A Cowboy’s Faith
By Frank J. Buchman
“A horse is generally unusable if it is lame.”
Throughout decades, many horses have become lame. With numerous reasons for such issues, generally there is recovery and horses become rideable again.
Often, resting a limping horse is all that’s required, because it has been overused in adverse conditions.
Riding Cody the ranch-raised speed horse on concrete at the sale barn several hours made him stiff and ouchy. Within a couple days, he walked normal and even won four horseshow races later that week.
The gray ranch raised yearling filly, ZaneEtta, was lame in her right rear foot. Swelled such she wouldn’t put any weight on it, the filly was limping around the corral. Without treatment, in a few days she was completely sound. Evidently, ZaneEtta, caught the foot under the fence causing slight injury.
New shoes can cause horse severe lameness if the farrier does not properly place a nail. Generally, the shoe can be pulled, or just one nail removed. Most horses become completely sound even though it might take a little time for soreness to leave.
Laminitis, scientific name for founder, is a common cause of horse lameness. It has various causes typically overconsumption of feed or water, speaking from personal experience.
The black stallion Dennis Good was foundered after drinking excess water following a show but recovered. Often foundered horses will be sound enough for use, although some remain permanently lame. Once a horse has foundered, it is easy for it to founder again.
Navicular lameness is not uncommon in horses although a certain lay owner does not understand its medical science. Several navicular horses were purchased and used successfully with corrective shoeing and medicine including world champion Vetas Bud.
Of course, cuts can cause horse lameness which typically is gone upon wound healing. Often the best cure is to turn the horse out and let nature do the healing.
Maggie, buckskin show mare, is severely lame in her left front foot. With new shoes, she was shown successfully and later came up lame. Pulling the left front shoe, bandaging, medication, and resting wouldn’t cure her.
Veterinarian visit did not produce complete diagnosis. It’s a daily effort soaking the foot hoping Mother Nature will do her part.
Reminded of Matthew 11:5: “Jesus told them, the lame walk, then count yourselves most blessed”