This is Misty. She’s a 13 year old Thoroughbred we started taking care of when her owner moved to Michigan. She has a club foot and as a result gets horrible cracks running vertically down both front hooves from her coronet band.
About a year or so ago, our farrier suggested putting glue-on rubber boots on her to try to stabilize the cracks and heel them.
This is a picture of the good hoof with the boot on. As time went on with these boots, the cracks kept coming back and then started getting worse. Then she started getting abscesses within about a week of her getting a trim almost every single month. This last trim was too much. She got a horrible abscess and her club foot started dishing inward. She is normally on pasture 24/7 but we brought her in to a small paddock. I was terrified that her coffin bone was being affected and she might founder.
We researched and called numerous farriers trying to figure out what to do. None of them had any experience with this except one, so we chose him. He recommended a backwards shoe to get the pressure off her toe. He also cut back her heel so she’d walk more flat footed.
This is a picture right after he cut away the glued on rubber boot. It’s terrifying to me.
This is what the bottom looks like.
He put the backwards shoe on. He did pound two nails into each side, which made me and her owner a little nauseous. I try very hard not to put shoes on horses and seeing it done makes me cringe.
Then he rasped down the front of her foot (after trimming it and her heel).
He did leave a little of the plastic boot on the sides, just to hold things together. You can see the tips of the shoe peaking out, so that it cushions her toe when she walks.
Are we doing the right thing? I don’t know? I worry every day. She is still inside in a small paddock with one other horse instead of going out on pasture with the herd. She limps when she walks.
I have been putting tea tree essential oil diluted in coconut oil on her coronet band most nights to try to keep abscesses from forming. And I have been painting on a mixture of aloe vera oil mixed with carrot seed essential oil and palmarosa oil and distilled water to promote hoof growth.
And I pray – that we are doing the right thing. That her hoof will heal. That she will be alright.
This is Misty’s owner just after the trim. And that’s Liberty in the stall. He is our 30 something, gelding, who loves Misty very much. They are never far apart out in the pasture.
After her trim, we put her out for a short time with the herd, but she decided it was time for a rest.
And then Liberty decided to join her.
You couldn’t blame her, she’d been through a lot.