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...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A wee bit of a scare...

I say a "wee bit of a scare" but if you saw me, you would have seen a girl in M.E.L.T.D.O.W.N. mode.  
The weather being warm, left the pastures soft and wet wet wet, then it turned cold so all the lumpy ground is frozen rock solid and uneven in a lot of spots.
That, in combination of trimming Laz about a week ago, I *think* left him a little vulnerable in the tender hoof department.
When I arrived at the barn, I saw all three horses standing together, resting.
I called Laz over, which he usually promptly walks over licking his lips (knowing his BP is waiting for him) only this time he short strided and hobbled over walking like he was walking on broken glass.  
WHAT the F!?
I felt for an increase in his digital pulse (none), I felt for heat (none) but then, as he stood by me now eating his BP, he started shifting his weight back and forth from left hind to right hind, over and over again. Favoring his gilded leg o' strength, his Left Hind that usually never hurts him.
Images of sweet Barbaro came sweeping into mind
I about passed out.
WHAT is going on here?!
Is he having another laminitic attack??? 
NOTHING has changed and we've been doing SO WELL for so long!
Is it just sore feet from hard ground? 
Why the shifting?
I saw the cliff of worry and felt myself launching over the steepest side.
THANK god I have an amazing trimmer and my supportive family who not only knows Laz like I do, talks me down from the cliff.
I placed his Equine slipper with a thick pad on his Left Hind which is usually his good foot, but was the one, he kept favoring. I listened to him, resisting my temptation to boot the typical sore foot, and booted that, said my million prayers to Horse Buddha and just waited until today.
(**he ate/drank, acted the same so no big behavioral changes other than noted)
He was better today
Still walked gingerly, oh yea, but no more weight shifting from left hind to right hind.
Whew. Whew. Whew.
Per my trimmer; I soaked his Left Hind in Epsom and warm water for about 35 minutes.

I then put his Easy boots with pads on his hinds.
He walked much more comfortably.
So, I have a theory. 
It could be 100000% wrong, but it could be a little right. 
I don't know but being barefoot, er Laz being barefoot has me thinking of bare hooves all the time. 
So, chime in my hoof nerds!!!
Am I seeing bruising at his heels and areas that we removed the overlaying bars?
I think it's best viewed on his club foot; his right front but he has new bruises on all four.
Now, Laz shows extreme pleasure when his bars are removed during trimming.
I'm all for the removable of bars, especially since he's on a grass, dirt lot that can't remove them  by himself.  I wonder if timing of a trim, with the ground being soft, and then rock hard made those newly trimmed areas a bit vulnerable?
Thoughts? Input?
OR is red bruising like this a sign of something different??
It's been a LONG road of barefoot transitioning, but I know since June we've been on a great great regrowth path. I just hate seeing him walk in ouchy steps.
I know some of you think "PUT SHOES ON!!" but for us, it won't help him out in the long run.



This is where the red is seen the clearest...so strange and bothersome


Eesh, can a Gelding catch a break here?
"Mmnonnmmm hay yumms, gym shoez feel gud"
On a great note, I don't think (pray pray pray) he's having another laminitic attack
and he was 1000% an angel when putting on those UN-Easy Boots.
Bless him! 


  1. Thanks for being my 50th follower, Kristen!

    Your blog illustrates and in so many way how much you love Laz. I am really impressed by all that you do for him.

  2. Poor guy! Maybe an abscess or something?

  3. Oh I forgot to mention; yes abscess is always on the menu for thoughts. However, I did push/prode/poke all over hoof, sole, heel bulbs and Laz didn't seem to mind any of that pressure...so it could be an abscess..but I didn't think so.

  4. I am not a hoof person but just wanted to add that we are dealing with the frozen mud war zone too. Steady can not handle walking over it. I feel so awful for him.

  5. Poor Laz! First his head, now his feet. I will be keeping you and Laz in my thoughts!

  6. Soft ground and then hard frozen lumpy ground is a recipe for bruises and abcessing. Hang in there!

  7. Oh poor Laz. I hope his twinkle toes are feeling good again asap... though he looks adorable in his "un-easy boots"! :)

  8. Kristen - My advice is check with Nic over at her site Rockley Farm Blog.
    Rockley Farm Blog
    Calm, Forward, Straight passed along the link when I was freaking out about pastures. Maybe you already go there a ton and I don't know it because I am new to that blog. Nic is VERY knowledgeable about barefoot and bruising (she calls it footiness I think!)and her success with getting a horse barefoot and rock crunching is amazing. She cures EVERYONE. I am ordering her book not because my barefoot boys are ouchy, but the info you passed on about Sovey and Magnesium deficiency started me worrying about the mineral/nutrition depletion situation of my feeding program and new, stripped pastures. I hope this link works - if not, it is www.rockleyfarm.blogspot.com
    She is brilliant, I think. I wish I lived in the UK - she could teach me a thing or two about barefoot, nutrition, track systems and living out 24/7 with inside/outside access.

