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, May 29, 2012


Today, I had Laz's third massage since owning him.
Tami, is his guru.
She studied under Masterson and other methods
She has the 'magic hands'
Yes, Chiro adjustments are great too...but this massage is deep.
Like 3 hours deep!
Lazaroo loved every minute of it

"Whass da say? U gunna rubs me or whatz?!"
 Lots of tension in his poll
Look at his eyes. 
I think Laz remembered Tami from last year's clinic with a happy memory!! :)
He was so good and willing

 Working on his neck..this is about as flexible as Laz is.
I never see him touch/itch his sides

 Hopefully after another session in July when she returns, he'll be even more flexible
I do some massage work with him, but this is at another level
It was interesting to see Laz relax his heavy head on Tami..give in...
She would stop and allow him to release..in which he LOVED to touch her first...
"Hi...can I ???"
"Do dis.....ahhhhhh"
And then release-blowing, yawning, snorting
Thankfully, by removing some of his bars last Sat, he was able to stand comfortably and really enjoy this treatment.

 Did you know around the skin at their rear end (yes, around the hole) are points that if you just lay your thumb and finger at 10 and 2, your horse will LOVE it.
He even flexed forward and down releasing his back muscles
It was incredible

Mid yawn, while she worked on his hinds

 Forward, back, side stretches..
I'm to work on his back stretches as she showed how tight he was in both hind legs

 Released a lot of back tension
 A few times, I swear, he was an eye blink from falling over asleep
LOTS of eye rolling, blinking, licking, yawing, groaning and flexing.
Flexing and circling ...something I need to do more of in between trims to help with circulation and blood flow. Plus it's not something Laz can do to himself, so I need to help him with this.
 Releasing poll/TMJ, neck, shoulders
 Laz has such a STIFF neck and stiff right shoulder...all this was so great to loosen him up

 I'm hoping this combined with my current trimming, will help him extend better and aid in his heel first landing
 Tongue alert!
 "You stretch n holdz dis, I eat dis"

Getting behind the shoulder
His right shoulder has an old racing injury (per Chiro) with lots of old scar tissue
He had some discomfort here but allowed work
Lots of loosening up
Total relaxation...if you know what I mean.
he even PEED during his massage at the end!

In the end, Laz approved!

"Oh ya..I rememburs her...she feelz me sooo good!"

Thank you to Tami and Skip!
Another fabulous session...for anyone in IN, MI or WI area-CALL HER.
This was 3 HOURS of joy for Laz and amazing to watch
He did SO great and really got a lot out of it

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hug your trimmer!

HOOF nerd alert!
I did my own true assessing/trimming/trying/playing with pretending to be a trimmer on Saturday.
First off, I want to say THANK YOU to my trimmer M, who is incredibly patient, helps me and encourages me to do this. She loaned me some of her tools (ring/book/rasp) so I may play.
It's scary, but also amazing.

So, here it goes.
First off, I videotaped Laz in Slow Motion, to see how his fronts were landing.
Fronts were my focus for this, so forget hind end for now.
Toe first or heel first?
It can be hard to tell via naked eye when it's 'close'
Here was result:
Wrong and needs to be corrected.
Friday night, cue me, nose first into book and watching videos galore to try to figure out 'why' and how I could help him better use his hooves/be more comfortable.
I literally dreamt all night Friday how I was going to trim on Saturday.
Why yes, I am...and proud of it!
I started with his 'club' foot.
I hate that it's a club and feel it's flixable. 
Why, because if it "SHOULD" be a club...shouldn't he be landing heel first and sound on it?
Well, he's not...so maybe it doesn't want to be a club after all.
This is where I get to play trimmer...I can try things out and see if it works or doesn't and make changes.
 Major disclaimer..this is NOT a what to do.
Far from it.
In fact, this may be a 'what I don't do again' post OR a " YES it worked" post...future will tell.

