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.



Anonymous said...

Check this one out - I believe this lady is over your way and seems very knowledgeable:

Unknown said...

:) That's one of the blogs I mentioned and he will be going to a place nearby :)

English Rider said...

I'm very pleased that there is hope for Kingsley. What a wonderful solution this could be.

Unknown said...

We are pleased too but it's till early days - we will have to see how it goes - there will be lots of updates!

Daun said...

Very interesting. As you know, Brego is barefoot. I put shoes on him once last year and he went lame in them. He's been barefoot all year and doing very well, hunting and jumping.

I am not a "barefoot only" person since my older mare, also diagnosed with navicular changes as a 3 year old, requires shoes. However, she had her shoes pulled as a 7 year old (egg bars/wedges), and was left barefoot for another 9 years and was sound. Finally, with the rigors of eventing and hunting, at 18 years old, she required flat shoes only to be sound and happy. Could she be barefoot now? No.

Would she be dead if I hadn't pulled her shoes when she was lame in eggbars and wedges at 7? Absolutely, yes.

At 20, she leads first field, events novice and looks better than she did as a 7 year old. If I knew then, what I know now...

I am just glad we pulled her shoes and allowed her the time she needed.

Best of luck, Wiola.

Daun said...

Also, kudos to both of your for having the courage to try outside the box for Kingsley.

Jackie said...

Another fantastic barefoot blog to check out is She's been my own personal hoof consultant as I've learned all about barefoot with my boy over the last few years. And if you want, you can send her pictures and she'll give you feedback on exactly what she sees going on with Kingsley's feet and what you can do to correct it. She and her husband are both rehabilitative trimmers and are fantastic at what they do.

One thing she always reminds us is that any fix, especially transitioning from shod, takes time. To really see a difference in Kinglsey's feet from going barefoot, you're going to have to wait at least six months to a year. I'm really excited to hear there's one more chance left for him, and I really think this has a great shot of doing the trick. Just remember to give it plenty of time! Take lots of pictures for us so we can see the progress.

Unknown said...

Daun - thank you! I was actually going to leave you a comment to ask about your opinion on Kingsley's feet as I knew you had significant experience keeping Brego barefoot :) I also added a link to your posts on trimming as find them really interesting. I really hope it will work for Kingsley but we shall see.

Jackie - thank you for the link! Added it too :) There will be lots of photos - promise!

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