Hey folks! Julie asked if I'd offer a couple of quick responsed to your questions regarding Faith's issues. Suspensory ligaments: They're basically "broken down". They don't have the elasticity and taughtness that they once had. Probably overuse, possibly poor shoeing and possibly a genetic link. This can become a very serious problem as she continues to age so we're doing what we can to take some stress off of them.
Club foot: A flexural deformity of the coffin joint, created by a shortening (contraction) of the deep digital flexor tendon muscle mass. It occurred when she was a baby, probably between birth and 9-12 months. As the long bones of the limb grew, the muscle mass contracted, pulling the coffin bone into an upright position and the hoof capsule followed. It will always be a club foot. Very possibly genetic (mom had one?), probably a combination of over supplementation and maybe over exercising but could be strictly environmental. Many horses have a slight club foot but Faith's is prominent enough to create lameness if not shod/trimmed correctly. Our plan is to shoe the fronts next to see if we can get them moving better.
Be careful what you feed your babies! If they're getting grain and momma is getting grain, remember, they're double dipping. Let them grow normally and many angular limb deformities can be avoided.
Hope this helps!
Brad Erickson, Farrier
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Brad has been Faith's farrier since she first came to live with us, and I could not be any more pleased with the quality of his services as well as his work ethic. Due to Faith's leg issues, she cannot hold a leg up for him where a normal horse would, nor keep it there for any length of time. Brad understands this and is extremely patient and gentle with her. He works at her height and her pace in order to minimize stress and discomfort. He has reviewed radiographs side-by-side with our vets, working with them in order to make Faith healthy and comfortable once again. He has answered all of my questions quite thoroughly, and let me tell you, I ask a lot of questions! Many of Faith's issues I have never had to deal with first hand before, and the best way for me to care for her is to learn as much as possible. Brad has been a wonderful resource for me. And besides all of that, his work is simply unparalleled. Both of Faith's vets are exceptionally pleased with the quality of his work. Brad, thank you so much for everything you have done for Faith! Your expertise is priceless!