As we wait, once again, for mares to foal, we have been searching for good candidates for hoof rehabilitation case studies. We received a great response to our post searching for hoof rehab cases. We are currently going through the list of fourteen horses to see which ones we think we can help, as well as how many we can afford to work on. Most of the horses are coming from quite a distance, so we have to factor transport into the cost. We also have to consider how comfortable the horse is before asking them to ship a thousand miles or more.
Our sights are set on four, but we have not finalized the decision yet. One is a gelding with severe pedal osteitis and moderate kissing spine. As ugly as his radiographs are, he moves sound and is comfortable. He's a prime example of “you can't ride the radiographs.” The second is a gelding from Florida who has nothing major, but just can't seem to become totally comfortable. He is young, only three years old, well bred and cute. The third is an older mare from a kill pen. Her feet have come a long ways since her owner pulled her from the pen, but she still needs help before she is sound. She's a classy, gentle older mare. The fourth is a mare not too far from us. She has some rotation that will require some consistent maintenance to bring her around. She's a pretty mare with a good prognosis, according to her vets.
We'll see which way we go, but the four seem relatively certain. The response to our search for OTTBs with poor feet was outstanding. Quite a few need help, and we will do our best to provide resources for the ones that do not come here in the hope of helping their owners. The goal with these horses is to continue to learn about the effects of turnout, barefoot trims, and a high plains diet on hoof quality in Thoroughbreds. The long term goal is to become a resource for horses, predominantly Thoroughbred but any breed really, that might find themselves in need of some hoof rehabilitation.
Once we finalize the plans as to which horses and when they will come, we will post updates. The radiograph associated with this post belongs to a Thoroughbred mare with severe coffin bone changes due to a suspected soft tissue injury to the foot. She is completely sound and barefoot, in spite of her nasty pedal bone. She sprints across the prairie, leaping sage and crunching rocks with the rest of them. We are continuing to work on improving her balance and angles, which has been successful for maintaining her comfort.