This morning I went to Bluegrass to meet with the trimmer. Since the rescue horse is in the old, original barn (detached from other stall rows and indoor arena) I presumed we'd have it pretty much to ourselves. I had forgotten how busy a large facility could be, really. With a heated tack room, we had two horses come in to be unblanketed, quickly groomed, tacked, and led out. The aisleway is a bit of shortcut so folks scooted on through too, and his stall was picked and rebedded. And of course there was my son, who found it difficult to hold still, and persisted in playing with the two barn cats and in general just being his normal active self.
The first order of business was digital pictures of his front hooves on the concrete. At first it was difficult to get him to stand still, until he realized that that was all I was asking of him-stand quietly. When he got that, his head dropped and I learned he enjoyed circular massage type touch on his forehead.
The trimmer went to work on his front hooves, where we discovered that his frogs were terribly recessed-basically nonexistent-just slim darts in the badly underrun hoof capsule. However, horses being horses, he had managed to "self trim" by chipping off quite a bit around the toes in a ragged, slightly rounded shape. Neither of us can even guess how long it's been since any work has been done on his feet-many months for sure. At the end of each hoof being finished, he would voluntarily drop his head and start chewing-a sure sign of a much happier horse.
Once the fronts were done (and after a couple more friends showed up) we worked on the hinds. I was apprehensive about this because the horse nearly shrinks away in fear if you move from his shoulder towards the rib cage. At first, even touching the rump, let alone stifle, was out of the question. But, with some gentle encouragement, the first leg was done by positioning him along a wall. I am pretty sure he found it quite painful to balance on the untrimmed foot and limb, while holding up the other. But he was very good about it, really. Inbetween, there were plenty of interruptions and through it all he held it together pretty well. We did get digital pictures of the soles on all four, those are our reference points. I was delighted to learn that despite the nearly slippered hinds, he has very tight, good white line. This is a bonus I didn't expect.
After we were done there, a friend led him into the arena. He rolled a few times, sniffed around, had a small spook or two at the other horses and goings on in there, etc. After the other horses exited, we turned him loose. He just ambled around, and finally had another roll. It was obvious to me that he'd had enough that day, mentally and physically. So we gathered him up and put him up for the day-he'd been a very, very good boy.