|*cheese* Oh wait. Hay truck.|
Harley's feet are looking great, despite the persistent rain and the fact that his paddock looked more like a bog than a sandy lot last week. He has been taking his magnesium supplement with dinner for a couple weeks now. With the changing season, hay, workload, and all the other unknown variables, I do not know if the magnesium is helping his feet or condition, but since I think that he looks great and I am paying for the supplement, my husband said that I should just pretend like I know that it is the magnificent magnesium. Truth be told, I think that the texture of his souls has changed. They are more pebbly or dimpled-looking. They used to be pretty smooth, but always looked like concrete. Now, they look like weathered concrete, at least where the pigmentation is dark.
The other relatively big change is that since this summer, I have been giving his bars more attention. I only trim off what my horse appears to be trying to wear down on his own.
"Only take off what the horse is trying to take off himself" is almost my entire philosophy of hoof trimming. This is where art meets science. The other part of my philosophy is "do no harm".
Harley starts the roll at the toe and I try to continue what he is doing around the rest of the foot. I have tried taking a little less and a little more (majorly small increments) here and there and this has led me to a happy medium with a sound, hardworking horse. Harley offers his input by licking and chewing from time to time while I am trimming a bar or rounding off a quarter. I like to think this means,
"Oh, that was the spot. Thanks."
If I could provide him with the terrain to self-trim, that would be my first choice. I am not trying to straighten or shape the bars, just as I am not trying to make his hoof a certain shape. I trim the bars only as needed and not on the same days that I trim the hoof wall. This allows me to take my time. Haste and hoof knives do not mix.
Half a dozen bar trims or so in, I have observed that they feel more like hoof wall and less like crumbly chalk. I hope that this means the bars are stronger and better able to support the lateral cartilages. I also hope this means that the bars are not putting undo pressure on the internal structures of his foot. This was my concern and my reason for finding my hoof knife and addressing them this summer. I will wait and see if any other changes unfold.
|Strike a pose. He just cannot help himself.|
|It's hard being cute.|