he has us all tied up into knots.
quite often when i get all mixed up about an animal..i list the facts as i see them, my assumptions based on the facts that i know, and then the positives, the negatives, the pro's and the cons of where we now and where we are trying to go, and what it will take to get there and finally all possible outcomes.
so here we go...
pops lived alone in a field without any basic foot or medical care for at least 10 years but maybe more.
pops is a VERY old horse..late twenties or early thirties.
his feet over grew to the point where they curled up to his knees, this interferred with his mobility and his ability to lay down.
his deformed feet affected his muscles his tendons, and deformed his his entire muscle and skeletal systems, this caused him even more discomfort and decreased his mobility more.
My Assumptions based on the facts that I know.
pops was probably in constant discomfort and pain for many long years.
pops was very lonely for any kind of company.
pops probably felt that his life was unhappy due to unending isolation and loneliness, inability to move very well and long term and constant pain.
our hope is to restore pops feet and his muscles and skeletal systems back into some kind of normality where his can move freely with minimal pain.
What we have accomplished to date...after about 4 months of constant care
his back is straighter. his hips and butt do not bow as much as they did. his body is straightening and lengthing out into a more normal horse shape.
his back hooves are finally looking like normal feet except they are still too long but at least he is walking on them now properly.
his left front hoof still has a curve in it and he is walking on his canon bone which is not good.
his right front hoof has been so very painful that we gave him an 8 week break in trimming buit then it went nutz and insanely overgrew downwards pushing his pastern bones forward. he was in far less pain but his foot was again deforming even more.
emotionally..pops is happy..he is so attached to all of us and the other animals here. he has put on weight, he likes to have someone around him to brush him and hug him and stand with him. he likes to be near the other horses and dixie is his most special friend...even when she is down in the bottom filed, she comes up periodically to stand with him at his gate.
pops is able to go out into the field for brief periods and graze every day and he really enjoys this especially if he can go where the other horses are spending the day.
so the pro's here are...
in many ways, pop is slowly getting better. he can move more, he can walk short distances, he can lay down and get up again when his feet hurt or he just feels tired or lazy. pops really seems to enjoy both the human and other animals around him and the gentle and loving care that he gets.
pops is in daily discomfort...some days not too bad..other days i think are pretty horrible. we now know he can't have pain breaks from trimming his feet because we just lose too much ground in re-shaping his feet.
there are only two possible outcomes to this...
eventually pops will be walking in our fields relatively comfortably with relatively normal shaped feet.
eventually we will determine that his level of painful burden is far too great and he will be euthanized
the problem with pops is...i don't have that god damn necessary crystal ball
he is a very old horse and the overall damage from profound neglect to his body and feet is extreme. rehabbing him physically may take too long and he may not have enough time left in his lifespan to ever really live normally and relatively pain-free.
the rehabbing itself...the now obviously needed frequent painful foot trims are going to have to continue weekly...it hurts him..his feet are sore and tender constantly. and it will continue to be necessary for many, many, many more weeks without really knowing if we can in fact restore to pops decent and pain fee feet.
it sucks..we have brought him this far...but how far can pops actually go?
and we do not have the answer to this...we simply do not know.
love you pops.
When he first arrived, day 1: his feet severely overgrown and in pain
After his first couple of trims he was finally able to lay down for the first time in many many years.
Pops in his stall looking out at his new home
Pops 3 months after arrival and many foot trims later looking and feeling better
This is a photo a few weeks ago you can't see it in this still shot but this was the first time I (Jenn) saw his doing a very fast walk (which for him is a like a trot). He was moving pretty quick.
Pops enjoying a grooming by saints volunteer carly