is something that can't be fixed permanently so we can continue riding again.

But, like you, I'm not willing to spend thousands of dollars trying to figure it out. I've spent thousands just in getting Apache back to health right after I bought her, and like you, I've got kids and other financial responsiblities that have to come first. It's frustrating.....

I hope Gabrielle's lameness is fixable, so you can continue to ride her, though. But I bet she would make a beautiful broodmare, too.

~Lisa

Anonymous said...

A shoulder injury can make the hoof wonky in a short time. I've got my fingers crossed that this can be resolved. Adjustments, PT, something. I hate for you to lose your special girl as a rider.

Crystal said...

oh no, I hope you can figure out whats wrong with her, I agree turnouts is an awesome healer, and horses heal slowly, sometimes veerrry slowly, but there is so much a chiropractor/massage therapist can do to help fix a horse.

Katharine Swan said...

I hope you are able to figure out what is wrong with Gabbrielle. I wouldn't breed her, though (or even lease her as a broodmare). She would make pretty babies, but every proud horse owner thinks that, and every baby she makes will displace another horse that needs a home.

JennyB said...

I too hope that this is something that can be fixed so you can both continue enjoying working together. Don't jump at shadows, think positive, and I'll keep a prayer for you!

~~JennyB, Horsefeathers