Please teach me: How prevalent are hoof abscesses in horses? What factors make them more or less common in your experience?
This is a topic that I have searched on the internet and read articles about but I still feel like I am missing information that the blogger community may be able to help fill in.
Here's the deal: in blogland I feel like I read about one of your horses developing an abscess every other week. I read about them derailing show and riding plans and they seem like a big PITA, but they are also generally written about in a "abscesses just happen, fact of life" kind of way. This is 100% not an accusation as to be honest I know that many of these horses get a better standard of care than mine does; however, in 22 years of riding and 18 years of horse ownership, I have never encountered an abscess in person (universe, please do not take this as a challenge). Why? Am I just insanely lucky? Is there something about the climate or soil type here, the horses I have owned, type of riding I do, etc. that makes them less prevalent?
Maybe we can do an informal study by all answering the following questions:
How many years of horse ownership do you have? 18
In those years, how many abscesses have you experienced? 0
Breed of horse? Anglo-arab for 14 years, Grade paint/QH/TB for 4 years
Shod or barefoot? 2 years shod, 16 barefoot
Indoor or outdoor board? Outdoor, sometimes pen, sometimes pasture
Type of riding? Primarily dressage now
Average rides/week? 2-3
Climate type? Cold semi-arid
Soil type? Brown loam
Any other foot issues? None currently but have dealt with founder and thrush previously
Please teach me about your abscess experiences. And for anyone dealing with one now, I'm sorry for your luck, I hope you have a smooth and quick recovery.