Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hoof reconditioning

It isn't simple and straightforward, unfortunately.

After about 12 days of being barefoot on her front right, Buttercup was still incredibly ouchie. Her toe was completely purple from bruising and you could literally squeeze her entire hoof together with both hands and watch it flex.

Our vet happened to be at the barn treating another horse and I asked her about it. She said that likely Bud's hooves can't properly condition themselves because they are too busy responding to the acute pain resulting from the bruising. This made sense to me. After all, this is why horses drop weight when they hurt despite getting fed the same amount. Their energy has to go elsewhere.

The vet suggested I wrap her hoof in the Equicast, but only a few times around to let it wear off quickly and letting the hoof gradually condition as the cast wears away. Luckily, I had purchased a cast when I first considered it a few months back. I had watched the farrier apply it every time, so I felt confident I could do it.

I wore gloves because I know that stuff sticks to you and you can't get it off. First off, the material comes out of the bag and it is rather slippy. I had problems of it slipping and sliding as I tried to wrap it around the hoof on top of itself. I tried to wrap it a bit looser to try to protect the hoof and yet encourage it to do its own thing. It also doesn't harden as fast as I thought it would.

When putting the hoof down, my glove became stuck to it and that was rather funny. After it started to harden and take form, I then walked her around the yard to encourage the cast to really mold to her sole and get rid of bumps and nasties.

It has been over a week since I applied it and it's still on, but wearing down quickly. Buttercup has been sound over most surfaces except for concrete. I'm sure glad I paid attention and could apply that cast to give her temporary relief! Even two days of bute didn't put a dent in her hoof woes. I was applying keratex and turpentine over the week and a half and nothing hardened that hoof.

My hope is that it wears off well before our next farrier visit in early December, and the hoof starts to condition and harden off.

The chiropractor comes out on Friday so I'll have a big post coming! I can't wait to see what's going inside that pony's body.

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