Wednesday, July 29, 2020

$candinavian $pa Day

Ok so not actually Scandinavian, per se.... But Charlie *did* get to enjoy a day dedicated to his own personal wellness this week haha. Pedicure, massage, acupuncture.... All the creature comforts notably absent from my own life haha, but only the best for Sir!

the absolute cutest, in pony penitentiary bc somebody lost a shoe....
also, yes, it was balls hot out. how could you tell?
Anyone who's been following along this past spring will be familiar with all of my angsty nail biting regarding Charlie's poor soft crumbling thoroughbred feet.

Basically, every year I get a little caught off guard by how quickly his feet change when the grass comes up. And this year was made worse after a two month quarantine....

hooves at the end of the latest 5wk cycle. really pleased with how well the wall is hanging on with near daily keratex!
So it's felt like we've been trying to make up lost ground. Charlie lost his first shoe of the year (RH) back in May, luckily the day before his next scheduled farrier appointment - 5 weeks on the dot haha.

At the time, the farrier encouraged me to really step up my applications of Keratex hoof hardener to as close to daily as possible. I also put the horse back on Platinum Performance, in addition to his normal Farrier's Formula.

you can't tell me he isn't the cutest bronto that ever was
And I've been absolutely zealous ever since, applying the keratex to all four feet (special attention paid to clips and nails) at least 5x a week. And ya know... As of our last shoeing appointment in June, it felt like we'd maybe slowed down the chipping and crumbling.

one freshly shod hoof, and one waiting for a trim and reset.
also a nice angle to see the bone remodeling from charlie's splint surgery
Charlie did end up springing loose another shoe since then - this time the white LH. The farrier tightened it up two weeks ago, but Charlie still managed to throw it -- again tho, exactly one day before his appointment so, eh, nbd.

Even so, tho, I'm honestly still pretty pleased with the Keratex results. Like.... Obvi once the wall starts cracking and crumbling you can't exactly put it back into one piece again. The compromised sections simply have to grow out... But the Keratex seems to have stopped the spread of cracks and crumbles, with the new wall growth staying more durable.

he looks sedate and well behaved, no?
It was nice to actually watch Charlie's farrier this time around too, since I normally work during the appointments. He's used to me sending all manner of panicky texts haha, so it was helpful talking in person about what he saw and why he recommended (or didn't recommend) certain approaches.

Like I had asked via texts about whether Charlie was a candidate for epoxy to hold his walls together. But it's his opinion that epoxy should, in most cases, be used as a last resort -- when there's no other way to get the shoe onto the hoof. Apparently he's esp reluctant to use it since it can trap microbial nastiness underneath, and can reduce the overall wall health and growth.

don't be fooled tho haha, note my hand holding the cross tie bc somebody wanted to constantly check the farrier's pockets for treats.... charles the CDC says keep your mouf to yourself!
He thinks we're about within a cycle of Charlie having pretty robust walls all the way around, so we're better off staying the course with Keratex etc. Plus, obvi, the metric buttload of hoof health related $upplements Charlie gets daily....

And ya know. That works too, haha. I pay the man for his opinions and judgement, and he hasn't let me down. I appreciate that he explains when he doesn't want to carry out an idea. And I appreciate that his recommendations and approaches center on a steady long term plan haha.

I'm also satisfied bc even tho I'm not the most experienced owner, with a limited understanding of farriery... Well, Charlie's got a good team. And multiple pros on his team -- people who could easily scare me into paying them more money -- frequently compliment Charlie's hoof angles and shape, crediting the farrier.

acupuncture!! literally the only pic i took of the appt, whoops
And speaking of the professionals on Charlie's team, after the farrier wrapped up we then got to see an old friend for the first time since 2017!!!! Back when I first brought Charlie home, body work was definitely high on the list of things to address in the first few months.

At the time, my only contact in that field was the chiro / acupuncturist who used to treat Isabel (she's also a DVM and had delivered Isabel as a baby -- how friggin cute!!). She treated Charlie first in January 2017, where she identified the massive lateral unevenness between his two shoulders -- likely directly related to the high/low syndrome in his front feet.

