Monday, February 28, 2011

Buttercup goes to Scott's

(Buttercup categorically denies that she was difficult to load. Here she says "Look at me! I love the trailer. Let's get rolling!")

Buttercup left her caretaker's yesterday and is now, for the time being, at her trimmer's farm. Scott was excited because he said he can work with her now on a week-to-week basis and possibly get some faster progress on her hooves.

We had some hiccups — Bud got wound up and decided she was not leaving the property (an old trailer loading issue that I thought was over and done with *sigh*), truck broke down, etc. — but we all got there safely.

(I did have a camera and apparently used it for the worst parts of the trip!)

Unfortunately, while there, I spaced it and didn't get any pictures! I blame the hectic day impeding my natural inclination to document everything Buttercup. This also means I, yet again, do not have recent hoof pictures! Buttercup is now nearly three hours away, but this does make her closer to our next destination: Charleston.

The end! (at least of this post!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trimmer visit Jan. 22, 2011

(Playful Bud is not the most appreciated pony at the moment!)

Things are looking great for Buttercup. She actually seems to be having a second foal-hood — further cementing my theory that because laminitis begins in the hindgut of actually processing the sugar that comes in, she's been uncomfortable for years before her hooves became an actual problem.

She's jumping all over her pasture-mate and causing general chaos at her caretaker's barn. And unfortunately, because she's become rather destructive with her feel-goodery, she will be finding a new home here soon ... whether that's back at the barn near me or with her trimmer, Scott.

We are facing a move back to Charleston, S.C., this summer so things will be in transition for us over the next four to six months. If I neglect things here, it's not because the saga is over. It's just that moving is really super stressful!

Onto the latest and greatest trim!



Let me start by saying, putting yourself out there on the Internet when it comes to hoof rehabilitation is hard, especially as a layman. I'm often asked things about Bud's hooves that I really don't have a clue about. But the great part about it is that it helps me view her progress a bit more objectively.

No one wants to see progress more than me — even to the point of seeing it when it really isn't there. The mind often sees what it wants it to see. I'm happy to share my story, not only to help others but also to objectively view my own horse, who I love dearly, and my own decisions. I haven't always made the right decision, but I try to make those decisions for the right reasons.

So, while these hoof pics here aren't 100% great, I think we've been making great progress. But I want to point out where these hooves can be improved. I think I've been to rosy lately and have not been as critical as I should be. So here's where I find issues:

(Left and right, respectively.) While the balance between both sides of the hoof, dissected, has drastically improved and really looks positive, the thickness of the bars and its location to the actual heel are still very thick and far forward. Where the buttresses of the heel are at the top horizontal line, is near where the bars should start ... not near that bottom horizontal line.

Her bars have been an issue and the current program is to keep backing them up slowly with each trim. Why? Well, I'll let Scott answer that one (excuse the typos, he was typing from his phone):

This is the thing in some trim methods they say cut them (the bars) out and in some others they say don't touch. So what I have done that works for me is this I will take them out and I mean really get them out ONLY when the rest of the hoof is in good shape to carry the load remember the number one RULE I DON'T WANT them to be SORE I have found that if I just dig out the bars every time the horse will step off so I try to get all the other things healthy FROG. BALANCE. Hoof wall. Heels. Toe. And when just a few of those things happen the other things get better like the bars and the horse was in work moving happy. Its like training I'm not focused on what's wrong and attacking that problem I'm just going to work on things that are going to fix the problem like softness. Hip. Shoulder. Poll. Neck. Collection. In buttrercups case it was frogs first. Balance. Toe con cavity. And hoof wall crack is where we are now I think she has made good hoof growth we just have to keep working

Thank you, Scott. Love hoof care professionals that don't mind a few questions!

To show that we have had further positive growth in the hoof, I've taken lines to the lateral views of the hooves:

To those wanting to know why I didn't follow the exact angle of the hoof wall: 1) she still has separation and the hoof wall is not a good judge of angle on the hoof that way, and 2) I did it from the actual break-over point of the hoof, which does show a more accurate angle. Also, these images, while fairly good, are not angled correctly for best angle assessment.

Her heel, while curved under, is not drastically wrapped under or at a severe discordance with her toe angle.

Oh forget this critical approach! I'm just happy my little Bud has made any progress at all!