Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hoofers

The horses received their third barefoot trim and thanks to monsoon season ending, their hooves are finally hardening up, although the farrier said it could take up to a year to get them into the desired shape in which they can travel on any kind of surface without pain.

He had such nice things to say about my horses.  He said that Gabbrielle is one of the smarter horses he's met.  She's curious and had problem-solving skills.  When he had her front hoof on the jack she started getting antsy and trying to pull back, but he wouldn't let her.  He said most horses give up once they realize they can't go anywhere, but Gabbrielle figured out that she could use the jack like a step and push off to jump over it.

Not exactly a good thing, but she was careful not to hurt either of us.  It turned out that she just needed to take a dump and didn't want to do it in the stall where we were trimming her hooves, because the horses have some unspoken rule in which no one poops in that stall.  She ended up swinging her hind end over to the railing and trying to aim for outside the stall.

The farrier teased Lostine for falling asleep during her trim.  He kept saying, "Calm down, girl!  You need to learn to relax."

He was pleased with how easy Lostine was in her slumber, but the best compliment came with Bombay.  After pointing out that Gabbrielle has a front hoof that grows sideways and had three rings from Laminitis on it, and Lostine has one back hoof that grows sideways, he said that Bombay is a rarity because he has four perfect hooves.  Ironically, Bombay was my least expensive horse, yet in some ways is the most valuable.

Bombay's healthy hoof on the granite I shipped in for the barn floor

Gabbrielle is moving better than ever since this new farrier began working on her.  I can see him visibly correcting her bad hoof with each trim.  She has a slightly clubbed foot with flares.  He talked about all the different things that can cause Laminitis and explained a rough timeline of each ring on her bad hoof.  The length of a trimmed hoof is about a year's growth, so she had rings from one year ago, 6 months, and 3 months.

One year ago she was away from home in a training facility.  Six months ago she was transported 760 miles, which he concluded was probably traumatic for her and caused her insulin levels to rise, forming the ring.  Three months ago I moved her again from her boarding facility to my home.  I guess she doesn't adapt well to change.  Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.  Horses wear their emotions on their hooves.

Gabbrielle's bad hoof on the native hard-packed clay surface in the paddock

5 comments:

Strawberry Lane said...

Your comment about "wearing heart on sleeve, horses wear emotions on hooves". That pretty well says it all.

After the laminitis/founder ordeal with Royal (and fortunately his recovery), I'm still not over it.

sydney K said...

Was Gabrielle ever visibly lame? The rings in her feet are fever rings. When histamines are released in the body they cause them to appear in the hooves. They can be released for many different reasons. Don't freak out though, many things can cause fever rings and it does not mean the horse has inferior quality in the hooves so long as there aren't many rings or recurring often. Wile fever rings are essentially like laminitis they are different. Laminitis will cause the horse physical discomfort and lameness as a larger portion of the laminae is affected (not just a little ring) and when grown out will make the white line appear stretched and compromised. Fever rings happen for a number of reasons. Some horses when the grass comes back green suddenly, as it did here this year when it finally rained, changing hay types suddenly, grain changes, vaccinations, moving, stress etc. When I moved here to Missouri Indigo and sebastian had good rings from the stress of a 12 hour trailer ride.
Remember horses hooves are like your hands. The more you use your hands the more skin your hand produces and creates a callous. A horses hoof is similar. The more stimulation it receives the more good hoof it will grow. I have clients that went from barely growing hoof in shoes to exploding with an inch of growth in a 6 inch trim cycle barefoot because the owner took the time to work the horse often during it's rehab from bad shoeings.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

sydney - Yes, Gabbrielle went through several lameness episodes when she was younger.

Cindy Durham said...

I would love to have your farriers name for when I move down there

achieve1dream said...

Your new trimmer sounds awesome!!! And the horses' hooves look great. :D I'm glad you found him. Yes, it can take a year for them to toughen their hooves up. It's so worth it though. :)

Chrome gets rings (everything I've read calls them event lines because some event caused them) too. His are from things like spring grass, high sugar like the persimmons, chemical dewormers, etc. The only time he's been lame was the abscess though if I remember correctly. It's not a huge thing to worry about, just something to keep an eye on so you learn your horses triggers.