|He purses his lips when he's in pain|
At first I thought, oh - he's sore from the trim. And then I thought - oh, he seems a bit flat-footed - he must have a bruise. The whole while I was dancing around the one thing I didn't want it to be - laminitis. He didn't meet all the criteria for laminitis. How could it be that? His hoof wasn't hot, I couldn't feel a digital pulse, he rested his hind legs. But it became increasingly obvious that my guy was sore and it wasn't going away. This horse doesn't get sore. This horse is built like a tank!
And there in lies the issue… tanks get laminitis.
So today my farrier/hoof vet (he's a vet that specializes in all things hoof - a horse podiatrist one might say) came out to have a looksy at good ole Gav. After walking him on gravel and turning him sharply back to Jeremy (the hoof man), it was obvious that he was still off. So the hoof testers came out, and my sweet boy let Jeremy know that it hurt to squeeze on his hoof. He was so good. He just winced a bit, but took it like a champ.
my face must have dropped
"Don't worry… it isn't a big deal. He needs shoes, and he needs a diet"
See - when Gavin moved he went from Timothy hay to Orchard grass. Per Jeremy, the Orchard grass is significantly richer - causing Gavin to have a flare up of laminitis. We needed to get him on the least rich variety available (just grass, no alfalfa mixed in). So that's what we're doing. No fresh grass for Gavin, no alfalfa for Gavin - he's on a diet of salads only for the foreseeable future.
Then came the fun part. Putting shoes on a laminitic (is that a word? It should be) horse who has never had shoes previously. Jeremy warned that he might throw a fit. I was holding him thinking "ahhhhh shiiiit". The shoe was put in place, the nail struck annnnnd - he was PERFECT! Like it was nothing. Like he's had it done a million times. God I was proud. I think I was beaming. :)
|Gavin with his platforms|
After his shoes were put on, we walked Mr. Almost-15-Hands (he grew about 1/4 of an inch with his platforms) the same way we had in the beginning (straight and tight turns). He was 95% better. The other 5% will come when he gets his diet right (starting tomorrow morning), and gets back into work.
I have always been terrified of my boy getting laminitis, but now that it's been called - I'm relieved, because I can help him.