Driving to the barn today was very surreal. My logical brain believed what my farrier Bill & barn manager Regina thought – that something had changed in Alfie’s foot which required a new type of shoe. But as I’m sure many of you have experienced in life, sometimes the emotional aspect gets in the way of the logical. That’s been my issue ever since I first met Alfie.
Our bond is very strong, and the love I have for him only gets stronger with each passing day. So my emotional state feared the worse. Something catastrophic and unfixable must have happened to his foot.
But Alfie’s will is strong, and that emotional state of doom quickly disappeared when I arrived to the barn and saw him running in the arena. He was off, but not badly lame. Removing his shoe the second time had definitely made a difference. And after almost 3 weeks, I felt the heavy weight of my heart begin to lift.
Bill the farrier arrived about 30 min before the vet. We chatted about the weather – more snow is in in the forecast, and he started cutting pieces of metal to begin making Alfie’s potential new shoe.
When the vet arrived, Alfie was given a mild sedative – just something to make him super mellow. To Xray a horses foot they have to stand on a small block and hold their position. So the sedative is just enough to keep him still.
The X-rays showed that the fallen coffin bone has been stabilized and actually looks like there is some improvement – it will never be perfect but improvement is a very good sign. Also, his foot is nicely balanced, meaning the trims he receives each time he gets his new shoes are being done correctly, so that’s another great sign. Now comes the question – is this an abscess? The answer – NO!
Remember when I mentioned Alfie had a small crack in his heel and we didn’t know if the crack caused what we thought was the abscess or if the abscess caused the crack? Well in this case, the crack caused the swelling in his heel.
Basically what we are dealing with is his foot has changed – for the better – which means that the shoe with the 3 degree wedge lift is no longer needed!! Alfie’s new shoe on that foot now has a smaller degree wedge – only 1 degree, and a cut out area for his heel. Alfie is going to be just fine.
I won’t be riding him until he is completely sound in that foot, which can take a few days or a few weeks, but I can resume light ground work at a walk with him and he can go back outside on regular turn out with his friends.
I am so blessed, Alfie and I are literally surrounded by incredibly skilled and knowledgeable horse people who truly adore him and want nothing but the best for him. After Alfie’s new shoe was put back on, I took him for a brief walk in the arena, and he wanted to move. He picked up some trot with a lot of forward momentum. I can already tell that heel is feeling better.
Alfie’s feet were a disaster before we met, I have a better understanding of why he was just discarded at some point – the cost of shoe’ing a horse like Alfie isn’t cheap. Sometimes people’s priority’s are out of whack – spend a few hundred bucks every 6 weeks on special shoes for a horse that is very safe to ride or just sell him. Well, in this instance I’m really glad that they sold Alfie. He found his way to me and that makes me the luckiest horse owner in the world.❤️🐴