Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 25 Hell

Winston Churchill once said that "If you're going through hell, keep going".  I'm trying to keep that in mind and I wish I could somehow share that knowledge with Little Love.  Not that it would help her in her current hell.  She is beyond sore.  I don't have words to describe this, as I have never seen anything like it in my life.  I took pictures of her trimmed hooves, or what's left of them and sent them to my friend and specialist Claudia Garner in South Carolina.  Claudia studied with Strasser ten years ago, but has since expanded her knowledge.  She continues to educate herself as she runs a hoof school and educates others.  When she saw the pictures she said "OH MY GOD!!!! No wonder the poor thing is sore. What an absolutely disgusting trim. Do not let this guy touch this horse again."  

Yes, it is a Strasser trim, but not exactly the "field trim" voiceofthehorses mentioned ealier... according to Claudia this is the clinic one, but... we aren't at a clinic.  It will take about 4 weeks for her to grow back to anything that can be considered "normal".

Anyways.  Little Love was really sore yesterday morning and we could barely get her to come out of her stall, but once Col went out, she followed slowly.  Luck has it, the ground was frozen, but when she got to the grass part, it got a little easier to move.  In the evening getting her in was hard, as she didn't want to walk on the cement, but after about 15 minutes of coaxing, she came in.  She was sore, but it was still within the realm of "normal" soreness after a trim. 

And I was hoping yesterday was the worst of it.  But no.  This morning I went to the barn and Little Love was hurting, swaying back and forth on her feet, trying to releave pressure. Her muscles all over her body were cramping from sheer fatigue and there were moments when it looked like she would actually fall over.  Trying to pick up her front feet was nearly impossible and she could only hold a foot up for a few seconds until her other front knee started buckling from underneath her. 

She didn't want to go into the field at all, but since I know movement will help her, we decided to do what we can to help her get there.  My husband and I took some squishy foam and taped it to her fronts with duct tape so she could walk on the cement without collapsing.  This worked and we managed to get her to the pasture.  It took her 20 minutes to walk the 40 feet it takes to get to the gate.  Of course, the beginning of the field was still frozen so getting to the grass part was agony, but she made it and it was a little better (although still extremely slow going) walking on the grass.  The sun is out now, so I hope it melts the hard ground a bit, and she will have some relief. 

I ended up calling the vet, as this is just not alright anymore.  I have seen sore horses after trims, but this is beyond sore.  She needs some kind of relief, as her muscles are starting to spasm from being so tense.  And this in itself will bring on another set of problems.  I'm not a big advocate of painkillers for horses, but at the moment I think we need to give her a few days of relief. 

And how am I doing in all this?  I am sick to my stomach and can't sleep knowing I caused this to my horse by making one of the worst decisions of my life by calling this trimmer.  Live and learn, but unfortunately it is Little Love who has to suffer the most for my mistake.  It will be hard to forgive myself for this one.


  1. Get some boots for her - that will allow her to be more comfortable.

  2. No, no, no, don't be so hard on yourself. Lilo will get past this sooner than you think, though I know it feels like an eternity every moment you see your horse in pain. I would be giving her bute without a moment's hesitation. I really feel for you, K. It will be okay.

  3. You didn't do this to Little Love, K... the trimmer did. I think you should call him and let him at least know what's happend, so maybe he can learn from this... Little Love will pass through this, and you're helping her so much... bute is the call for the short term... poor baby. It will be ok soon, hang in there and don't blame yourself, you only want what's best and she knows this.

  4. Thanks guys, boots have been ordered (hope they fit!)and vet is coming tomorrow morning with the bute! Aaaaaahhhh. Yeah, and am going to call the trimmer once I give myself a moment to think how to tell him in French that he sucks! :-) Lilo was better tonight, there is hope that this will end some day.

  5. How horrible! I've been missing for a couple days and come back to find this! I don't know a lot about Strasser trims but I've heard that they tend to carve into sole. From my research this is an awful thing to do, they need all the sole they can get to protect their internal structures. It sounds like that happened to Little Love.

    Good thing you've ordered the boots, make sure you put pads in them to help her feel better. If I were to take on trimming other people's horses the first thing I would do is have them buy boots, because you'll need them at some point in time (but not because of my trim).

    Maybe it's time to reconsider trimming her yourself, you can't do worse than that guy did.