No Hoof, No Horse

Eli and I have been taking it easy in the heat, but he’s been simple to ride. Exhibit A, lazy rocking horse canter:

lefty from patentlybay on Vimeo.

However, I mentioned a “team meeting” about Eli earlier this week. . .

Over a year and a half ago now, Eli’s (long-time) farrier at the time put a heel pad on his right front. I have every confidence that at the time it was completely necessary. However, this farrier moved out of state. We went through a few more farriers until our current farrier of today, all the while Eli wore the heel pad. Our current farrier asked to discuss Eli’s shoeing with me and I knew what was coming … why is Eli wearing a heel pad?

After I got off the phone with the farrier, I scheduled Eli’s vet to come take lateral hoof x-rays for the farrier to work off of. These are ultimately Eli’s baseline hoof x-rays, because I don’t have any others. His left front looks great.

His right front needs help.

The heel pad had begun to do more harm than good, and I am so glad our current farrier brought this up. I had been on the fence about the heel pad lately, but Eli has been sound, so I went with the ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it sentiment until Eli was due for shoes last week, when the farrier brought up the right front and recommended x-rays. The farrier and vet were able to come on the same day, at the same time (when does that happen???) and the farrier could work off the x-rays immediately. A second picture of the right front after the farrier pulled off the shoe and pad and trimmed the hoof showed some improvement right away. It may take a number of settings to get Eli’s hoof healthy but we are now on that path.

From left: farrier, vet, tech, horse

So I got to huddle around a lap top screen with my trainer, farrier, and vet and go over what we can do, and what to watch for. The icing on the cake was that Eli did not need to be sedated for the x-rays–he just stood there mildly irritated that people were very close to him but didn’t make any sudden, bone-head movements or try to bite or kick anyone. Can it be that Eli is finally all grown up, at 14? Fingers crossed he’s sound this evening!

9 thoughts on “No Hoof, No Horse

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