August 9, 2011

Busy bees

After a very productive yet relaxing weekend, I arrived at the barn yesterday to ride Rose. We had been to the rodeo over the weekend, and I had developed an aspiration of trying my hand at barrel racing in my dressage saddle, just for fun. I do realize that if I really wanted to barrel race I'd need the proper equipment and likely a different horse. However, I like to mix things up for Rose and get her to think about different objects in different ways, plus she is pretty darn agile.

It was not to be.

When I arrived a fellow boarder informed me that Rose had just been freaking out in her stall prior to my arrival. Another person, who is a trainer but supposedly doesn't train at our barn (BS, I've seen it. I think its the owner playing favorites), was there and calmed her down. Supposedly when they returned from a trail ride they heard a commotion and when they cam in the barn they found Rose bucking in her stall and in doing so kicking her door. Rather crazy sporadic behavior. My instant thought was a horse fly or bee, and although I couldn't find evidence of a bite or a sting, she did have a nice big crack running vertically up her hind right hoof. The only time I've seen her act like that before was while a bee crawled on her nose while hand grazing. So she may not have been stung, but she certainly hates bees. It is quite likely one was simply in her stall or on her hay.

"Oh great", I thought to myself "well, we aught to see if she's sound". After a quick assessment to make sure that her legs were not swollen anywhere, I grabbed my longeing equipment and took her into the arena. She immediately started showing off a lovely sound floating trot and nicely balanced canter. Then she really started showing off how much energy she had and the canter became a gallop, however still nicely balanced and in a circle, so I just let her blow off all the steam she had. It took me about a half hour of longing her before she started to slow down and tire. Afterward I took a look at her hoof again, and the crack had turned into a big chip with part of the hoof pried back.

After longeing - the vertical crack was pried back

After I snipped off the peeling off part

View of the chip from below
I examined it, and determined that it looked pretty superficial, and if anything I was glad to have a big chip rather than a serious crack in her hoof. There was no blood or anything exposed that looked like soft material, which is why I wasn't too concerned with it. Also, mud season being behind us for now, I assume that there is less risk of infection. However, I am not a hoof expert, and prefer seeking out the opinion of professionals rather than ending up letting a small problem become a bigger one. My farrier comes out this afternoon to take a look and give me a verdict on severity, weather I should be treating it, and if I can ride.

Update: post - farrier visit
She's gonna live! Whew. Actually he said it should be just fine and not to worry about it, just don't ride her over rocks until it's grown out. Not a problem, we don't do that anyway! While he was out he went ahead and trimmed her all around as she was due for a trim next week anyway. It was actually quite amazing to see how much hoof she's grown in just three weeks. There was a whole lot of trimming going on! I think he clipped about a 1/4" thickness off. I remember her feet growing very fast last summer so I wasn't too surprised about it, but my farrier certainly was. I think he trims most of his clients every 6-8 weeks. Rose can't go longer than 4 weeks, especially in the summer, or she gets really bad flaring going on. He probably thought I was just neurotic about getting her feet done so often, that is until today.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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  1. Oh Rose... goofy mare. Last time Izzy took a big chunk out like that, it was literally minutes before the farrier was set to show up.


    She should be ok, though.

  2. I'm glad it turned out okay. :) Poor Rose. I can totally understand a phobia of insects hehe.

    Chrome's hooves grow really fast too. His flare very quickly. I used to trim my own horses, but I'm afraid of hurting my back so I'm trying to train him to use a hoof stand so I can rasp his hooves without using my back. That way I could keep them beveled between trims. :)



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