Thursday, 16 September 2010

No Feet No Horse

It seems a theme now that I have very little time to update this blog so a long update is coming tomorrow. Today I will pass on the news on Kingsley...

If you read my last post you will know that nothing has improved Kingsley's feet problems and we faced a sad end of the road. There is only as much money and tears you can spend on a horse and the decision was made to have Kingsley put to sleep.
As my friend was going to be away we decided to arrange for everything once she returned. In the meantime I had someone coming for a lesson who happened to have a barefoot horse...The said horse was placed at the Horse Of The Year Show some years back but had since developed various feet problems. The owners tried many types of shoeing, pads etc but opted to take the shoes off in the end as a last resort. A year on and the horse is sound and happy.

It got me thinking...I have read a little on barefoot in the past and although I would happily never shoe a horse if it was done from a young age but I wasn't sure what to think about this chucking shoes away after years of having them on. From my limited knowledge on the subject I was aware that any barefoot rehab needs careful preparation and experienced trimmer to supervise the process. The last thing we want is to put Kingsley through unnecessary painful procedures.

I must say it wasn't easy to even make the decision to try one more time. We were prepared to call it a day and start afresh but every time we discussed it neither of us could say "right, let's do it on this/that day".

The more I looked at his feet the more concerned I became. The many photos taken of him helped me to trace the shape of his hooves and even to me they looked in ill condition.

To learn more about it all I posted a thread on Horse & Hound Forum which you can read on here: It has 87 replies as per today and they make for rather interesting read.

If you do read it you will notice a lot of criticism of the farrier. As I now know, the farrier isn't always to blame. He might have been doing all he could have to work with the ill hoof. If the foot doesn't grow well not much can be done.

As Kingsley wasn't at all comfortable in his egg bar shoes we agreed for him to have wedges for a couple of weeks as we were advised he needs pressure taken off his DDFT (Deep Digital Flexor Tendon).
These are the photos I took 2 days after the wedges were put on:

11th September 2010

As you can see this is one unhappy pair of feet. After having a good thorough chat with my friend we decided we should try to give the boy this one more chance and try him barefoot. The question was, how to go about it.
We both would have loved to take part in his rehab and learn what he really needs to become sound but after researching all the options we think we found someone who will do much better job. Once everything is finalised I will post an update.

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