Friday, February 28, 2014

Hoof Progress!

Well, due to more icky weather, tomorrow's show has officially been moved to Sunday. I have to work Sunday, so even if Lilly and I were totally ready for the 2014 show season, we wouldn't have been able to go. So let's all pretend I never said anything about not being able to go because I'm way behind, and I'll feel less like a slacker.

"Awww, man! The show has been moved to Sunday and I have to work! What rotten luck!"

I was, however, planning on driving up there with Rylee in tow to watch my friends and enjoy the day. Now I'll have to find some other way to spend my Saturday.

I visited my sweet girl today and took a few hoof pictures. Seedy toe and all, I'm SUPER happy with how her hooves look. The seedy toe is completely under control and in the process of growing out... it's just a waiting game at this point. I'm thrilled that there's no longer an active infection in there, and I'm unable to shove cotton up into the cavity these days. So I just clean it out, squirt some cream in there, and call it a day. So much less work!

Crystal (my trimmer) and I had a conversation last time about Lilly's seedy toe. I believe it started back in February of last year, so I've been dealing with it for about a year now. Even with all my soaking, digging, cutting, and praying, she feels like I was never able to really get at the infection the way I needed to, and it probably went up into Lilly's hoof much farther than I ever dreamed possible. So even though I was soaking, I was probably only soaking the very bottom of the infection, which is why it's been so difficult to get rid of.

She also noticed how the very front of Lilly's seedy toe hoof is very straight at the hairline, but just at the front. It was impossible to get a photo of (and lord I tried), but her hairline has relaxed, and looks normal, just about everywhere else. She said she typically sees that with horses who have "slipper toe" (or elf shoe, slipper foot, etc) or some kind of coffin bone damage. Even the slightest bit of abnormality with the coffin bone can impact how the laminae connects to the hoof wall. She was wondering if Lilly might have some damage to her coffin bone from the laminitic episode she had in July. I told her I didn't remember seeing anything like that on Lilly's x-rays from September, but we only took side shots. I did recall seeing the itty bitty bit of slipper toe she had on her right front, though, so I mentioned that to her.

Just a teeny, tiny bit...
Coincidence that it's on the seedy toe hoof? Probably not! She said that could very well be the cause, and could also be the reason I had so much trouble getting rid of the seedy toe. She also thinks it might be something that I end up dealing with on a consistent basis, and I might need to take preventative measures to ensure any little bit of separation doesn't turn into a giant infection.

She's due to be trimmed in two weeks and things are still looking good. It's been fascinating to watch the changes in her hooves since August of 2011 when her shoes first came off. So much time has passed, so much has been learned, and so many tears of frustration have been cried. I'm just excited that we're finally on the right track and my girl is comfortable and happy.

Here are some photos I took today and also some comparison photos to see just how much her hooves have changed and how far we've come. Seeing these helps me remember why I'm doing this... it's all for Lilly and the health of her hooves. (Click on them to make them bigger!)

Left Front Hoof:

So pretty!

September of 2011, and January 2014

December of 2011, and today.
It's silly, but I just love picking up her left front hoof and looking at the bottom of it. The sole comparison pic was taken in early January, and there's even less separation now than there was then. I've stared at her crappy hooves for almost a decade, and it's so much fun to stare at them now. The side shot was taken today, 3 weeks post trim, and I love that there's not a single chip or crack anywhere to be found. The quarter scoops are all Lilly (meaning Crystal doesn't do any scooping of her own), and look how pretty her hairline is. Progress, progress... I love it.

Right Front Hoof:

Seedy toe is almost grown out...

September of 2011, and January 2014.

December of 2011, and>
Once the ugly seedy toe goes away, I'll probably stare at the bottom of this hoof as well. Again, the sole comaprison shot is from early January, so the seedy toe isn't nearly as noticeable from the bottom now. The focus is on keeping it under control, so this hoof doesn't look nearly as pretty, but very soon it will.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Brief Ride

I haven't posted in a while... there hasn't been much to post about unfortunately. With all the winter weather we've been having, I haven't been able to ride much at all. The few nice days we have are hindered by the soggy condition of the arena. That's the one and only thing I miss about my last barn. The indoor would have been really nice.

I did take Lilly for a ride this past Tuesday, though. I actually made her work a bit, which she didn't really appreciate, but I told her to get over herself... her vacation is officially over. She was very 'up' and always wanted to be jogging when I wanted her to walk and loping when I wanted her to jog. I guess it's expected with all this time off she's had, but it would have been nice to enjoy a much more relaxed Lilly. She's so out of shape that I don't want to work her too hard when she's being naughty. It was still a fun ride... it felt really good to be back in the saddle and I enjoyed doing something with my horse other than soaking her hooves.

Her hooves look fantastic, by the way, and one of these days I'll post some photos of just how great they look. When I'm out at the barn, I can't help but stare at her beautiful hooves. If nothing else is going right these days, her hooves can at least make me happy.

I was hoping to go to a show this coming Saturday, but I haven't been able to ride her nearly enough for something like that. It wouldn't be fair to drag her out of the pasture and ride her around all day. Since the riding hasn't been going as planned, she's also without a current coggins and my new truck is without a gooseneck hitch. All problems when you're thinking about taking your horse to a show.

It's looking like I'll have to wait until May to venture out to our first show, but at least by then I should have all my ducks in a row and we'll be ready to kick off a hopefully successful show season.

Looking gorgeous as always.