They're scary. They're ugly as sin. And they're slowly being brought back to life. Zombie hooooves!
At Tiff's last Farrier trim on Oct. 7th, her shoes had been pulled, her front hooves had been basically chopped in half, and she was padded with dental impression material and wrapped with Elastikon. While I felt it was 1/4 of a step in the right direction, I could see that Tiff didn't feel any better--because the trim was not done in a way to make her hoof balanced and comfortable.You can pad up a hoof with the most squishy, high-tech, cutting-edge material known to man, but it isn't going to make a lick of difference to the horse's comfort if the trim is incorrect.
So, when Judy asked Candy to take over Tiffany's hoofcare, I was ecstatic--literally jumping up and down and squealing like a school-girl giddy. Finally, after months of feeling powerless to help Tiff, I had managed to ensure her recovery. I'm so grateful that Judy was willing to go out on a limb and try something completely different. There are many people who would have either given up or been too closed-minded to listen to the hippy weird-o barn girl and strike out onto a new, uncharted path. I'm also extremely thankful that I had a knowledgeable, highly skilled, passionate trimmer to explain things so clearly to Judy and convince her to take a leap of faith. As Candy later remarked, "You served me up on a silver platter."
Since Judy had been brave enough to leap in with both feet, Candy wasted no time--she had another trim appointment at a barn around the corner, but afterwards she came straight back in order to get started on Tiff. As she cut through the dirty mummy-linen wrappings on Tiff's hooves, we all wondered exactly what horrors we would find under there.
Right Front Before
Note the extremely long heel. Oh, and the giant chunks taken out of the wall. ;-)
Yep, that's a Mummy Hoof pre-de-wrapping/trim ^^^
Right Front After
Much better! The heel has been lowered significantly and moved towards the back of the hoof, where it belongs
Here, you can see how thrushy and "rotten" these hooves are. When the wrappings were taken off,
we all took a step back because the hoof smelled like a mostly-rotten corpse. Yep, Zombie Hooves!
The place Candy is pointing to with her hoof knife is an area of separation so bad that you can see the live laminae
Left Front Before
Yes, these hooves had been trimmed one month prior; and the farrier had left this giant flare--why?!?
No, this photo and the next two were not taken at a weird angle--that
huge flare on the medial side makes the whole hoof look twisted
Left Front After
This is Tiff's most painful hoof--as you can see, she's reluctant to put weight on it
Wow--it's actually hoof-shaped!
Lots of bruising
Tiff's spiffy red temporary Cavallo Simple boots--these are at least two sizes too big
(hence the padding & Vetrap), but they're a loaner pair she'll use until her new Sport Boots arrive
What Farrier failed to do in nine months, Candy managed to accomplish in one trim--Tiff walked away from that washrack much easier and more comfortably than she had walked onto it. And later that evening, I came back to the barn and Tiff was still standing. She had been up since 12:30 in the afternoon and didn't lie down until after 8:00 pm, whereas before she would spend the better part of the day lying down. Over the next few days, she started finishing all her feed and whinnying for more, instead of barely eating half of her ration and then lying down. Most importantly, the life and spark came back into her eyes; she finally wanted to live again.
Here's a video of Tiff that I took the night after her trim:
As you can see, she certainly isn't cured. She has a long road ahead of her and it's going to take months of hard work to get her sound.. But at least now she's headed in the right direction. (And, yes, I backed into a poll and made a weird squealing sound in the video. I'm quite graceful. ;-D)
And here's a video from one week after the trim:
There's really no way I can express how completely overjoyed I am. To know that I played a part in saving this sweet mare and making her life better...well, it's a bit overwhelming. And while there's still much work to be done for Tiff, I've already got my eye set on my next target. There's a whole legion of zombie hooves out there and I'm ready to fight. Farrier, prepare to lose another client.