Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good hoof news all around!

Instead of being greeted by the BM with such bad news as, "Your horse tried to impale his head again." or, "Bobby seems to be missing a large chunk of flesh on his flank." I actually got really good news! We got a crazy fucking downpour yesterday--4" in under two hours up at our house--so BM turned Bobby out without his boot so it didn't get wet and then insulate a nice fungus-building puddle overnight. (Oh, p.s. Bobby is down to just one boot and still on 17 hours of turnout in the biggest field. Whaaat.) She said he came running down the hill and was the first one in this morning for the first time in forever, and he did it looking completely sound.

YAYYYYY!!!!!

With that kick ass fucking news in mind, I decided to see if I could do our two point torture session in the cross country field barefoot.

the reaction we get from the mares when invading their pasture.
clearly bobby is not viewed as a threat. or a suitable boyfriend.

Um, yeah. We could. Granted, the rain made the footing absolutely perfect, and the xcountry field is the only field in the surrounding five counties that isn't shale-based so we weren't battling rocks, but still.

My goal for the two point challenge is to add an extra minute of my start time of six minutes every week. I thought I might die, but I did manage seven minutes today. I split it up into three minutes of trot, three minutes of canter, and one minute of trot. Then I cried a little from the pain in my aching calves and walked Bobby down to the bottom of the field so we could have a run up the hill.

I turned him around, made him halt, and then randomly decided to clear my watch that still had the two point time on display. Someone took the beep as his cue to go galloping out of the start box and sprinted away while I still only had the reins in one hand. I let him go flat out since it's a clear shot to the top of the hill and there's plenty of room on top to pull him up before it drops off again. Besides, Bobby is so polite to gallop anyway!

Um, no. Usually all I have to do is stand in my stirrups and let an inch or two out of my reins and he merrily comes back to a trot. It took me every foot of flat ground available to get him pulled back up, and it involved a lot of feet on the dash and see-sawing of the elevator bit. Crazy fuck. Clearly his toes were not causing him pain. Take that, NF!

I touched up his hooves when we were all done, cried a little more about my lack of leg strength while bending over, and snapped some quick pictures.

For comparison:

Pictures from 8/26, a day after getting his shoes pulled:

LF

RF

LH

RH

fronts.

And today, 10/8:

LF

RF

RH. missed a spot on the outside! 

LH.
(obvi not as tiny as my fingers--i'm just an excellent photog.)

the RF is still being a little bitch. BM suggested scoring above where that toe
crack wants to start again and it stopped it in it's tracks.
you can see how dished the toe is on the RF. it IS growing out, and it's WAY
better than it was even a few weeks ago, but i think it's going to keep trying to
crack until the dish is gone.

I welcome any and all comments on his feet! I've been rasping them about once a week just to keep the chips and any flaring to a minimum. Still a ways to go, but they're obviously so much healthier than they were a month and a half ago.

20 comments:

  1. No hoof expert, but if he's sound you must be doing something right!

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  2. Wow! His feet look a ton better! Also, sounds like he's feeling pretty dang good too. :)

    Good luck on the minute add a week! My lower back is killing me from the two point stuff.

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  3. His feet are looking a great! It's always a good sign when they don't want to stop at least when it comes to foot soreness ;)

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  4. they're looking SO much better!!!!

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  5. His feet look so nice! I was really considering going barefoot with Fiction too, but his soles are sooooooo thin I don't know if he would survive.... ><;

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  6. It's like you traded in Payless for Manolo Blahnik!

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  7. Wow so much improvement! I am a big believer in barefoot! Here is one of my favorite websites:
    http://www.barefoothorse.com/
    You might want to see if the page on flares has any good tips for getting the dish out! Good luck!!

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  8. I agree with everyone - his feet just look fantastic! Well, compared to where you started. I think they will just keep getting better! I'm so happy for you guys!

    And that watch beep thing... I know what you mean! Psycho Mare pulled the same stunt with me! But only for the second it took to spin and take 2 strides. Then we were back to walking before I even got the reins gathered up. LOL

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  9. Much better! Keep the outer wall rolled on all his toes, and get yourself a hoof knife and open up those cracks so you can clean them and check them for infection. They should grow out if you keep the toes rolled back (providing they don't get infected with seedy toe).

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  10. Wow what a difference! You are doing an awesome job with is feet!!

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  11. Man forgot how fugly his feet were, great progress.

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  13. Awesome progress! One site I've personally been using is www.hoofhelponline.com. It's $20 a month, but they have tutorials on barefoot trimming for owners and message boards for further advice, and you can unsubscribe at any time. They do offer a free 24 hour trial, where you can access all the videos and guides. I've been using them and it's been a huge help since deciding to do Lily's feet myself, especially given the fact that her front feet are completely different.

    Other great (totally free!) sites that have GREAT info on how to do continue doing this yourself:
    http://www.barefoothorse.com/
    http://www.ironfreehoof.com/
    http://www.thehorseshoof.com/main.html

    You're doing a fantastic job!! Like others have said, you can totally trim that dish out on his front foot and it'll help him be even more comfortable. All of the sites above tell you how to do this correctly. :)

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  14. Yay barefoot Bobby!!! I'm a huge barefoot advocate (its just so much better for their feet!) so when I see a successful shoe-to-barefoot story, I do a little dance inside! And it seems like he's telling you he likes it, too, if he didn't want to stop. :)

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  15. Holy amateur farrier Batman! His feet look amazing - great job!

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  16. Feet just get better and better, good job!

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  17. Just keep backing those toes up a tiny bit more every week. His bars and heels will wear pretty well if you keep him in work as you do. I'd still touch those up about 1x a month. Definitely getting there!

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  18. WOW! His feet look so much better. I've been silently rooting for fast hoof growth and soundness. It really looks like you've got a good thing going.

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