Question for Lavinia about riding Monty, & hoof boots, & what to expect


Collaeyn Hazen
 

Hello Lavinia,
I have been working on Monty's trim.  As you know his xrays showed very thin soles and distal descent. How can I tell if he is comfortable enough for riding in boots? He seems very comfortable hand walking in boots. I'd love to be able to at least get on and walk him around. Should I try lunging him to see if he seems sound on turns? 

Also, I know reversing the distal descent and getting thicker soles will take a while. Are we talking about a few months, or closer to a year? Should he be booted the entire time? Should I not be trying to ride until the reversal is well underway/complete? 

My other question is, do you have a recommendation regarding hoof boots? 
I have Monty in the Easyboot RX when it is dry (we go through the pads SO FAST though, it is getting $$$. Yoga-mat home-made pads are squished flat after a few hours...Monty is a big fellow) and I use scoot boots with rubber-ish pads (the equine fusion pads) when it is damp out. Monty lives out 24x7 except in extreme weather. He seems comfortable in both of these boot options.  However his front hooves, now that I've removed a lot of the side flare, are no longer wider than long and he seems in-between sizes in the scoots - his 3s are too tight, 4s are a bit loose.  His hoof shape difference makes the  RX boots are fit better, but a little tighter, even though I've been maintaining his trim regularly... I find this to be interesting.  I was considering something like the easyboot glove, but I'm worried about the pastern strap and if it can cause soft-tissue damage.  I would love your thoughts on this.

Thank you!
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Collaeyn, Monty, Shark, and Duke
Sewell, NJ
June 2020
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Collaeyn%20and%20Monty
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248978   (Monty pics)
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=250635   (Shark pics)


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Collaeyn,

Based on the 7-17-20 photos, you've definitely made a lot of improvements in the trim. Good job.

Toes still need to come back more, with the RF/RH being more problematic than the LF/LH.  Heels have improved but remain a work in progress. Need to get after the heel flares like you did the rest of the wall flares, which will also help to get the heels moved back under him.

While the trim is still changing, you'll need to experiment with boots to see what fits. The fronts will be more round once you get the toes back enough, which should help with the fitting.
What do you mean you go thru pads so fast? The pads should conform to his soles, squishing up into the collateral grooves so that he is getting support across all the structures on the bottom of the foot. Once that happens, the pad is custom fit for that foot so mark which one is which and don't rotate the pads. For the larger horses, use a thicker or denser pad so that once it has conformed to the foot, there is still some thickness left.
Easyboot Gloves can be customized using a heat gun, if needed. Majority of horses don't have any issues with the pastern straps, although a horse with a large degree of pastern action may find them irritating - think Pasos, for instance. See Pete's discussion on how to heat fit the boots, which can mitigate the fitting ssues on rehabbing feet:

http://www.hoofrehab.com/GloveMod.html

Don't push the formal exercise too quickly, but if he is doing well hand walking, you can try adding some light trotting in straight lines, gentle turns to see how he handles it. If that goes well, I don't see any harm in getting on him for walks .
What does he do at liberty?

--
Lavinia

Moderator/ECIR Support


Collaeyn Hazen
 

Hi,

Thanks for your answers! I have been gradually working more on the heels and toes. Those pics were primarily my farrier's work and I decided she didn't honor the markups, so I've taken over doing all of my horse's feet now.   I'm afraid to do too much at once, and it takes me like an hour per horse to do all 4 feet!   For Monty, I have been making little adjustments every couple of days and it is really making a difference. I should really send you new pics. I can't believe how much his feet have changed.  However there is still a bit of toe flare. I keep telling myself it has only been a month since starting to fix this problem and that it will take time. 

What I meant about the pads was that even the medium density pads are so squashed after a couple of days, that the edges are disintigrating, or they are so flat as to not have any cushion left, or they get stinky, so I end up tossing them and replacing them.  It has been wet on and off, and humid so he sweats in his RX boots, and the morning dew makes the boots damp, so I have to swap out the pads, or the boots, or switch to different boots, pretty much every morning and sometimes evening.  I will try the firmer density pads next time I order. But I did run out of pads last week and just put the RX boots on him without, and he seemed perfectly comfortable. With Monty, he just doesn't seem to like his bare sole on hard ground. As long as there is something in between, he seems content. 

At liberty...its been so hot & humid that none of the horses here are doing anything exciting, but he did have a full out personal rodeo the other night complete with bucking and galloping, when I was switching paddocks with some of the other horses, and he didn't seem to be concerned about his hooves whatsoever during or after.
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Collaeyn, Monty, Shark, and Duke
Sewell, NJ
June 2020
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Collaeyn%20and%20Monty
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248978   (Monty pics)
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=250635   (Shark pics)


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Then definitely update the pix when you have a moment. tweaks every few days is the perfect way to make changes.

Are you powdering his soles liberally before putting his boots on? Gold Bond foot powder (or any of the generic varieties) works really well to keep things drier and much less stinky. You can also use diatomaceous earth.

Disintegrating edges on the pads just means his walls are cutting thru them but the rest of the padding is compressed right where it should so that it's distributing the weight load across the entire bottom of his foot. Just hose them off, scrub them down to disinfect and leave them out to dry on the sun. Swap them out daily (mark them LF/RF/RH/LH) with a second set and you should get a decent amount of time out of two sets.

Good to hear he's feeling so good, as are his feet.

--
Lavinia

Moderator/ECIR Support


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

I often use athletic socks (just the foot part cut off) in boots along with foot powder to absorb the moisture.  It helps keep the powder off the hoof, which can build up into a funky goo on bottom of the hoof as it absorbs moisture.  On dry days powder is enough, on wet days the socks help.  They also snug up the fit if the boots are a bit big.  Make sure the socks aren't wrinkled and the seam at the toe is not on the bottom of the hoof.

I really like t he 12mm black (medium) or green (soft) Easy Care pads, which are thick enough that they last a long time (months), although with a large horse maybe the 12mm red (firm) pads would be better.  6mm foam pads seem to wear through really fast and aren't as cushy.  The pads help with sole and frog stimulation.

One issue with Scoots that I have is that sand from my paddock gets in between the pad and stays there, rubbing the pad (and sole!) and wearing out my pads much faster than a closed boot.  You might not have that problem if he is on grass though?

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Kirsten Rasmussen
Kitimat, BC, Canada