The Founder Warrior was not able to come out for this trim, so Dr. (Dreamy) De la Cruz came out to tend to Tess.  She loves him…  I think Tess loves him because he talks to her throughout the appointment.  He understands when she is hurting or tired.  Dr always lets her rest… but does ask her to be giving when he needs extra help from her..

Tess seems to really respect him.  Having any vet come visit her usually sets Tess on edge.  So, for me, having her apprehensive but agreeable, is good.

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Dr worked on her left first, which this time was worse than it had been in months. I felt like I had failed her. I will work on fixing this hoof. I think I was spending so much time on her right foot, since the left was healthier, I didn’t notice that her left sole was softening.

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You can see that she was awake and aware, although sedated.


I know it probably sounds crazy to have vets come out (the Founder Warrior is a vet as well) to trim MT, but with all of the medical concerns inside her feet, a farrier would be overwhelmed.  MT generally needs sedation (and I usually need supplies) so having a vet here is very useful.

Anyway, Dr. Dreamy started on the back feet which were completely healthy and nice.  Easy.  Then he moved to the left front.  This is her worst looking foot. And today, we think it was the most unhealthy, too.  We need to get some Team Maggots back to clean out the infection path – again – and her foot needs to harden.  I don’t know what I did differently this time, but her left sole was more soft than ever before.  I will spend this next few days making sure that sole stays dry and hardens.  The maggots, when they arrive, will help the process by cleaning the wound.

The right foot looked fairly normal, but we know it has a coffin bone infection (the Naxcel is working on that, we hope).  We didn’t do much to this foot besides the trim.  I had a new boot which fit really well so we left it on her.  When I rewrap her feet tomorrow, I will cut holes in the new boot to give her hoof more air circulation.

Working on the right... which for the first time in a long time, was the healthier foot.

Working on the right… which for the first time in a long time, was the healthier foot.

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After we were done, I put her right foot in her new boot. I will cut out the air holes tomorrow.  She has worn Softride boots for years, but with her hoof distortion, the only boot that fits now is the Easyboot RX.


I asked Dr. De la Cruz if he has heard of using Naxcel for coffin bone infections.  He said that he uses it as a ‘big gun’ to help with infections, but he has never used it to attack a coffin bone infection.  He didn’t think any drug could cure a coffin bone infection due to the lack of circulation in the hoof.

Dr said that he actually loves the drug but uses it sparingly because he doesn’t want horses to build up an immunity to it.

I told Dr that Tess had the injections last week and that she perked up tremendously.  He told me that he uses it IV and it usually works – but again, he has no experience with it working on coffin bone infections.

Tess was fully awake when we were done so she had a snack.

Tess was fully awake when we were done so she had a snack.

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And then she went outside to have some of her hay. This whole time, Dr was watching her… He cannot believe how well she gets around with her foot anatomy. He said several times that she is ‘an amazing girl’.  (That is Sam in the background.)

You'd think vets seeing her feet would be upset but ... everyone was happy and upbeat. Tess does that to people. Her will and lifeforce is amazing.

You’d think vets seeing her feet would be upset but … everyone was happy and upbeat. Tess does that to people. Her will and lifeforce are amazing.


The Dr and I spent some time talking about euthanasia and what to do when the time came.  I cried but not in a weepy way – more in a resigned but sad way.  It is always good to face what you don’t want to face, just to take the fear away.

But the bigger questions was… when?  When is the right time?

Dr agreed with me that many horses with hooves in better condition than hers have been  euthanized far sooner.  And, that no vet, looking at her hoof anatomy, would not agree that it was very bad.

However, he also agreed with me that Tess seems to be less bothered than most in her condition.  He watched her after he was done (because we needed to check on Dodger so we had more time to observe Tess as she moved outside and around…) and could not believe how Tess carried on.  He shook his head and smiled and said that she was simply not ready to give up or give in.  She was still very engaged in her life.  Looking at her with her feet wrapped, you would never know the condition of her hooves.

In a sense, I was relieved that I wasn’t being a selfish owner – keeping her around for my well-being (which isn’t even near the truth because there is much stress with hospice care for a horse).  But, I was also sad that he confirmed that her feet were, in his experience, unfixable without a miracle.

I wonder in what form the miracle will arrive?  I’m not saying she will be miraculously fixed…  But I am confident that this journey will have a meaningful resolution.

And at dinner time, she was still outside... so I gave Tess her dinner by the stump that still has not been taken out.

And at dinner time, she was still outside… so I gave Tess her dinner by the stump that still has not been removed.

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She pushed her buckets down the hill and followed them… eating the whole time. The vets were amazed at her overall health, shiny coat and muscle tone for a fairly sedentary, older mare. (Thank you, Theraplate.)

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And as the sun set… she was back up the hill, searching for what she might have missed earlier. She is so amazing. I am in awe.

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