My farrier was able to come out yesterday and take a look. He noticed a few things which have given us a plan of action. I love a plan of action, so I immediately felt better.
Here is what he saw ...
Seven weeks ago, he was also forging pretty heavily which we know contributed to the foot soreness as well. With the corrective shoeing that my vet's farrier did, combined with Paul's work, the forging has been taken care of, but something is still causing Speedy to be sore. This may be it.
After discussing it pretty throughly with my new farrier, we suspect that Speedy has been hitting the sides of his foot because of the work we have been doing over the past year, especially the work we've done in the last few months. I have been asking Speedy for more collected work which includes stepping deeper and deeper with his inside hind. It's the insides of both front feet that are the most bruised!
So here's our plan. We've pulled his front shoes so that he can level himself off the way he wants to in the front. This will show us how he wants to wear his feet. We're going on vacation in three weeks and won't be back until mid June. When we get back, we're going to re-shoe the fronts but leave him barefoot in the back.
Paul, my farrier, thinks that he might not bruise himself so badly if he doesn't have a steel shoe whacking the walls of his hoof. I am also going back to full time bell boots to help protect the hoof when he does strike it.
Again, this is a just a theory, but at least it's something that we can test. We've also done x-rays, nerve blocks, corrective shoeing, and several lameness evaluations. There isn't anything structurally wrong with Speedy, so this seems like a good next step.
As ever, onward and forward ...