Arigato came to SAFE with very overgrown hooves and some apparent lameness in her right hind. We have been working with her to gentle her enough to safely sedate her for X‑rays. She has a bulge about one inch below the coronet band. There is a possibility that this is a benign tumor known as a keratoma, but this will need to be confirmed through the X‑rays. The only way to treat a keratoma is by surgically removing a section of the outer hoof wall to access the keratoma. Depending on the size of the area sectioned off, it can take up to a year for the hoof hard layer to regrow. This would be a year on limited movement and stall rest. That length of confinement is particularly difficult for a horse to endure. A decision on whether or not it is in Arigato’s best interest to do the surgery is pending results of further diagnostics. In the meantime, she had her first farrier visit in early August to trim her hooves.

In the last month, Ari has made major steps in groundwork training. During the September Joel Conner clinic at SAFE, Terry spent about 45 minutes on the first day of the clinic convincing Ari that she could just get through the door to the arena. By the third day, Ari walked right into the arena to join the groundwork class. Another challenge that Arigato conquered was having the vet get up close to her. By taking the time needed to overcome Ari’s fears, the vet was able to give Ari’s first vaccinations and booster shots. Ari has had two visits from the farrier for hoof trims, and her lameness seems to have evened out. She has good days and bad days, but seems comfortable enough to continue the gentling work with her. We’re careful that working with her to improve her balance does not make her lameness worse.