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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Monday, 15 August 2016

Balance and trimming

Not all horses are able to self trim.  Maybe they don't do the miles, maybe their work load is inconsistent, maybe everything they do is on the squish.

It can all end in tears.  See the first foot, more or less self trimmed. Then look at the second and third photos.  The latter in particular via the wobbly event lines show just how 'out' the foot was.

Went from very lame to high mileage performance horse.  Not overnight obviously.


Education is the way forward

This horse was tripping and couldn't stand properly.  An easy fix.  Shame that it had to get this far.  Can you see what is wrong with the hoof capsule shape?

Monday, 23 May 2016

Toe Cracks

Do hooves with WLD, Abscesses, or Seedy Toe need shoes to be fixed?

This horse had them all and the post relates to a horse I saw several years back, but I never showed you the finished product.

Well here you go.  Before and after shots in pairs.

FYI - this was not achieved overnight and took frequent trim intervals.

View from front

Left hind at the beginning
Left hind at the finish

View from Side

Side view left hind beginning
Side view left hind finish

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Never say Never x3

A rare still moment
1 - This is a KWPN I first met aged about 5.  Diagnosed Navicular the prognosis was poor and the Vet School advised PTS or at most a year as a light hack on Bute.

He is now 11 and doing just fine.  A sugar sensitive Labrador x Shetland pony of a horse, he weighs in about 750kg, or 1653lb for folks from the US.  He stands at 17.2hh, or 178cm in his bare feet.

2 - The big news is that he can turn out in a herd of 14 on 30 acres of ex woodland.  Relatively poor ground on a stonking hill that suits him pretty well.

3 - He can also jump.  The horse it was rumoured couldn't jump, quite clearly can when sufficiently motivated...  He decided he wanted to come in and the gate was shut, so he jumped the fence, uphill and out of mud.  We found the foot prints.  Never say never!

Friday, 6 May 2016

High Heels are not a good thing

High Heeled Shuffle

This horse had been lame on/off for two years.  The list of issues
was lengthy.  Movement resembled an old man with a Zimmer frame.

Compare the heel height in photo 1 with the good foot in photo 2.  You can see the likely consequences for the pedal bone of the hoof in photo 1, even without an x-ray.

The high heel was added to with a further wedge. Note the event lines and rasped out toe.

1 Compare the heel height with that of the photo 2 below
2 Dissection of an excellent hoof, note hairline at heel

3 Heel is the narrowest point of foot.  (incorrect)

4 Sheared and contracted heel, note excessive
 heel height

The shuffling horse became something of a tank on overdrive when shoes were removed.  Ridden work commenced earlier than usual in the rehab process because the horse was so strong in hand.

The photos below are just 7 weeks post de-shoe - change can happen fast in the right circumstances.  The owner has worked hard to achieve this. 
5 Same foot, seven weeks post deshoe, note
decontraction already happening

3 months post de-shoe and the horse is moving really well. Thrush is still an issue - it had got so deep into the foot under the pads and up into the sheared heel.  But it is getting better.  Horse jumped out of his field a time or two, so obviously feeling well.  Congratulations to the owner for seeing this through and sticking with him.

6 No longer shuffling, hacking out several times a week
and jumping out of field (boots are overreach not hoof)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Rehabilitating large horses

Let's be honest - our judgements do have a habit of being coloured by our personal experiences.  It is incredibly challenging to cast our life learning to one side and embrace the new and unknown.

It's no different with horses.

I remember having a challenging discussion with a vet regarding rehabbing larger horses.  Apparently ponies are easy, but big horses are impossible because they are too heavy for their feet and if the feet are compromised and unshod all is lost. Of course this is based on their personal experience.

Well this vet needs to meet the horse I worked on today (among others).  I've been working with this horse and his carer for longer than I remember.

In the beginning there was so much wrong, it was hard to believe there was any point in trying to rehabilitate him.  Not just the poor state of the hooves - and they were exceptionally challenging, but also the multiple upper body issues too.

But here we are a couple of years or so (I've lost track of time) and the horse is unrecognisable, except for his enormous 17hh+ presence.

Sound, his feet are pretty fab.  His soles are concave rather than flat.  The horn is hard, the hoof wall thick and intact. Frogs are hard and well formed.  I can trim his back feet without having to rest his toe on mine. His upper body issues whilst not completely resolved, no longer trouble him to the same extent.  He stands straight, no longer loading one foot in preference to the other, no longer routinely pointing.  He is shiny, a perfect weight and looks half the age he did when I first met him.

