Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Truth Is....

This is going to be a lot of stream-of-consciousness without a heck of a lot of structure so be forewarned.

I put shoes on Bijou yesterday. I don't really know why. I know that is dumb but I did it any way. Probably as some sort of coping/denial mechanism.

I have an off horse. She's been a grade 1-1.5 for the last three weeks since I've been paying attention. I was riding and S says to me, "you are going to hate me for this, but she doesn't look perfectly sound" and I think, "Deny deny deny!" only to have 5 other respected horse people tell me that she looks off to them too.

Now's the part I feel bad about. I was just chalking it all up to the fact that she's been young and wiggly and hard to tell if she's bobbing her head a little because she's stretching, or because she's scooting away from something or because I asked her to turn when she didn't want to, or any number of other things. I know she's been iffy lately, but that's the thing about a grade 1, they sneak up on you. The other thing about it is that because it's not acute but probably chronic, it means that I'm not going to fix it tomorrow.

WHY ME?! I've had a mysteriously lame horse already!! Didn't I pay my horseloving penance? I keep thinking to myself, it couldn't have happened to me AGAIN, but it has.

So I had the farrier look at her. He hoof tested the crap out of it with nothing. I don't really know what that means. I think hoof testers are a bunch of bull since they can only put so much pressure compared to when a whole horse lands on that spot, but if farriers use them, then they must be worth something. So at this point I'm freaking out. I just want to know what it is so that I can prepare myself. I hope it's not navicular, because that gets really annoying/expensive really fast! I hope it's not degeneration of her coffin bone, because that's not reversible. At this point I still have no idea what it is. Farrier tells me that shoes aren't going to be the Panacea I was hoping for. So I gave it a few days, took a few more poll respondents and then ended up picking the most popular answer. "Just put shoes on her" they say... so I do.

I hate shoes, I think they are archaic and probably not very scientific, but at this point, if they work, then I'll be happy. I would totally do the barefoot thing, but I don't know enough about it to do it myself, and I don't know anyone I would trust to do something radical with my mares feet. No hoof, no horse!

I'm going out today to ride her and give her a thorough check over to see what the heck I think of these things stapled to her feet. I don't know what to say other than I'm trying to make her comfortable enough to ride her without hurting her feet.

I haven't blogged lately as an additional form of denial. Once I put it on the WWW for the whole world to see then it must be true! So here it is, truth. I have a lame horse.

I'm going out right now to trot her in circles to see if I can catch anything. Here's to hoping.

1 comment:

  1. Some common things to consider with a grade 1 lameness. I see this a lot doing equine massage therapy:
    Saddle that does not fit or is placed incorrectly
    Rider leaning to one side when riding without knowing it. It makes the muscles develop incorrectly that may cause an altered gait.
    Always mounting and dismounting from one side of the horse.
    Being a little out of alignment, could be from bucking around and rolling in the pasture. Try getting a chiropractor out it will be worth your money and you'll be able to tell more things about all your guesses.
    And if it's only when ridden/tacked up, the bit. Sometimes horses exhibit characteristics of being lame when they are holding a bit in their mouth.
    IMO for lameness 90% of the time shoes are like a band aid for a gaping wound. You gotta treat the causes, not the symptoms. Shoes are not gonna make her lameness go away.
    The reason I use shoes, and I use easywalkers, not metal shoes. I use shoes because I drive my horses many many miles in a week. Most of this is on pavement and big stone. They wear far more than they grow so in working season (April-December) they have easywalker shoes on.

    I hope you find a solution to your lameness problem D: