Saturday, January 30, 2010

Now We're Cookin'

As many of you know, I have spent the past few months searching for a barefoot trimmer that is located anywhere in Southeast Florida. At times, my quest was discouraging and seemed all but impossible -- I exhausted every available information source and was still coming up empty-handed. It was like the quest for the Holy Grail; but, luckily, I am apparently wise and deserving, because I finally found a qualified barefoot trimmer! And, no, it wasn't the one that I wrote about a few weeks ago -- that lady took my name and number and gave it to a trimmer friend of hers. Luckily, this lady graduated from the Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care and also studied the works of Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey. Score!

Candy came out on Monday to trim Salem's hooves. When she first saw him, she was surprised and impressed at how good his feet looked. As I had told her that he hadn't had all four hooves trimmed since October, she had been expecting them to be a complete mess. Yes, the toes were a bit long and the bars were overgrown, but overall they weren't too bad. I have been very faithfully rasping his hooves every week and Candy said that I have been doing an excellent job. Yay, me! :-)

So, the good news is that he has awesome feet and it will only take another trim or two to get his "ideal hoof." He still has a bit of flare (even after the trim), but it should be gone after the next trim. Obviously, you can't fix everything at once! But, Candy said that Salem has very strong hoof walls, well-developed digital cushions and lateral cartilages, great frogs, an excellent amount of sole, and mostly very tight white line.

The bad news is that he has a teeny-tiny little bit of White Line Disease on both left hooves. :-O When I first heard that, I was shocked -- how could that happen under my care?! I take such good care of him. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was inevitable. He had so much flaring when he first got here, so it's actually not surprising at all. Oh, well, nothing a bit of White Lightning (Gas Chamber Hoof, as I call it) can't cure!

Candy also suggested that I make a mixture of one third Lysol 4-in-1 Cleanser and two thirds water and spray it on his feet every day to keep them fungus/bacteria/icky-stuff-free. At first, I was a bit skeptical; I do not want to put anything on his hooves that damages hoof tissue! But, I did some thorough research and it turns out that the Lysol will not do any harm, so Lysol it is!

Here are the excellent results of the trim:

See that little bit of flare on his left front? That's one of the areas that has White Line Disease

The day after he was trimmed, I got on Salem and he felt weird. It confirmed what I had seen the night before on the longe -- he was floaty and extended in front but short/choppy behind. It was like riding two different horses at the same time! He didn't feel sore, but I took it easy with him and put a call in to Candy. She wasn't at all surprised, and said that he was just getting used to having a shorter toe in back. His breakover had been pulled way back and he needed to figure out how to use his new feet. She said the more he moved, the faster he would work out of it. Sure enough, I hopped on him on Wednesday and he felt better than ever.

Of course, I have started with the Gas Chamber Hoof treatments in order to kill that WLD. I have finally perfected my GCH method and gotten it down to a science. I use a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and duct tape, and then cover it with Vetrap, like so:

Die, you nasty White Line Disease!

As for his stitches, I am a bit shocked to say that they are all still fully intact and the injury is healing well. Fair warning, though -- it looks a bit icky, so don't look if you're squeamish.

Look how handsome Salem is looking! Granted, he's a bit orange from spending his days in the sun, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I think one of these days he will be a chestnut, or possibly a buckskin.

And, last but not least -- does anyone remember back in...hhhmmm, late October, when I was concerned that Salem was dropping weight? Well, uh, I think I have remedied that situation (maybe a little too well!). Looks like all that extra hay is doing its job. ;-)


Anonymous said...

Those are nice feet - I only have one horse with feet that nice. He does look good, and has obviously been thriving under your care!

Rising Rainbow said...

Nice round feet. That's cool. Glad you found the barefoot trimmer you were seeking.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

He looks great! I prefer a round happy belly! He looks like he has nice wide feet-how lucky to go barefoot with great results..that was my goal but alas..not so much anymore.
He's a looker! :)

Frizzle said...

Thanks, guys -- I have definitely been putting a lot of work into the boy, so it's good to hear that it's paying off. :-)
Kristen, I know it might sound impossible, but there are a lot of foundered horses who have been switched to barefoot and fully recovered. If you go to, there are stories along with the radiographs -- they've rehabbed horses with twenty degrees of rotation!

baystatebrumby said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE those big beautiful feet! They are simply gorgeous! I also wrote down your lysol concoction for my friend Bill who has two donkeys with white line disease. It is hard to get the feet right. I struggle with my horses's feet so much! I want her to be barefoot but we have had a hard time getting barefeet to work. I hate her feet being so ouchie. But Salem sure has some nice looking tootsies!

Frizzle said...

Bay, it's all about the trim! You need to find yourself a natural barefoot trimmer who will let the sole and frog callus and put a nice mustang roll on your brumby's hooves. Simply trimming the hoof as if you were going to put a shoe on it and then leaving the shoe off can lead to aaaaall kinds of hoof issues -- ask me how I know! ;-) I'm sure Lily could have rock-crunching feet if she were trimmed properly.