From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Battling Thrush

Let's back track to the summer...There were some really rainy times, especially when the hurricane hit. Where we are, our turnouts are dirt and geniusly placed at the lowest point of the property. What does rain and dirt make? Mud. And lots of it. Jet stays down in the muddy area over night and goes up in the sand ring for turnout from about 9am to 5pm every day but he still managed to get a nasty case of thrush.

I have tried many thrush products to fight it including the never-failing Thrush Buster. Now I relate Thrush Buster to the Titanic. The unsinkable that sank and the never-failing that failed. We had the farrier look at him and she is very concerned. Right now, I have to be extremely careful with him, especially on little rocks, because he is a prime case of an abscess waiting to happen. His frog and heel are extremely squishy and on two of his hooves, the median of the balls of his heel has rotten open. Even though this is extremely bad, it allows me to use a much stronger method of tackling the thrush.

Right now, I am using a sugar-dine cotton ball mix and legitimately shoving it as far as I can into the rotting area (this is all under farrier orders and it is being closely monitored). The sugar-dine will help draw the bacteria and infection out of the frog and thus ending the thrush. The cotton balls are soaked in the mix and separated into small sections so that they will stay in the frog. For the first few days I also diapered the front two feet so nothing could get in and nothing could get out. Now, I am not diapering but I am putting the cotton balls in the frog, and removing the ones that are there from the previous packing, twice a day. All throughout this time, Jet has been locked in a stall ( we have run-ins) overnight so he has a much slimmer chance of getting moisture in his feet at all. He is in dry areas 24/7 and hopefully this will help kick the thrush.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do over the winter...snow is just moisture which is what the thrush bacteria thrive in. I can't keep him locked in a stall all day and night. That  isn't fair to him nor is it healthy for him. I think he is just going to be turned out in the snow in the day and locked in the stall at night. We will see when the time comes.

As far as riding goes... I have been keeping it pretty low right now because of his feet. I do not want him to abscess at all. So when I do ride him, I only ride in our ring where I know the rocks are picked from daily. I would love to go out on the trails a few more times before it snows but I don't want to hurt him. We will see how his feet are in two weeks and take it from there.

He got a little break from riding after the hunter pace but he is back in work now. I am riding at least four times a week and every now and then I will ground drive or lunge him just to do something different. Ideally, I will be able to keep him fit and working throughout the winter by using indoors nearby. If that doesn't happen, he will at least be walked multiple times a week just to get his body moving.

I have also started a written Riding Log so at the end of each month I will post it here for you guys to see!