If horses could smile, he most definitely does. 

I will ask his owner if I can post photos in a future blog.  But honestly he looks so good, you'd never believe he had been in so much trouble.

And if your vet tells you that big horses are too big for their feet and can't be rehabbed - know that this might be the limit of their personal experience, but it isn't fact.  This horse and his carer prove otherwise.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Long toes - a change in perspective

A lot of comment is made about 'long toes' and many a poor horse has had their toes dumped or worse in an attempt to correct a problem by addressing a symptom without a complete understanding perhaps of the anatomy of the hoof or the consequences of addressing symptoms not cause.

The following photos are of three different horses, Horses One and Two had a toe shape typically criticised for being overly long.  The last one, Horse Three, was considered to be fine.

Horse One
Long toe?  Look at the shape and size of the heel,
particularly the lateral cartilage.  Can we just cut the toe off?

Can you see the lamellar wedge? The heel is weak.
See picture below. 
Collapsed heel - very weak digital cushion and lateral cartilages
Same foot a few months later, still in rehab but
compare heel and lateral cartilage with first picture

Lamellar wedge almost gone

Horse Two

Is this a long toe?
Solar view of above foot.  Which bit of the toe
would you cut off to shorten?
Notice contracted heel and thrush

Still a work in progress, but notice how the heel
has bulked up apparently shortening the toe

 Horse Three

This is a genuinely long toe.  Shod every 6 weeks

Front view of above
Same foot two months later, sound, no longer tripping
So what is often considered to be a 'long' toe is actually one with a shallow angle, often caused by a weak/atrophied caudal hoof.  This can be only be properly fixed by developing the back of the foot through proper diet and exercise.
A truly long toe is often completely missed - they are even considered normal or desirable in some circles.  Despite the fact that they can cause secondary problems such as tripping or injury.  The truly long toe as shown in Horse Three is easily remedied by a competent HCP.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Barefoot Performance Award

This trophy will be awarded at our inaugural Barefoot Performance show this coming Sunday.

I am so excited to find out who will win it.

Details of the show can be found here

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A day in the life of a Barefoot South student

Hi there, I’m Michelle. Some of you will have already met me and others will have heard that Lucy has taken on a student. Well that’s me and Lucy has set me the challenge of telling you about a day in the life of a Barefoot South student, so here goes.

6am – I get up early to attend to my four horses. They all live out 24/7 on a track and are fed ad-lib forage. I’m allergic to hay and have been trialling them on haylage but after 4 weeks it’s clear that it isn’t suiting them. All four have lost some of the concavity in their soles and one of them has developed really soft frogs which are prone to infection despite daily scrubbing. I’m amazed how much of a difference it’s made but it’s unquestionable: my lot all grow better feet on soaked hay.

8am – Set off to meet Lucy armed with my essential flask of tea – you never know how long it might be to the next cuppa in this job so best go prepared!

9am – Our first client is a small native type who has been diagnosed with PPID. We watch him walk across the stony car park and he walks over the stones happily. I trim his front feet and he’s an absolute dream; not only does he pick up each foot easily he actually holds the weight of his own leg which makes trimming so much easier. He’s an absolute sweetie so we have lots of fuss and cuddles too, always a bonus. Lucy trims his hind feet as he is a little arthritic and can find it uncomfortable. I watch as Lucy takes the time to let him relax his leg to where he finds it comfortable and she trims it there even if it’s not in the easiest place for her. After trimming we watch him walk on the same surface again and he’s moving very nicely, a slightly longer stride than pre-trim. We aim to watch all our clients horses walk before and after trimming to assess how they are moving and how the trim has altered that.

10am - Our second client has cancelled which leaves us time to find a cafe and catch up on some admin; booking appointments and responding to new enquiries. By pure coincidence we find somewhere selling cake.

12pm – Next up is an established client with a new horse. We deshod him two weeks ago and tend to leave a couple of weeks before trimming. His owner meets us direct from a clinic where he’s been moving forward and striding out better than he did in his shoes. Despite this she’s been ‘helpfully’ told by onlookers that he looks a bit short so she’d probably better shoe him! He has contracted heels from being shod but has all the makings of really solid feet. Lucy trimmed him and we then watched him stride out over the stoney car park really very well.

