Don’t you just wish you could point some sort of scanner at your horse and get an immediate, reliable answer to all of your questions? Me too, but unfortunately instead I feel like I spend at least half my time doubting or questioning everything.
I feel like I haven’t posted in ages, but I think in reality this month is just crawling by for me.
My boy has shown some serious improvement. He can walk fine now, fine not great, and just about as well as he could right after we took the shoes off where he still shows some tenderness on a rock here and there. However, he moves smoothly and comfortably again and is happy to trot and play around. It’s been that way consistently for over a week so I’m going to call it and officially say he’s sound as far as his hooves go. I’m still seeing lots of fungal issues but that’s mostly in the back. The front has improved in leaps and bounds. The difference? I have soaked the front ones about 3 times more often than the back (mostly because I have to soak them 2 at a time and I start with the front, and by the time we reach the back, either I’ve run out of time or my horse has run out of patience).
His stomach issues are also showing improvement, but not quite so dramatic. His overall temperament and his sensitivity to me touching the sore areas has become minimal, with a bit of a muscle twitch when I poke the area and some signs of concern when I really press or run my fingertips down the side rather hard. So it’s still sore, but much less sore. I got on him bareback the other day just to see how he felt with me on his back. I took it very slowly and carefully. He stood perfectly still beside the fence while I mounted and didn’t react at all. He walked in a circle (upon his own choice) and came back to his hay bag and then stopped and stood there as if to say, “Are you going to do something or just sit there?” and then after a minute, he began to eat. I’m still not totally comfortable saddling him up because there is still some soreness there, but I’m really encouraged that he is comfortable and not angry with me sitting on him. When I had originally decided something was seriously wrong, my wonderfully sweet and loving boy had grown to hate being ridden. His whole demeanor had changed and it broke my heart, but he was a poster-horse for ulcers.
Keep in mind, we still have not had a vet confirm that he has ulcers. All of our treatments are homeopathic and natural, harmless if the problem weren’t ulcers. But his clear symptoms and recent improvement are enough for me to strongly believe that it really is the case with him. If you suspect your horse has ulcers, I urge you to call a vet.
I feel that it is really important to bring up that there have been two days now that he’s gone without his Aloe Vera juice. They were about three days apart and each time it was the morning feeding that was missed. Both times, his sensitivity in his sides has gone up (enough for someone who pokes him every darn day to notice but not very obvious other than that). The Aloe Vera juice was the only factor that had changed.
I took some progress photos, missed one front hoof again (I cannot get this right…) but I mostly focused on the back particularly the back right because it has the worst fungal issues which are more obvious. This side is the one that has holes in it which I’ve demonstrated in the photos using a dental pick. He is due for a trim this coming week so much of that should hopefully be eliminated.
Back Right, you can see the flare in the wall here and the separation. You can also begin to see the problem area when comparing this photo to the above photo. The bar is actually cut away in that spot and on the other side there is a black line which is a little flap leading to the pocket where the thrush is hiding.
I’ll take some more photos for comparison after his trim.