Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Coal Update #9

4/14/16, Day #190 for Coal's rehabilitation progress.  


On 8/4/16 he got his very first real pair of riding boots!  While he has come SO far in just 10 months, and he is sound otherwise, his soles are still a tad thin at the toe and that causes him some discomfort with a rider's weight.  So, custom fit boots and pads it is.  I heat fit a pair of Easyboot Gloves for him and added a set of comfort pads inside.  He's now able to comfortably carry a rider's weight over any terrain.  I suspect that he will become more sound for work as he goes through his second full hoof growth cycle.

Right now, the initial founder line which was at the coronet band when I got him, is about a 1/4 of an inch from being completely grown out.  As is evident in the recent pictures, there is still changes inside his foot happening and in a few more months, hopefully he will be back to 100%.  I need to get follow up radio graphs taken to see how his bones are doing, the trick is finding a vet in the area with a portable xray machine.

So for now, 10 months after this whole ordeal began, it seems that Coal has reached his happy ending.  He has a new life, new health, new friends, and a new human to bond with and have adventures.

Life.  Is.  Good.

Ride Safe All,

The RoadQueen

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hiatus Break Through

Well, this winter has been hectic.  With limited daylight hours and inadequate indoor lighting, I wasn't able to document Coal's progress over the winter in as much detail as I would have liked, but I did get some done.

Lots has changed in life, where to even start?  Just for giggles, let's go for a chronological summary.

RCT and I bought a farm.  Yes, like a real farm.  It is a very old little farm, the barn and original house was built sometime in the 1800's, and the house has lots of newer add on's.  The barn is made by post and beam construction, a bit run down due to lack of care for over a decade but I love it.  It has tons of character.  There are fenced pastures for our ponies (yes, I said OUR ponies, more on that in a minute).  There is a small 1/4 acre pond, lots of outbuildings that are almost as old as the barn and original house, several acres of woods and it's been an absolute dream come true to work on bringing this place back to it's glory.  It's been a TON of work, and there is much more to do, but we are loving every minute of it.

The day the horses moved in to their new home.
Sunset over the pond
Coal and Guinness waking up in the morning dew
Artsy-fartsy photo of the old pump house that covered the original hand dug well

All the while, I had been working at my M-F 8-5 desk job as well as working as a barefoot farrier on nights and weekends.  I'm sure if you know me, you know which profession I'd rather partake in.  So, with our farm bought, horses and then us moved in, RCT and I tied the legal knot and I quit my desk jockey position to go full time as a barefoot horse farrier.  

Now that I'm down to one, fully rewarding profession and most of the very large farm projects are almost complete, I decided that it was time to dust off the old blog and start up my chronicles once again.  Life hasn't gotten any less adventuresome, if anything, it's become MORE so.  The only thing lacking is the time to post about it.  Stay tuned for more posts.  It's good to be back in the saddle.

RoadQueen on Guinness
Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist on Coal

Ride Safe All,

The RoadQueen

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Winter Storm Olympia - Northeast Ohio 2/16/16

With warm temps around 30 degrees, we were treated to around 3 inches overnight, according to the local radio station.  We may get another 1-3 inches yet this morning.  The warm temps created great conditions for heavy, sticky snow.  The sticky kind is the prettiest.


Ride safe all!

~The RoadQueen

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Coal Update #8

New update!  When the snow flies and the wind blows, I don't stay out for any longer than absolutely necessary.  But, I have a happy update that is long overdue, so I snapped a few pictures and took a short video on a nice day of Coal after his most recent trim on 1/15/16.

Coal is still slowly gaining weight, he has an awesome, thick hair coat and he is sound at the walk on grass (even frozen grass!)  I have not attempted to push him into a trot as of yet, but I'll take sound at a walk any day over what he was before.  I should also note, that Coal has not worn his boots since mid-November, except for occasionally when the mud in the paddock is frozen as solid as clumped up concrete.

Three months and one week:  

The days are getting longer, and warmer.  Change is in the air.  Dreams are set to come true.  Life is moving on and new adventures are drawing near.

Ride safe all,

~The RoadQueen

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Coal Update #7

11/7/15 - Day 48

After discussing Coal's progress thus far with my mentor, I was advised to take off more toe and to start letting him go without boots so that his hooves will be stimulated more than they can be with the boots on.  The day after this advice was given, I trimmed Coal again to aim for the better breakover that my Sensei suggested.  

Left Front - Before/After

Left Rear - Before/After

Right Front - Before/After

Right Rear - Before/After
Still not there, but getting closer.  Getting rid of more of the excess toe worked, as he was more comfortable after this trim.  He is still slightly off on level ground, more pronounced heading downhill but improvement, nonetheless.

He is already due for another trim (1 week later) so that post will be forthcoming.  Also, I picked up a tube of Super Fast by Vettec to fill/cover the gaping holes that lead up into his stretched laminae to prevent infection setting in from being exposed to the elements (mud manure, urine).  Especially now, as it has been raining and cloudy for a week or so and the ground is very soft and muddy in the paddock.  Which is also good for Coal to start going bare on instead of the hard packed ground that it normally is.

