Friday, February 18, 2011

And... Exhale

Saxony's feet were done today. I'd been looking for a farrier since mid-January, fretting this way and that over all the conflicting information: shoes/no shoes, barefoot/natural hoof care, ad nauseum. For everyone that came recommended, there was an opposing negative opinion. I can get so overwhelmed sifting through all the commentary that it becomes intimidating in an odd sort of way. But one thing remained imprinted in my mind through all of it, that the joint crookedness in Saxony's front pasterns not be exacerbated by poor trimming and therefore cause her pain and lameness.

Front Feet Before
June, over at Chloe, The Pony Who Wouldn't, sent me links to lists of barefoot specialists, and that's where I found the one who worked on Saxony's feet today. I like what she did.

Front Feet After
I asked many questions while I watched her trimming. She did the hooves in pairs, first the front, then the rear, first roughing them in and then refining their shape. Saxony was easy and patient.

Hind Feet Before
I don't know whether it's an optical illusion caused by the color difference, but it seemed to me that Saxony's hooves had grown longer on the left side than on the right since her last trim. 

Right Rear After
I became so caught up in listening to the farrier that I'd forget to take pictures. I just grabbed these hind-hoof shots one at a time. This is a lovely, clean trim, I think.

Left Rear After

I've been given some coaching on what to watch for over the next few weeks and a recommendation to have her trimmed again in six weeks, sooner if I see changes that need some attention.

Really, I just became too worried about Saxony's feet, letting it spiral into something it's not. She simply has some mild unevenness in her pastern joints, not navicular disease, not laminitis. Almost lost in my relief at having her trimmed today was remembering to take the time to appreciate the sweetness that is so abundant in my kindhearted mare. She was only patient and friendly, even though she might have greatly preferred to be right where her friend DC was:

Oh, horses. Can human beings ever get so comfortable?


Anonymous said...

Looks like a really nice trim job. And love the photo!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Glad you've got that first trim done - hoping you get the results you're looking for. Val took nearly a year to make the barefoot switch but he's much better off now. Good luck - and the photo is priceless :)

Rising Rainbow said...

Knowing what's right with feet can be intimidating. There's a possibility that we might move and the first thing I thought of was how would I find a good farrier and, of course, a vet. Looking for a new one of either persuasian is enough to stress me out. Glad you found one that you are happy with.

Love the picture. That is one relaxed horse.

Story said...

So glad to hear you found someone! Great pictures!

June said...

They look good. It's interesting to see the band of new growth at the top of the hoof. I wonder what makes that demarcation line between the top and the bottom.

The left ones do look a little longer, don't they? But like you say, it's hard to tell if it's the color difference. They do definitely look more squared-off though. There looks to be less difference between the before and after in the right hoofs.

June said...

I'm glad the trimmer seems to have worked out for you!

Just for interest, how long did it take?

smazourek said...

Toes look good, they really needed to come back and it looks like the trimmer did a good job of it. I hope Saxony is more comfortable now.

Muddy K said...

Thanks for commenting, everybody.

June, this trimmer was very deliberate and thoughtful throughout, so the trimming took slightly over an hour, what with her going back from time to time to look at the X-rays and also answering my questions. I respect her for the time she took. Thank you so much for supplying me with the links that led to her.

The one thing that struck me most was her roughing in the hooves first and then moving back and forth between them, refining the trim. I have not seen a farrier do that before. About the growth band, she did tell me that we were looking to alter Saxony's angles, up front particularly, and to watch at the cornet band for signs of that. I wonder whether the Cosequin might have anything to do with growth band, though.

June said...

Another good thing about moving back and forth between hoofs is that it also gives the horse a chance to rest its feet in rotation.