Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thrush and Broadening Horizons

It was a lovely weekend of sunshine and warm temperatures. Saturday was Duke day. Steen got his feet trimmed, and I had Duke take a look at the frog on his right-front, which recently shed out in a way that worried me a little - too deep in the back. Duke agreed it looks like he's got some thrush in there, so I get to add koppertox to my typical routine. But, the good news is Steen doesn't seem sore and Duke said it is probably nothing to worry about, and all three other feet look great. He did suggest in the future treating with koppertox preventatively whenever the ground gets wet. Which means pretty much always in Iowa...

I also talked to my barn owner about riding in the pastures, and she said go for it. I have been wanting to find a way to expand Steen's horizons for a while, but there aren't exactly trails or public land near where I board, and also I feel like Steen and I both need a warm-up before we launch into completely uncharted territory. Luckily, there are enough pastures at our barn that at least one of them is always empty, and they are all good sized, some of them with little hills and muddy areas that will be good new things for Steen to encounter with a rider. So just as soon as things dry up enough for the footing to improve slightly, Steen and I will start some explorations. I'm looking forward to riding in a space large enough that, at times, we won't notice we're within a fence.

The bad news it looks like it's going to rain every day in the near future...


  1. Bleach-water or iodine are the favored cures for thrush at the barn here. They're both cheaper than koppertox, and a lot of people don't like koppertox for some reason (I'm sure someone's told me why, but I don't remember off-hand). I've been using Triodine on my guys sporadically, and it seems to do the job.

    My barn is nice in that we're right near a trail system/state park so you can trail ride without needing a trailer. Unfortunately I haven't been able to take advantage of the trails yet, but maybe someday. Good luck on your forays into the unknown pastures.

  2. Hmm... that's good to know there are alternatives. What I have heard about koppertox is that it is super harsh. But the mud here is so pervasive and relentless through so much of the year, our farrier seems to feel it is the best choice. Perhaps I'll try bleach water for prevention because, yeah, the stuff is pricey...

  3. Yeah, my farrier recommends the bleach-water, mainly because it isn't pricey. He says to just put it in a spray bottle and spray the bottoms of the hooves. This wouldn't work with my guys (still afraid of spray bottles...although getting better), so I use an empty syringe without the needle and just squirt stuff in. I'm not big on using any thrush treatment too often seems all of them will cause some damage to the frog and hoof over time. Not sure how to compare the mud there to here, it's been pretty muddy lately tho.


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