Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What Do Wednesday: Missing Shoes

It's safe to say my life is momentarily in shambles, so I'm holding off on contest for a few more posts. It was supposed to be "happy 600 posts/ Bacardi Gotcha Day" but my sanity slowly has disintegrated over the last 7 days and I am officially driving the struggle bus. Definelty a 180* turn from last post. Whomp whomp.

It's mostly Bacardi, but also school and other boring life things. But mostly Bacardi.


I fear he is also slowly falling apart. I've yet to see him in this much disarray and is a bit concerning.

I do have some happy posts, mostly re Yankee. Saving those for later.

Cuz hes perfection.
Also sprinkled about is some media from about 2 weeks ago when B wasn't actually falling completely apart on me. But still couldn't turn right. 

In the last month he's dropped about 50 lbs, shredded his LF, become incredibly body sore, unable to turn right and legit lost his sanity along the way. 

I had grand plans to head to a jumper show this weekend, but we can't even walk forward right now (literally) so that's sadly out of the question. My wallet is thanking me, since it's been abused trying to diagnose my precious, special snowflake horse.



Around the beginning of the end of last month, following his annual round of spring shots, his body condition rapidly decreased to a point of extreme concern.

Not to mention the recent "heat wave" is really messing with him...he can't stop sweating. He has fans on him all day and he breaks out in a lather within 10 minutes under saddle. Thanks Ohio, for changing seasons so rapidly. He also has gotten the shit kicked out of him in the field and has tons of cuts all over, making him look even more bedraggled. Awesome. I think its Yankee to be honest...only horse that has been added to the group recently. GREAT.



We upped his grain and hay about 4 week ago, to no avail. The vet thinks the shots fucked with his internal whatever's, and he will just need time to readjust, but damn, he looks like we are starving him. People have noticed. People have given unsolicited advice. People need to butt out. I am aware he looks like hell, thanks.

Secondly, and gradually, he has become more and more stiff to the right. Massage lady (who came out a few days ago) believes it is due to his teeth getting floated last month which is now putting his jaw in the actual correct place...but now he's sore and unfamiliar with the feeling and its translating to  tightness in his jaw, and soreness in his poll, neck and shoulders.


Obviously can turn left better RN

It makes sense, but is also frustrating. I started off trying to take him out in the field and do GIANT circles at all 3 gaits to keep him in work, but also work with the stiffness....but his mental state has deteriorated more and more each time to where the main "goal of the day" is 'walk without bolting, dancing sideways, half rearing, or kicking the air'.

I have been taking it incredibly easy, as in hacks only, but he is more and more losing his shit. As in brain falls completely out of his head and he can't even just walk around a field without going completely bonkers. Its a flashback to the old days when I thought he might kill me everyday.



Whats bothering me is that I am purposefully taking it easy, just trying to get him out and walking around and loosened up and he's flipping his shit about nothing. Not asking for transitions. Not asking for a trot. No changes, no cantering, nothing.

Then, he threw a shoe last week. I rode him twice in that week, at the walk, in the grass field, asking for nothing and he was horrendous.

He literally backed up, on his own, for 45 minutes straight. No communication was heard from me, just backing up, backing up, backing up.

So that was lovely and even more discouraging. I cried actual tears  on his back. It was fun.

I felt terrible, because I had attempted to ride with no shoe and looking back, felt guilty about asking him to walk around....but its not like I was jumping him in an arena or taking him on the road. I stayed in the  grass for a reason and at the walk for a reason.



 But, it has me questioning everything right now, and I am feeling all the feels. I decided despite trying to keep him in some sort of work, to leave it be until the farrier can make it out.

I doubt the lost shoe is the actual cause of his recent issues, but I felt guilty enough about it that I can't make myself work him until its back on. It doesn't feel right to me.

Normally, my horses have been great with no shoe for a few days as long as I keep them on the grass with low work. I know a lot of horses that completely go lame with a missing shoe, but thats not them.


Either way, I feel terrible, like I've caused his recent bout of shenanigans, but all I can do is try and fix him the best way I know how. First and foremost, get the shoe on. This was difficult with the holiday weekend, but he should be out today. Then, maybe another few days off, then slowly reintroduce hacks and then flat and maybe some jumping.

I just feel kind of lost on this one. Its like he's disintegrating before my eyes despite my best efforts to keep him together.

What I want to know this week, dear peoples, is what you do when your horse throws a shoe. Do you keep them locked in a stall? Do you duct tape the foot? Do you try to keep riding, but in light work? Or do you toss them in a field until a farrier can come out?

I must know, what do.

