Did I ever mention that I'm a minimalist?
After talking with Rebecca & watching Leah with her, I decided to start with some basics before proceeding. I called my farrier and he came out this weekend and did a hoof test. There was some pain in her backs--but it wasn't much. There was maybe a little in her front right, but again, it would be very little. He wants to put a good trim on her and shoes all around, so he asked me to soak her feet and soften them up for a few days. When he comes back, he wants to test again and see if he can detect anymore pain or possible bruising.
He watched her move out and he brought up all four legs and didn't detect any pain or resistance in the hip or shoulders. By watching her, he couldn't see a specific area of pain--it seemed more all around discomfort--but not super perceptible.
For now, he wants her to lose about 100 more pounds, continue to stretch and move in ways that are comfortable for her, and get some new shoes on all four feet, and then we'll reassess and decide if we need to go a step further.
I have her separated from the rest of the herd so that I can control her diet. She's on strictly grass--30 minute feedings. I pull her out for massage and light exercise. My farrier joked, even if she had a broken leg, she'd still benefit from stretching, bending and massage!
This whole thing is baffling because she does not have any obvious signs of lameness. In the pasture, at liberty, she runs, trots, and bucks around like she feels just fine.
I'll post another video after we get her reshod.
In the meantime, Cowboy has been pulled out of retirement, and he's in soft shape. I'm doing massage and TTouch with him and trying to get him reconditioned. Used to be, I'd pull him out of the pasture anytime and he'd be in pretty good shape, but old age has definitely changed his body--as it has mine. Still, he is so fun to work with and ride!! I wish I had another exactly like him at age 8--or just turn back the clock and have him as an 8 year old again.
The shadow of Cowboy and me on our morning ride. We warmed up in the arena and went for a little trail ride around the house.
My favorite view.
Leah is standing more solid on her fronts than she was a couple weeks ago. I'm really starting to think whatever happened is resolving itself. Remembering back, it all began on those first trail rides before I had her fronts shod. She was also extremely overweight at that time. Time will tell.
And, by the way, I'm 8 days away from my 100 Day Challenge!! Woot! Woot! There have been lots of fun times, confusing times, scary times, and sad times, but mostly there has been lots of HORSE time.