CASE RE­PORT

A woman’s abil­ity to over­come her own im­pulse to re­move a nail em­bed­ded in her mare’s hoof may have saved the horse’s life.

EQUUS - - Equus - By Chris­tine Barakat

Let­ting it be: A woman’s abil­ity to over­come her own im­pulse to re­move a nail em­bed­ded in her mare’s hoof may have saved the horse’s life.

It was the type of Face­book post that makes you stop scrolling. Late last sum­mer, Ruth Sobeck, DVM, posted a photo on her page of a horse’s hind hoof with a large nail pro­trud­ing from it. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the photo was a sim­ple ques­tion from Sobeck, “Would you re­move this nail if you found it in your horse’s hoof?”

A vet­eri­nar­ian with a solo prac­tice in Pa­los Verdes, Cal­i­for­nia, Sobeck of­ten uses her Face­book page to share ex­pe­ri­ences and pose ques­tions to her friends and clients. Within hours, the post about the nail had more than 50 replies. Some peo­ple said they’d pull out the nail and soak the hoof, then mon­i­tor the horse for a few days, call­ing the vet­eri­nar­ian or far­rier if sig­nif­i­cant lame­ness de­vel­oped. A few of­fered anec­dotes of hav­ing done just that suc­cess­fully. Other peo­ple had the op­po­site re­ac­tion, and stated em­phat­i­cally that they’d never pull a nail from a hoof and that they’d call the vet­eri­nar­ian im­me­di­ately.

As the vir­tual con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ued, Sobeck popped back into the com­ments briefly, promis­ing an up­date soon. A few hours later, she posted a ra­dio­graph that showed the nail had pen­e­trated to the cof­fin bone, the ma­jor bone within the hoof. Then the horse’s owner ap­peared in the thread and posted pictures of her mare in surgery, hav­ing the nail re­moved.

That Face­book post and the re­sponses to it not only cap­tured a “teach­able mo­ment” that Sobeck could cap­i­tal­ize on, but also told the story of how an owner’s abil­ity to over­come her in­stincts may have saved her horse’s life.

The hoof that sparked the dis­cus­sion be­longs to a 24-year-old Thor­ough­bred mare named Raye. She’s owned by Va­lerie Nestrick, DVM, a smal­l­an­i­mal vet­eri­nar­ian who was given the mare four years ago by her trainer, Kim Glaza.

“Kim owned her first and used her for teach­ing ad­vanced rid­ers,” says Nestrick. “Raye can be chal­leng­ing, but Kim told me she was ready to take care of a novice rider so she gave her to me. Like she is about most things, Kim was right.” Raye came to live with Nestrick’s other horse, a geld­ing named Evan, in her back­yard pad­dock in the sub­urb of Lomita. The pair worked ON PA­TROL: to­gether as Va­lerie Nestrick, part of the DVM, and Raye Los An­ge­les re­port for duty County as mem­bers of Sher­iff’s the lo­cal law De­part­ment en­force­ment

Mounted mounted posse. Posse, in which Nestrick is a Re­serve Deputy; they also ex­plored trails and con­tin­ued reg­u­lar rides and lessons with Glaza.

On a Mon­day in early Septem­ber last year, Nestrick trail­ered both her horses to the city eques­trian park. “Kim was go­ing to ride Raye and I was go­ing to ride Evan,” she says. All seemed well un­til Glaza mounted up and walked a short dis­tance with Raye.

“She im­me­di­ately got off and said, ‘Some­thing doesn’t feel right’,” re­calls Nestrick. “She went straight to the

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