After a long summer dealing with one hoof issue after another, my Bailey Boy is back in action! For months we fought thrush infections, cracked walls, and tender soles, but we have prevailed! In order to combat the thrush, I treated him every day with a variety of products – from Thrush Buster to Tomorrow (it’s mainly for cows) and, of course, my favorite – Absorbine’s Thrush Remedy. He still has a little bit here and there, so I’m continuing to treat it.
Since his walls weren’t hard enough and he didn’t have proper growth, we couldn’t put on a regular shoe – there wasn’t much to nail to! Besides, a typical shoe stays on 6+ weeks, and with the thrush pockets, my farrier and I weren’t comfortable trapping the ick under a shoe for that long. So we improvised. First, he had glue on shoes; they lasted about three weeks until they came off – long enough for him to have some decent growth with his walls, and short enough that the thrush wouldn’t get out of control. Then we applied an acrylic gel that lasted about the same amount of time with the same pleasing results. By doing this, it allowed the hoof wall to grow and strengthen during a time of year when horses tear up their hooves stomping flies on hard, dry ground.
Throughout the summer, I also applied Keratex, a hoof hardener, to help toughen up his soles and overall hoof. He’s also been on the Figuerola Hoof Max supplement since February, and you can see exactly how far the new hoof has grown since then – it looks smooth, hard, and healthy.
Last week my farrier came out to trim and was considering putting on regular shoes, but, thankfully, Bailey has been sound enough without them, so we’re trying to move forward and leave him barefoot. While he still has a little bit to go until his hooves are back to normal (a new ‘normal’ for him), he’s sound and rideable! I was able to get on him (just at the walk) last week for the first time since late April/early May. Success! If there comes a point where Bailey definitely needs shoes, then of course that’s what we’ll do. In the meantime, thanks to my amazing farrier who has gradually reshaped Bailey’s hoof composition (he had NO heels and long toes when I got him), he’s progressing beautifully.
I’m so glad my boy is finally feeling better and able to be ridden…just in time for winter. Ha!