Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

It was beautiful Christmas day. Cold, but sunny. Just like last year, today would have been a gorgeous day to take Lilly for a ride, but a visit with her will have to suffice. Also like last year, I'm slated to work, but I enjoyed a nice Christmas morning with my hubby and Rylee prior to heading in. I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful day with friends and family!

Lilly, Rylee, and I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, prosperous 2014!

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
~Luke 2:8-14

"Merry Christmas!"

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Trimming Today!

It appears it's been a little over two weeks since I posted last. So what's been going on in Lilly land, you ask? Not a whole lot that's interesting to blog readers, I assure you. My days are filled with hoof soaking, hoof treating, hoof picking, hoof packing, and general hoof obsessing. Throw in some play time with my sweet Rylee, and then it's off to work I go.

The good news is, we're making great progress with her hooves, so all my hard work is paying off.

I'm still fighting the seedy toe, and she has quite a bit of separation on all four hooves. Add to that the tenderness she had with her front hooves, their overall crappy condition, and it makes for a lot of work for me and my trimmer.

Even though it's mid December, Lilly is still on a four week trim schedule. There's always something to trim or address at each appointment, so we've been keeping her at four weeks. My trimmer was out on December 2nd because Lilly's seedy toe hole had started to crack since her previous appointment, so she was trimmed then, and my trimmer came out again today, for our usual four week appointment.

I was pretty excited by the changes I was seeing in her hooves in the 10 days since Lilly had been trimmed, and I was curious to see what C would say. We were both pleasantly surprised by all the sole growth we're seeing, and how Lilly seems to be shedding the bars on her own these days. To me, that means she's not needing them nearly as much for comfort as she has in the past, so she's ready to let some of it go.

C is a 'less is more' kind of trimmer, which I love. She lets the hooves tell her what to do, and this seems to be the key to getting Lilly's hooves where they need to be. The changes since she started coming out in September have been amazing. Here's are some side view pics from her first trim on the 18th of September, and then after today's trim:

Left Front:

Left front on 9/18
Left front on 12/12
Right Front:

Right front on 9/18
Right front on 12/12
Aside from all the great changes we're seeing with the hairline, it's interesting to see how much more scooped her quarters are now. That's not anything C is doing when she trims, that's all Lilly.

For a sole comparison, here are a couple pictures of her left front hoof. The first one was taken after her first trim with C on September 18th, the second one is prior to our trim today (and after only 10 days post trim from December 2nd), and the last one is post trim.

Left front sole from 9/18
Left front sole from today before her trim but only 10 days since her last trim
Left front sole from today post trim
As if all the visible changes weren't enough, Lilly is SO much more comfortable now. She steps confidently, runs around the pasture like an idiot, and can turn around on the concrete in the wash area without taking short, tender steps. She has also stopped squaring off the toes on her back hooves, and isn't exhibiting nearly as much body soreness throughout her back as she was before.

Her left front hoof doesn't look quite as "jacked up" (that's a technical term) when viewing it from the front, her hairline is more relaxed, and the new growth coming in looks fantastic. If I could just get rid of that damn seedy toe, we'd have some classy looking hooves.

Seedy toe... I hate you.
There have been some positive changes on the seedy toe front too, though. There isn't an active infection any longer, and although it looks to be bigger, C reassures me that what we're seeing is actually ok. For your enjoyment, I have created a high definition sketch of what C's hypothesis is regarding the ever growing, but not infected, seedy toe from my nightmares.

The rest of the story...
What we think is going on, is that there was a much larger infection than we originally thought. She had a fairly small opening at the bottom of her hoof wall, which I managed to soak, keep clean, and treat with a number of chemicals, but the infection was much more far reaching and actually got wider as it went up into her hoof. So now that the infection is gone, and her hoof is growing out, we're seeing the areas that were also infected, but that I couldn't see before. She feels that once the dotted line area on Lilly's hooves is ground level, the seedy toe will be all gone. For now, I'm keeping it cleaned out, treated with antibiotic ointment and athletes foot cream, and stuffed with cotton.

Other than that, things are fairly quiet. I haven't ridden her in a really long time, because I'm slightly afraid I'll do something to mess up all this progress. Right now her hooves are healing, her body is healing, and I'm not trying to mess with the zen thing we have going on. At this point, there's really no need to ride... I'll give her some more time and start back up in late winter, early spring once we're really where we need to be. Until then, she can chill out and enjoy life in her pasture. She's really good at that. :)

Just enjoying life.
There are some changes coming in the form of zinc and copper, but I'll leave that for another post. I'll need something else to write about one of these days. I'm still in the research phase of things anyway.

For now, I leave you with pictures of my Rylee. She's so sweet, so smart, and I love her to pieces.

Here she's being adorable...
Here she's being regal...
And here she's asking if she can please have the treat for being so good.