Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Progress

After almost three weeks, Brego has not adjusted to the shoes. He is not lame per se, but not comfortable striding forward and is reluctant to hold the canter. I have been away for work most of the time, so I am relying on my SO to ride, longe and report back.

We've decided to pull the shoes asap and reevaluate. Although Brego was perfectly sound on turf barefoot and would have been fine at most eventing venues, he was not sound over rocks which means hunting was uncomfortable for him. I am now concerned that because of the aggressive trim to fit his hoof to a shoe, he may not be comfortable even for eventing until his foot can grow out. I can keep him comfortable around the farm in boots if need be, but there's a high likelihood that hunting, and eventing, are done for the year.

There are a couple of options I may investigate, such as nail-on hard plastic shoes, in case it is the hard concussion of the steel that is bothering Brego. I am also looking into a hoof casting material that will work as well as the epoxy but have more longevity.

Regardless, this is a devastating time for me, to have come along the entire year and not been able to keep him comfortable barefoot. And now, even shoes are a problem and I am frankly nearly out of options. If he cannot stay sound barefoot in the North East for whatever reason, I have some very hard choices ahead.

As a result, I have decided to stop blogging for the near term. The hard choices I face are very personal and I am loathe air them publicly. No matter how much I try, people always misunderstand and I don't need projected guilt added to my own.

Thanks so much or your warm wishes and for being great readers. I hope to return in the spring, a new, drier year, with much better news.


Trini said...

Damn, Daun. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with all this crap.

Please don't feel like you're under any obligation to blog.

Remember to breathe!!

Give the big goober a kiss on the snozz from all of us, and we'll see ya in the spring :)

Blaze4U said...

Good Luck!! I hope everything turns out good for you!

Susan and Becca the Percheron said...

For goodness sakes, don't throw in the towel this easily! Get an equine vet out to see Brego and let him/her evaluate him to see what can be done asap. Yes, it may cost you something, but in the long run, it could save Brego alot of suffering and time away from what the two of you love to do together. Also, consult with a farrier who knows draft horse feet.You love this horse and he clearly loves you too much to just give up.

Jennifer said...

I agree with Susan & Becca. Just because I challenged riding him when he was "off" doesn't mean I was trying to "add to your guilt." Geez... It was just a question... Looked at the time like you wanted input on why he reared & felt a little off during the hunt... Now I know to keep quiet...

Running away & giving up doesn't solve anything. Brego needs you to get a draft-oriented farrier & a vet call. He can't call - horses rely on their humans to know when to get help.

Shows can wait. Hunts can wait. A sore horse can't...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of your difficulties - my horses and I wish you and Brego all the best. Don't feel any obligation to blog - it's your blog and you get to decide - we'll miss you and will be glad if and when you return.

I have heard that some drafts do well in the plastic shoes - perhaps it's the feel of the steel that's bothering him.

Good luck in your search and remember that you and Brego have many admirers!

Mrs Mom said...

Hey Daun- Just came across this. Admire what you are doing with the Big Horse, and have to agree- get someone out there who A) is a barefooter, and B) knows drafts. My husband and I have a barefoot practice in GA, and HE does the draft and heavy horses (I hesitate to get under anything with hooves bigger than my head...) He has found that heavy horses- Drafts, warmbloods, etc- need a bit more heel and wall to move comfortably on. Maybe, it is just a matter of that. Maybe, a tough of Keratex on his soles might help for now, as the wall grows out.

Good luck to you. I'll be back to watch the progress.

Daun said...

Thanks everyone.

I have been using Keratex for a little over a year now. I tried Dura-sole and it caused his sole to peel. I consulted with the company and they said that shouldn't happen.

Anyway, yes Keratex is in the regiment and my barefoot trimmer is someone I trust above all others, a very accomplished individual. I agree on the heel, but the quarter wall has been flared since I bought him and we've been working on it slowly. Every time we get ambitious to correct, he is not happy. So I've come to the conclusion that he just might like a little flare, which is fine as long as he's comfortable.

I get xrays annually which have shown no internal problems and a normally thick sole. I am getting another round soon to confirm nothing has changed this summer.

I have high hopes that if we have normal rain and I get to ride him as much as I can, so he gets lots of hoof mechanism, as he grows out, he will back to his old self. That's the hope.

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