To come home.
Just as I am reconsidering my trip back to Canada from Oklahoma because of the cool temperatures, still naked tress and mud, mud, mud, I hopped on the spotty horses back.
I rode her but not before doing her feet. I mentioned about her feet being a mess, well they were and still are not correct. When I left she had lovely concave feet with good toe callouses for a barefoot horse. Her frogs were big, healthy and she was sound without shoes on, not even ouchy over big gravel.
I came home and before I even picked her feet out I noticed she was off just leading her into the barn. I picked her feet and to my horror I found flares in all directions, medial-lateral balance completely off and soles that had appeared to pancake completely without any exfoliation. She was tiptoeing around on flat ground.
I got to work right away and found the complete polar opposite of Oklahoma "granite" feet; swamp feet. Her feet were picked frequently wile I was gone and she had 12 weeks to be a horse and not be worked. She did not have thrush but her soles mainly concerned me when it came to her being very tender footed. There was too much sole pressure on her circumflex artery.
I knifed and knifed and knifed and nipped and rasped as much as I dared for one day, making her feet somewhat more concave. Her soles hadn't so much as thought of exfoliating with the wet Canadian winter and spring we seem to be having. With some luck since I have been home and trimmed her (Thursday the 21st) I noticed yesterday that her soles have started to exfoliate again and her frogs almost overnight have expanded. Concavity is starting to come back to her feet.
Because Indigo is a little toed out, as a very alarming number of horses are due to them never getting trimmed as foals (topic for an upcoming future post), she needs balancing more often than other horses. Her feet were trimmed wile I was gone and I am thankful for that but I should have paid for another time because though 6-8 weeks is what farriers gripe about, most barefoot horses need to be maintained and balanced which means more frequent trimming intervals. This goes a long way towards your horses limbs well being, especially a horse you plan to use regularly. You can let them go 8,10, 12+ weeks but by the time your farrier comes by and has to hack off a ton of hoof on one side, heel or toe because your horse isn't balanced, the horses limbs will suffer the sudden change. Tendons tighten and loosen, ligaments are strained and muscles thrown out of whack. From what I have seen in the horse hoof world now that I have been more educated is that not a lot of farriers put thought into medial, lateral balance, no matter how well they can put a shoe on. I wish more owners seen it. Before I went to school I seen it but never paid any mind to it. So do your hoofcare provider a favor and look at your horses feet regularly and note any changes.
The day after I got home I trimmed Indigo and went for a quick bareback ride across the alfalfa field. She was ouchy even on the soft ground but obviously not feeling bad enough to pass up a good ol toss of her head, hump of her back and a launch off all fours into the air in an attempt to land me on my butt in the soggy field when a van went by making a startling noise. Silly spotty horse, you just keep thinking I don't know your tricks by now. Try again.
As I mentioned her feet are looking much better just after a few days so I hopped on her again. Before I even got to the driveway the spotted pill made an attempt to trot off. I don't think so. She was tender on the gravel but the soft grass sparked something in her as she gathered herself up and tried to slowly jog her way into getting away with murder.
If I had come back just to ride this horse it would have been worth it. I rode quite the bit in Oklahoma but nothing is quite like this little DIRTY
Ok, seriously Indigo I had to deal with enough S^&% head paint horses in Oklahoma. Giving yourself a mudero coat pattern is so not necessary.
Can't someone make the weather go back to 95 and dry already? I would really fancy an afternoon ride wearing a tank top right now.
All pictures in this post by Sarah