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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feet, lumps, and pads

For you non-horsey people that are reading my blog, today's post is thoroughly boring, horse-related, and uninspired.  I apologize in advance.
Bump update:  I think Crysta is right - those bumps on her back are "heat" bumps.  From the google searches I've done (I know - highly scientific and I'm sure any vets reading this are wincing) the description matches better than the collagen bumps.  Most of the collagen bump descriptions center around hard pea-sized bumps, while Farley's lumps more resemble hives (but aren't).  There are a couple of suggestions, including not removing the saddle pad right away and letting the back cool down gradually.  I haven't gotten a chance to look at Karen's site, but I will this weekend to see if she has any suggestions (I have mentioned lately that I find her site a valuable resource?  I know - I talk about it like every other post, but it's just so USEFUL I can't help myself). 
Farrier and Feet update:  My farrier trimmed Farley's feet this morning for the first time since September.  Overall the feet look good.  He admonished me to take more heel off the LF and more toe off the RF when I rasp - once it started raining, I must confess I stopped trimming and they were a bit longer than I usually would let them get.  He dug down into the old injury on the RH and the crack I thought was developing didn't extend more than about 1/8" which is excellent news.  Here's the not so good news:  She had a bruise at the toe on each front foot. 
When I was rasping, I had actually seen the red shining through a thin layer of foot and got very nervous thinking I had rasped down too far.  That was actually the number one factor of me letting the RF toe get too long because every time I would try and take toe off, I would see that red under there.....turns out it was a bruise (this might have been obvious to any of you, but I'm very much a novice at this!).  So I had just been giving the toe a strong bevel and taking down the heels....
The entire bruise did come off in this trimming which makes me feel better.
But how did she bruise it?
I know there's no way of knowing for sure.  Since it was equal in both feet, I'm guessing it was an environmental or shoeing condition, since if it was just the result of her club foot getting too off balance, it would only be in the LF. 
I have 2 guesses:
Guess #1:  For Tevis (6 months ago) I put pads on for the first time.  Maybe her feet weren't very happy about this?  Maybe it was the act of doing Tevis?  (this seems less likely to me than having to do with the pads/shoes). 
Guess #2:  She's been barefoot since September.  She's been worked fairly consistently since then (got ~6 weeks off after Tevis).  Her first barefoot endurance ride was the beginning of November.  Maybe while adjusting to boots, she was landing toe first for a while?  I look at ride pics and she was landing heel first in shoes, and by late November was landing heel first in the boots.  Maybe for the first couple months in boots she was landing toe first? (I don't have any pics of this period, so I'm not sure)
Summary?  If I don't see it again, I will assume that the issue resolved itself and it was either the pads, or the transition period to boots.  If I do see it again, then it's back to the drawing board, a little investigative work, and changing up how I'm approaching barefoot. 
Pad update:  Last random thought for the day.  I've accepted the fact that my haf pad is worn out and won't be seeing any more endurance rides.  It's still ok for shorter rides, but I'm not comfortable using it on a 50 or a 100.  HOWEVER, in the spirit of trying to wisely manage my money - I am SAVING UP for a haf pad.  I know - novel idea.  My usual strategy is to spend money on my horse willy-nilly.   I'm a few months shy of having the $$ saved up, which means I am faced with using the skito or the woolback for 20 Mule team.  I've used the woolback for LD's, including a 4 day multi day.  The skito has been used in a 65 miler and a 50, 50 two day ride.  Decisions decisions!  I might use a combination of the two.  Each has their good points and drawbacks.
On the other hand, if a 20 mule team vendor has haf pads there....I'll probably buy one just to save on shipping.  I'll just have to remember to bring a needle and thread to stitch that pesky trim up over the loins!


  1. Hi Mel!

    Lucy gets bruises on her hooves quite often, or at least she used to. I haven't seen any in a while but it used to be that she would have one or two bruises every couple trimmings or so. Almost always on her front feet. For the longest time I didn't know what they were, until I got the bright idea to ask my trimmer! He said they weren't a problem.

    I'm surprised that you can see the red on Farley's hooves since she has dark hooves, everything shows up on Lucy's since she has white hooves!

  2. The sole on her RF is white and I could see the bruise a lot better. The sole on the LF is black, but I rasped it thin enough I started to see a pink tinge.....and went AAHHHH!!! Literally this is the first time I have EVER seen a bruise. it certaintly is dramatic. Needless to say, it is not normal for her, and if I see it again I need to seriously evaluate my timming/barefoot options!

  3. Hmmm on the sole does seem like a bigger problem, Lucy only ever gets them on the hoof wall.

  4. So this particular bruising that I saw on thursday was at the toe white line/water line in a semi cresent, at the toe. Does that make sense? It that where lucy's was? What was interesting was that it was identical on both fronts, even though both fronts are not identical (one is clubbed....).


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