Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Second Day of Play........and a Little Closer Look

The next day it was raining so hard here that Storm didn't get outside as did none of my other horses. I had originally thought I might ride him on that second day but considering how hard he'd played I figured he could possibly be sore. Since I already had some concerns the horse might have some issues with soreness, I wanted the opportunity to make an evaluation based on "normal" for this horse so I decided to put off riding him until sometime the following week. In the meantime, we'd focus on getting him outside as much as possible so he could really settle in and get back to being a horse.

Last Friday there was a break in the weather so I put Storm outside before he even had his breakfast finished. Not knowing if the break would hold long enough for a full day of turnout, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to get the horse out. I just put some more hay out in the paddock so he had it if he wanted it and then left the horse on his own to play.

The whole time I was working outside I could hear Storm making the most of his turnout time. Kicking up his heels, passing a little gas along the way the horse couldn't get enough playing. The horse would stop for brief respites and munch a little hay then go right back to bucking and kicking and rearing and calling. I've not seen this horse play like this since he was a baby. It was good to see.

On the way out to the paddock on this second day I'd taken the time to take a closer look at the horse's overall condition. While his weight looked good, his coat was dull and he appeared to be loosing his mane. Also, the horse was not conditioned like you'd expect a horse to be who was supposedly in training (that was the reason given to the judge why they couldn't possibly return the horse to me before a judgement as I'd requested in the replevin order).

The horse had muscling but it was erratic and suggested the horse was not driving off his hind end as he should be. The crest of his neck was abnormally built up suggesting the horse was being ridden more off his face than being pushed from behind. I would be able to confirm those perceptions once I actually got onto the horse's back to evaluate what he knew. For now everything I saw suggested the horse had been "trained" exactly as I expected, more about frame than impulsion.

Considering some discussions we'd had over the past couple of years I should have been surprised by this but I wasn't. The farther down the road we'd gotten the more I'd seen the talk was one thing and the walk was another. I'm pretty sure that Storm will confirm all of that. Hopefully any issues he has will be easily worked through and we'll still make it into the ring next year.

I also took a close look at the horse's feet. I had some reasons to think there could be soreness issues and I wanted to rule out his feet as a possible source. Finding four misshapen hooves there were enough irregularities to consider any lameness issues could definitely be caused the condition of his hooves. For now at least, I would focus on them before we looked for others sources that might cause the horse distress.

I noticed the angles on the horse's front feet were not even. His right front was lower slung and the hoof was misshapen. The point of breakover was off center as well. The horse also appears to be shedding the frog on that foot as well as having some trush all the way around.

I suspected from looking at this hoof the horse probably has some some soreness in his shoulder but I would have to wait to tell that for sure. Considering the way he'd played there would be no way to tell if the soreness came from hoof problems or his playing. It was another good reason to let him settle in before I tried to get to the bottom of my concerns.

His left front foot was going the other way as far as the angles were concerned. The horse probably had more heel than he should but at least it was breaking over better. There were some abnormalities in its shape but it was still better off than the right front.

The hind feet had their issues as well but the fronts appeared to be the biggest problems to me. At least the horse looked sound as he played. Considering the condition of his hooves he had valid reasons to be less than sound. It would be interesting to see what I actually had when I got onto the horse's back.

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  1. Goodness,I don't know the details of the situation and don't need to but thank goodness you got him back! the resulsts of that type of poor care could have longstanding effect

  2. Storm is just so gorgeous! He is probably my favorite of your horses; I have a thing for chestnuts :). I am so excited that you may get him back up in the show ring - I hope, I hope!

    I'm sorry that he wasn't being trained properly, but I know with time, you'll correct that as well as his hoof issues.

  3. Sounds like you've got some rehab work to do. Whoever had him really screwed him up good. Poor boy.

  4. Wow poor boy! I cant believe anyone who had a horse in training wouldnt have a decent farrier! That is one of the more important(and easiest) ways to keep a horse sound! Glad you got him back and will take proper care of him and would be awesome to see him in the show ring!