Monday, December 14, 2009

OMG, she's going to give me ulcers

Today the snow had mostly melted so I went up to ride. Last week S had some guys come dig water lines to the pasture troughs, and they got slowed down by the bad weather. There's a backhoe and some 5' deep trenches. I led Dixie around and let her bite the snow and stare at the enormous holes and piles of dirt, then got on and didn't really go anywhere. She was pretty nervous because everything looked completely different, and I didn't really care if we went anywhere - just sitting on her was enough.

Then I took some hoof pics. And now I'm totally wigging out again - she has huge bruises on her soles. I can only assume the huge bruises have been there for ages. I never wash my horse's hooves before taking pictures, and I don't use trimmers who trim sole, so this is the cleanest they've been since the day she was born, probably.

Her frogs aren't eaten up with thrush - they're pigmented. I dunno if some white hooves have pale frogs, but Dixie's feet have pigment on the heels and frogs. I did squash a lot of goo in all the cracks in her frogs, and I'll keep doing that every time I see her.

Also, she's about 7 weeks post trim at this point. She was supposed to get done Friday, but it was too cold to trim. The trimmer said he tried on Thursday and the hooves he tried to trim were so cold they were brittle, so we rescheduled from last Friday to this Thursday. If you notice that they're still lopsided, that's why.

Egads, bruising.  LF solar.

RF sole bruising

I really don't think the bruises are a new development. Her diet hasn't changed, her activity level has gone down in the last couple of weeks, and she's not standing on frozen ground - the horses hang out by the gate, and it's layers and layers of packed, usually dry, manure.

Is this old bruising that is just now growing down to where I can see it? She's been here about three months, and she was ouchy on rocks when she first came - all flat-footed from that farrier in Ohio. Is it bruising that's currently happening? I really don't think so, but it's possible. She is an amazingly stoic creature, but she sure acts sound now.

Should I treat it, i.e. boot her? I was planning on getting boots early in '10, maybe the trim cycle after this. I think her feet are almost stable, and I hate the thought of buying boots and having them not fit four weeks later. Should I expect abscesses? Ugh, I've only ever had one horse blow one abscess. I do not intend to let anybody go digging around in her foot - I think they're like blisters, and they'll pop when they're ready to pop.

Here's a more cheerful picture! Her coat around her eye is darkening up. I suspect it's an adaptation to the increased light up at this elevation, but I have no real idea. She used to have a brown face with black-tipped ears, but she's definitely got black hairs around her eye now.
Her eye's darker

I let her eat scraps out of the wheelbarrow while I took those pics.
Pretty picture

I take pictures of this view a lot. The fog down in the valley (i.e. all of Reno/Sparks) was the thickest I've ever seen.
Fog in the valley


  1. Not that I'm an expert, but I wouldn't worry too much. Whenever I'd see bruises on Peanut (I swear, life would be easier with black hooves), Dawn would tell me how old they were depending on their location. They were never fresh by the time they came into view.

    If she's now walking sound on trails, I personally wouldn't boot her at all. You have what so many of us dream of. I have had such trouble finding boots that stay put on Peanut anyway. Gene hasn't been an issue, but he has two pairs - one for when his feet are deciding to be small, one for when they feel like they need a little more room.

    Good luck.

  2. You live on the top of a MOUNTAIN!!! Holee Schmolee. What a view!

  3. Oh!!! I wish I could view you pics while at work, but for some reason they are all blank. :( I had an amazing breakthrough with Farley's hooves tonight so it would have been fun to compare with my new "eye".

    IMO I wouldn't worry about the bruises you see if she's acting sound.

  4. If she's staying sound, I wouldn't worry too much. Some horses have interesting patterns on their feet - it seems to particularly be the horses with white on their legs - Lily in particular has beautiful, complex, symmetrical markings on her soles. Love the view!

  5. Funder- step one- Breathe Deep.

    Step Two- go get a mug of java.

    Step Three- ride your horse.

    If they are not hot, mushy, or causing her to say OUCH, then STOP STRESSING. Do not look for ghosts where none are ;)

    Have fun.
    Ride your mare (when you aren't going to freeze to death doing it.)
    Smush in the goo if you so choose but DO NOT look obsessively at her feet.

  6. What Mrs Mom said.

    Also, send some of that mountain and snow my way so I can go skiing. All ours melted so I have to keep waiting.


Feel free to comment!