Thoroughbred Makeover Diary: Delayed By Dreaded Hoof Abscess

Author Dehlia Sutton with her Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover candidate, Ginger. (Dehlia Sutton photo)

I cannot believe it is the end of May already! Time is going way to fast and I am starting to panic a little since my last blog!

Last month, we left off with Ginger having her first few rides and the process that led up to that. I have also talked a lot about the weather and rain here in Kansas. Let me tell you, it has not gotten any better. We have had 60 miles per hour winds (yep, even this month) and thunderstorms, which normally do not bother me. I love the rain on our tin roof, but the storms we have had come in the past few weeks has been nothing short of scary.

Ginger (Dehlia Sutton photo)

Many people think of tornados when they think of Kansas in the spring time, but we have been pretty lucky here the past few years and have seen little to no twisters pop up, until a few weeks ago! Just 90 miles to our southwest, the town I had my training program out of was hit by a tornado. It actually touched down on the other side of the road from the barn I was based out of! To see all the pictures and videos of the destruction that happened in 15 minutes is a big eye-opener to say the least.

This month’s blog is going to be short and sweet … as we are dealing with the dreaded hoof abscess.

Ginger has been very sound since she came; however, she was barefoot. Since she was going to be heading out to the ranch soon, we needed to get her shod so that if she did come across any hard ground or rocks, she would be protected. I made a HUGE mistake: I have never not put protective pads on our Thoroughbreds that are going to be ridden out in the pasture, but I didn’t this time since she had been so sound without shoes. That was the wrong thing to do. She got her shoes on, it rained for a few days, softened her soles up and BAM – abscess. So, we are currently packing her with an Epsom salt slurry, wrapping it up in diapers and vet wrap, and only letting her out in the pasture when it does dry up before the next storm comes in.

Before this happened, she was doing great! Still very spicy and opinionated, but amazingly one of the sweetest girls I have worked with so far.

The last ride we had she was starting to stretch down nicely, not falling to the inside when working on circles, and starting to travel in a straight line (I think that straight lines are one of the most overlooked and hardest things to accomplish on green horses!). 

Hopefully, next month brings the story of no abscesses, getting pads put on, and her first outing at the ranch! I am officially feeling extremely far behind in the process now as I see everyone going to shows and going on day trips with their Retired Racehorse Project horses.

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