Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Buttercup goes to Whippoorwill

Buttercup's been in light work since mid January and this was our first off-property ride. We hauled two-hours one way and had a two-hour trail ride. Admittedly, I had horrible nightmares the night before freaking out that something awful would happen to her hooves (like fall off ... silly imagination).

But nothing bad happened and it was all positive.

Next Saturday: the beach!!!

I ended up hauling Buttercup in her Rx boots to provide extra protection. The EasyBoot Web site says they provide a little extra cushion. Since my trailer is rather basic, I figured it could only help. I rode in the Edges. She strode out like the fabulous little trail horse she is.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow and boots

(New favorite pic of Buttercup and me)

I have finally discovered the Rx boot's weakness: snow. They stay on relatively well for deep mud and all other turnout activities, but the snow worked into the velcro to form little snow balls that eventually rendered them no longer velcro-y.

But that's OK, it's not like it ever snows here in Eastern North Carolina. We just got 7-8 inches Friday night and it is nearly gone now.

Saturday morning when I went out to the barn, I had to search through the snow and mud to find both boots. Once found, I figured I would keep them off because they were only going to come off again.

Here's pics of her second snow ever:

By the time I arrived Sunday morning, she was very ouchie from the snow turning to ice over night. I slapped on her EasyBoot Edges, and since she went back to being very comfortable, I took some pics. I thought about taking her to the bean field for a nice walk in the snow, but was concerned about her feet already being stressed, even if she did look comfortable once her boots were on.

So that she wouldn't continue to be ouchie when I took her Edges off, I put her cleaned and snow-free Rx boots back on. But before taking her back out to the pasture, I wrapped the velcro with duct tape to prevent snow from lodging in there. Seems to have worked since I went out this morning to bring back her blanket (she tore it Saturday night and it needed some extra water proofing after all the rain and snow) and the duct tape was still there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Farrier visit - Feb. 8, 2010

First farrier visit of the New Year!

Today was very informative with my farrier and I got new insight into Buttercup's own conformation. But first, like always, updated pictures of Bud's hooves.



He left a lot of heel this time around (something that I speculated would be trimmed off this cycle because of it looking pretty warped). He said he wanted that heel since he's been taking more toe. He isn't concerned that the heel is really ugly, so long as she's sound and comfortable. Plus, it helps him remove as much toe as necessary. The frogs on both her hooves have grown very nicely and he even trimmed some of the icky parts off. A first!

If you take a look at her right solar shots especially, you'll notice that she's not very even around and that brings me to the next point.

A good farrier always works within the confines of the individual's conformation. As much as I love Buttercup, she's not a perfect specimen. From last trim's pictures, I noticed Buttercup looked a little high on her insides, and made sure to mention something to my farrier this trim.

What he had to say amazed me. Bud turns out at her knee through her cannon on her front right (shown below).

She also turns out at her knee on her front left, but then at her fetlock, turns back through her pastern.

So much for straight legs! He went on to say that not only is he having to re-make her hoof, he also has to constantly fight against her conformation – impeding the rehab process. (As a side note look at her crack growing out! Doesn't it look great?) Her natural break-over point on the front left is more toward the outside of the hoof, so therefore, the inside gets a bit longer because it doesn't wear on that side as much (which also brings me to the next point).

Bud will go back to being more aggressively booted for turn out but we will start removing the frog pads. The reason? She wore down a lot of hoof this cycle and my farrier wants to keep that hoof so he can better mold her. And the reason why we are trying to remove the frog pad is to encourage her to support herself instead of letting the frog pad support her.

I have moved her to the softer density frog pad so that on days where she does need her frog support, she isn't getting much support.

She was slightly ouchie on the concrete after the trimming, but he did take off some toe. I put her Rx boots on and she immediately licked her lips and looked content.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Forward progress

From Riding Buttercup
Since getting our hoofboots four weeks ago, Buttercup has continued to improve with our light walking schedule. I keep expecting to go out to the barn and find her lame. Instead, she looks better and better every day, even if I think she can't possibly look any better the day before.

We have been slightly more aggressive the past few weeks with turning her out bare instead of in her Rx boots. She has gone more than 48 hours without them and not been ouchie. The key is to get her to be stronger without causing her hooves any undue stress right now.

Buttercup again went back to 24/7 turnout since her Rx boots keep her feet relatively dry even in wet weather and plus, she is ready to be moving a lot more, booted or not.
From Riding Buttercup

I am really impressed with my EasyBoot Edge boots. They have pretty good grip in poor, sloshy footing, and really seem to protect her hooves while conforming to them. Good product overall. My only complaint: they don't drain. I would drill some holes in them, as I've heard others have had success doing that, but I am afraid of compromising the structural integrity. The water that gets in there though doesn't seem to bother Bud one bit.
From Riding Buttercup

Oh and we also got some new shipping boots so that when she's ready for beach rides, ranch sorting, trail rides and dressage tests, she'll have better protection on the trailer. She'll also ride with her Rx boots so to provide extra cushion in the trailer.
Farrier visit Monday! Can't wait to see her further improved hooves. I have a feeling we are getting out of "rehab" stage and moving into a normal just trim every six weeks.