With his good looks and laid-back attitude, Charlie was one of the first horses to catch our eye at the New Holland auction this past December. Upon completion of his quarantine, we began evaluating Charlie and determined that he had soundness issues which needed attention. Several months later, we now have a clear understanding of Charlie's needs and have begun the retraining process.
Charlie has been diagnosed with Navicular changes in his front feet. This means that the navicular bone within the hoof has slight damage which than affects a horse's soundness. Often, corrective shoeing alone can alleviate the discomfort and allow the horse to lead a useful life, and so we put front shoes with a 3-degree wedge pad on Charlie. These help take pressure off the heels, and allow Charlie to distribute weight evenly across his front hooves as he moves around.
Our vets also gave Charlie an injection similar to that currently used in Osteoporosis patients, which promotes new bone growth. Lastly, he received a coffin joint injection to help calm down any inflammation in his hoof. Charlie has also received several massages, as he had tight muscles from over-compensating throughout his body when his front feet were very sore.
Now that we have addressed these issues, we have received the green light from our vets to begin working Charlie under saddle. We had previously done obstacles, work in the roundpen and on the lunge. Charlie has been great for the vet and farrier and clips, ties, bathes and trailers well. He is an easy-going guy with a slightly goofy but definitely sweet personality. He is very sociable and loves to play with other horses in turnout, but is also independent and does not rely on them for stability.
Thus far Charlie has been a gentleman under saddle as we have begun gently legging him back up for riding. At this point we have walk/trot/cantered in the ring and have just begun taking him out on the trails. He will have physical limitations, and ultimately will need a low-key home as a pleasure and trailriding horse. We'll continue to monitor Charlie closely as we increase his work and expose him to new situations, and look forward to continuing his training. Stay tuned for more updates on this handsome boy!