Monday, March 19, 2012

Millwater's Farriery: Founder Frustrations...

    A recent posting over on the American Farriers Journal refers to "Hitting the Wall With Chronic Laminitis"...

   I can dig it.  Just worked on one I've been doing for many years.  They can be quite frustrating.

   The problem is that the malady isn't really in the hooves.  Heck, I can fix the hooves.  And have fixed them time and again.  Pushed the bone column back up off the ground.  Built-up a solid, thick sole.  Got the dorsal surface of the wall parallel to the front of the coffin bone.  Better feet by all measurements than many 'sound' horses are wearing...  Back to regular shoes or barefoot, and all is well for a while.

   Then "kersplat!"...  Sole goes flat.  Abscesses all over.  Hoof capsule warping all out of shape... 

   So I fix him again.  And again...  In time it becomes apparent that he's still stilt-legged, even when his feet are in good shape.  And he's starting to look like a skinny wooly mammoth in the Summertime.

   There's the rub.  The source of the problem is ultimately in the endocrine system, and the flexor muscles and tendons.  Put perfect feet on the legs of a horse whose flexor muscles are drawing up into balls, and with a pituitary sending out haywire signals to have the horse essentially poison himself, and the feet won't stay perfect long.

But people get a little upset if you try to take the nippers to these bits.

   Brain surgery to get rid of a pituitary tumor isn't really plausible with most horses.  Various drug, supplement, diets, and hormone treatments are tried, but they only work 'sometimes', as the nature of the condition is constantly changing.

   Deep flexor tenotomy can help... But vets are often reluctant to try it.

   So I just keep fixing the feet.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Eagle-Eye Revisited...

   I covered this once before, but the recent passing of J. Scott Simpson prompted me to bring it back.  In this day and age of endless argument over relatively academic aspects and vague philosophies of hoofcare, I really appreciate solid, practical solutions to the challenges of better shoeing, and few are more useful than the Eagle Eye system developed by Simpson.  This is why the system and each of the five patterns have had individual listings in the Millwater lexicon since the first version in '94, with attribution to Simpson, of course.

As usual, italic boldface terms in the entry are defined in their own entries.

   In other news, Amazon is running a sale on the paperback version of Millwater's Farriery.  At $16.20 (eligible for free shipping if included in an order over $25), they even beating the best I can do on eBay.      But that's fine with me.  The eBay listings are honestly just there to point the web-bots to the Amazon and MillwaterPublishing pages.  I'm better off having copies sell through Amazon.

   The current Amazon deal actually makes the encyclopedic Millwater's Farriery less expensive than its predecessor, The New Dictionary of Farrier Terms and Technical Language in its final (2010) edition...   Which is still available out there, so make sure you get the one you intended.

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