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We Are Flying Solo

July 18, 2014

And Now For Something Completely (Not) Different, AKA, Encore Has A Vet Addiction

I apologize for the break from our regularly scheduled programming.  Although looking through some recent posts, maybe this IS our regularly scheduled programming!  I had hoped to just post fun lesson videos before departing for a fun mountain ride, but alas, while I still get to hook up the trailer, it’s a much shorter trip (pun not intended).

16 July 14 Heel b
The crappy cell phone view
Whyyyyyyyyyy?  (ok, maybe you say it with a bit less resignation than I do)

Because, upon lifting his right front bell boot, Encore presented me with this lovely gift on Wednesday evening.

What In The Name Of Cod Is That?

I first thought it was just (yes, after enough horse repairs, it becomes ‘just’) an abscess.  Our dear farrier was stopping by on Thursday anyway to do a quick reset of that shoe to hold it until our appointment next Tuesday.  We both found it dryly amusing that his LEFT front foot was the one he bruised a bit about a month ago.

Farrier snipped away the flap (is it still a flap if it’s the entire thickness of the hoof wall??) and paused.  Ermmmm, I don’t think that’s an abscess.

RF Medial Heel Cut 17 July 2014 007 (Small)
RF Medial Heel Cut 17 July 2014 004 (Small)
Supplies at ready...

Neither of us can figure out how he managed it.  While he grows ridiculous amounts of toe up front (he’s at four weeks in these pics), his hind toes stay short, neat, and round.  His (thin, cheap) bell boot was not torn at all.  The angle is simply bizarre. 

Now What?

As a biologist, I do appreciate his efforts to fascinate me via self-dissection, revealing internal anatomy.  However, I’d rather just check that out on Google Images.  I let him steep in the magic of an Animalintex pad overnight, dosed up on SMZ’s and bute, with a liberal amount of duct tape.  I wasn’t quite satisfied with the view this morning though.

RF Medial Heel Cut 18 July 2014 003 (Medium)
RF Medial Heel Cut 18 July 2014 005 (Medium)

He’s re-wrapped with some neosporin on gauze to let things dry out a bit.  Since he couldn’t possibly do such a thing on a Monday, the trailer will head out this afternoon to the Batcave Dr. Bob’s clinic for an in-person inspection for weekend peace-of-mind.  He did essentially resect his own hoof.  If experience has taught me anything, it’s that the Unexpected Twist will ALWAYS occur on Saturday afternoon.  :/

RF Medial Heel Cut 17 July 2014 008 (Medium) That’s Depressing.  Give Us Some Trademark TFS Stupid Stubborn Positives.

Encore is quite sound wandering around his pasture.  There is no swelling in his fetlock or pastern, nor heat, and he had no reaction to the hooftesters on his sole.  He is also an excellent patient, dozing immobile as you poke, hose, wrap, smear, photograph, and peer at his feats (& feets, LOL).

I’m tossing around a few new USEA names for him on teh Facebookz; thus far, I’m rather taken with “Waylaid Again.”  It has a little more flow than “The Vet, Again?!”  Although his barn name is indeed prophetic, even more so if we lived in France.  Or Quebec.  Half the time he walks into the shed, I exclaim, Encore?!


  1. Ack! If it helps, my TB did this exact same thing almost a year and a half ago. He also wasn't lame, and I rode him with it.

    Here's what I learned:
    1. The damn thing will take FOREVER to heal. My horse's injury site is still bare of hair but is finally totally healed up skin-wise. He broke it open constantly while healing, and I found that copious application of Corona to the scab kept it soft enough to stop breaking off (unless he whacked himself again, the clumsy sod!)
    2. Leaving it open with neosporin on it seemed to encourage it to close up faster. My horse lives in a pasture 100% of the time, too. No problems with this.
    3. There will be a neat crack in the hoof originating from the injury site from now until it's totally healed. This hasn't caused any problems, and seems to be pretty superficial.
    4. Horses are dumb and will step on their own feet a lot. This will cause no end of worry for their doting owners.

    Good luck! Interested to hear what Dr. Bob says. (I love Waylaid Again! I also could get behind "Injurious Jester," to stick with the JC name...)

  2. Thanks for all of that!! Good news -- coronet is undamaged, so it should grow out fine. And yep, I can keep riding (HA, Encore fail, omg, I hope he didn't hear that...). I'm a big believer in air-drying, so as soon as it heals enough that flies and infection aren't a big risk, it gets to dry out. He already has a perma-crack on the other front foot (doesn't bother him), LOL, maybe he wanted to match.

    Hahaha, Austen, "horses are dumb and step on their own feet a lot." This is very true, I just got so spoiled by Solo because he is a forger, not an over-reacher, so the worst he'd do is nick the front of hind feet (so many weird looks and puzzled questions at HT's of 'why does your horse wear bells on his BACK feet??). I guess if you go shopping for a good over-step, you get ALL the stuff that goes with it! (ironically, Solo does get a nice over-step, he just picks up his front feet faster, ironic since he's the downhill one)

    Horses....they never read the book.

  3. Wow, that's an impressive one. And not in a good way, really. Bad pony? At least he's sound and not reactive.

    BTW, if you can swing it, I SWEAR by Silvadene for healing wounds. It's the cream they use for humans in burn wards. That stuff is magic (and it damn well better be for the cost). Maybe Dr. Bob can give you a dab to try out?

    1. Silvadene is awesome stuff, but not in the budget right now. My old standby, Neosporin, does quite well as a stand-in and Dr. Bob also gave me some magical ButaCort creme. Although just putting the Neo on this one, the ButaCort is EPIC for bug bites, tick goop, scrapes and cuts, swelling and you only have to use a tiny tiny bit so it lasts foreverrrrrr!

  4. My mini once tore off half her hoof. yes, half. I don't even understand how. It looked very similar to this, just a lot larger. Took about a year to heal but she rarely complained. Glad he will be ok!

    1. Farrier did come today and Encore has all kinds of techno new shoes, but it is beginning to heal. Another plus -- he produces hoof like a machine, so he can grow a whole new foot in 6-7 months! 0.0 Hooves are amazing in their ability to recover from incredible trauma though and glad mini is ok!!!