Roy is a special guy. His poor teeth keep him from eating hay, leading him to be on an all-mash diet. He is covered in lumps and bumps (which we think just add a cool topography to his handsome self, but understand how others might find them unseemly). He takes Equioxx every day for his arthritis, and gets a tab of Prascend to manage his Cushing’s. He is prone to sweet itch and insect bite sensitivities. But one of Roy’s major issues have to be his feet. Radiographs taken upon his seizure by Animal Control showed Roy to have both thin soles and rotation, along with ski tipping at the tip of his left coffin bone. Basically, his feet were quite a mess on the inside, and he was showing it from the outside as well. Even the short walk from the trailer into his (sand-filled) paddock was difficult for him. During the summer when he was getting grass turnout, we constructed a walkway of stall mats over the gravel path he took in order to keep him more comfortable on the hard ground, and while this helped, it wasn’t a forever solution. Even in his deeply bedded paddock, Roy would take off steps. “But what about boots?” you’re probably saying. Well, remember that arthritis I mentioned earlier? Because of this, and also his ouchy feet, Roy has a difficult time picking his feet up. Putting boots on him is a challenging endeavor, and he is also somewhat of a Houdini when it comes to being able to shuck them right off.
When consulting with our farrier, she suggested we try him in glue on shoes, a more permanent solution that would hopefully keep him more comfortable for longer. There were a few Roy fans who offered to help cover the cost of his shoes, which was a tremendous kindness. So at his next farrier visit, Roy got a trim and an application of glue on shoes, which he did great for. We offered him a bowl of alfalfa chaff — his favorite — during the process to help distract him from picking up his feet, and it definitely worked. Much like having a mimosa while getting a pedicure, Roy was loving his snack.
Roy is on his second pair of glue-ons now, and doing great! He walks around on all sorts of terrain like any old horse with good feet would, conquering gravel and rocks with hardly an off step. For a guy who looked like he was walking around on broken glass on such surfaces before, this is a huge improvement. We love our handsome, somewhat complicated Roy, and love finding ways to keep him happy!