1pm – We have quite a long drive to the next client and we use the time to discuss feet, trimming, nutrition, my horses, Lucy’s horse and client horses. You name it and we chat about it as both of us are totally fascinated by our work.

2.30pm – We’re booked to see a new client with one horse to deshoe but it turns out to be two clients and two horses to deshoe! These ladies have clearly done their research which is always a good starting point.

One horse has quite contracted feet that look like they’ve been squished into too small shoes. They feel solid though and I’m sure he’ll find his way to rock crunching fairly easily. I used to hear Lucy say to clients “this foot feels lovely and solid” and not really get it. Somehow I seem to have picked it up though because now I see other people give me the same blank expression I gave Lucy. She’s right though, after handling so many feet you can just feel that some are solid.

Our second new horse is in a bit more of a sorry state. He’s been through all manner of remedial shoeing and is currently in wedge shoes with pads. If his feet weren’t in such a sorry state I would find this almost funny. In order to put the wedges on his heels have been cut very short, so once shod his hooves are at exactly the same angle as they would have been if they hadn’t bothered. I presume his pads are to protect his very thin soles, except I can see knife marks in his sole where someone has tried to carve concavity into them. Now I don’t need any of my training from Lucy to see that cutting material off an already thin sole is, at best, illogical.

To add insult to injury (quite literally) this horse’s frogs are so thrushy they’re almost entirely rotted out. His owner was very upset that no one had told her this was not normal and needed addressing. It was abundantly clear that if she’d known she’d have done something about it so it begs the question of why no previous hoof care professional said anything. It’s a question I can’t answer, but I can tell you it’s not at all uncommon and to me it’s a clear sign that those hoof care professionals were not putting the horse first.

So after much frog cleaning, applying thrush treatment and measuring him for hoof boots we wrapped his feet in nappies to keep him comfortable and his frogs clean until his new boots arrive. This owner has a bit of a mountain to climb, but she’s determined to do what is best for her horse, and now armed with the knowledge of how to deal with his thrush and keep him comfortable I don’t doubt she’ll get there. She’ll have some ups and downs but we’ll always be at the end of the phone and will drop by if she needs more support.

6pm – We’re in the car and on our way home. After a few minutes we both start sniffing around and realise we’re covered in thrushy ick and the car absolutely stinks!

7pm – Arrive home and after a quick hello to my partner and dogs I go out to feed, hay and poo pick for my gang and take a satisfied look at their lovely feet.

Once home I reflect on the fact that Lucy and I do have to have some difficult conversations with clients, usually about their horse’s weight or thrushy feet, or sometimes behaviour. But one reason I decided to train with Lucy was her mantra: “The Horses come First” and they really do.

Note: A week after this blog post we went back to visit our deshoe clients and the lad with the thrushy frogs now has small but lovely firm clean frogs. It’s clear his owner is putting in just as much effort as we hoped she would and her horse is reaping the benefits already.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Taking Bookings for 2014

Barefoot South's very own Hoof Fairy is back in harness and taking bookings for 2014

If you want to treat your horse's hooves to the magical touch make sure you reserve your space.

Existing clients can use current contact details.  New clients click Contact Barefoot South.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Barefoot and bitless police horses.

At least 3 US police forces have taken their horses barefoot and have noticed far fewer lameness problems enabling the horses to spend more time at work and less time off sick.  The photo below, posted with permission of the original poster is of a US police horse on parade.

If they can do it in the US how come we can't do it here in the UK? It can't be because of diet, exercise, environment or trim. The circumstances for these are pretty much the same both sides of the pond. 

The text below is cut and pasted from a US mounted policeman posting on 'The Right to Trim' FB page.

The horses we have retired recently, all have been in metal shoes most of their lives. We pulled all of our police horses shoes, but the damage was done on the majority of them that limited their careers as police horses. Remember, a lot of other issues can occur throughout the body of the horse because on the constant nailing on of metal shoes. The ones recently retired were not lame so to say but had hock, back and other issues.
My police horse Shadow, aka as Texan Star, has never been shod since we got him un 2002 as a two year old. He was schooled slowly, not rushed into service like a lot of young performance horses, and went to work on the streets as a four year old. He is now 14 and his health record is so far clean of any of the consistent lameness issues we had when we shod all of our police horses.
We now look long and hard any horse people want to donate that has been in metal shoes the majority of their lives because we know their careers will be shortened due to being in metal shoes. There are always exceptions but again we would prefer not to roll the dice taking horses in that have been in metal shoes.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Slipping on grass - I don't think so

Amazing Mother, daughter and cob combo.  They've all worked their socks off and this is one example of the results: Eventing Summer 2013

Yes they do get time faults - for going too fast...

