Monday, October 24, 2011

No sole

I think I've figured out - at least in part - why Saga has been tender in his front feet.

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.

Really. Frickin. Lame.

I did speak briefly with my vet today and she said to give him a week to get used to the shoes, but I really don't think it's getting any better. So frustrated, and bummed for my horse, who is still uncomfortable.


  1. My horse Sunny had a different problem, so this may not apply, but it took maybe two weeks of wearing the shoes and pads for him to get sound. I gave him a whole month off, at which point he seemed perfectly sound in the shoes and pads and I started riding him again. He stayed sound being ridden regularly, and after two shoeings with the pads I left him barefoot again and he is staying sound. Again, I know you have a different problem, but I just mention this because I, too, was very disappointed that the shoes and pads did not make Sunny instantly sound. It took some time.

  2. Laura, thanks for the reassurance! I know that shoeing isn't the magic bullet... BUT, if the lameness is just sole soreness, then he should be markedly better with his new Nike Air Gels ;). However, there is still an issue on the LF, which we couldn't block sound a month ago. This makes me think that there is something else (as yet undiagnosed) going on in the LF, in addition to the sole soreness.

  3. I've been reading along but I don't necessarily feel as though I have enough experience to make suggestions... I will say that back when I had Lilly in shoes and pads, the pads made her worse. We even put some quishy gel underneath hers too but it made her even more sore. I guess the pads and gel were putting pressure on her soles? That's the only thing I could figure out and as soon as the pads came off, she was much more sound.

    Other than that and the totally soy-free diet that was suggested in your last post, I'm not really sure what else could be troubling him. I think I mentioned hoof casts before as an alternative to shoes, but I'm not sure if that's something that would work for you or not.

    I hope you can get it worked out and get him feeling better!