Coffin Joint Progress

By Terry Golson

Back in August, Tonka went lame in the left front. Monika, Tonka’s veterinarian, deduced that it was coming from the coffin joint. Radiographs didn’t show anything dramatic, but she thought that there was a slight tip to the angle of the coffin bone that might be the cause of Tonka’s discomfort. She injected him with a cocktail of drugs to alleviate pain and improve the functioning of that complicated part of the hoof. The treatment worked in that Tonka no longer head-bobbed at the trot and he was able to resume normal work. However, over the next couple of months, I noticed that he had intermittent left-front discomfort. Tonka is not a stoic horse. If there’s a tiny bit of ouchy-ness, he tells me. Monika did another lameness exam. Tonka trotted out sound. Except. There’d be that one stride off rhythm. She suggested that we discuss this with our farrier, Rebecca Watts. We agreed that sole support pads might be just enough to give my “princess and the pea” horse the extra comfort that he needs. Tonka got these in December.


So far, so good! On Tuesday, Monika watched Tonka go and pronounced him sound.


Here’s a video clip of how comfortable he is jumping. Look how evenly he comes down on both front legs.


You can tell a lot by watching your horse when at rest. Tonka thinks nothing of putting full weight on his left hoof while grazing.

Time will tell if the support and slight change of angle achieved with the pads will be a permanent fix, or whether he’ll need maintenance injections in that joint. Either way, it’s a relief to both Tonka and me that his hoofs feel good!

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