This winter and spring have been incredibly wet, and the farriers plagued by lost shoes (I imagine metal detectorists will be getting very excited thinking that they’ve struck gold!) and abscesses.
Soft ground equals soft hooves, which has caused abscesses and horses who usually cope well barefoot becoming footsore.
Thankfully the ground is drying out and hooves are becoming harder – watch out for cracks now as the hooves change rapidly.
I’m going to go against the general consensus and say that the soft ground has actually been beneficial to Otis.
My farrier came out to trim his feet a couple of weeks ago (blame my two legged project for the delay in blogging) and found that the soft ground had allowed Otis’s heels to expand far more than usual, so his hooves are actually much better balanced and a good shape. Which should mean that he’s more comfortable in the side bone area, although I still don’t think he’ll come sound, but being more comfortable is always good!
You can compare this image to previous ones that I’ve taken over the last six months here. I feel that they’ve definitely improved, which makes me more determined to keep Phoenix barefoot as long as possible, and if she starts becoming uncomfortable I’m more inclined to investigate the hoof boot route first.
To conclude, I thought I’d share a photo of Otis meeting mini me, and being as gentle and loving as I expected.