29 comments:

  1. Well, my horse's nickname is Princess Twinkle Toes, soooo my advice might be a bit biased. But I keep Miles on stall rest until he gets his shoe fixed and tacked back on. which is usually within 48 hours.

    But I will say that even if Miles tweaks his shoe (not pulls it completely off, just twists it a bit), he is lame. Not necessary three-legged but I can see it walking out of the stall.

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    1. Yeah I can see how stall rest is best for him, eeek. If I kept B in a whole week though he would die of anxiety I think. Damn holiday!

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  2. I'm so sorry. This sounds so frustrating. If it were my horse, I would think his tummy was bothering him, but he's ulcer prone so I don't want to throw guesses at a horse I only know via the internet. I hope you figure something out.

    As for when he loses a shoe, my horse goes bananas if his turnout buddies go out without him and he's left in the barn, so I put a baby diaper and duct tape on it and let him keep going out. If I have somewhere soft to get on and ride at the walk, I do that too. That seems to work for him.

    Personally I don't think you did anything wrong getting on to walk without a shoe, it sounds like there might be other things bothering him and I know you're trying hard to figure it out. I hope you get some answers soon!

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    1. The vet thinks so as well, and the massage lady. We are hitting him with probios to see if that helps, because it didn't seem to be an issue before.

      Thanks for the comment!

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  3. If you asked Roger, his job description is "Thrower of Shoes." At this point, I feel like I'm an expert at thrown shoes. Sigh.

    When he does throw a shoe, we either employ the diaper/duct tape/vet wrap method, or strap on an Easy Boot (which Roger throws soon after bc we don't have one that perfectly fits him). Because he's a 6-year old OTTB, Roger has never spent any time on stall rest due to a thrown shoe...it's just not possible with his energy level; homeboy NEEDS his turnout. Lately, the shoe-throwing has been few and far between, and our farrier usually comes out to tack it back on pretty quickly. Surprisingly though, Roger has never taken a super lame step when he's thrown a shoe: he's evvvvvver-so-slightly off on the bare foot, but definitely not uncomfortable. I would strongly recommend the diaper/duct tape/vet wrap method so your boy can at least have some turnout. But that's just my two cents.

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    1. Good news is the farrier is coming today. What do you do to keep the damn diaper on? I feel like I went through a years worth of diapers and duct tape and gave up

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  4. Oh man, I am so sorry, that sounds super frustrating and upsetting! If it helps to hear, I would be in the same mental place as you right now. Hopefully this is just one of those 'this too shall pass' moments. Horses - why can't they just damn talk already.

    On the shoe side -- Boca has never, not once in 2 years, thrown a shoe. I think it is a number of things 1) he has great feet and could probably go barefoot. 2) I get him done every 6 weeks on the nose (for other reasons) 3) He's pretty quiet in turnout. Not a lot of yahooing, running around or being foolish.

    But, if he was prone to losing shoes, I would probably handle it much the same as you did. Light hack on the grass, if he seemed comfortable enough.

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    1. He's throwing them regularly at four weeks now which is killing me. He went two years without so much as a toss. Same farrier. Just tossing them off constantly. Ugh!!!

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  5. No advice on shoes since my three all go barefoot. Not an option for a lot of horses but after having a TB for a couple of years with awful feet and shoe problems, I only buy horses that can go barefoot year round unless shoes are needed for showing or rough trails. Not very helpful for you but I do feel your pain as I have been there for extended periods of time...

    On his behavior/health stuff do you think he is so out of whack physically that mentally he has just lost the plot? You're not asking for anything hard but he is so out of sorts that he is worrying that you MIGHT ask and loosing his cookies? Hope you can quickly get to the bottom of his physical issues. Frustrating on many levels I am sure.

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    1. Yes actually. Like he's anticipating something. What, I don't know because he was an absolute dream before all of this. No issues at all until he got his shots. Then t went to hell on a hand basket fast. That's why I'm thinking a short mental break then coming back slow will do. Who knows with horses though. Perhaps the heat is really screwing with him..this that and the other thing. I could obsess for days playing the what if and this game

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  6. Well doesn't help you at all, but definitely feeling this one right now. Not the funnest.

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  7. I love magic cushion with some vet wrap (and duct tape) around for turnout. The magic cushion just helps ease with any sort of ouchiness from the lost shoe and helps protect any sensitive areas. I prefer them to be out for regular turnout unless they are super sore or stepped on a clip. Riley got into a cycle like this too last year and my farrier added an extra nail on each side of the fronts and fit him a little tighter than usual which seemed to help. Sounds like B might need to be on a shorter schedule:)

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  8. I have barefoot horses specifically because I don't want to have thrown shoe issues. I generally find shoes to be more annoying than helpful because they're always falling off or twisting. I do have shoes on Nilla right now just for a ride and I lost one before and just rode her with the one shoe and a boot on the bare foot. Could you boot him on the one foot until the shoe gets put back on?

