Yesterday, Pie was apparently enjoying his pea gravel at the lower end of his paddock too much. He apparently rolled all the way over and got his legs through the board fence and managed to scrape himself up pretty thoroughly, including a big scrape down the back of one hind, smaller scrapes on the other hind and a big scrape on the inside of one front leg between the shoulder and knee. Fortunately, all the wounds were superficial, and he's completely sound. He must have had his legs well through the fence boards to get scraped up in all those locations. I inspected the fence this morning, and sure enough, there were bits of hair stuck to one board and numerous scrapes and indentations on the boards made by hooves as he thrashed around. I'm not sure how he managed to extricate himself - it must have been quite a struggle - but I'm glad he managed. The pea gravel does slope downhill a bit at that location, so I can see how he could have rolled all the way over pretty easily there without even meaning to.
I'd already planned to install more pea gravel in his paddock on both sides of his shed, to give him dry footing and a comfortable place to lie out of the wind. Another 14 tons of gravel were delivered and installed this morning - we've now put a total of 28 tons into the paddock. I certainly hope he limits his rolling to the locations near his shed from now on, and stays away from the fenceline! The gravel will also help to deal with the run-off from the shed roof, which has been a problem. The middle of the paddock will still get somewhat muddy, but things are much improved from a footing point of view, and pea gravel is supposedly very good for developing healthy hooves. I'm planning to get both Dawn and Drifter some time in the paddock so they can also benefit from the gravel - our dry lots turn into muddy messes any time it rains or snows, and are not good for horse hooves at all. We also leveled up the gravel along the fence line a bit to reduce the chances of him getting stuck again.
Here's some photos of our new, improved, pea graveled paddock - this is what 28 tons of pea gravel put down about 6 inches deep looks like - I believe the depression in the center indicates a nap was had - away from the fenceline:
And just for fun, and in particular to start documenting changes in the heel structure of Dawn's hooves, are caudal photos of all 12 hooves (here's a recent post showing the soles of their feet). Please excuse the imperfect angles and sometimes blurry pictures.
First, Dawn. Left front:
She's been out of front shoes for about two weeks now. Note that her frogs and digital cushion are underdeveloped, which is about what you'd expect. Also note how the hoof wall in the heel area is contracted and compressing the frog - those horizontal lines halfway down the hoof wall are evidence of this. As her feet grow out over the next 6 to 9 months, I would expect some decontraction of the heels and development of the frog and digital cushion.
The rears aren't too bad - her feet would be even better if she had exposure to a greater variety of surfaces of different textures and hardnesses.
Now Drifter. Left front:
Drifter's got a decent heel structure, although it's interesting to note that the right front has a somwhat less developed caudal structure - this is the foot with the longer, narrower frog and some contraction in the heel. He's extremely sound on all surfaces though, including rocks, so some of this may just be natural variation.
Not too much to say about Drifter's rears - they look pretty nice with decent caudal structures.
Pie - left front:
Pie has very nice, well-developed caudal hoof structures. I believe that the teardrop shape in the center of his heels is evidence of the good development of his digital cushion - his really excellent feet and legs were one of his big selling points when I was horse shopping.
And, for those of you who made it this far through the post, here's a bonus picture of Dawn doing her snuggle thing where she rests her chin on my hand and presses her nose to my shoulder - she loves to do this while I'm grooming her: