Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bad News

front feet below

front from the side below

back feet

I had a farrier look at Beautiful's feet today--she isn't my main farrier--she was out here doing another horse's feet for a friend of mine who boards at our place. But while she was standing there she did comment about Beautiful's feet and she thinks we are in an EMERGENCY situation. BG is WAY too long in the heel and she stands on her toes. Her question is was she trimmed that way, or did she grow that way--and how long has she been standing like this.

Her worry is that the tendons have contracted into that tiptoe position and either will have to come down slowly by slowly removing the heel--or may never come down naturally--which would mean she'd always stand on her toe unless we surgically cut the tendons. She said we really don't have time to spare--she thinks we need to start them next week. But her training can't be aggressive because she shouldn't move very much on those feet either.

I'm very scared and disappointed, but staying optimistic. Everyone I've spoken to says they were trimmed at the BLM--so maybe this is a man-made cause and can be remedied. Also, I just have to believe it's going to be okay.

I'm going to step up the requests from Beautiful--and I'm open to any ideas to get her gentle enough to trim next week. There is a possibility we can sedate her and I can have my farrier come out and do it--but I'd rather do it without sedation--which might take longer.

Update: You know, when the farrier was here this morning, BG was eating and her food is in a depression, so she was pointing down. To balance herself she probably stood more on her toe, because the pictures in her run taken a few minutes ago show her sitting back more on the heel. What do you all think?


  1. That's too bad! I didn't realize she was so upright. I don't know for sure that they would have trimmed her there. I don't know whether they even keep a record of that. I would think she would have been trimmed though, because she was probably there for 6 months or more.

    Is there anything I can do to help?

  2. Linda it's not the end of the world. She'll be fine. Her feet look like little foal's feet to me. Maybe you could get your vet to give her something to calm her down for the trimming. Both my Morgan's patella's locked up a week after I bought him. It may have had something to do with the long journey from eastern Wyoming. Anyway my vet didn't want any long term problems with his joints so cut ligaments over both patellas. That was 20 yrs ago and he's 100% sound still.
    Wildairo has big wide feet and I have no idea about his past trims. Keeps us posted.
    Arlene. PS My vets name is Dr Tim Johnstone in Ritzville and he's really good with horses.

  3. Wow that's a weird dillema! Don't worry about it too much I'm sure she will be fine and that it's not as bad as it seems (I'm sending you guys lots of happy thoughts and well wishes!). I'd maybe do like Arlene said and have a vet sedate her so that you can get them trimmed.

    Or you can try doing the extreme gentling. Which is to put her in a squeeze shute (using pannels to make one. Go to they tell you how you can make one) and get a halter and lead back on her. Maybe try to pet her while she is in the shute and get her used to pets and you being that close. Depending on how she feels about the shute tho she might get freaked out and rear to try and escape or something.

    At the rescue where I got my two their methods to gentle the mustangs were to hook a lead rope to the halter and hang to it until they were able to pet the horse and get them calm. You just have to make sure that they have a way out in front and behind so no one gets ran over or hurt if she gets scared. If you do that tho make sure that you have gloves and a longer rope and can hang on. Maybe work in a smaller pen so she can't run as far or pull so bad. Just be careful not to get ran over or kicked.

    Do what you feel is best. Here is a link also to wild horse mentors in WA:

    I'm not sure if they are near you but one of them may be able to help you gentle her. Just be careful because some can be jerks but there are nice ones on there to who love horses and love to help. You can call too and ask their opinions on gentling quickly...

  4. Thanks for all your encouragement. I've been reading about the rapid gentling process--bamboo pole, hand, rope, then chute and halter. Today I went out with her about four times and asked more from her. I bought a real bamboo pole, too. I touched her once during the process and she didn't like it and got mad. Tomorrow I'm going to do the same thing, but my hand will be touching her by the end of the day--and petting her. Then, Saturday I'll do the rope and maybe the chute--but it sounds like you need helpers for that one. Worse case scenario, we could trim her hooves in a makeshift chute. I don't know what to think about the hooves. This was not my normal farrier, she was here for another horse--she was one of my farrier's old students. Mine is known for his expertise with problems--and that's how I met him--he was recommended for Cowboy's P3 fracture. He quickly became more valueable than the vet. He has been here since we got Beautiful, but he didn't comment and I didn't ask since I was still in the gentling phase.

  5. Oops, when I said I touched her once, I meant with the hand--she's very tolerant of the bamboo pole and I moved up on it as she would let me. She's stubborn though. I kind of like that idea of taking the lead rope and holding on for dear life until you can pet them! You would need a big area and a long rope, for sure, but that's not a bad idea. Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. Hi Linda,
    Because I haven't been able to walk for months (I'm just this week full weight bearing and it's painful) I've had to try to gentle my colt through the fence the best I could. Brad has only gone in with him two or three times, so I've done all the 'work'.

    To tell you the truth if I ever got another wild horse I'd do the same thing at first because I felt really safe and much braver with him. We have made great progress. When I first made him come to me by pulling the lead rope he tried to pull back and I hung on to the gate and the rope and he gave up after awhile. All the time I was talking to him like he was a little baby and telling him to 'come here' in the same voice I use when I have an apple for him. I'm very weak so if the gate hadn't been in between us I could never have held on to him. Mind you the little stinker didn't pull to hard because he thought he was about to get a treat. I'm a firm believer in bribery. At first anyway.

    We have yet to put his halter back on, but he's giving in to me more everyday. Today I was putting my arms around his neck, through the fence and making him stay when he wanted to walk off. I know it's unconventional but it's fun and it seems to be working.

    If your regular farrier didn't comment it can't be all that bad and she is very young. My colt has big clod hopper hooves. You may have to change her name to Twinkle Toes. She is so pretty too.

  7. I wish I would have thought of that while I still had her halter on! I could have done it through the gate. I was so worried about freaking her out--but it turns out that's how many gentlers do it--they hold on until the mustangs give up. Makes sense. I mean, right now she's not so scared as stubborn--it's turning into disrespect. But how in the heck do I get that halter back on? Actually, Bob at Mustang days was telling me how, but I didn't get it. I really need to go out there. I'm going to call them tomorrow. There was something about making a loop to go around their neck with the bamboo pole--I think--the loops doesn't tighten. He explained is so quick, I can't remember much.

  8. I saw a video on the internet where they used a long pole and rope to make a halter. I will try to find it and send you the URL. I will have to do something soon myself. He kicked his belly today and I was like "Oh no, it's the colic" then I saw the fly. lol. But it really worries me to have him halterless in case he needs the vet or something. I was making faster progress with the halter on. Also I know what you mean about disrespect because Wildairo can act that way now he hasn't got his halter on.

  9. Here's a URL that could help you.

    Here's another one.

    I thought I saw a video some where but I can't find it again. Good luck and keep us posted.

  10. You've been given some good advice, so I don't think I have anything to add but well wishes! I agree with the poster who said her feet look like baby feet. Things will work out.

    As far as the halter goes, now that she is good with the bamboo pole, try adding a rope to the pole to get her used to ropes being on her body. Have you ever watched Kitty Lauman's training of Ranger? Having my mustang used to ropes attached to the pole really sped up his confidence concerning a halter. I brought him home without a halter, so his first experience with one was a halter made out of the 25' line I used to desensitize him with.

    Here is the link to Kitty's video using the rope on the bamboo pole.

    Good luck with your girl!


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