April 16, 2013

Barefoot Education

I am a very loyal person/customer...to a fault. I've been unhappy with how Rose's feet have been looking for a while now, however the farrier I've been using is a nice old guy, who is very reliable, and I thought was doing an okay job. As such I let her feet start going downhill to the point where I couldn't ignore them anymore. However, over the course of the last year the time my farrier spent less and less time working on her feet...until last month when he was at the barn for a record 10-minutes.

Around that same time I was body clipping a horse of a local dressage trainer and noticed her barefoot gelding's lovely feet. A couple of my sleep deprived brain cells decided to do the tango and provided me with the gumption to ask who does his feet and I got the trimmer's info. For a long time I've resisted going with a dedicated barefoot trimmer, afraid that i might end up with a quack who was riding the barefoot bandwagon. To ease my concerns the trainer told me she was having her geldings feet routinely radiographed that weekend and would let me know what the results were in terms of trim quality. About a week later I followed up with a phone call and it turns out the vet couldn't be more please with the geldings feet and called it a perfect trim job. I immediately made the call and set up an appointment for today.

I am so happy that I made that call. I got a huge education this afternoon. The new trimmer is actually a husband wife team. We'll call them P&R. P did most of the talking and explained to me what was going on with Rose's feet while R did most of the work. Some of the things that they told me about I was aware of, like her hoof flairs and infected (not full blown thrush) frogs. However, there was much more going on. She has a long toe-short heel issue going on with all of her feet. On the hinds her coffin bone angle is off causing some bull nosing of the feet. This may also be the cause of her regularly tight hamstring muscles (light bulb moment there...I didn't even mention that to them). I thought the tight hamies were simply from being in a lot of work all of a sudden.

The great news is all of this stuff is fixable through proper regular trimming. They were really happy to hear that I am already on a 4-week trim schedule and happy to stick with it, as well as scheduling appointments a month out. Yea! I was not all that thrilled with my old farrier's scheduling technique of calling one week ahead and fitting me in. I was so happy with their work, and appreciative of the fact that they talked me through everything they were doing, laid out a rehab program, and even walked her off to evaluate, that I couldn't resist but give them both hugs when they left. I'm a cheese ball, I know. I blame the baby hormones. They turn a normally cool level headed person into a soft squishy cheese ball. Seriously, I cannot watch a hallmark commercial without balling my eyes out now. But I digress. Rose will get the next couple of days off to adjust to her new feet. There was so much going wrong with the hinds that they had to be fairly aggressive  and now she's walking around looking a bit drunk. She's just not sure where her feet are. LOL!

PS. I was so interested in our conversation that I completely forgot to take pictures. Bad blogger!

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 
•DS•

8 comments:

  1. A horses feet are important I'm sure Rose is just as happy with her new feet as you are :)

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  2. They wouldn't happen to make trips to the Billings area??? ;)

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    1. I'm guessing not, but if you are serious I will ask them when I see them tomorrow to pick up a new thrush remedy I'm going to try out.

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  3. Hahahahha, my husband finds it hilarious that I get teary at every SPCA and hallmark commercial post-baby, glad I'm not alone! It will be interesting to see some before and progress photos of Rose's toes :)

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    1. The SPCA commercials are the worst! They instantly bring me to tears...so much that I have to change the channel!

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  4. I love educational and professional service providers regardless of what they are doing. Makes the process so much more enjoyable... BUT I will say, even though I'm not "in love" with having front shoes on Prair right now, I love my farrier and the fact that he spends 90 minutes on her, lots of which is time spent watching her walk/jog/lunge and adjusting his trims accordingly. Makes it easier for me to learn, and also makes me feel like he really cares about the impact he has on my horse's well being....

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    1. From what you've written about it, it seems like a good decision at the moment. If all this stuff I'm doing now doesn't work, I may have to go down the road of shoes. At least I'll know I gave it my best to keep her bare if I have to end up putting on shoes. Fingers crossed!

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  5. Yay!! I'm a little envious. Wish I could find someone so educated and talented to work on Chrome. :)

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