Saturday, November 21, 2009

I've Been Polled!

Well, no one has ever accused me of being opinionated.

That's not true.  Really a few hundred people have accused me of that. Haw Haw!  It's true.

But here's another opinion of mine that probably won't matter much to anyone else, but it might.

I think we should band together and rise up and demand more informative horse magazines! If they are going to whittle the pages down in horse mags today, the information should be more user-necessary and less user-fluff.

Okay, let me back up a little bit.

I was just over on the Eclectic Horseman site where I ordered a DVD set called
Four Strands of Rawhide with Randy Rieman and Bill Dorrance.  Because I want to learn to braid Raitas (or Reatas) just like Bill Dorrance used to. That was the only website where I could find any instructional material with him.

On that site they have an ongoing poll where you can vote on different horse related topics. One of the poll questions really surprised me when it came up and the results REALLY surprised me!

In general, when your horses are in use do they go:

166 49.7%

shod all around
125 37.4%

shod on fronts
35 10.5%

in easyboots (or similar product)
8 2.4%

(334 voters)

I was so impressed with this site and the topics that I signed up for their magazine.  Which is what got me on this topic!

Over the years I've subscribed to many of national horse magazines or nag mags as some refer to them. Equus, Horse & Rider, Horse Illustrated, Dressage Today.  I love to keep abreast of everything horse related.  (I don't do any dressage riding, yet.  But you know, someday maybe.  And my dressage horse is a beauty!  He just doesn't know he's a dressage horse, yet.  But you know, someday maybe.)

My first poll question:

Have you noticed lately that horse magazines have been shrinking?
a. Yes, but at least the prices haven't gone up as they have with everything else.
b. Nope, and don't care about this stupid poll question.
c. Get real!  The only thing that hasn't been shrinking is my waist line.

Once you pull-out all the extra subscription cards, what remains isn't much. A front and back cover and 10 pages of ads and 5 pages of articles. Okay that's a tiny bit exaggerated, but it's getting like that.

I think they should combine all those mags, Equus and H&R (which are printed by the same publisher anyway), along with a few others and create one new mag.

Would you subscribe? 
a. Yep
b. Nope
c. Maybe

I let all my subscriptions drop (as did many others I'm assuming, which explains the reduction in pages) except two Equus and Horse Illustrated.

The next one I may drop will be Equus. That's because Horse Illustrated kind of is that magazine that combines all topics and I don't see as many really lame trainers in that one as I have in the others.

So in Equus recently I came across this picture. The article is titled Hoof Supplements on page 27 of edition number 387.

I looked at that photo and was instantly upset.  Someone has once again cut into a healthy frog!  Dang it! 

That same person cut into live sole!  Do you know that the hoof reacts to this assault as an injury because that's what it is?!  That's a fact, not a poll question.

But this hoof is ready for a shoe.  It needs the protection of a shoe now because every bit of protection that it's been busy growing over the past 8 weeks has just been hacked out of it.

One thing about this picture is that you can clearly distinguish the white line ( that yellow line around the outside of the sole) and the waterline just to the outside of the white (yellow) line. Then nail holes and outer (or pigmented) wall.  Sometimes the waterline is referred to as the unpigmented wall.

If your horse should start limping right after being shod, usually that's because of what is referred to as a "hot nail."  The nail was driven into the sensitive laminae above the white (yellow) line.

What would I have done differently with this foot?

1. I would have left the protective outer layer on the frog so it could function normally.  I would not have opened it up to the horse's world of manure, urine, bacteria and most likely thrush which can and will damage that foot to the point where the horse would be mildly to seriously lame without shoes.  If this type of damage continues with every shoeing eventually that frog will just give up trying to heal itself.  Two more poll questions: Do you see shriveled up, atrophied frogs on your horse?  Do you know that frogs aren't really supposed to shed every year?  They only go through that cycle when they aren't healthy and they are attempting to self-repair.

2.  I would not have attacked the sole and hacked any of it out unless there was a layer of dead, flaky sole that was trying to exfoliate because it was ready.  Then I might help it, if that what the hoof seemed to be calling for.  I'd leave it alone if it didn't.  A hoof on natural maintenance trims usually needs nothing done to the frog, bars and sole.

3. I would NOT put a shoe back on this foot because I wouldn't have damaged to the point that will take weeks to repair itself. I would simply put the natural bevel around the wall and grow out those ugly nail holes and any flare.  After the hoofwall was able to repair itself and the holes were gone, I would have a healthy foot the horse could use without shoes.  Or if not, I could just pop a pair of Easyboot Gloves on the fronts and off I'd go.

I do all the time, still I hate to see these pictures in magazines.  I wish editors would educate themselves in fields that have passed them by. 

Two more poll questions:

Why is the white line termed the white line?
a. because calling it "the yellow line" made too much sense.
b. because calling it the distal laminar junction is too hard to remember.
c. because there are no blood vessels in the area of laminae that connects the wall to the sole, so it's white, rather than red as is the sensitive laminae, the area that connects the wall to the coffin bone.

