Okay, I learned a LOT today about Chrome and hooves in general. Here is the story on the other farrier. He has a lot of personal things going on right now and has canceled on me three times. He also made comments about Chrome's hooves not being bad and that I should start riding him this spring (at two!) . . . um, yeah I won't be calling him again. No offense to anyone, but he can go back to trimming his Quarter horses and stay away from Chrome. His hooves can't be treated like Quarter horse hooves.
So I called my friend and got a new reference. I absolutely LOVE my new farrier! I know I said I liked the other guy, but I like most people I meet so um . . . anyway I know better now. This woman however was very friendly, knowledgeable and was explaining things in great detail and answering all of my questions. I felt comfortable asking her my silly questions and I got really good answers. She's also going to be a lot easier to work out a schedule with.
Here is what I learned about Chrome. The weird way that he was walking is originating from the hips like we suspected. His stifles and hocks are fine. She said it's caused by a combination of laziness, growing pains and his awkward growth stage (very butt high). His joints and hooves are great though. What a relief!!!
She agrees that both hind hooves are clubby, the left hind is worse as we know. She said that she wants to get him on a strict trimming schedule and see what she can do with trims. If the trims don't improve it and/or it gets worse she told me about some injections that we could try, but she isn't for sure if he's too old for them. Worse case scenario would be surgery and she explained all of that in great detail for me. It sounds horrible and painful for the horse so let's pray it doesn't come to that. She said he's only a two or three on a scale of five and that she does think trimming will improve it. Since he isn't going to be a competition horse he may be able to live with club feet the rest of his life and never take a lame step. It's just kind of a maintain, wait and see game.
She said he definitely toes out in both the front and rear hooves. I had noticed it in the front, but thought in the rear that it was just cow hocks. She said we will know in the next few months if we can improve that at all, but she said by the time they're two their knees are usually past fixing. I don't think toeing out is that big of a deal though for a trail horse or low level dressage horse. If anyone has any experience with it I would love the hear their stories.
The only other thing she said to watch out for is his hoof walls. He tends more toward the draft type, thin walls as opposed to the thick, strong Arabian walls. So far he hasn't had any problems with chipping or anything, so that's just a 'keep an eye on it' type of thing.
So she answered all of the things that had been worrying me a lot. It's a huge relief to have those questions answered by someone who can be there and actually see and touch him. :) I'm just going to focus on getting the club feet under control now and then we are good to go.
Sorry the post got so long, but I'm just so excited and relieved and happy. :D