Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Farrier visit July 23, 2009

To be fair, it was more like a me-visit than a farrier visit, as I took Buttercup to his house.

Buttercup had a loose shoe, and my farrier was unable to make it to my barn, so I loaded her up and took her over. She was only four weeks or so into her rotation, but we figured we might as well do all four since she'll likely just loosen or pull another shoe in a few weeks (glum, I know).

Things are actually looking up, despite the loose shoe debacle. The summer has finally started to play out with her hooves and we are getting some fantastic hoof growth ... even hoof growth, which is even better. Her heels are also starting to come in.

Front left:

Front right:

I know, I broke one of my cardinal hoof-picture rules: take pictures on even ground like cement. The ground is uneven, the angle is off and the dirt obscures a good view. But, my camera broke and we've got to deal with bad pictures this time around.

This trim (and last semi trim and the trim before) we have focused on shaving down bulges in the outer wall of the hoof. Hooves are tricky: if they grow into pressure. So a bulge is likely in get more bulgey. And she was getting bulges on the outside of her front right especially. To also help alleviate pressure from growing unwanted areas, she is also being trimmed slightly concave along her hoof so it doesn't quite meet the shoe.

We have a mixed bag of news for Bud. The pros: she has finally developed concavity in the front left hoof and is growing lots of frog (a sure sign blood flow is coming in full force) and her heels have "turned" to start to grow down into her setback shoe and are unwrapping. The con: she has gotten a slight infection in her crack again (notice the bucket in the background of the front right pics).

Things are looking up. Let's hope progress continues and we don't have too many more obstacles in front of us! Her hooves are more and more looking normal.

As a side note, I have finally put together a full chronology of hoof pictures from October 2008 through July 2009 to give to my farrier. I think he'll appreciate seeing how much progress we've made.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Limitless possibilities: the wonders of duct tape

Sometimes I marvel at the things I have used over the years for the sake of my horse.

I have used bailing twine to rig a bridle and a stirrup and I've fashioned a hay net from bailing twice. I buy infant diapers to suck out potential abscesses or infections on hooves. I've used duct tape to do everything from fix tack to hold together my horse. I use Lysol to control bacterial infections, also.

On Sunday, Buttercup came up with a loose shoe on her front left. Not at all surprising when you figure in the crazy super wet-super dry weather we've been having in coastal North Carolina.

To make matters worse, my phone drowned in a few droplets of rain last Monday, successfully eliminating my entire phone book from my life. Of course, these numbers were no where else but my Blackberry.

I got in touch with my instructor through her husband's Facebook and was able to get the number to my farrier. When I called him Sunday, the phone was off. Same thing Monday and Tuesday. I started freaking out.

Bud, normally a good-natured pony, turns into a gremlin when stalled for more than 6 hours at a time. No furby. Just a gremlin. She gets pushing, she won't stand still, she overreacts to everything. Bottomline: she drives me crazy. And it isn't like I can exercise her to let her release her frustration when she's having hoof issues.

So, my incentive to reach my farrier was strong, not only to protect my horse's healing hoof, but to protect my sanity.

After leaving probably five voicemails over three days and calling about 20 times, I realized my farrier's voicemail message was completely different. It was automated. Not his normal "You've reached ..."

I asked my instructor for the number again. This time, I got a completely different number! I called it, and my wonderful farrier picked up on the second ring.

"Will, I've been calling you and leaving messages. Did you change your phone number or something?"
"Nope, same number."
"Are you sure? Because that means I just left a ton of messages on some strange person's cell phone about my horse's loose shoe."
"Nope, this is my only number."

Ugh. I feel stupid. Anyway, I have an appointment tomorrow to drive out to his place to get the shoe tacked back on.

For right now, I have decided to take Bud out of stall rest for the above reasons. I fashioned a hoof boot out of an old, ripped bellboot (we have a ton of those) and duct tape to help keep her shoe on.

I got the idea because just duct taping her hoof, it always comes off because she has no heel to attach the duct tape to. So, it's like trying to keep on high heels that only cover your big toe: it just won't work.

I should have gotten pics of it, but the bell boot had its ring intact, which I placed around the pastern. It was missing about half of the bell-part. So I positioned the rubber bell part at the heel. I duct taped the toe and the shoe to the hoof very well and then attached everything to the ripped up bellboot to make a very fancy (duct tape is silver, so fancy) hoofboot.

It should last until this afternoon, when I'll make another one. I plan on actually ordering a hoofboot now after this!

So, what are some the crazy things you've fashioned out of diapers, bailing twine or duct tape?