On January 25th, I noted a weird crack in the front of H’Appy’s right front hoof. The farrier wasn’t due out for another three weeks, so I shot him a quick text asking if I needed to worry about it. With H’Appy being sound he said to keep it clean and monitor.
At that next appointment he took a look and said it was doing fine. The hoof hadn’t grown much in those three weeks and he recommended I keep it cleaned out and use thrush buster or similar product. With the near constant rain and the mushy ground, it was a hard fight but it never seemed to get any worse and he was sound.
Farrier was due out again this past Friday and I sent him a text making sure he looked at that front right again. It was lingering and I don’t like things that linger.
I guess somewhat fortunately I was feeling like complete and utter crap Friday after a week of little sleep and a worsening sinus infection. It was bad enough that I bailed at work at lunch time to go sleep on my couch. This got me home in time to meet the farrier who I haven’t seen in about four trims now.
I was quite shocked when I walked into the barn and saw this
Ugh. It made my stomach go squee.
That crack had turned into or possibly always had been white line. I’ve never dealt with white line as Gem has amazing feet. H’Appy not so much.
I asked how this happened, mostly for my own education and partly hoping it wasn’t all my fault. Farrier thinks it’s multifactorial as most things are. Mostly, he came with poor nutrition and as a result poor foot health. He is still very very slowly growing out the hoof he came to me with and it is plain old not healthy enough to fight super muddy gross conditions. Add to that the fact that farrier had to pretty aggressively trim that hoof to cut back the elf slipper shape and relieve the mechanical laminitis that made him lame all summer, and now we had an unhealthy and extremely thin hoof wall standing in sloppy mud.
Basically we were screwed and lucky it was only this bad.
He cut it all out and cauterized the surrounding tissue to prevent recurrence. I’m to clean it and use my thrush buster every other day. There is no chalky substance left and with it being an anaerobic infection, getting air to it alone is a “cure” though I’m not taking any chances.
I thought of KC immediately and texted her that H’Appy wanted to be like Pilgrim. Hence the post title. I’m clever, aren’t I?
The good news here is that he is still sound so I can ride now that I’m back to feeling like a human instead of a zombie thanks to sleeping the entire day Saturday. The hoof is clean and hard and required only minimal resection. Farrier warned me though that with the location his hoof may start to separate and spread outside the confines of the shoe. If I see that happen at all, he is to be notified ASAP and will come out and either do pour in pads to get more weight in the sole and off the hoof wall (hard to do with him since he used to be so sole sensitive) or use clips to hold the hoof together (also hard to do with him since this is the shoe he typically rips off and ripping it off with a clip could cause major hoof damage all over again). Since neither option is a good one for him or my sanity if he should have yet another summer off due to a bad right hoof, let’s just all hope this heals uneventfully shall we?
I’ve ordered KC’s magical Wunderhoof and he will be back on a hoof supplement though nothing will be as good as the spring grass and sunshine we are now finally getting. Fingers crossed everyone that this is but a cosmetic blip on our spring radar. I really don’t know what I’ll do if he is out for the season again this year.