UnoQuite how Uno's feet degenerated into their current mess is distressing to me. He's always been a "bar" overachiever, but his feet got away from me without me realising that they had. During his last trim less than two weeks ago, it dawned on me that nearly the entire back of his front feet was now bar material ("bar pooling") and the seat of the corns had vanished underneath it. His feet were solid blocks of dense material. No concavity. No sole shedding. Just blobs of hard stuff.
My problem is that he grows a lot of toe, but very little heel, so it's a balancing act to try and not take anything off the back, while keeping the front under control. As a result, he tends towards spatula feet at the best of times.
I don't like to get too aggressive with sole trimming - which is probably also part of the problem - I suddenly realised it had all built up and it was time to get serious about getting it back under control. Not pretty.
Yesterday morning I put his front feet in boots and filled them with water (... and then went and fetched a third boot when I noticed the water trickling out of a hole in the toe of the boot). I topped up the water again last night when I fed.
So he wore his water boots for 24 hours and this morning I set to doing a hack-job on his feet. It's scary digging around in there like that, and I imagine he'll be a little footsore until things even out, but I think I got the job done. Sorta.
(Note I took the following photos with my iPhone so there may be some distortion due to it being close up. I know his heels aren't super-healthy, but don't believe they are quite that contracted.)
|Left front, post-hack job. Talk about dubbed toe. :(|
|Right front, post-hack job. Not quite as extreme...|
|I don't love these feet, but need to avoid his toes getting long to protect his suspensories from over stretch|
So the hour and 15 mins spent chiselling away at his two front feet seems to have been relatively successful. Certainly he wasn't lame at the walk and didn't show any discomfort while I was performing the hack-job. I'm hoping that the lessening of bar material will cause his feet to be able to flex more and in turn be healthier. And if I can eliminate the thrush in his heels, hopefully he'll start to land heel-first and grow more heel.
I may repeat this soaking again in a week and see if more sole material seems inclined to come off.
And if I can find somewhere non-smoky to ride this weekend, I'd like to take him out and see how he feels - hopefully more willing to move out once I get boots on.