Friday, June 4, 2010

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

My good fortune with having a barefoot Thoroughbred seems to have run out this week. I had removed Spider's front shoes in December and he was doing brilliantly. His hoof wall was growing beautifully, his feet were expanding and his feet just looked gorgeous. I was so pleased! Then the heat and dryness of summer hit, and our ground turned to concrete. Literally, concrete. We have sandy soil mixed with rocks, great for drainage if the weather's wet.....bad for moisture if it's not. I started to notice a few superficial cracks in Spider's feet, then they began to chip. This week they started really breaking up. Of course, I panicked. Visions of lameness and abcesses danced through my head. He's still sound now, but what if the feet break more? I'll be having a baby soon, there's no way I can take care of a lame horse immediately after having a baby! What a nightmare! So I called my farrier. Lucky for me, he's an absolute gem and was happy to indulge my neuroses. I took some pictures and emailed them to him for a consult. Isn't technology grand? I can bother my poor farrier without him even having to come to the farm! Just when he thought he was safe from crazy clients, we invade his email. *L*

His opinion was that, while he didn't like the looks of it, there wasn't a whole lot that needed to get done right now. Spider was just trimmed three weeks ago, so there isn't much hoof to work with. Putting the shoes back on now is pointless, too, since the damage is already done. So we're taking a "wait and see" approach. Spider will be out of work for at least the next three weeks, no riding or lunging...just turnout. That will put us at six weeks from the last trim and we'll re-evaluate then. The farrier does think that this is just a minor snag, and Spider will be able to continue going barefoot. I certainly hope that's the case, his feet really were looking great without the shoes on. We shall see.


  1. Hm... I totally freak out if Izzy even cracks a little bit. I understand where you're coming from.

    Hope all is well on the tiny human front.

  2. Oh, my, how frustrating. The dry ground is actually good for his feet, as too much moisture makes the hoof wall too soft. Here's hoping the turnout and time off will help him get those hoofs stronger. As long as he's not sore, he should be fine. Some of that breakage actually looks pretty normal.

    I keep waiting for that baby here too!! Aren't you due just about now?

  3. Yep! me too waiting for your baby. He/she is taking her time LOL!

    His feet look okay. Teena was much worse with an infection of the white-line.

    My luck is that she grows hair and nail very fast. It is summer, so more growth.

    I would not worry. If it comes off, it is because it was not needed! With a hard ground, he is self-trimming.

    Yes, well done! you have just joined the club of "the-Anorak-who-takes-pictures-of-their-horses-feet-to-show-to-the-farrier". I just did that two days ago. ;-P

  4. You're waiting? How do you think I feel? *L* If the baby doesn't make an appearance next week, she/he's getting evicted on Friday. It couldn't come soon enough!

    Thanks for the barefoot support. I know it's not really that bad, but I'm entitled to a bit of craziness...right? Spider just picks the worst times to do these's always got to be all about him! *G*


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