Why is the water line termed the water line?
a. because that where the horse stores water in dry climates.
b. because it sounds almost as ridiculous as calling a yellow line a white line. 
c.  because that area of unpigmented wall is the most moist part of the wall drawing moisture from other areas of wall and is generally the area of wall that should come into contact with the ground first during a stride.

I have never seen those two questions answered in any nag mag anywhere. Have you?

I like my answers!

Well, I know I'm going to get some flake for both of those "c" answers though.  I always seem to illicit at least a couple "you're so dumb" response when I try to sound like I know what I'm talking about. Haw haw!

And what is your response to that Eclectic Horseman poll question?

Just curious!

Thanks for reading!



Rachel said...

Learn something new everytime I hang out over here.

The frog is NOT SUPPOSED TO SHED? Why did I not know that? Maybe because when I first had my horse worked on, the farrier said it was normal?

Every time you trim my girl, I learn more about all the aspects that make a healthy hoof (and a healthy stride, and a healthy horse).

Thanks for being willing to share all this info... it can be hard to learn without being shown.

Can't wait until my next lesson... oops - I mean Kona's next trim :)

lytha said...

heeheee, i saw the photo of the hoof before i read your post, and knew exacty what you were gonna say: ) that means i'm learning: )

and you're right: my equus is getting thinner and thinner, and nowdays it is full of typos! i don't think i ever saw a typo 5 years ago. now, every issue. it's gotta be the economy.

on a sad note, there are 5 fewer horses in this neighborhood, due to foundering after the first frost. they had no supplemental hay, and all grazed the morning after that hard freeze. and since the owner did not apparently want to deal with it, all 5 were sent to slaughter. so sad, one was a yearling draft horse that i photographed because yearling drafts are so comical looking. sad story, but at least people around here are learning about the dangers of what they are calling "fructane" poisoning.


sahara4d said...

All of my horses are barefoot and I use boot as needed. I live in Washington also so we ride in mud and over some rocky trails and they do great.

firecoach said...

My horses are all barefoot. When I first brought home my Morgan she had shoes and the first thing I did was have them pulled. She has been barefoot since. I did not have a barefoot trimmer for a while and just had regular farriers come out to trim. Then I learned about barefoot trimming, and went to a Pete Ramey Clinic. I do most of my own horses trimming but when I can not get to them I have my barefoot trimmer do them. However, I beginning to panic as I have an IR mini that is done every 4 weeks like clockwork. Bobbi Jo had surgery for a torn rotator cuff and is not able to trim him. I dare not touch him, and good barefoot trimmers are hard to find in Eastern Washington.
I too subscribe to Equus, in fact I was reading it during my lunch at work, and yes it is getting thinner, it only has 72 pages.
I have a question about the hoof pictured. If the sole was not cut out, and I undertand cleaning frogs but not cutting them off, would you have trimmed the hoof where the nails were up to almost the water line with a mustang roll?
I kept on getting the water line and white line confused until Bobbi Jo pounded it into my head.

Pat said...

Hi Lytha,

I'm so sorry to hear about the horses foundering.

I bet the typos you see in my posts drive you nuts! I hate when I don't notice my own typos! Let me know when you come across them please.

Good to hear from you! It's been a while.

Pat said...

Rachel! You are awesom! You're one of my favorite friend/customers.


Pat said...

That's excellent Sarah!

Where abouts do you live in WA?


Pat said...

Firecoach! I heard about Bobbi's surgery. That's a bummer.

Since you are accustomed to used in the tools, maybe Bobbi could coach you through doing a little rasping on the mini to get her through until Bobbi is feeling better.

This is a tough job and rotator cuff injury is common especially for farriers who don't use the hoof jack.

I don't know if Bobbi does or not, but I've heard of many farriers and trimmers going with the jack specifically because of RC injuries.


sahara4d said...

Hi Pat, I live up in Port Townsend. I do CMO rides so we go over lots of different ground. I do the trimming on my horses. It's interesting (scary) to be in a large group of horses and look at all of the different feet that they have to live with. I find that the feet are the first thing that I look at when I meet a horse for the first time! LOL!! Any updates on Whiskey? Desiree.

Pat said...


I start to respond to your comment here and it was getting so long I decided to post it!


firecoach said...

Bobbi Jo uses a Hoof Jack and borrows my mini one every so often. Her injury came from an incident with a horse who was not cooperating. I think she said it just pulled the wrong way and snapped. She tried to rest it to allow it to heal and that just did not work and little things caused it to be reinjured.
Unfortunately Cowboy, (the IR mini) needs more than just rasping, and I am a klutz when it comes to knippers.

Pat said...

That's right, Bobbi and I did discuss that in an email and I forgot. I'm so sorry to hear she needed surgery. That's a real set back for a trimmer since we don't get paid sick-leave.

I hope she has a quick recovery time.

If you lived closer I would come trim your mini for you!:0)