It seems like this process of heeling Little Love's feet has it's ups and downs. One day I look at her and can't believe how much progress she has made in terms of being able to move more and then the next day it looks like she has taken at least three steps back. This process is definitely not for the impatient.
Tuesday we had rain, which made the pasture much more bearable for Little Love's feet. I went to the barn in the morning (usually I go in the afternoon/evening) and perhaps that is what made the difference, but she walked with me in the arena with a lot of energy. Little Love was actually so animated that I naturally felt hopeful, making plans of progressively increasing the hand walking time each day. Or not. Wednesday, after being in the pasture for six hours, she was tired and sore. Walking was a struggle even with the boots on. Her front legs had also swelled up again on the inside, especially the left, which now seems to be obviously caused by the bad alignment of her hooves and joints. She had this same alignment when she had shoes, but taking the shoes off seems to have made the strain even greater. Unfortunately I'll have to wait until she grows back some hoof before these angles can be even remotely fixed (which will take time). I'm learning patience, slowly.
Today Little Love was really tired and really sore (but swelling on legs was gone, hhmmm), so I decided to skip the walking altogether and instead focus on soaking her feet (which I do every day before I walk). She didn't want to stay in the buckets, so it was a bit of struggle, but we managed to do a little over 20 minutes with the fronts. I felt pretty disheartened by her state, it almost seems like we are back to the pain she was in last week. What the heck? I'm hoping to get those pastern guards in the mail tomorrow so I can keep the boots on her 24/7. Even if I don't get the wraps, I might just leave the boots on and see what happens. Becky is coming back from her trip tonight, which will help as she can keep an eye any sores Little Love is developing and pull the boots off when needed, if I'm not there. When she's gone her non-horse-savvy husband does the evening chores, and asking him to deal with hoof boots might a bit too much, I think he has enough to do with changing Col's blankets LOL.
I'm hoping we have just hit the downward slope on this rollercoaster ride called "going barefoot". Maybe it will be all uphill from here? Trying to stay positive and hopeful.