I thought I had better get this on the blog so there are two posts today.
Last Friday we took JB in for follow up xrays of his two front hooves. Over all very good news in the progress we have made since last September. His left front made the most significant improvement with his overall alignment and angle. The right front had the most improvement in his break over and bringing his heel back under him. (sorry , no pics yet, darn weather!)
The vet was quite happy with what we had accomplished. We had definitely been successful at getting his heels back under him better. The not so good news is that JB’s sole depth had not improved much, still between 6-8 mm on both fronts. The vet believes that his sole depth is probably more related to how JB’s naturally built, which surprises me given what he is. It’s hard to know if it’s a genetic thing but I am suspect of that given his breed. It may be more directly related to the fact that the landscape he lives on doesn’t encourage a lot of sole " "toughening". Our property has no rocks. The footing in which he spends the majority of his time on is relatively soft .Our dirt is sandy loam and we also get a lot of moisture in this area. I had to remember that even our other horses, none of whom have any hoof issues and have more than enough sole, can’t exactly be trotted on gravel barefoot without being ouchy. (I keep telling Tom this is a good enough reason to move to a more desert like climate)
So long story short, given the sole depth, we would definitely have to make sure JB has some type of protection, whether it was pads or boots. Overall, the vet felt we had probably gotten JB’s feet as far as his natural hoof form would allow. I am a bit more optimistic on that. I think we can still make a few more improvements and get him just a little more upright with that heel. Hoof growth slows tremendously in the winter so I would imagine we could potentially get greater results when more hoof grows, once spring hits and green grass comes up. The vet also recommended trying a 4 month trial of Farriers Formula to increase growth rate. We'll have to think about that.
There is a great deal of relief in knowing that we are atleast on the right track with this horses feet.. He sure has been a challenge!
I am working on making adjustments to the Epics. I think they might work after all with some inserts.
Now, if the arctic blasts would ever let up, maybe I could actually get to ride JB in the boots and get some conditioning in!!!