Part of it has simply got to be diet. I'm still digging into that. But as Nic points out with every horse at Rockley, good hoof health is a combination of diet and stimulus. I think Saga went from one extreme to the other in terms of stimulus, possibly in conjunction with an accidental change in diet. Here's the timeline:
- 3 months ago: I started riding Saga religiously with boots and squishy green pads. He felt pretty good.
- 2 months ago: We moved to boots with firmer pads in them. Still pretty good, but it was super hot and I wasn't riding much.
- 1 month ago: When Saga was trimmed, he had a lot of false sole, which we left on. However, my trimmer asked me to start walking him on pavement without boots to help the sole wear naturally.
Saga's RF 1 month ago, 9/14/2011. TONS of false sole, which we left on, plus a worryingly deep crack in the central sulcus. I started treating daily for thrush.
With the original LF injury, which occurred about 1.5 weeks after he was trimmed, I started doing a lot of hand-walking. During this time, the false sole wore away. About this time I had to change to alfalfa cubes, and shortly thereafter I got a new load of hay. I think that the change in diet, combined with the lack of protective false sole, is what got us to where we are today. And no, he's not improved since yesterday.