  9. I agree with Juliette. You will get some answers at Rockley Farm. Hope Laz feels better soon!

  10. My horse is going through the same thing and she has always been barefoot. With our rainy fall and early winter our pastures turned to mud, which tends to soften hooves. Then comes the frozen temps which created ankle breaking divets in the mud. last trim my farrier noticed frog bruising and heel bruising. He said it was likely having hooves being softened by excess rain followed by froxen mud divets. My horse doesn't even want to walk near the gate where the divets are the worst. His advise was to supplement her with biotin in her feed and paint the soles of her hooves with venice turpentine to help harden them up.

  11. Lots of wet mud makes their feet softer, and then if it freezes you've got the perfect recipe for bruising and abscesses. I don't have any advice on what to do except to keep him booted and comfortable, which you are already doing. Maybe use a little Durasole? Poor Laz!

  12. Did you send these pics to your natural trimmer and ask?? Maybe you did? I hope Laz is better soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Yes, I have Laz on Biotin, it's in his California Trace supplement that is on Kellon's list for great things to add for hooves. I also paint his soles/walls with Keratex hoof hardener. I guess this was just a recipe for disaster due to weather.

    @Janine-yes my trimmer is always in the know, and I discuss EVERYTHING with her. She's great, patient and a major thinker.

    @Juliette-I'm totally getting Nik's book and I've been an avid follower of her blog for so long, how I've dreamed of taking Laz to the UK for hoof rehab AND some frolicking in the Cotswolds :)

  14. I can TOTALLY relate to the gorighttopanicbecausewedodgedabulletandthereforekarmawillcomebacksomeday thinking when something is wrong. I am very glad that he seems to be better! I think that since he felt better with the pads on it can't be that bad right?

  15. I hope that Laz is doing better today!! Trust me, I completely understand the panic when it comes to anything hoof related!

    It looks like bruising to me which makes sense given the crazy winter weather we are having this year. Plus does Laz have thin soles still (I can't remember)? Is putting boots on him when the ground really freezes into a rock an option for you?

  16. Poor little Laz! Glad he is feeling better.

    I think I told you this before, but Candy and her colleague Marianne have altered their trim a bit. Part of that is leaving more bar on the hoof in order to give it some more support. Afterall, the bars are there for a *reason* so why completely remove them? Now, I am definitely NOT suggesting you never trim them and totally let them fold over and grow over his sole. But leaving *some* bar could certainly help him out a bit. It looks like a fair bit of the bruising is in the bar area, so it's certainly possible that he needs to have some bar there to protect him (since it's a different consistency than sole--very hard, almost like plastic).

    Magic Cushion could definitely help in a situation like this--it really takes the soreness out of the feet. And remember, applying arcina montana directly to the bruising can really work wonders!

  17. Have a Am paint mostly thoroughbred who got so ouchy I got the vet to check him out! She says when trimmed too short and soles shaved off too short they will show red like Laz is doing and it makes them VERY ouchy. We stopped messing with my guy's soles for a good while, because they were thin said our vet, but not anymore and he's fine~ we're still with the program of leaving soles alone, and his feet are fine now~ so he then he injured a tendon in his left front WHATTTTTTTTTT? Anyway, we're rockin along knowing it takes 40 forevers to heal an injured tendon. He's happy, a pasture potato with his brother, so I guess that's what counts at this point!!Love your site!!!!

  18. I am so mad at the UNIVERSE for giving your horse (and you) one more thing to contend with. You don't deserve it and neither does Laz. Poor little guy! I do not like to see him suffering. I'll bless him all right. I'll bless him all day long and then some.

  19. So many great thoughts/suggestions and thanks for all the positive vibes for his tootsies! I'm happy to say, the easy boots being on for 24 hrs helped him with comfort factor. The ground hasn't been has hard so he's walking normal again. Time and patience...ugh! ;)

  20. I agree with Frizzle and wouldn't take the bars down so far. I've become way more conservative about trimming since I noticed that Minnie always seemed worse after a trim. She even had a repeat of a suspensory injury after she was professionally trimmed in August. I follow Rockleyfarm too, and I have the book and since I only do minimal trimming Minnie has come sound. I leave the bars alone as long as they stay lower than heel/hoofwall height.

  21. Poor baby. Everyone has left fabulous comments (don't you love blogging??), so I don't really have anything to add except that I hope he's feeling better!