Monday, January 14, 2013

The infamous toe landing

I have a very good little half andalusian horse with a big heart and try that makes up for her lack of sheer athletic talent. She would never be a hore that I would buy now probably but she is my buddy and I don't think I could ever sell her. She was really bred to be my Mums horse, but I sort of thiefed her. Here is the kicker with Connie, she has less than ideal landing gear. You can see in the picture above she is back at the knee and has two different angles on her feet. As a young horse she repeatedly abscessed in her right fore which led to her weightbearing more on the left fore which is flat and wants to run and the other to get quite clubby.

I have always known that this is an issue especially in a jumper so I havealways taken good care of her legs. She has been on an oral joint supplement since she was 7, I'm careful about how she is shod, I make sure she is fit for her work level, I rarely jump outside of shows and I'm careful about the ground she runs on. If the ground is hard I will  cold hose and poultice her precious front limbs. She also has back on track boots to prevent stocking up and promote blood flow. Seriously she is so well looked after. I have always known that she will have a shorter career than other horses, but I wouldn't ask more of her than she is comfortable with. To be honest I would never have predicted her competing to 1.25m (4'1"I think??)  but while she is still keen and not struggling I keep ticking along.

The problem was when I moved up here, I moved up not having a really really good farrier in the area. The first farrier left her heels uneven particularily on the clubby foot and I'm really pedantic about that one. I think got another one who has been doing a really good job, but despite her feeling comfortable in herself I have been feeling a niggle in her right fore, though no one on the ground has been able to see anything. Week before last she was quite lame but was due for her feet to be done. Now after having the reset she is even worse and in two weeks hasn't improved. I have a sinking feeling that we have over corrected the club foot and made her uncomfortable. Certainly she is squarely and constantly landing on the tip of her toe on that foot, some thing she has never ever done before. Her dishy andy movement can be quite deceptive but yes she is properly lame now, right before we were going to move down to further our careers. Horses have an immaculate sense of timing.

She is booked in for a lameness consult on Tuesday the 22nd, at the same clinic that diagnosed Kate with her arthritis as I pass near there on the way down to my new job. Then depending what we find I will cross over to my old farrier (though I don't think my current farrier has done anything wrong, he does a lovely job and her feet look beautiful externally, I really shouldn't have encouraged him to alter that foot so much) Still it may not even be her foot. If she needs some down time I will leave her at my parents to heal on the farm there. It's a really sucky feeling to know my mate isn't 100 percent and even if she recovers soon, I wont get a good run at the amateur series this season. Not that that matters so much as having her sound again. Still prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I'm very keen to find out exactly what is going on, and get it all sorted for her knowing that while she is toe landing she is doing herself harm.

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