I am living on the edge…

Of shoeing sanity.

How long do you think that it has been since that foot has been shod? 5 weeks? Maybe 6? It has officially been almost 8 weeks! Can you believe it? I know I couldn’t. I had my farrier out on Saturday to do both boys toes. Phoenix, as always, just gets a trim. I was expecting Gen to have to get another pair of what I call Manolo’s. I even had several hundred dollars in my wallet that I was not looking forward to spending in order to pay for his high end feet. When my farrier took a look though he came up with a very interesting game plan. Because the shoes still looked fine, what if we really tried to push it? What if we waited another week or maybe (gasp) two weeks? At first I was not so sure how I felt about that…I mean it sounded so…dangerous. You always hear the abuse cases of horses who have gone for months without hoof care and Gen would be going almost 3 months! I wasn’t so sure about the plan. My farrier replied that he would be more than happy to take my money, but that redoing the shoes at that moment would not be the best thing for my horse.

The best thing for Gen is not to have to get the Equi Pack again. Horses get used to this high tech cushioning and often have a hard time going back to normal shoes, let alone barefoot, after long periods with the extra padding. Since the goal is to get Gen back to nothing because it is what is best for his tendon I knew my Farrier had a point. So I agreed to live on the edge, even if I am only doing it for a week or two. My farrier will be back over the weekend to check on how the hoof growth is going. If we can push it another week after that then the game plan is to put Gen in nail on aluminum shoes (with pads of course for shock absorption) and no snow gear (although considering they are predicting 2 seperate snow storms next week we might go with snow gear afterall). After 6 weeks with those on, the shoes and pads will be pulled and Gen will be back to barefoot! Who knew it would be such a process to make my horse right again after a chip in his foot? I have learned my lesson though and now when I see a chip I just call my farrier and he treats the chip and trims right away. I have already put the prevention plan to the test with both boys who were each getting chips on their back feet at one point and getting it taken care of right away is working.

In other foot news…Poor Phoenix has a little spot of thrush on his left hind frog. I am already treating it, but I am annoyed that not only did it happen, but that I did not catch it! My farrier did have to cut away to get to it, and also assured me that it was such a small spot it had clearly not been festering for long. It is still annoying though because with all this clean white snow around  it  is clear where he is getting it and there is nothing I can do to change that situation. At least thrush is treatable and according to Mrs. Mom and my Farrier(who both recomended the same thing) it should be gone in no time with no lasting negative impact. So that is the update on my boys feet and they both say thank you to all the readers who have for weeks been asking about their very precious toes!


5 thoughts on “I am living on the edge…

  1. Don’t worry about Gen. In the winter, horse’s hooves grow much slower and in the picture you took he looks like he was just done. If it makes you feel better, Speedy is going at least 2 weeks extra with his current shoes because of his situation. He was due on Feb. 15.
    About Pheonix – it’s hard to spot thrush, especially in an appy with multicolored feet. Usually it’s the bad smell that alerts us but in the winter, you may not smell it. I found a mixture of half bleach and half water works best – better than any of those commercial thrush products.

  2. Speaking from experience, if your farrier had to cut away to discover the thrush, you very likely wouldn’t have been able to discover it on your own. Poor Ace is super prone to it, which is why he’s gotten very very good about me handling his feet as I’m very OCD about cleaning and checking them out daily. Even a severe case isn’t a terrible diagnosis. Ace lost half his frog to thrush last August, and within two weeks he was perfectly fine (although it did take months for it to grow back out). If MrsMom told you about White Lightening like she did me, I totally back that recommendation up! I use the gel on Ace. It’s very easy to apply and works wonders.

  3. I sure wouldn’t worry about going an extra week or two when that foot looks so good. The hoof grows a little slower in the winter anyway so your boy should be fine.

    Stanley was super prone to thrush at the last two barns (we’ve been thrush free for 18 days now that we are in the new barn!!!!). I have an old hair spray bottle that I fill with my favorite thrush medicine and any time I have to dig damp stuff out of his hooves (regardless of whether it’s mud, shavings, poo, whatever) I give them a preventive squirt. Because the mist is pretty fine but I can focus it where I want it, this seems to work pretty good. You might want to do something like this with Phoenix since you can’t control all the elements. If you are really good about doing it pretty regularly and especially when you know he’s been standing in “ick”, then he should do okay.

  4. At previous barns when I had a problem with thrush I just kept a spray bottle of the bleach/water and would give the hooves a spray when cleaning them. But at my new farm our soil is all sand so no horses have had any thrush in my barn. One of the boarders even commented on her horse being thrush free for the first time in 8 years. I have kopertox and other thrush busters but the bleach /water works best, is easiest, cleanest and cheapest. Good luck.

  5. I think Gen’s foot looks pretty good. Must be the fancy shoes. Just think now you can keep your money for a while. I’m sorry to hear about the thrush on Phoenix’s frog, that stinks. I’ve been there and it’s no fair when you can’t control the conditions that cause it. Let’s keep a good thought and refuse to believe there is any more snow coming,then Gen can get something in a little cheaper shoe maybe. Good luck.

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