Show Season

Show Season

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time to evaluate

Riva has a club foot - her right front.  It is slight, in terms of degrees, but does need correction in terms of shoeing.  Our farrier has been working with her for over a year - she has been in front shoes for a year and just had back shoes put on.  Our farrier is a a certified therapeutic farrier and wonderful.  He now has her club foot in a full pad under her shoe.  I had a long phone conversation with him yesterday as to his reasoning for this and his thoughts.

I have never worried too much about the club foot...but after talking with him, I have all kinds of worries.  He was reassuring though - said he  has more corrections in mind, just can not change too much, too fast. He said her right shoulder will always be weaker and less muscled and she will short stride her right side.  He is working toward making this as slight as possible.

So I have been doing some internet research and that just gets me more worked up!  Husband and I talked last night about getting her saddle fit checked.  With the reading I have been doing, Riva most likely will need a custom fit saddle to accomadate that less muscled shoulder.  Can you see $$$$$'s? 

Farrier recommends working her more on the right rein - on the lunge and under saddle - to build that shoulder up.  He also said to ask my trainer for exercise ideas - already sent off an email to her.

If anyone has any experience with this - send them my way!  I love this horse more every day and want to help her however I can.  Obviously, I am not rich and we have 2 other horses to care for.  I have dreams of showing her in Dressage and hoping down the road to jump her.  Our farrier believes she will be able to handle this - but it is too soon to judge how far she can go, since she is only just turning 4 and has much growing, maturing to do.

Anyone out there have ideas for me!


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

My ottb has a club foot on his Right front as well. My barefoot trimmer is trying to get it to release but has said, it' pretty common with horses. All their feet are different and at different angles, etc. I dont think you would need to go to a custom saddle but check out some videos on youtube by Schleese for things to look for, etc. Maybe getting a flexible tree or treeless by help for in the meantime??

Kelly said...

So strange that you should mention checking out videos by Schleese - my husband was looking at a 9 step video by him, as I was reading your comment!

We are going to go thru the steps tomorrow with her current saddle - which is a Kieffer med tree. It is flocked and can be adjusted some. Hoping the fit is not a problem, but thinking with the weaker right shoulder, it may need some adjusting.

Amy said...

You are doing the research and taking the steps to do what is best for her and that is all you can do. And more than alot of horse owners.

Kelly said...

Thanks Amy! I know most of us, some days, think why do I go thru all this...then you remember :)

achieve1dream said...

I'm with you in that boat. Chrome is clubby on both hinds (the Friesian in him), but it's worse on one. We're just working on corrective trimming right now since he's just turning two. So any information you can share on dealing with a club foot under saddle will be much appreciated since I'll be there in a year or two. Good luck with her. And try not to worry too much (hard I know) since it is fairly common and you have a great farrier.

Kelly said...

If I would have read your comment last night, I would have shouted 'DON'T GET A HORSE WITH A CLUB FOOT!' I was in a self pitying, foul, crying mood :( But, we did not know about her club foot until our current farrier told us, when she was 2. He does not know if she was born with it or was from an injury. She did jump out of her paddock, as a yearling, twide - 4 foot fence! (Can you see jumping in her future?) And she was put in with a horse one day, as a yearling, that was running her hard before the BO saw it and got her out.
So...I am in love with my Riva and wouldn't trade her or a non-club footed horse. Any advice I can give - more than happy to pass it along!