Submitted by Lyn Hannah
Max was given to me about seven years ago because he has an awful right front hoof. The left wasn't so good either – and he had no brakes. I was too stupid to be scared.
When I got him in October of 2005 and took him to the new barn, he became lame right away. The farrier and vet who were called are top-notch and work well together. I learned that Max had two front feet of different sizes. The right front is narrow and grows a lot of hoof, almost like a club foot. The left front is flat with no heel.
When Max was on the track, he suffered a wing bone fracture, he foundered, got pedalostis ( a demineralization of the coffin bone), soft soles and seedy toes, not to mention overall poor hoof quality.
The vet did an x-ray so I could see what was going on and the farrier made shoes for Max and put pads on to protect his soles. Everything was great until Max's hoof grew out, which is what the vet and farrier wanted it to do, but he would either get an abscess or lose the shoes. He threw a lot of shoes and, one time, it did enough damage to the right hoof so that it had to be rebuilt by the farrier and Max could not be ridden for months. I spent that time getting to know him and reading to him in his stall. Really, what else was I going to do with him?
And then I discovered Old Mac's G2 hoof boots. His first pair were size 7 and we fit them over his shoes. That way he couldn't throw a shoe. Finally, three years ago, I moved him to another barn that would work with me. After a lot of research and discussion with my vet, farrier and trainer, we pulled his shoes and transitioned Max to barefoot. Slowly, we saw improvement.
My farrier suggested soaking sponges in iodine and putting them in the Old Mac's G2 boots so he could graze while his soles were toughened by the iodine. By this time, Max had three pairs of Old Mac's G2 so the older ones became the iodine boots. Over the course of several months, his feet improved far beyond anything the vet, farrier or trainer though possible. Little did I know that all three of them, at one point, thought they may have to tell me to put Max down.
His hooves improved so much that the winter of 2010-2011, with all the snow, Max was out barefoot for several weeks. He was turned out in the indoor arena all winter and most of the spring until it dried out. His feet are so good now that he can go out barefoot in the paddock and he doesn't need his Easyboot Trail boots unless he goes into the rocky paddock. I ride him in Easyboot Epics and they are great. Max still thinks that he is a race horse so sometimes he does a magnificent hand gallop and the Epics stay on!
Back to 2011. Max remained sound, so I thought we'd see about doing a dressage show at the local barn. I rode him in the Epics during training and in the show. They helped keep him sound and did not interfere with his movement. On the video, you can see the Epics and how well Max is moving.
The first day, we rode the Fix-A-Test, Intro Test C and the judge loved him. We got a blue ribbon! I was stunned – that was more than I ever thought we could do. The next day, we rode Intro Test B and Max got another blue ribbon. Then we rode our first for real dressage test, Intro C. We not only won a blue ribbon, but we won high point for all adults riding Intro C. Well, that was more than I ever thought possible! Then my trainer called me back at the end of the show, Max and I had won overall High Point Champion! We scored higher than anyone in the show that day. Our first dressage show and our score was a 64. We even received 8's on our geometry. Max's first and last dressage show and he wins it all.
No more shows for Max. He did what I asked for and what I knew he could do. I had told everyone that Max has too much heart and fight to put him down because of one hoof, that I would find a way to work around it – and we did! A very experienced dressage trainer told me Max is elegant and handsome and that she was very impressed with the way he moves.
When you call EasyCare, I’m one of the folks that will answer. I’m also one of the cowgirls in the group. (Heck no, I don’t show, I Rodeo!) When it comes to life’s adventures – never pull back on the reins, and remember: the world is best-viewed through the ears of a horse!