Update July 15th
Friday I rode Chance, for the first time since the heat wave. As I was tacking him up, I noticed his feet were starting to chip. The growth line that all the horses developed after moving here, is now down about an inch from the bottom of his foot. I considered trimming him, but decided, since he gets a little ouchy every time I do, to let him trim himself – as an experiment. After taking photos, I took him out to the track and got on.
I was afraid that I’d lost all my fitness, and was pleasantly surprised that I’m about the same. I wanted to give Chance an easy day, to ease him back into work, so after our one lap of walking, the plan was to trot 5 or 6 laps. With every trot lap he got a little stronger/faster, until about halfway into the 4th lap, he broke into a gallop. And if we’d been on a real track, I know we would have been flying! I ran out of air, so we only galloped 2 laps. But they were strong. I wasn’t wearing my GPS, as I had planned a nice easy ride, so don’t know what our speed was, but I was really happy at how he pounded around on the really hard part of the track, wanting to go faster. And it is hard – like concrete. I checked his feet as I untacked – but they were just the same, nothing had chipped off.
Saturday was Zola’s turn, and she was very good. We did half a lap of walk, then half a lap of good trotting, then a lap of walk. A nice ride, and the first time she’s been relaxed going around the far turn.
Today was Chance’s turn again. This time I was planning on using the heart rate monitor, but after getting it out, found I had forgotten everything except how to attach it. So tomorrow will study the manual again! Instead, I wore my GPS. Chance had a slight swelling on his right front – on the outside about 1/3 of the way down the tendon. I had watched him trotting earlier and he looked great. Touched the swelling and that bothered him. I felt pretty strongly it’s not a lameness issue – more likely a bug bite – and decided to just see how he went. I remembered (surprise) to look at his feet and take photos before riding him, and in the past 48 hours he had chipped off the chunk on the outside of his right front. Terrific!
We went a lap at the walk (which took 5 and a half minutes), then an easy trot lap (2.5 minutes). Chance seemed perfectly fine, so went another trot lap in slightly over 2 minutes. Then Chance wanted to gallop, so we did. At 2 laps, I was tired and took him back to a trot for a rest, but we only went several strides before he moved back into a gallop. Clearly he was feeling good, as he booked right along. I kept him from going too fast for the turns, and the GPS said our speed was 19.8 mph. Which is not too bad, and probably close to our limit – at least for turns. The whole ride took just over 14 minutes up to that point, then we walked a lap to finish. So it was a good ride, and I was very happy Chance was feeling good, and again pounding over that hard ground without hesitation.
I checked his feet after the ride and nothing else had chipped off.
The photo directly below shows an area on the outside of his hoof that is ready to break off. The following photo shows how it looked today.
The photo below, shows the solar view – and it’s clearly visible how much toe will come off when it chips.