    Did you get B scoped for ulcers? The weight loss and random freaking out about everything sounds a lot like ulcers to me. Just a thought.

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    1. Well, considering boots cost more than a shoe and he's not showing lame, not exactly an option. Farrier coming out today at least. Usually only takes him a day or so, but the weekend threw him off.

      As for ulcers, a year ago yes. Recently. No. Again, $$$ and I only have so much to address an issue. Starting cheaper and moving forward as needed. Vet is positive it's from hai shots, the weight loss, so we will see if he gains weight with pro bios. I'm currently working with them to figure this out but I can't just throw down hundreds to scope a horse who never had issues before, has been scoped before and has so many others things going on :/

      That being said, if the vet thinks we should scope, I will. But they don't, so I'm not.

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  9. If you have ticks around, I'd highly recommend running a titer to check for Lyme disease. Symptoms of that include weight loss, brain loss (figuratively!), behavior modification, body soreness, etc. Some vets don't believe in Lyme for horses because there's no definitive yes or no like for humans, while others will willingly test for it. It's not that expensive to pull a titer if I recall, although getting Doxy these days may be a bigger issue.

    It might be worth a conversation with your vet though.

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  10. Hampton has been throwing shoes left and right this spring. I keep riding him (on soft ground - either arena or in the field). He has not been sensitive (thankfully) but I don't baby his ass.

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    1. Glad to see I'm not the only one haha!

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  11. I totally second the Lymes. Gogo went 12 kinds of mentally insane and bodysore when she had it.
    And if getting a spare boot to stick on when he tosses a shoe isn't an option (although I bet you could find a used one pretty cheap... hell I may have one I can send you for nothing) the duct tape and diapers thing does work fairly well if he won't rip it off. But you have to duct tape the CRAP out of it. Your farrier would probably thank you for that because he won't lose so much foot in the process between losing shoe and getting shoe tacked back on. Or have you tried Durasole or Jim Rickens?

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    1. I have not. To google!

      For real though I use half a roll of tape everyday I feel. I gave up completely. Luckily, we have tons of grass here in turnout, so that's a slight consolation.

      Boot may be a good investment for future. Knowing him it will happen again

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  12. I have to say, I NEVER thought of Lymes. Thank you, people of the Internet. Luckily vet is on speed dial, ha.

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    1. The good news is a Lymes test is pretty cheap in the scheme of things. If I had it all to do over again, the last thing I would check for would be ulcers, after I had ruled out other issues. Scoping and treating for ulcers set me back about $1600, and it didn't even turn out to be the problem! Ugh. Horses. Why U so expensive!

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    2. Hell yeah it is. I already called them for a test. Seems like it can't hurt (my wallet (as much)).

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  13. My thought was Lymes as well. Had a friends horse act the exact same last year: weight loss, brain malfunction and all sorts of stiff. Drew the test and it was very positive. Never saw a tick on the horse. Put on a month of Doxy (expensive but very effective) and now she is back to endurance once again.

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  14. Argh sounds like such a stressful situation!! Reading through the comments I'm thinking a vet visit might be good for him especially considering the rapid weight loss. Hope things look up for you and him soon!!

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    1. Vet has already seen him, but he's coming back for a Lyme test!

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  15. Not good B. I hope you get to the bottom of it. As for shoes we don't lose them often but if the ground is hard I do have to take it easy cause he can get pretty sore and his foot will deteriorate.

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  16. Yea I'm another vote for Lyme. It is SO prevalent here that it is actually the #1 thought that pops into anyone's mind when a horse starts acting off in ways that don't make sense or add up. Plus this time of year tends to be when levels might spike (a whole slew of horses at my barn, including min, are currently in treatment). Idk if that's what's up with Bacardi or not, but if so - Doxy is a miracle worker!! Good luck girl!

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  17. Poor B :( I don't have too many issues with losing shoes thank god. Fingers crossed you figure this out quick!

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  18. I don't shoe so can't answer that. However after reading this post now I know why you're testing him for Lyme. Makes sense... I hate ticks with a passion. I hope you find your answer because this should not be happening. Definitely something internal going on. Quit blaming yourself. We can't prevent everything. Hell my horse spent new year's weekend in the hospital because I didn't know about grass staggers. We learn as we go. Ignore the jerks. Sending good thoughts your way. Hang in there.

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