Thursday, November 7, 2019

Farrier Friday (Weekend) Clinic/First Dental

Eli did get to partake in the farrier clinic back on October 12!

Eli ended up being the only horse shod on day one of the clinic. Day 1 was supposed to be theory, cadaver investigations, and gait analysis. After a bunch of theory in the morning, the farriers moved on to gait analysis and ended up shoeing Eli because he came in with a lost shoe.

He was at 5.5 weeks in his cycle at the time of the clinic and he really needed reshod at 4 or 4.5 weeks because I could hear him clinking. I jokingly told him "You need to keep your shoes on until the farrier clinic!" Well he did EXACTLY that. He had the shoe on when he went out that morning and it was off an hour later.

The farriers spent ALL DAY on him. They discussed his diet, supplements, hoof quality, movement. They were appalled at his hoof quality and it took them a hot second to understand what they were seeing is BETTER. They all immediately agreed that the packing we did the first time around was insufficient due to how thin his soles are (yay xrays), and recommended leather pads.

The master farrier (MF) himself shod him with a different type of shoe with hand forged customs:
  • Eli was hot shod for the first time.
  • MF hand pulled the clips on the front shoes to be bigger and take pressure off the nails since Eli's hoof quality is so poor.
  • Leather pads with poured packing underneath (holes were drilled in the leather pad to squirt packing in once the shoe and pad were nailed on).
  • Glue at the rear of the front shoes.
  • He recommended leather pads on the hinds for at least 6 months or more, but didn't put them on this round.
  • The lateral aspects of both hind shoes were made to be a little taller to better support his hoof and encourage correct hoof landing.
  • He recommended putting hoof heal on his hooves between farrier visits.
  • All of the farriers also recommended farrier's formula double strength, but I know he was on that before and it didn't seem to be doing much... so I'm going to continue with the balanced diet I created on FeedXL with my barn owner (we're changing barn feeds and we had a long chat about what to change to) that also uses a human biotin/keratin supplement.

Getting his pads filled.

Best part is my farrier was there and took copious notes so he can continue the plan. We're at 3.5 weeks now, and his shoes look much better than they did last time at 3.5 weeks. I'm sure part of that is just two better shoeing jobs and better nutrition since he came home, but it's nice to see his shoes are still firmly attached to his feet.

Left front on top, right front on bottom.
I took my own reset pics a few days after the farrier clinic... I asked for these pics from that day... and well, I always know who is a blogger and who isn't based on how they take this kind of picture!

After we added hind shoes the first time he was shod here at home, his stifles started to stick a bit. The amount of sticking dropped to none after this shoeing, but has slowly been getting worse again. I think this might be tied more to him using himself better and simply being tired and sore.

The other thing that happened in October is I had the dentist out to see Eli. I missed the appointment (it was a choice of an appointment during my working hours in October or wait until December), but another barn mate did a live play by play for me via text.

The dentist wasn't outright appalled by Eli's teeth... but he said they were bad. More than standard wear since whenever his last appointment was. I told him that Eli is heavy on the bit when he's not hiding behind it, heavy on the forehand, and can be difficult to bridle so I'd appreciate anything notable about his mouth to maybe find a different bit if needed.

The dentist report if you're interested.

He said that the way Eli's teeth were worn (ramps) would encourage him to be on the forehand. He corrected Eli's teeth and then checked my bit and bridle. He bridled him and unbridled and bridled and checked the shape of the bit against Eli's mouth and found no reason to worry. He really loved the bit I had picked (Herm Sprenger RS Dynamic Bradoon with lozenge), because the shape matched Eli's mouth and fit well, and should be gentle for him.

The difference in this horse guys. WOW. I was never so thrilled to have a horse be off the bit and a giraffe. We've changed from working on not being behind the bit and down, to not rooting and pulling the rider out of the saddle or off balance. He's learned he can knock me off balance a bit. When I remember to open my hip flexors (or lead with them if you will), keep my core pressure up, and then keep my right knee up and right back butt area down, he can't ruffle me at all.

From 10/21/2019, I buckled down and rode, paying attention to my dropped right knee that Mary Wanless pointed out. Eli is still a little stabby, but so much better and not plowing into a hole to China.

The next two are my barn mate T riding Eli. Normally I'd never share video of someone else, but I'm sharing because of how she's able to ride him uphill like he is built to move, and she gets a bit more reach out of his fronts than I do. She really did a great job schooling him for me.

Really big improvements for Eli! Feet and teeth are very important!


  1. omggg I am still horrified by his feet. but look how great that new growth is!!! I'd be super happy with that if I were you.

    1. 🤣🤣🤣 believe me, I'm still horrified too. But these are so much better. He's moving better down the aisles (no short steps) and is learning to reach from shoulder to toe. 6 months from now, they should look even more different!

    2. I know it's really exciting, and you take such lovely photos that you can really see the change. I can't wait until you've had him a year, it's gonna look like you lopped that entire toe off and all you'll be left with is nice strong straight tubules *heart eyes*

  2. Awesome job getting this boy back on the right track!

    1. I'm so excited to compare him in six months to these videos! It should only get better!

  3. Aahhh I love all the geekery that went into his feet and teeth and diet. How exciting to have him feeling so much better! I'm doing the same with all of mine now that they're in my care and it is soooo satisfying lol. I love nerding out over hooves and teeth and diet!

    1. I may have a small obsession with feedxl and balancing his heavy metal ratio for ideal black color maintenance. I mean, for his health! But seriously, Google taught me a bunch about balancing iron copper zinc and manganese. I learned he gets plenty of iron and I need to actually limit any supplemented iron because his ratio with copper is way too high, which has me running from my favorite vitamin supplement, Grand Vite. The geekery is strong!

  4. Sounds like everything is going in the right direction ;)