Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Someone Pinch Me

My trimmer was out today for our four week appointment. Since her last visit, I have moved barns, had chiropractic work done on Lilly, stopped all supplements, and had a mineral panel done. As I mentioned in my last post, her mineral panel came back normal (all minerals in the normal range), and we found just the one small issue with Lilly and her L5 vertebra. Lots of changes, which is something I always try to avoid if possible, so that if we see improvement we'll know what to attribute it to, but it just wasn't possible this time.

Lots of onions... and onion breath. Yuck!
When my trimmer arrived, the first thing she had me do was walk and jog Lilly up and down the barn aisle. She said she still looked a little short strided on the left front, but she thought she was moving a bit better. I filled her in on the chiropractic appointment, and we talked about things I could do to try and help Lilly's back muscles, and also to strengthen her core. We know there's an issue with the L5, but we don't know if it's causing stiffness and tightness in Lilly's front end. Since it can't hurt, we're going to pretend it is causing an issue and do some work on her to try and help as much as we can.

Once she was ready to start on Lilly's hooves, the first thing she said was, "wow". I was hoping she'd see what I saw, which was a little bit of concavity. Yes, I said CONCAVITY! I'm not sure it shows up very well in a photo, but you can see where the color is a bit lighter in front of her frog, and that's where we're seeing it. She's still very flat, but we're seeing changes.

She pointed out how the collateral grooves are getting deeper too, and she remembered from last time that the front of Lilly's frog used to just kind of run off into the rest of her hoof. It was very flat at the end, which was indicative of how thin her soles are. Now the frog is raised above her sole all the way down. Her heels have backed up a bit more, the white line has less separation, and her frog has even changed quite a bit. It's less soft, much more robust, and the central sulcus hardly has a crease at all.

Looks pretty good, yes?
To compare, here is the same hoof after our trim four weeks ago. The picture is a little dark, but you can really see the changes, especially in the collateral grooves, as well as with the white line.

Four weeks ago.
There weren't a lot of drastic changes in her hooves that might make people notice, but I notice! It's only been four weeks... FOUR weeks. The fact that we're seeing SOME changes is something that makes me want to sing and dance. Plus, on top of all those changes, we actually had hoof to trim. It's the cooler season, and most horses are starting to slow down hoof growth... but not Lilly. She's pushing out more hoof than I've seen in a long time. My trimmer said that's a great sign and could mean her hoof is healing, and she can put more energy into hoof growth rather than working so hard on healing. The new growth that's coming in looks amazing too. It's very tight, and we're even seeing some relief on her coronary band... she's not so jammed up in spots. My trimmer was very happy with what she saw today and she's quite encouraged by all the changes.

We're still fighting off the seedy toe on her right front, so we have a new plan for that. I purchased some triple antibiotic ointment, as well as some athlete's foot cream, which I will mix together and slather on up in the crater. Then I'll pack it with cotton to keep the cream in, and the icky stuff out. I'm also getting some Keratex to use a couple times per week, and I might also go back to soaking with the Oxine once a week on all hooves, just to make sure we keep the bacteria away, and to help with any white line separation.

So, is it the change in environment that's causing all these wonderful changes to occur? Maybe the teeny, tiny change in trim method? Perhaps eliminating her supplements? (Weird to think they could have been hurting her, but who knows!) I'm just so excited and so encouraged! I haven't felt this way in quite a while.


  1. I'm so happy for both of you! You've put everything into this and I'm so glad to hear that you're finally seeing some good results.

  2. It's amazing what a knowledgeable trimmer can accomplish...

  3. It's amazing what horses can do, given the chance, to grow the good feet that they need. I think it's Lilly who's doing it, not the trimmer - although a bad trimmer can damage what the horse is trying to do and having a good trimmer is invaluable.

  4. That is awesome news. I wanted to let you know that my vet turned me onto a product that worked wonders for the sore-footed TB. Magic Cushion!!

    I packed that into the TB's feet and wrapped them for 24 hours. The next day I pulled the wrapping off and just left the Magic Cushion in his feet (it smushes down and seals to the sole). It will stay in for quite awhile if you are careful not to pull it off when picking feet. The TB is standing up on his front feet and feeling frisky. His feet don't hurt at all anymore. It's awesome! I'm going to do the same thing to Frosty to give his thin soles a little extra thickness too.

  5. Your puppy is adorable! I have to admit, I was fearful coming here - afraid of bad news. I read your last several posts and hooray! Keep up the good work! And I'd rather have my pony being a bit tubby (as Oberon is) going into the winter season. It's a long haul with very little grass.