So Moon's farrier stopped by last night to trim up his hooves (since it was the 5 week mark anyway), and was gracious enough to have a look at his lameness to see if she could lend any assistance to identifying the problem.
She had me walk him around the barn for a bit, doing some tight turns. Then we headed into the arena for some trotting around. After I did a lap, she asked to lunge him. <hang head in shame>. My 13 year old horse still doesn't lunge. Oh, he was getting walk-trot-halt over the winter, but since he's pulled up lame it's gone from "decent" to "non-existent". And since I'm too much of a suck to push him when he's sore, he's sorta forgotten how to lunge altogether.
Well, my farrier's a horse gal. She grabbed a dressage whip and on his little lead rope started asking him to lunge. He was NOT going for that. Did a couple of cow hops pretending he might kick her (really Moon?!) and then finally started lunging like a proper horse. He outright refused the trot and when she pushed him he gave a single big cow-hop and then planted himself. Nu-uh.
I have to admit, she did a really nice job of it. I'd best get practicing myself. It was double embarrassing when I said he was 13 and she exclaimed she thought he was young, say about 6!!! A non-lunging 6 year old, okay. A 13 year old who can't lunge??? Yes, someone missed a couple vital lessons with this boy when he was a colt. It's hard to play catch-up on the basics while trying to train dressage, teach your horse what canter leads are, and get his head out of the sky : P Maybe by 30 I'll have the basics taught...
She was pretty sure she'd found the offending leg, the left hind.
It still fits with the diaganol pair that he'd been head bobbing on, but it's certainly not the hoof I soaked for the last week. : P
The only problem was, it kinda fit with what I'd seen the last two days and was starting to question...
Especially since I'd caught him resting it more then normal while grooming. The last time I had actually been a little concerned because his muscle was weird when I ran the brush over it, then I realized it was how and where his leg was. No biggie, horses always stand weird.
But last night he was standing the same way. I wondered for a second if it was that leg. You'll recall, that's our leg that's shown some sinovial fluid leaking, and we've seen some windpuffs in the past. What a bad leg.
The farrier said she was noticing him resting it and that in her honest opinion, that was the leg he's sore on. Especially since he wasn't noticeably sore at a walk. She dug around a bit to look for any possible abscess entry points, and while she found 2 "possibles", they were more of a fishing exploration then a "Ahah! Here!" sorta deal.
Regardless, we both agreed there's no harm in soaking that hoof and seeing if anything comes of it. I mean, why not soak ALL hooves?! I joked about pouring epsom salts into the mud puddles in the field, but she reminded me that soaking requires warm water. So I considered sticking the trough heater into the puddle...
The farrier did praise the changes that have been happening to his hooves since she started trimming him. For starters, when she first met him, he naturally liked to keep his toes long. She explained that in the past, his sole would wrap over his white line at this toe and all the way to his hoof wall. You can actually see now that it has receded to just barely over his white line, a huge improvement in just a few trims.
I asked her opinion on his frogs as well as the possibility of any thrush. She assured me that he's just shedding his frog (hence the chunkiness) and that's totally normal for this time of year. He was thrush-free as well. As for his whiteline, that I thought was pretty wide, she explained to me that this is "normal" for Moon's hoof. The way that his hoof wall grows so rapidly and naturally flares out actually causes the enlarged white line. It's possible over time it might diminish, but it's just part of how he grows. Apparently the way that he flares out at the ends helps him self-trim when he's not getting regular farrier trims. Probably a great thing considering his past hoof growth.
So where are we now? I've got a new hoof to focus on. And still know nothing.
I soaked his hind hoof after she left with warm water and epsom salts, and he stood without putting weight on it. Whether that was due to the boot or the hoof, I don't know. He certainly didn't mind it on a front hoof last week.
In2Paints has left me a comment about sometimes when your horse is out of commission, you get some of your best bonding moments. That hit home.
Standing there next to my boy in the barn, I was loving him up. He was so good I hadn't clipped him to the cross ties and left his lead line over his back. He was falling asleep, so I headed over to the stairs to sit and just admire him.
And the instant I sat down, he BOLTED down the aisle!
NOT a normal Mr. Moon at all! The boot would "SLOSH" and "SLURK" the whole time and he was trying to kick it off as he went. All the way down the alley to the barn door at the far end, sloshing and slurking.
Thankfully he stopped at the door, even though it wasn't latched.
Thanks In2Paints. You're right. I totally had a bonding moment...I wanted to turn him into Bondo. Or some sort of glue product.
; ) Teasing of course.
He was well behaved after that instance, finished his soak and I coated him with Fiske's Hoof and Hide to see if I could get some of that hair regrowing for show season (assuming we'll get to go).
Then back into the field until I get out tonight to re-soak and hope I find something resembling a blown abscess...
On a blue note, I'm currently not going to Vegas, and just found out I haven't been approved for my other secret trip. Which was SUPPOSED to be to London, England! : ( Huge sad face there. Couldn't get it in with the impending job cuts across the government and huge fiscal restraint.
I'm just hoping I wasn't denied BECAUSE I'm not going to be here in May!! : O
My coworker already has his flights booked to Vegas and I'd feel bad demanding I get to go again instead. So I'm going no where. And worst, not to London. : (
Which wouldn't matter if I knew I was actually going to make it to the May Dressage Show, but right now, I don't even have that.
Fingers crossed I at least am able to haul my trailer out to start working on it this weekend. Maybe it'll be ready for us to enjoy when Moon's feeling better, or for when I have to haul him for xrays and nerve blocks.
Boourns to sucky Fridays.