Monday, June 25, 2012

In Which I Have a Good Ride, and Then Am Mind Boggled

Really though. Is there anything as disorienting/frustrating/panic-inducing than an "issue" with your horse? Okay yeah, there's plenty, but you know what I mean.

 I met J and her Mustang Sedona at Lake Oroville today for her first ride on the lake trails since moving away a few years ago. She is the first person who ever showed me the lake trails and my oldest friend since starting my new life in the area, so it was good to be back on those trails with her again.

I rode Desire, as she has been chilling in her pasture for the last week, has been trotting out sound, and I wanted to see what, if any issue there still might be. I did one last trot out/on the circle this morning to make sure she really looked good to go, and she did. I put the Gloves on with tape on all 4, (2 wraps on the hind, 3 on the right front, 4 on the left front as it has the dish..oy vey) and--they stayed on! Through terrain and some trotting and powering up a short hill or two. We walked through a little muck but they never got submerged.

I tried some Easycare size Medium ankle boots borrowed from N and there were only 2 short episodes of Kicky Leg and she didn't goose step with them on at first either. Overall seemed capable of (mostly) ignoring them. So, ankle boots over splint boots it is.

Are we friends? Let's see..

So anyhoo. Desire and Sedona decided they were friends and moved out quite well together, Sedona is quite a bit shorter but she has a big walk and a nice endurance-y trot, she is quite an athletic little thing. Desire felt strong and good and we walked up over the ridge to the visitor center and wound back down the other side. When we got to the flat forested trails we did some nice working trots, and all felt good. We got off and walked for a bit, Sedona was getting tired and we decided to hook a right at the next fork and head back towards the trailers.

Arab Obstacles:

Following Sedona butt:

Trail obstacles are fun:

What in the Sam Hell is that ruckus?!  Just children.

We climbed the long hill back to the visitor center at a walk and the horses both tanked up at the troughs. After we went to pick up a trot on the good footing before the descent--THERE, there it was, that faint little Off in the Front Left feeling again. I stopped her, asked J to watch, she saw it, and yeahhhh, great, frustration/panic all came flooding back. She was chipper and sound as a dime at the walk, and I dismounted and walked with her down the hill back to the trailers. I trotted her a few experimental steps and again she was significantly lamer than she had been a few minutes before, just like Hat Creek Day 2.

Back at the trailer I pulled off all of her boots while she dove into her hay net. What hadn't caught my eye in the morning putting the boots on now suddenly lept out at me in her left front. On the left side of her left front hoof there was a big sort of *lump* of old/false sole, which stuck out almost 1/4" off the flat of her sole, where on the other side it looked like the sole had shed out. This whole lameness/barefoot hoof madness stuff is still new to me, so I might be totally crazy here, but does going distance on a big old lump of old sole in half your hoof a sore horse make? My trimmer left a lot of sole before the gluing on a week and a half ago, for the most padding she said, and all that junk hasn't been trimmed out yet...btw Desire didn't rest that front leg at all either, in fact she was standing on it (and the 2 others, of course) and resting a hind back at the trailer, and overall was just so NOT behaving like a lame/injured horse...

I decided to chip away at that chunk of sole a little with my hoof knife when I got home, just to see if some big ole bruise or answer would spring out at me...well turns out a freshly sharpened hoof knife is freshly sharp indeed. I cut a big ole chunk out of the top edge of my thumb and the blood about put a stop to my hoof care attempt. I did get the thickest end of it pared down so it wasn't so raised, and my trimmer will be out Wednesday to take a real look at things and trim the rest of the herd.

Okay, scientific Paint editing time...pre hoof knife fun...So see the ridge circled in blue, the arrows are pointing at the really raised part of it, which in reality was almost 1/4" higher than anything else in the hoof..

Oh, by the way, when I trotted her out barefoot back to her pasture? She was sound.


  1. Yes, retained sole can cause soreness. That's built up bar material in the blue circle. Hmmmmm, PLEASE tell me she isn't going to be like my Dippi. Please please please. LOL I actually have to use my dremel on Dippi because she won't tolerate even the slightest irregularity in her hooves. If I remember right, wasn't it Desire's left foot that was so bruised after Whiskeytown? See you Wed.

    1. Is it Wednesday yet??? I just want to see it all out of there.

      Is it a slight irregularity? Seems like a significant one if half of her hoof is falling 1/4" higher than the other! Her right front was the most bruised after Whiskeytown but I think the Left had a bit of bruising too.

  2. It's taken me several tries and a few scars on my fingers and knuckles, but gloves, gloves, gloves when working with hooves! I got lazy a few weeks ago and didn't put them on, just pulled out the rasp for "a few swipes"...took off a huge chunk right off the top of my knuckles. Haven't caused injury to myself with the hoof knife yet...I'm a fan of the loop style.

    That is maddening about the inconsistent lameness. I'm not sure if the excess chunk of sole is the cause or not, other than to say I wouldn't discount it. One of the reasons it's suggested to trim the bars is so that they don't start laying over and causing a pressure it would make sense excess hard sole could do the same, almost act as a stone wedged in there or something. The give of softer pasture would mean there's probably not as much of a pressure point being caused...but hard ground and/or the solid boot of hoof boots would mean a surface which much less give, which is where she'd be feeling the pressure. I dunno, just tossing some ideas out in the ether.

    Whatever is going on, I hope you get it solved fast. No fun to play the "mystery lameness" game. Been there... hated that.

    1. Definitely need the bars down and all the old gunk out..And yeah, inconsistent lameness is a mind meld!!!

  3. i'm always amazed by profis who *regularly* rasp and pare hooves with no gloves. i hurt myself every time.

  4. It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but is the bar a bit laid over the sole, which caused the retained sole? Maybe Desire is just a delicate flower about feet changes. Can you ride her barefoot at all? I know the ground is super hard right now, but I do like to on a shorter ride, it seems to loosen up/abrade the rock-hard sole.

    And ouch! Be careful! I have a hoof knife, I just look at it, it looks too deadly. I'll be buying some tough leather gloves after your story!

  5. Yes Irish Horse, the bar is laid over some. I'm thinking Desire is like the princess & the pea. :(