Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Girl's Gotta Have Shoes...

Even fancy horse shoes don't cost this much!
And I don't mean Louboutins.

Miss Kelly's feet have been something of a special case lately.  She's basically always been shod all around, and she has basically always forged to an extent.  As of late, she has also taken to pulling off her left front shoe.  In the five weeks since she last had a pedicure, she has pulled that shoe two or three times.  I'm guessing it's probably largely an issue of coming back into work, as she doesn't forge as much when she is in good shape and/or when she is using herself better while working.  In the meantime, however, we really can't have her pulling her shoe every other week, because a) That's a pain in the ass, and b) She starts to tear up her foot.  No bueno.

After the last time he re-set her pulled shoe, the farrier considered trying a different shoeing technique and asked me if I was familiar with flip-flops.  My exact response was, "Yup!  I live in them in the summer!"  Ummm... turns out that wasn't what he meant.

He described to me a half shoe in the front of the hoof with a flexible pad on the back.  He said that he thought it would prevent her from pulling her shoe when she overreaches, as she would step on the pad, which would then have some give, rather than the heel of the shoe.  Bonus: this setup would also help allow her heels to expand, which is something we've been working on (as was the farrier in Georgia).  It seemed like it was worth a try.

Fancy pants shoes for a fancy pants pony!

So Kell Bell got her flip-flops last week.  And they sound *exactly* like human flip-flops.  It, of course, remains to be seen how well the setup works for her, but she doesn't seem to mind them.  After looking at them, I had some concerns about how to keep the hoof under the pad clean, and wondered whether thrush might be a concern (we've been working on clearing up her thrush, as well).  I asked the farrier about it; it turns out the pads actually have anti-microbial properties, so worsening thrush shouldn't be a concern.  He also suggested using a hose to clean out the feet and get under the pads, rather than a hoof pick - but also warned to be careful doing this, or I would get wet.  Definitely a learning curve here, as I haven't yet managed to not get myself wet.

She's still barefoot behind (originally tried to help combat thrush and also to save money... shoeing costs in NY/NJ are no joke, y'all), and the farrier thinks she's fine to stay barefoot in back as long as she's comfortable.  Overall, her feet are looking great, and the thrush has cleared up fairly well.  There's still some going on in the right front in the collateral sulci near the heels, but it's much better.  I think it shouldn't be too long before it is cleared up entirely.

And now, a brief video about flip-flops for horses:

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