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Soft spot in hoof

Believe me, I’ve tried to communicate with her and the other staff members about it. She simply doesn’t care about this horse because he’s lame and can’t be ridden.[/QUOTE]

Why is the horse lame? Is it the hole in the hoof, or is it some other issue? If the horse has some more serious issue (compromised tendons, skeletal problems, etc), the hole in the hoof is the least of the problems. Perhaps they are waiting to see how the other issues resolve, or don’t? If for instance they are watching a serious tendon injury that isn’t healing, there might be a difficult decision in the horse’s future, against which a bit of canker is nothing at all. You might turn up some day to find horse has just been “disappeared.”

On the other hand, if this is just an abscess that is healing, the BO may feel that everything is on track, and the horse just needs times.

IME, the BO or trainer or coach doesn’t always communicate fully about the situation of horses they own, either to the barn help or to the clients. Often this information is on a “need to know” basis. Just because the BO is not involving you in all the decisions and diagnosis, doesn’t mean the BO isn’t thinking about the horse.

It’s also true that a BO is often more cost-conscious than a one-horse ammie owner with a beloved pet. If the BO is experienced enough to know what is really serious and needs a vet, and what can take care of itself, this usually works out fine. If the BO is not so savvy, it’s true you can have bad health situations develop.

I have no idea what kind of BO you have here, and probably you don’t, either, yet.

Here are some general ideas for evaluating a barn:

  1. What kind of physical condition are the horses in? Ideal is 4 to 5 on the Henneke score. Are all the horses in weight (not obese, not skinny) or only some of them?

  2. Do the horses all tend to be lame with various things, or are they mostly going sound?

  3. Are the hoofs generally in good shape, or do they tend to be overgrown, or thrushy, or flared and full of rings?

  4. Are the horses being fed good quality feed (not dusty or moldy) and is the BO honest with the clients about the type and amount of feed?

  5. Is the general atmosphere in the barns relaxed and professional, no screaming or panicking on the part of humans?

Obviously, even the best barn can have horse lame on occasion, and horses arrive with health issues. If the barn is generally well run, and the BO has a track record of being successful with horses, I am not sure I’d jump to conclusion that there is negligence here, more likely that you are not being told the whole story.

For the horse you are worried about, can you find answers to these questions?

  1. What is the primary reason for his lameness?
  2. How long has he been in the barn?
  3. Did he come in lame, or develop it here?
  4. What is the end goal for this horse?
  5. Who does he belong to?