Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Barefoot Beginnings...

 New Person? New people have TREATS!

Since P's shoes came off for her first myelogram, I've decided that I'm going to make a go at the whole barefoot thing.  I know, I know... SO TRENDY.  :) well that's me.. on trend all the time.  or not. who cares.

With regard to her feet though, I think we've got a shot.  For one thing, her hoof is strong and already in decent shape.  For another, P didn't have shoes put on until later, so her natural hoof hasn't altered that much yet, and maybe, just maybe, she might achieve concavity again.

Also, at our new facility (we move next wednesday!) she'll have nice hard dry gravel turnout which is ideal for the first transition year in toughening up her feet.  For Pia's first barefoot trim, we had a really nice (and excellent farrier) come out to pull her shoes and trim her up. He did an okay job. nothing to complain about, but he certainly didn't trim her up with an eye for staying barefoot. 

Last Friday, as P was approaching 4 weeks since her pull and trim, I had a really lovely barefoot specialist out to trim up Pia's toes and talk to me about the strengths and (literal) weaknesses of Pia's feet.  The good news is that she thought P already looked pretty good, and that her sole was pretty hard and already firming up nicely.  This is a semi-miracle given that her current turnout is either sole-soaking deep hogsfuel, or hoof eating sand.  She definitely isn't walking the recommended mileage on a daily basis to callous up her sole, and she definitely ends up essentially soaking her feet if he gets turned out in the back.  (thankfully at P's insistence of tearing the fence down, she rarely gets turned out in the back..)

I was encouraged that our trimmer barely had to make any adjustments.  She took some toe off (there's more to come off, P's white line is definitely a little stretched by a long toe), gave her a nice mustang roll on the front and scraped off some dead sole along with trimming her frogs up a bit. 

P's bars are non existent, Mrs. Trimmer Lady said it looked like they broke off (I didn't know they could do that..), but that the hoof in general looks pretty balanced.  Frogs are healthy, heels aren't TOO contracted and aside from her right hind, she's wearing pretty evenly..

All in all we laid out our game plan.  Ride (!!!) her in boots (just on the fronts), trim every 4 weeks, and try to keep her on firm ground as much as possible.   I'm thinking all of these things are possible at this point, so we're good to go.

(sorry for the blurry pics, I keep forgetting my real camera, and this is the best the phone can do...)

We took measurements so that we have a nice starting point to know if/when her feet start changing.

Fronts 12cm x 12cm (they match!)
Left hind 12 cm Wide x 12.5 cm long
Right hind 11.5cm wide x 12 cm long

Right front – 55 degrees
Left front – 57
Right Hind – 52
Left Hind - 55

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