Here is Spencer doing what he does best. Eating!
He eats more than nearly all my other horses combined. I separate him usually from the rest the herd so he can eat in peace, (this is not where he lives, it's a paddock where he can eat hay (by the wheelbarrow load) and back out he goes on the 8 acre field or the 3 acre field we use to give the main pasture a rest for a few days. He doesn't live on dirt as some have suggested on another blog (fugly) that recently linked to this one.
By the way, thank you Kathy for your kind words. I appreciate what you said and that you linked to Spencer and regenerated some interest in him. I've just had a lot on my plate lately. On my main blog, hoofrecovery.blogspot.com I share a story about a recent injury that Spencer inflicted on me and well, I feel pretty lucky to be sitting here typing and lying not in a vegetative state in the hospital right now.
While we are on the subject of drafts, I'd really like to know why it seems okay to lop the tail bones of young draft show horses and it's still happening although few drafts are being used for farming as in the old days. I think cutting the end of a horse's spine (the tailbone) is one of the cruelist acts man carries out on horses, yet, we don't hear much about it. I'm so glad it wasn't done to Spencer. At least he didn't have to go through that horrific process.
Spencer's front feet have been trimmed a few times now and he's really maintaining all four of his feet pretty well. He ruptured a huge abscess out of one front foot a few months ago and that has finally grown out enough to snap the dead wall off. You'd have to know how abscesses progress to know what I mean by that, but suffice to say, he's growing out new hooves.
His weight is looking better I think. He dropped some weight after he came here. At which time he was gelded, and spent a couple months recovering from that, and he had his teeth floated by an Equine Dentist. Both procedures combined totaled just under $1000. Free horses? No such thing.
I believe that he lost some weight for those reasons and because after he was gelded, we pastured him with other horses. He became part of a herd for the first time in his life and he was/is constantly on the move. Also good for his feet!
Prior to coming here, he was always alone and had no reason to move around much so it was easier to keep his weight on, plus he was a bulked up muscled stallion. That all makes a huge difference I think.
I personally don't like draft horses to look like plow horses so I don't like to see him overweight like so many of them are. Especially if it's a draft a person plans on riding. Which I really hope to do someday. Would I like to see him carrying more weight than he is now? Yes, I would, as well as some muscling on his hind quarters, but we are working on that and he's still a young guy, so no rush really.
Do drafts necessarily eat more than an average horse? Probably not in all cases, but in his case, yes! Absolutely. And he probably will until he gets to a weight he can maintain. Yes, he get dewormed and vaccinated regularly.
His feet have been a very slow process, mainly due to a lack of time to commit to him lately, but we have been trimming his fronts.
Keep in mind please, that the trims that I've done on his feet are the first trims he's ever had done. His gone through 6 years of life with his hooves completely untouched. I've had him for his 7th year and have focused mainly on rehabbing his personality so I can get to his feet to help him and I'm getting criticized (by those commenting on fugly) for not going fast enough? That's ironic.
I have 16 other equines and a full time profession and horses that come and go here that I work with rehabbing their feet - see fixingwisky.blogspot.com for an example of that. We also just wrapped up filming of my DVD - Basic Barefoot Trimming. Look for it to come out in the next few months.
I wish I had more time for him, but I don't feel too guilty as he's happier here than he's ever been in his life. He's a friendly, good boy now. Not a big, dangerous, mean-spirited draft stallion whose life was about to be terminated.
If anyone who believes they can do better with his feet than I have, you are more than welcome to come work with him as long as you do not abuse him in any way, and see if you can do better.
I welcome the help. Just keep in mind, he's adept at launching a kick with his hind leg the length of his body and he does it with as much force as a truck speeding along at about 80 miles an hour.
Am I exaggerating? Does it matter? Any takers?
I want to express my sincere gratitude to those of you who haven't passed judgement on my care of Spencer, but rather, have been nothing but supportive. You are all awesome!
The Truth About Hoof Abscesses
3 years ago