Show Season

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Enough Guessing

I made the decision to take Riva to our vet this Friday for a lameness exam in conjunction with her issues in her right front hoof.  We have now been trying to clear up the thrush / infection in her deep central sulcus for a month now.  She has days that she is almost sound at the trot and days she looks as bad as when we began treatment.

My husband spoke with our farrier about it again yesterday, and farrier can't get out till the already scheduled visit next Thursday.  Just too long for me to keep trying different things to see if this treatment will work.  I have cried in to that black mane way too many times over the past month and just want straight answers and healing for Riva.

We have never had her club foot evaluated by a vet.  We came to the decision that it is time to see what we will be dealing with down the road.  We did not know she had a club foot until our current farrier told us - about 2 years ago.  He assured us it was a grade 1 - easily manageable and that she would be fine for dressage and jumping (down the road age wise).  Just that he wanted her with front shoes on when I started riding her.  We did that.  I have talked with him many times and it has always been the same story - she was a work in progress.

When my husband spoke with him yesterday, farrier now says she is a higher grade of club and we will always be dealing with lameness issues....WTC?!  I am beyond frustrated at this point.  We already have one semi-retired horse to support and can not afford another.  I am stressed and sick to my stomach at the thought of Riva never being 100%.

So...what to do now.  Vet first - I am prepared for her to take x-rays of Riva and whatever else needs done to evalute her club foot and how to get the infection cleared.  Second - change farriers.  Our BO uses another farrier and I am confident in switching to him.  Third - not giving up on Miss Riva Diva without a fight!


SprinklerBandit said...

Kelly--A couple thoughts.

1) Per your comment on my blog, do not freak out about where Riva is in training. Izzy will be 8 this month. Not kidding. We got a late start.

2) Wise to switch farriers absolutely. If it got worse under his care, he probably wasn't doing a good job.

3) A club foot is not a death sentence. Granite at Dapple of my Eye has a minor club foot that Rachel is managing and I knew a super sweet morgan who had one and is still happy, sound, and working.

Hang in there and keep us updated.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Oh so sorry you are going through this. It's not an easy battle to find the right farrier or trimmer, etc. My old farrier told me, when Laz first got laminitis (after I spend 4-6 mths with him trying every type of shoe, pad, wedge and throwing SO much money) that I should just give up and put him down. I found a barefoot trimmer to fix all the problems that my farrier couldn't. It may be an option for you, you just have to search and see if it's comfortable for you to do that. Good luck! :)

Sarah said...

I'm sorry-that's totally frustrating. Sounds like you have a good plan, and yeah, what the heck farrier? of luck. You are her best advocate right now!

Val said...

I responded to your comment on my blog.

I feel your frustration. It is so hard when an animal that you love is in pain. I do believe that the problems you describe are treatable with a knowledgeable trimmer/farrier.

Kelly said...

Thank you all for the helpful advice and kind comments! I love having other people to bounce thoughts and ideas off of that 'get horses'.

I am looking forward to getting some answers from our vet on Friday and then a new farrier.

Amy said...

I am so sorry that you two are still going through this. I hope you find some answers very soon.

achieve1dream said...

So sorry it took me so long to read this. I've been swamped and I'm behind on reading blogs.

The first thing I must mention is I'm a huge believer that barefoot is best. A horse's hooves evolved a certain way for a reason and putting shoes on them stops them from doing their job. I'm still learning and my brain gets completely bogged down with all of the new information, but I'm doing my best to sort it all out. Right now I'm reading and studying He has so much great information. I've become a little hoof obsessed lol.

I agree with the others that you need a new farrier. My farrier has mentioned putting shoes on Chrome, but when I told her that won't be happening she happily accepted it. I hope the new farrier is more open to new ideas and can help Riva.

So far with Chrome's club hoof we are just doing frequent trims to get it back down to where it needs to be. It will always be more upright than the other one, but that's not a big deal. A club hoof I have learned is not a death sentence. There are a lot of horses who have done perfectly fine with them. :) If she was initially a grade one I think once your new farrier gets her back to that you won't have anymore problems with it. I could be wrong, but that's my gut instinct. Try not to stress over it too much. :)

achieve1dream said...

Also forgot to mention if you haven't tried it I really think you should give the salt water a shot on the thrush since it's being so stubborn. Do it every single day on all four hooves. It will at least keep it from getting worse until your vet can do something.

Also when you have hoof problems you have to consider all aspects of the horse's life. Environment, diet, everything. If you want to talk about it more you are welcome to email me at I try to check it, but if I don't answer right away don't be surprised lol.