Ride Safe All,

~The RoadQueen

Friday, November 27, 2015

Coal Update #6

Day 47 - 11/24/15

Some observations.  No big changes have happened since the last trim, but I wanted to put down some thoughts.  The founder rehabilitation case studies that I've been able to find don't seem to have a whole lot of detail.  So these details popped out to me as not having heard them before.  Going to put them out there in case someone in the future trips over my blog looking for information on founder rehab.

The weather has turned cold, and temperature seems to affect Coal's comfort a lot.  He has started toe walking over the past couple of days, the temps have been in the mid 20's - high 30's range (F).  Historically, his Right Front hoof is generally the one he favors the most.  I had assumed that was because it was the one with the most rotation.  With this new toe walking, he is favoring his Front Left instead.  

The consistency of Coal's soles are really, really weird.  Like a cross between hard plastic and petrified tree sap.  Slightly translucent, very hard, very.....weird.  When we started out, Coal's soles were nothing but mush.  Think fried corn mash that didn't spend enough time in the frying pan.  That's what they felt like.  They were full of infection, rot and disease.  Necrotic tissue abounded.  I had to wear only certain clothing to treat him each day because the stench was so bad, it permeated everything I wore when I had contact with him.

Now, fast forward 47 days:  The door has swung in the complete opposite direction.  The soles are plastic hard, almost impossible to cut with sharpened knives, freshly rebuilt nippers, or even a brand new rasp.  The frogs are equally as hard.  To get to this point, I spent the first 2 weeks soaking his hooves almost every day in Epsom salt/Dreft water.  Twice daily I either sprayed Vetricyn on his soles and in his infections, or used Pete's Goo (50/50 triple antibiotic-athlete's foot cream).  Since day 3 he has worn his padded hoof boots.  I wrap his hooves in diapers before putting them in his boots to draw moisture, pus, etc. away from his hooves.  

Apparently, it worked.  Maybe too well.  Perhaps the dryness, while clearing up any and all disease, has also created super dry and hardened hoof undersides and that makes them painful to walk on.  Today, after applying infrared light therapy to Coal's feet, I brushed melted coconut oil onto the soles of his hooves before applying the diapers and booting him.  Coconut oil is known to be a terrific softener as well as having antibacterial/fungal properties.  Plus it'll make his hooves smell nice.  Can't hurt to try, right? 

Two steps forward, one step back.  One day he's kicking Guinness' ass for trying to get his hay, the next he is practically crippled.  Then he's trotting around and playing.  Then he's stumbling up to his stall for supper.  This ordeal is such an emotional roller coaster.  

In spite of the setbacks, we've come a long way, baby.

We'll see how the coconut oil treats him.  I've contacted my hoof Sensei to get her perspective and opinion.  See if she has any additional knowledge to impart from her mounds of wisdom.

Ride Safe All,

~The RoadQueen

Monday, November 16, 2015

Coal Update #5

Well, now here we be in the land of daylight savings time - aka - no daylight after work hours to take pictures or video of anything.

Coal is still progressing on the two steps forward, one step back schedule.  He is on 24/7 turnout with the other two horses and his progress has steadied quite a bit.  Much less backsliding, more steady marching onward.  He still wears his padded hoof boots 24/7 as he is extremely uncomfortable without them.  Plus, it keeps nasty manure and dirt out of the spots where his white line is completely separated and hollow way up into the hoof capsule. Even if he becomes comfortable without them, he will continue to wear them until the holes have grown out so that they won't pack with foreign matter and become infected again.   He wears baby diapers inside the boots, and they are changed out at least every couple of days, if not daily, and soles sprayed with Vetricyn to prevent any fungus or bacteria from causing any issues.

This past weekend, I was finally able to get Coal trimmed with pictures of said trim.  I took off a lot more excess hoof capsule, and did a lot more balancing where there were major imbalances.  

Day 39:

Before trim without his boots on - he's uncomfortable even on the rubber mat.

Left Rear:

Left Front:
Right Front:

Right Rear:

A good and bad thing is that Coal's soles, frogs and wall have hardened.  A LOT.  As in, I can barely get my knife, nippers or rasp to cut them, they're so hard.  I would like to start hand-walking him in the soft grass barefoot a short stretch each day to help him use his hooves better.  The padded boots are a real godsend for him, but I'd love if he could start using his hooves as they were meant to a little bit.  I have to wonder if it will aid in his healing and progress.  I figure that I don't have much time before the ground becomes frozen, so we will be going on walks in the dark in the evenings.  I'll try it for a week or so and see how things are.  

So, things have been quite busy here in RoadQueenland, with the regular job, trimming job, winter preparations on the farm and attempting to have some time for myself here and there.  Will try and get video the next time I see Coal in the daylight of how he is moving at this juncture.  

Ride Safe All,

~The RoadQueen