Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 107 Back home

I'm finally back in Switzerland.  I was gone for ten days, but it felt like three months; so much happened and I learned a ton about hooves and trimming.  Now it was time to put some of the stuff I learned into practice...

Seeing Little Love was sort of a shock; her skin condition is back with a vengeance (on top of her back) and her hooves look absolutely hideous!  Yikes!  Little Love, true to her nature, was slightly frantic.  She never does well the first day I'm back from a trip (or maybe it's me who doesn't do well?).  It didn't help that Becky was off riding with Col and Little Love felt like she had been abandoned.  I took her out into the arena where she showed me that despite the horrible angles on her feet (were they really this bad two weeks ago?), she was sound at the trot.  And this was without boots.  This was a relief, because like I said, her feet don't look so great.  Also, the day before I left for Finland, she had a bad fall on the road and I was worried this would come back to hanut her, but apparently not (I haven't told you all about what happened, because I never had time to write, but I'll post something soon on my other blog that recounts the whole experience - it was horrible). 

After letting her run around for a while, I soaked her hooves and took pictures of her fronts, deciding to focus on two hooves at a time.  Her fronts are quite crooked, the medial wall being more upright and tall than the lateral, which is breaking off in chunks.  This pattern was already manifesting itself in Little Love's legs when she had shoes, but somehow over the course of the past two weeks had gotten a lot worse.  Or did I just know to look for it?  After seeing so many horses in Finland with relatively good feet, I was appalled to see how little toe height Lilo has.  Not to mention to fact that she is probably slightly rotated (and perhaps party separated?) in her right front.  There are so many things wrong with her hooves that trimming them with my pathetic experience will be a challenge to say the least.  But, I have to try. 

I decided to go back in the evening, after analysing the hoof pictures on the computer and giving everything a bit thought.  This I did.  I soaked her again and then went at the trimming like a mad woman.  At first Little Love didn't think this was a good idea.  Perhaps she felt my anxiety, which didn't make trimming very easy.  But, after a while we both got a hang of it.  I took her heels down and worked on the bars that were really high.  The bars are also really crooked and laying over the sole when you get close to the frog.  My knives were not the sharpest, so I have to get back to the bars once I have bought a sharpener.  I also did a bit of rasping of the wall where it was too thick.  All in all I think I did an ok (and very careful) job and left Little Love in a better state than before I started.  Which is the general idea.   Phew.  I was sweating, though, perhaps more from the idea of trimming my own horse than the actual trimming!

Today was a new day and when I got to the barn, my horse was still standing on all four feet and was not dead lame.  I guess my trim had not ruined her for life!  I'm not sure if I was imagining it, but it looked like she was walking straighter... I had also washed her with the medical shampoo and her skin looked a lot better. 

Becky suggested a long walk and we went together, she rode and I walked, as usual.  We did a new loop that took us well over an hour; we were all hot and sweaty when we got back (except the dogs that were wet from swimming in the stream).  Afterwards Becky and I walked the fence line of the pasture next door.  We just recently discovered that it was part of the property.  It's conveniently located right next to the current pasture.  After a few small repairs we were able to let the horses in for some grass.  I think they both thought they had died and gone to heaven!  Col, true to his nature, walked the fence line first thing, just to check that there weren't any openings where he could wiggle out.  Little Love, on the other hand, just wanted the grass! :-)
Here is a picture of Little Love investigating the new pasture:


  1. I think you went about her hoof trimming exactly right. Going in with a plan is always the best way to do it! Pictures are going to be your best friend too- keep taking them.

    That pasture looks wonderful, my horses would be so jealous! The cold and rain here has stifled grass growth :(

  2. What a beautiful picture. She looks blue-black, with glints of nearby purple blooms echoed in her coat. It's a picture of a healthy, well-tended mare!

  3. That's a painting! Beautiful pasture, and I agree with Muddy K, you can see the purple reflected in Lilo's coat, gorgeous! Our horses would be thrilled to be there! Congrats on your first live trim on Lilo, K... you did it and it went well...Yippee!!

  4. She IS purple! I never really realized this until you all started talking about it. Little Love has always been an interesting color in the summer. Her papers say she is black, but in the summer it's more like... purple? Or brown, I guess :-)
    The pasture is really wonderful. Today the horses were lining up at the gate. I think it will be just a matter of time when Col figures out how to open it, haha, he is pretty resourceful...
    Ps. although she looks so healthy, you should see the skin thing on her back. I think I need to take a picture of that and post it. Also, she has scrapes on her other side from the fall she took. I posted about it on my other blog, it's a looooong story.

  5. Wow - you just, like, found another pasture you didn't know you had?!? When does that ever happen?!

    It looks beautiful there - are you sad to leave?

    I know you'll do great with the trimming.