About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2nd walk out

With so many conflicting thoughts and advice, it's definitely hard to stay strong and focused and trust. Trusting people that are educated when you are not in the equine field is not always the right thing I'm finding out. You have to fight to find all the answers and search for what is right for you and your horse and HOPE that it works and HOPE that the 'educated' people are continuing their research and education too.
Every day I read something, hear something, am given advice that conflicts with everything. I suppose it's with everything in life but especially with horses for me right now.

Laz was calm and a bit stubborn today, but I think due to sore feet. The barefoot concept is hard. No, actually I take that back..dealing with laminitis is HARD. Barefoot is just a new method I'm trying, as you know and today he showed signs of 'Ow.' I guess to be excepted but it's just hard as being his 'Mom.' It's hard hearing conflicting thoughts of other professionals telling you what you are doing will not help. But really...who knows?! And I'm here to stand up for Laz and try what I can to save him humanely, and that is barefoot right now.
That being said, he didn't walk great today. I took him back in the round pen without his boots on and we were to walk for 10-15 minutes but that lasted about 6 minutes.

Laz was happy to get out and licked his lips and ears were perked but he was especially hobbley and kept stopping like "Mom, this kinda hurts..can we stop?" I stopped, I took him back in his paddock and put the boots on. Well, I got the one boot on easy but getting him to stand on his bad leg (right) to get left took me 20 minutes to get the boot on correct. Whew.
I don't know...I emailed Cliff to ask some questions. Should I push the 10-15 walking..is that something I need to make him do? Or do I follow what Laz is saying for the day? The BO and I talked about maybe only doing it once a week as he heals but I just don't know what the 'right' thing is? Is forcing extra movement helpful? Is walking in sanded arena helpful?

He really avoided putting weight on his right rear today. Let me tell you, it's heartbreaking watching your horse hobble around when all you want is for him to get better. Maybe I'm worrying over something that is normal as part of this process, but I just don't know.

These are the images that remind me that this is a long battle. His right rear, taken from under his belly.
And right rear again, taken from behind. I send these images to Cliff as well, just asking..."is this ok?!" It looks so crumbly to me and so delicate, not strong, not healthy.

This is the left hand side that was closed off and is now opened up for Laz to double his paddock space. I'm sure he enjoys having the extra room
This picture came from the sweet BO, yesterday, as I wasn't there showing me how Laz was enjoying the 'new' side of his extended paddock
I just hope that Laz's soreness is normal and that he will continue to get stronger.
Maybe these up's and down's are totally normal?

**UPDATE: Cliff is coming out tomorrow afternoon to check on Laz again after I sent pictures to him-I should know more tomorrow


  1. Kristen - You and Laz are on an unfair roller coaster ride. You both are going to have good days and bad days and conflicting advice from all sides. Trust your instincts. That is all you can do. You will sense if Laz is suffering more than necessary. You will know. Everyone told me that once, when my beloved Lab, Jet, had cancer. I opted to have her live out her life without chemo and surgery. Everyone told me that I would know if she were suffering. I thought they were crazy. How would I know? But, I did know. For 6 months she lived happy and well and then, I knew. Try to be calm and observant and listen to anything and everything anyone has to SAY, but only DO what makes sense to you. Hugs and prayers to you and Laz.

  2. I agree with Juliette, listen to everyone, digest it and DO what you think is right. I will continue to send Laz good thoughts! I hope he's feeling better. It has to be hard going from shoes to nothing. I'm going to hope it's normal. Keep us updated on your boy!!

  3. Listen to Laz, and tell the rest of the nay-sayers to kiss his ass.

    Be strong. Rest. Love your horse.

  4. I know what you mean - I have so much advice coming at me, I barely know which way is up most times. If it's not hooves, it's wormer. If it's not wormer, it's saddles. Or bits.

    We're pulling for you over here and you'll know if it's too much for Laz. Right now he's eating, getting around a bit. Hopefully Cliff will give you a sense of things...

  5. If I've learned one thing about horse people, it's that every one of them has an opinion, and part of that opinion is that there's is the one that's right. Just take it all in and do what's best for you and Laz. Sort through it, try it if you want, but in the end it is up to you. You're the one that knows your horse the best and you're the one that has his best interests at heart.

    Hugs for both of you. Hopefully tomorrow will bring answers.

  6. It is hard. You are so right in saying that everyone thinks they know what is best for your horse, but you have to trust that you do. You have to try things and they may not always be the right choices, but nobody is going to know that until you try it. And only you and Laz really have to live with the decision you make for you two, so trust what you are doing is the best.