So, I first measured the heel length by using my gauge. 
It's approximately 1-1/8" from hair line to where heel 'should' be.
I drew a horizontal line connecting that, as you can see below.
The RING gage is a guideline to help you find what toe/wall needs to be rasped back.
I placed the ring, finding the widest point of his hoof, on the white line.
Then I drew with my sharpie, along the OUTSIDE of ring around his hoof.
Then, marking about 5/8" out, I hand free drew a second line.
That is where I would rasp a 90 degree to, to remove the extra toe.
As you can see...not much needed to go.
It was more heel.
Again-I'm trying things out on Laz in hopes it helps him
I'm sure there are a million things wrong here but I'm learning.

Continuing on, rasping heels down.
According to my measure, the heels should be rasped back to that black line/marker.
I tried to also watch if I were to 'rasp' sole, to stop.
I did hit it a few times, oops! But minor
Below was another reason WHY I decided to be a bit more aggressive on taking DOWN his heels on club foot, RF.
See, at the toe?
That inward curve that dips down towards his frog? It would catch stones during our road walk and instantly he would favor his foot, we'd stop, I'd pick it out and carry on.
But WHY was it allowing..the white line needs to be tighter and..was the toe too long??creating his hoof to grow out and pull out thus (yes, THUS) pulling/stretching his white line and hoof wall apart? 
Checking for balance..pictures can be helpful OR deceiving so it's hard to tell. He does pigeon toe IN towards his LF so I see how is medial (inside) wall looks higher as well as hairline looks higher. Should I allow him to pigeon toe walk because he wants to?? Again, he's not landing heel first or sound, so to me, it's my key to try to fix instead of leaving it.
If he was sound with funky feet, FINE. But currently, he's not. I think there is room for improvement so he can set himself up for success.

So, TWO HOURS later.
I trimmed his two fronts, and his RH.
I would stop, let Laz try the foot out to make sure I wasn't just attacking and hurting him.
It was a slow and gentle process, lots of thinking, marking, re-measuring, stopping, hand walking him, back to trimming, looking, etc.

 Thankfully I got LOTS of this;
Nose touching to me, when I would stand up and cry about my back aching.
He would literally gently say "OK, this is good."
Angel boy...what a great horse he is.
I would pat him each time he wanted to test his adjustments and just watch him.
He is truly SUCH a great horse!
He is SO patient with me...especially when beveling/rasping by hand with no stand.
I must get a stand!!

 He did also tell me "ENOUGH" but more on his RH..
Starting out, paring out more bar...JESUS this bar goes on for days!!
I think it's jammed up into his ears!
 I've been spraying whenever I go out to barn, in his separated white line with Vetricyn Gel
I hope it's helping! Seems like it is...
More bar...see those dark 'dashes' along the medial side (left side of hoof in picture)
That is where he asked me NOT to touch yet.
I would put my knife with slight pressure and he yanked back.
I'll try again, in a few days and see what he thinks...all in good time.
I think it's best to allow time for hoof to relax, adjust and change and then reassess what we have.
THIS below...YESSSS.
See all that weight on his RH..those closed happy eyes?
Boom. Yes.
 I stopped there, it was enough...
A BIG thank you to the best teacher.
He is so trusting, and gives me great instant feedback.
Thank you Boo!

Video from after trim, slight improvement??
Still NOT landing correctly, far from it...but a few steps are a bit better?
I also see, A LOT to work on...
LF lands before RH does, so that is carrying too much weight which would explain why it's just a flat spread hoof. 
I need to see how to help that LF not in twist medially as well, that just looks wrong.
Bars, need to watch those and see if they are still needing to be removed..that may be months of checking/ scraping out.
All in hopes of a more sound pony.
PS Don't forget to hug your trimmer...they do BACK breaking work in a very hard job with hooves that are ever changing.

Below is from Cheryl of ABC Hoofcare -which is sort of the method I've applied above.
I say sort of, because I have not attended her school or classes..just self studied.
My thoughts are below in (())'s

Toe-first-landing has many side effects and damages to the coffin joint
when continued long term.
But, you have to find why the horse is landing toe-first. The horse is
doing this intentionally because it is uncomfortable to walk "normally"
which is a heel first landing. This is the way the leg is structured to
do.  To not load the heel is "unnatural" and requires the wrong tendon and
muscles for forward motion.

