Friday, December 10, 2010

The shoe sucking muck has arrived

Last year, around this time, iodine foot

Oh, I mean Winter has arrived--along with the shoe sucking muck.

As I've perhaps mentioned before, Bar has fairly typical Thoroughbred feet--thin-walled and prone to flaking and peeling, which can make winter in wet and woolly Northern California a little challenging. At least when it comes to keeping iron nailed onto those feet.

It's not as bad as spring sometimes, when you go back and forth from wet to dry to wet in an endless loop. The hooves expand and contract to keep up, keeping the farrier's stock in nails at seasonally adjusted high numbers. And you, the owner, have been known to employ duct tape until your shoer can get out to the barn.

Bar's space boots

So it shouldn't have surprised me, after all the rain we've had, to show up last night to a missing rear shoe. But it did. Apparently, I chose to focus on the fact that it's gotten so much better (which it has), blithely assuming he wouldn't lose shoes anymore.

Silly, silly owner. It's winter. It's wet. He has super absorbent feet that suck up the water in his paddock like hard little sponges. Then the shoe starts to work it's way loose. Then the mud starts to dry up a little and get stickier, making sucking, slurping noises around your boot as you clean the paddock.

It's just a matter of time at this point.

What really bugs me is not being able to find the shoe and having nightmares of it lying there in the muck, nails up, waiting to wreak even more havoc. I looked. I scanned back and forth with my flashlight (since of course it was dark when I got to the barn and noticed the missing shoe). Then I looked again when I miraculously managed to get to the barn tonight with just a little bit of light left in the day.

Could I find it in the fetlock-deep, hoof-shaped puddles? No. Did I stick my toe into every one I saw? Yes.

Augh. It's like torture. Do I go out and buy a metal detector? Yes, of course the thought has crossed my mind. Several times by now, as a matter of fact. Will I? Jury is still out on that.

In the meantime, while waiting for our farrier to come out, I'm not working Bar--sure to lead to some real fun next time he's out.


Edie Freedman said...

What sort of hoof goop do you use on a daily basis, Jessica? Anything in particular or anything at all?

We have this problem spring and fall (mostly spring). Luckily Wolfie is a QH and has pretty good feet, so it's not a regular occurrence. But thrush is always a threat during mud season.

Jessica Boyd said...

Hey, Edie.

I use straight iodine for thrush prevention, more so during the winter of course. The Coppertox stuff reminds me way too much of the stuff we used to paint on peeler poles to prevent rot--hate the way it smells and it lingers forever on my hands, I swear!

I feed him Farrier's Formula and that seems to have helped with the general strength of the hoof wall.

Any suggestions for topical solutions? I know there are a ton of "miracle cures" out there, but..

Lena also has the most fabulous feet, big and thick-walled. Sadly, I can't figure a way to graft some it onto Bar!

Dave (aka Buckskins Rule) said...

Does the Farriers Formula help with the soles. That's the part of Smokey's feet that gets soft this time of year, leading to abscesses if I don't get the pads on in time. I hate having them on, but it's the only thing that has worked to date.

I see from FB you find the lost shoe. Probably best to have one less hazard in the paddock.