  7. IMHO some soreness is to be expected. Yeah, the hoof looks unhealthy, but that's just his history showing; his future is growing in! What I do is let the horse pick the speed - resting between steps is ok with me - and watch the eye - you know the "this is enough" look that tells you when to stop walking. Another thing I do is put the hay, the water, and the salt as far apart as possible in the pen so he moves around more. You'll know how truly sore he is if he reduces his water or hay consumption.

    Cliff sounds like a real gem!

  8. I've never had horses, but the general idea it seems with all animals is if you ask 10 people their opinion on something, you'll get 10 different answers.

    For years, I just did what I thought was right for my fish. Then I started working at a fish store and I changed how I did things... and I kept losing fish. But the owner did fine, and most of her customers did fine.

    What I learned from that is to take all these opinions and put them together in the best way for you. I still use some of the techniques I learned there, what I learned from the store owner and some of my customers, but I still do some things my own way.

    I'm keeping you guys in my thoughts.

  9. Hang in there mama. You are doing the best that you can and Laz knows it. Stick with what Cliff says. He seems to know his stuff.

  10. Listen to Mrs Mom and listen to your horse and listen to yourself.

  11. Well I would be a mess if I was in your shoes. I think you are an incredibly strong gal! I'm curious to hear what Cliff has to say after his visit.
    It's hard to see your horse in pain. But sometimes, you've got to experience a little pain in the healing process. Think of a human, going through physical therapy. It is very very painful. Like everyone said, trust your gut, give it a chance. At this point you have nothing to lose. A few posts ago, you wrote that Laz had an appointment to end his journey on earth- and now he's giving it a go! Let him have a good go! ((((((((hugs))))))

  12. Oh Kristen, my heart aches for you and Laz. I know how hard it is to deal with something like this and not be SURE what to do. I think Julie is right on the money though - be a sponge, keep learning, and then formulate your own opinions. My experience has generally been that you often know the answers you seek on some level, you just have to trust yourself to listen to them.
    As far as the pain thing goes....I've got no experience with laminitis, but I'd think some discomfort would be normal while switching to barefoot. Plus, I think the more activity he gets, the more his circulation should improve and stimulate healing and growth. So hard to hear all this after such a good start...=( I'm thinking of you guys!

  13. You are doing a great job here. Laz is so lucky he has you for an owner, taking such good care of him.

    As for the pics yes the look scary, but as mentioned before that is just his past, the new growth looks much better to me. I too have herd that the transition from shoes to barefoot usually causes some soreness initially, but the hoof will do what nature designed it to- adapt and strengthen. I hope Cliff has more answers for you. Hang in there!

  14. Hi again- sorry to bombard you with yet more information to sort through, but here is a link to some discussion of transitioning horses to barefoot. I seems the average healthy horse takes at least a week to adjust.


  15. Thanks everyone..it totally helps! Sometimes I feel crazy in this healing and it's so hard to be strong and want to learn and not come across as vulnerable and stupid.
    Thank god for Cliff who is coming out this afternoon to check Laz out and see if something's changed. He told me he suspects his hoof is cracked but I'm not sure if it's 'normal' in his laminitis case, or what.
    Thankfully the BO's will be there to meet with Cliff as I am not due to work and living an hour away from him totally sucks right now!!

  16. Oh, Kristen, so sorry to hear about this! I do think that it's just another little "speed bump" on the road to recovery, though. Laz will certainly have his ups and downs. I know it's difficult to watch them suffer, though!
    Maybe front boots with pads would help. It's possible that he's a bit ouchy due to having thinner soles. His back feet are being protected/supported, but his front feet are not. And pea gravel in his paddock is also an option, as well.
    Of course, you are going to get tons of conflicting opinions. As horse people, we are always faced with this! The best you can do is educate yourself as much as possible. Read, research, etc., and then listen to all the opnions through your own filter. There is no one person who is infallible (not even the best vet!), so just take everything with a grain of salt.
    Thinking of you and Laz! <3

  17. Hey there- how did today go?

    There is this saying- "ah, the horse world, 2 people, 3 opinions!" It's on someones CoTH sig line. Love it, and by God, it's the total truth.

    Owning horses is a journey. I have made some amazing mistakes in my horse life, and have had some nice saves, too. It all comes from living it and doing it. The one thing that is true about horses is that, like kids, you have a lot of different ways to do things and most of the time, they end up okay in the end.

    I hold to my positive thinking about Laz and am sending good thoughts you way!! XO