Reasons for toe-first-landings come from avoiding pain in the heel.

1. Disease in the sensitive frog and it is inflamed
(Not in our case, I truly don't think)

2. Disease has weakened the structural strength of the "live frog"
which supports the compression of the digital cushion when the pastern
is coming down
(Not in our case, I truly don't think) 
3. Bar has grown inward into the sole (bar pool which is in the
navicular or fulcrum region.
(yup!! we have bar issues) 
4. Bar has grown out over the sole and has stopped the ability to
5. Arthritis developed in the coffin joint from years of improper
hoof movement
(Quite possibly good be another reason..although I've seen him move out better in snow/cold)
6. Damages to the tendons and other sensitive parts within
(Quite possible)
7. The capsule is not balanced and has a long toe
(I think YES on club....maybe...)
8. The capsule is not balanced lateral medially with tall
(Something is up with his quarters, as I relived them, I would recheck every 15 minutes or so, and they dropped back down, so I would relive again. I did this about 3 times on club foot..hmmmm)
9. Idea's can be from many locations of the body that are not
(Poor Lazaroo has so many issues, so YES, but one thing at a time)

The onion peeling is part of what we have to do. Keeping a list and
scratching off what we discovered is fine. But, then we might not be
seeing what we are looking at or recognizing some of the clues. It is
frustrating but we have to do this for them to rebound and be
comfortable in their own feet.
When bar is trimmed and not laying out or into the sole. And the sole
is free to grow without being inhibited from bar, fungus, disease. 
Having the frogs integrity on the surface not hiding another story
beneath with fungus reducing the strength of the live frog. Finding
inflammation within the corium from damage, metabolic failures and
compression (abscessing, bruising, IR). Then you have to look at the
bones and I always suggest having every horse you own have x-rays so
you have a basis and then if things deviate you can see it is new or if
things don't improve you know problems existed when you got them.

If you are still here...WOW...!
Perhaps you are a hoof nerd too?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Baby birds and bastard bar

RH May 2012 (last Sat)
Bar getting removed slowly-instant relief from Laz
LOTS of licking/chewing, standing on foot.
OK, this is something....
I tried leaving the bar, but since that hoof is not 100% normal, he was sending sheets of bar to protect and that make sole sooo bruised/thin/not growing correctly.
So, now, we are trying removal-slowly, every few days as needed-CAREFULLLY.
I am armed with a knife, and it's freaky.
I take a bit, wait and watch Laz for signs...good? bad? Keeping moving and working in.
Trust me, my free time is spent emailing all hoof nerds I know!
Getting lots of good advice, hmms, ummms and try it?!
ZOOM of same foot
See the difference between bar material and sole???
Laz says, yeahhhh as he stands and weights his normally ouchie RH
Lots of bar removed from his Left Front too!
With some of his bar removed, we are triple padded/booted on RH and are doing our road walking again.
One, for helping toughen up and wear naturally his sound hooves while protecting RH which is still sensitive/thin sole. I need to allow more sole tubules to develop.
Two, do you see his Royal Chunkness?!
SirFatty thinks he's retired.
Um, no.
"I likez grassszzzzmmmmm!"

Shine on lovely boy!

Random but OH so sweet!
Last Saturday, I got to the barn early, Laz was still eating his feed.
S.L.O.W.L.Y., piece by piece.
I thought "is he choking??! WTF?" 
He never eats that crack feed slowly...
I back him up, check his mouth and then watch him eat.
I notice he's moving very carefully...
I peek in his feeder and ..
Three baby sparrows are sitting in the two corners, on top of his feed!
Here's a zoom of the two huddled in corner!
I quickly scooped them out, and AMAZINGLY, they were totally fine.
I saw a nest right above his feeder, and they must have been learning to fly, and fell into the feed tub. 
How Laz didn't smoosh them, ate them or crippled them is beyond me
Because he has the kindest soul.
Just is a sweet boy, sensitive.
After getting the birds to safety, I gave Laz such a hug.
He makes me proud everyday.