Monday, December 8, 2008

Ace gets his hooves trimmed...

Well, we finally did it! We got Ace's hooves trimmed! Yay! The goal was to get him trimmed - I was going to be happy if I could just get the fronts done, altho the rear hooves really bothered me too. I was so proud of him...we got the fronts AND the rears done! He was more tense with the rear, but still did fantastic! Heck, he did better than some of the ones we have had around here for a while.
We wanted to let him and Joker out with the big boys and girls for the winter but we needed better feet first. They will hang out with the little herd, learn some manners, and have more room to run and play.

Quick refresher on who Ace is. Ace, a little thin mustang, was at a horse sale and was bought by a kill buyer. A very good friend of mine saw him go thru and told me about him, and since my husband and I knew we wanted to do mustang rescue at some point, now seemed like a good time to start. The auction house and the buyer were very accommodating and let us save Ace. So here we are. :-) We have since found out he was adopted last year as a yearling, his title is dated August 2008, so he is a 2 yr old now.

When we brought him home, we were not sure how much training he had. We put him in the small round pen and worked him back and forth a little bit, and he would face up with me even tho he was nervous. He was not too keen on the lunge whip rubbing all over him either, but he tolerated it. I already knew I could pick up his front feet without any problems, but thought it would be better to have the halter on him in case he needed a little bit of 'help' dealing with it. I took just a few minutes of rubbing the lead rope and halter on him.

Here is where we started...

And alley-oop! Here is where we ended up! He does not lead like a pro, but he does good enough for now.

When I started, I rested his foot on my knee, but his hooves were so grown out I could not get a good angle, so I finally decided to get the Hoof Jack out. I did not want to start with his hooves between my knees in case he had a panic attack. I did not want him to associate it with something bad...those hooves were just too bad to take a chance on that happening. So I played it safe for him and myself.

I brought it out and he sniffed it a little bit, then decided it was not such a bad thing after all. We used the Hoof Jack the rest of the time.

Here are the front hooves before I got started. I will admit, sometimes I get behind on ours and they get grown out, but I have never worked on hooves like this before. I will eventually get some professional help - I have several questions about his feet and their growth.

Here are the fronts after. They are not perfect, but it is a good start getting that huge sideways flare off there as much as I can. Jill, the one who called me from the sale, noticed the same thing I did. His hooves really are tight until they get down to the flare. So we think he will be fine...

Except for this! This is a weird dent and we don't know if he had an injury at the coronet band or not. This is something we will keep a close eye on. I am hoping he eventually starts growing out a happy hoof again once it gets a little more balanced.

Here are the rears before I got started. He was a little tense on the rears but eventually relaxed and dropped that head. I was so focused on what I was doing that I didn't realize that he almost went to sleep! I stood up and turned to look at him and that head was hanging almost to the ground. He is a good boy!

Rears after the trim.

All in all I am happy with the trim. I am still learning, and will continue learning the rest of my life. I have never worked on weird shaped hooves before, and I really had to keep myself in check. I found myself wanting to get rid of more flare, then go back and take a little more. I spent a lot of time reading case studies, looking at pictures, and reading about what to do and what not to do. I kept reminding myself that I don't have to fix the flare in one trim. That hoof will take care of itself in time. Sooooo....we are going to watch them, take pictures, and hope for the best.

On the sole of his left front foot he has a hard bump on the side. I tried messing with it a little bit but it didn't want to go anywhere. Brian said not to force it, to just leave it for now because maybe it grew there to help alleviate pressure from something else. So we will keep an eye on it too. He is moving around pretty good and seems content.

We let the boys out with the others and they trotted around a lot. Joker was the leader and Ace followed. I have video I will be posting later - don't know that I will get to it tonite.

So, Ace's first trim was a success!

Here are Joker and Ace relaxing after their jaunt up and down the fence line. I do believe that Joker is outgrowing Ace, and Joker is a yearling. That is Flash the pony peeking in from the side. He is a character too.

I just had to throw in a couple other pictures from the day. I had my insulated gloves laying on the ground while I was working with Ace. The turkeys tried to steal them.

Brian is talking 'turkey' with the birds...he does it much better than I do! Because he is a dude? Ha ha!

That is my update for now. I am very pleased with Ace and how he handled everything. I am also sad knowing that someone took the time to love him, work with him, then throw him away. Okay, he wasn't thrown away, but to my way of thinking he was in a way. Can any of you imagine leaving your horse at the sale and not knowing what happened to them? I hope that none of us, you all included, never has to ever be put in a position to make a decision like that. I keep reminding myself that I don't know the details of why they could not keep him. I am also very grateful to be able to help him.

Smiles to you all!

Until later...Karen and Tripp

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