Then she saw him again in June 2017, mostly as a feel good check-in type appointment. Basically all practitioners (including this chiro and his vet) who see Charlie agree tho -- he's mostly a muscular case. So since 2017 Charlie's mostly seen massage therapists and done some stuff with PEMF.

so here's a throwback to january 2017, charlie's first body work appt with me
But eh, now felt like as good a time as any to bring this pro back in. Charlie's healthy happy and going well, and I'd like to keep it that way. He's also getting close-ish to a year since his last round of injections, so I was curious to see if the chiro saw any red flags or sore spots or anything.

I also really like combining chiro and acupuncture. The acupuncture in particular, it's just fascinating to watch how horses react to it. Like... Charlie was mouthy and feisty and actually a total pest during the chiro portion of the appt -- but as soon as the acupuncture started, he completely zoned inwards. Got tooootally into the groove lol.

And... Honestly? I just wanted to do a little pampering haha. Which obviously Charlie was allllllll about. I can't even believe I failed so hard at taking pictures haha bc Charlie was having the time of his life.

same array of acupuncture needs... gosh, remember how skinny he used to be?
He's got some muscular soreness in his back, and the same persistent lack of lateral symmetry that we'll likely be dealing with forever. Mostly tho, nothing particularly notable.

Charlie is a very high mileage model, ya know? He's got stuff. His body and muscles have been used, and there's all manner of old baggage in there. Sorta like in the same way that I've got my own little areas of stiffness or compensation... Ideally I'd love to stay in front of those little things so that they don't morph into bigger things...

So ya know... regular wellness checks are helpful haha.

compared to today's more plushly upholstered model haha
I like using a rotating team combination of folks who see Charlie often and are intimately familiar with his "range" on a day-to-day level, and also some trusted pros who don't know the horse as well. Where he's more of a blank slate they can assess as he presents in that moment.

Y'all already know it barely takes a feather to knock me into another obsessive spiral of worry and self-doubt about whatever recent woe has befallen this horse haha... So... Imo, having regular check-ins with the pros helps give me the reassurance I crave.

Whether it's believing we're finally back on the right track with his hooves... or getting a rubber stamp on his current body condition, I'm always happy to hear it lol. Or, god forbid, in instances where these pros *aren't* entirely satisfied with what they see, I'm always hungry for their ideas and recommendations to make things better.

Right now tho? It's nice to feel like we can just stay the course. Hopefully, haha. Or maybe I've totally jinxed us by even writing that out....


  1. It is so great to have some trusted pros to have a look at our equine friends and make sure all is as well as can be! I'm glad his hooves are holding up a bit better with the supplements and the keratex. I like having a chiro check my guys over a couple of times a year too, just to stay on top of things! I've never tried acupuncture tho - on myself or the horses - very cool!

    1. honestly i really like the acupuncture and mostly keep returning to this particular practitioner for that exact reason. there's literally zero basis in my reasoning for why i like it -- like i don't have data or evidence or anything other than my subjective impression haha -- but the horses always seem to enjoy it!!

  2. What a great day! I'm glad his feet are keeping up with his shoeing cycle.

    1. oh man i'm so so relieved he's still got feet left... this past may i reeeeeeally wasn't sure where we'd be by july / aug tbh

  3. You know over the years I've gotten more interested in acupuncture for me, but I'm afraid of needles so I keep dancing around it.

    Glad that Charlie's highly capable team has come and rubber stamped your boy ;)

    1. i've never personally tried acupuncture but have a few friends who swear by it -- including one who does it for persistent crippling migraines. the horses seem to really enjoy it too so... ya know. it's something nice to do haha

    2. People keep telling me to try and I just can't! I can handle needles to a point (I do botox for migraines), but I can't bring myself to consider acupuncture.

  4. Replies
    1. thanks! i can always find a reason to worry but... honestly he seems pretty ok right now!

  5. It's nice to know you're on the right path with him! At least Keratax isn't super expensive (unlike Platinum Performance)... A good farrier is so important!

    1. ugh i was about to write a comment about how in denial i am about the cost of charlie's supplements.... except this totally just reminded me i needed to reorder farriers formula. FML lol....

  6. Nothing but the best for Sir Charles!

  7. DAYUM C is looking so good in that last picture! I luff me some Keratex- slather it on all the time. So exciting that you're close to solid hoof walls (the things that make horse owners excited, bahaah)!


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