Thanks to my Arizona Back Country Riders friend, Star, who let me share her story!
I purchased Woodrow when he was 8, he was in shoes then and I'm guessing he was always in shoes because he came from a roper. When Woodrow was 12 he started having problems with contracted heels, thrush and a slight amount of white line disease. He was under a vet's care who suggested I change farriers, which I did.
By this time he was starting to have periods of lameness where he couldn't be ridden. At 15, he was diagnosed with navicular, severely contracted heels, thrush and very severe white line. The white line was so bad, his hoof wall had been (approximately 50%) removed twice. Each time when it grew out, the white line would start all over. I spent hours taking care of Woodrow's feet by using White Lightning and Thrush Buster.
The vet had the farrier put him in wedge pads and egg bars (I could kick myself for letting them do this but didn't know any better). Woodrow kept going down hill and was no longer sound enough to be ridden. Finally, the vet suggested that Woodrow had come to the end and his options were limited, AKA euthanasia. This is when I went to one of Dr. Teskey's dissection clinics. The light bulb finally went on...duh. Woodrow and our other 7 horses went bare the next day.
Woodrow has been making steady improvements over the last 3 years and is now sound. I have to admit there were times when I thought he would never get better, he was so sore. He no longer exhibits navicular symptoms and the white line and thrush are gone. His contracted heel has spread approximately 100% wider than it was, but it still are contracted. Naturally credit goes to the best barefoot trimmer I know... Rusty Toth.
He has done such good things for all my horses, it's just amazing. I used to have shelves of hoof supplements, balms, salves, moisturizer, boots for soaking and meds. Now I have nothing but a hoof pick. I haven't seen the lameness vet in 3 years. I was brought up in the QH show atmosphere and worked for trainers and showed. For years I believed shoes were the only way to go and thought the barefoot people were just plain crazy. It's difficult to change 40 years of thinking but when the results are what they have been for Woodrow -- I'm a believer.
When Woodrow started feeling better he started kicking some fanny in the turnout. He had been boss horse then when he got sick he felt too bad to do much bossin'. Woodrow wears his Gloves proudly! His Gloves fit well, debris never gets in the boots and there is no hardware to break while riding!
Anyone else uplifted by this story?