I went out yesterday to check on Sinatra and his duct tape bandages were holding up well so I decided to hold off changing them until today. I put an extra outer layer of duct tape on for good measure and cleaned his other two hooves and put some thrush medicine on them.
So, today was the day I had to try soaking his feet and changing out the bandages myself. Luckily, I gave Trainer V. a ride to the stable so she was there for back-up. I did pretty well with the soaking after a few huge failed attempts to get the boot on his front foot. The back foot went better. I only had one failed attempt where he jerked his back leg out of my hand and stomped on the front tip of my boot. Literally, I felt his hoof graze my toe and I had to give him a little slap on he rump and tell him in no uncertain terms that stomping his foot down on my foot was not ok. I was not overly confident I would make it through my task without getting kicked, but I figured as long as I stayed out of the front/back kick zone I could minimize the damage.
As it goes, I came out unscathed and so did Sinatra, all our first aid supplies, the Davis soaking boot and the wash room. I was surprised at how well he did actually. As long as I stayed in there with him he didn't try to kick the soaking boot off, and he was very cooperative about rinsing out his abscess with betadine and then putting on he espson salt goo, the gauze pads and the elastic bandage. The problem came when I had to wrap it in duct tape and he flipped out again. I had just let him sniff the duct tape and tore off some pieces to show him it was ok, but as soon as I started wrapping his foot with it he must've remembered Tuesday's panic attack because he started hopping in a circle with me holding his leg. Luckily, he calmed down much more quickly and ended up all we needed was two people - me to hold his leg and Trainer V. to wrap. So, he wasn't quite as calm as I'd hoped because I couldn't wrap it alone because I had to have a vice grip on his leg with two hands, but at least he didn't totally freak about it. And once again he was calmer about the duct tape on the back leg, although on that one too once I got to the duct tape part I had to hold his leg with both hands while Trainer V. wrapped it and the first couple passes of wrap he tried to hop away in a circle and we had to just go with him holding his leg.
And then we were done! Phwew! I'm not so worried any more about doing that. And hopefully tomorrow will be much easier because I ordered some Easyboot Gloves for the two feet that need to be wrapped. The farrier said he was a bad candidate for boots because he's such a chewer so I should stick with duct tape, but I really want him to start being able to go out on turn-out for his sanity (and to get him out of his stall and standing in the corner where he pees). So, I thought it was probably prudent not to beg her to bring me some because then it would come out of the rescue's pocket (and they can't afford to pay for boots that will get chewed up). So, I figured I could buy them and of course then in the future if my horse gets an abscess I'll already have them. Assuming he doesn't chew them up. But I feel ethically better gambling my own money on the boots than the rescue's money. And I have a feeling with all his chew toys he won't be as tempted to chew the boots. So far he has left the duct tape on his feet alone. I'll just learn an expensive lesson if he does chew them.
A couple good things that will come out of this are (besides that thrush and an abscess are so much easier to treat than a re-occurring soft tissue injury). One is, I am gaining much more confidence in working with a young horse's feet. It's pretty intimidating to try and pick up the back feet of an ancy young horse who is going to try and yank their foot away from you, but I'm getting better at it and making sure I keep my body out of the kick zone and be careful where my feet are so it's harder for him to stomp his foot down on my foot. The other good thing is that Sinatra is going to be a lot better about having his feet handled!
Here is a photo of Sinatra at his old foster home before he went lame. I need to take some photos of him to start posting myself. I don't have any of him except for two at the vet facility where he went after his last foster home. I keep forgetting to take the camera out to the stable. But he's so cute. The owner of the stable said today, "You know, he's such a messy horse but I just can't help but like him even though I don't like the messy horses because I clean their stalls. But I just like him. There's something about him." Trainer T. said today that he looks like a "mythical creature". The owner's wife said the other day that she passed his stall and he had just woken up from sleeping and was still lying down and she almost expected to see a unicorn horn coming out of his forehead. Even my husband likes him and he has not really shown much interest in any of the horses, especially not my horse.
Speaking of great horses that don't get enough credit (I'm thinking of my horse because of the lack of people wanting to ride her at our old barn), the retired thoroughbred Tuff Toad is for sale. I tell ya, if I had a lot of expendable income I would buy her and share her with T. who leases Girlfriend. T. really wants to buy her and her boyfriend was even into that idea, but they just can't afford the monthly board. Too bad because I want someone local to adopt her who will really love her and work with her five times a week like she needs. She'll be an amazing horse if she finds someone like that. The photos in her listing for sale don't even remotely do justice to what a beautiful horse she is. And even though she's really hot (she's also only 4 years old and had more race track training than dressage training so she'll calm down as she ages and gets more training) she's also very sweet and loves to say hi and get snuggles when I pass by her stall. I bet she'll be like Girlfriend after a lot more training - still spirited and hot but sweet and willing.