Give them all a round of applause :-)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Doesn't this horse look fabulous!

You'd never guess she has Cushings (PPID) would you.  And neither did the vet.  But interestingly, there were a lot of clues in her hooves.

Her care giver/owner is amazing and honestly I am in awe of the work and diplomacy that has been executed in getting this mare what she needs whilst keeping everyone on board.

I initially suspected some sort of metabolic problem because despite barefoot protocols being followed the hooves were not responding.  Growth was poor both in terms of quality and quantity and the soles were thin and rather soft.

The mare had a poor topline and other issues which also backed up the idea that all was not well.  Prescriptions of protein powders and the other traditional initiatives did nothing to help the mare and the vet was resistant to the idea of testing for PPID as she was quite young.  The owner tells me she did consider having her PTS as she didn't want the mare to suffer.

After much diplomatic negotiation on the part of the owner the PPID test was done, Prascend prescribed and the horse started to recover.

The picture are of their first ODE one year on. 

Notes on PPID/Cushings

Even just ten years ago we only suspected our horses may have PPID if they became unusually hirstute and failed to shed properly.  Symptoms could, if we were lucky be moderated, but the outlook was poor. 

Today PPID properly controlled doesn't have to be the death sentence it once was.

We have a PPID test, although it's not 100% accurate and we have Prascend (Pergolide).

The test has to be done properly and not all vets are completely up to speed with interpretation of the results. So if you suspect your horse has PPID I recommend you read for the low down.

In the UK until recently vets would prescribe Pergolide but it wasn't/isn't titrated or licensed for horses.  Pergolide has been replaced by Prascend which is both.  Horses on Pergolide before the change are allowed to continue on it. 

It is important as an owner or care giver to realise that there are many subtle signs that your horse may have PPID that manifest years before the hairy, curly coat stage.

Loss of topline, pot belly, lack of energy, difficulty fighting infections, slow wound repair, poor hooves both quality and quantity and particularly a failure to grow a good sole, . The coat may be duller than you would expect.

Saturday, 14 September 2013


Time to update this post; 'Help my horse has gone footy'  

Footiness is the bane of many a barefooter, and unresolved footiness, or a misunderstanding of what footiness means are common reasons for shoeing.

But the world is slowly waking up to the idea that a horse's hooves are a window to her health and it's a sad day when we choose to ignore the warnings we are being given.

And footiness is a warning, pure and simple, that all is not as it should be.  How we react to that warning says a lot about us.

What I failed to mention in the previous post is that list items 1-6 can cause an inflammatory response, as can adipose tissue.  This can cause footiness regardless of how good the hoof is.  Long term inflammation also seems to impact on the ability of a horse to grow a good foot, particularly sole. And a thin sole is a problem even if the horse isn't obviously footy.

If we are lucky, the footiness, including the thin sole sort, is indicating a basic management error (see post highlighted above) and can be resolved relatively simply.

If you can't resolve the footiness through good management then you need to consider metabolic disease such as Insulin Resistance (IR), Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), commonly known as Cushings.  I've found that many horses that fail to grow a thicker sole have metabolic problems.

Also consider what I call FTS, Fat Thigh Syndrome.  I've known horses go footy simply from being overweight.

And if the horse has been out of work for any reason don't forget that the feet need time to get fit. No I'm not being daft, check hoof anatomy, there are a lot of ligaments in the foot and if they are not working they can get out of shape.  I've personal experience of that.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Track livery on private yard in Chobham, Surrey

Space for one or more unshod geldings. Beautiful track with natural shelter. Not surfaced, but that will be done in due course. Very high standard of mains electric fencing.

Use of school (not lit), good quality stabling and tack room.

All this in exchange for helping owner with her horses. This includes poo picking the track and putting out hay. Mucking out one rubber matted stable and taking bucket feeds to horses on track.

The track is close to the stables so not too much treking back and forth.  Good hacking is available, but you/your horse may have to negotiate some traffic/cross a road depending on how far you want to go.

In the first instance contact

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Healing heels

There seems to have been a bit of a 'theme' to recent visits.  Lots of new clients, lots of caudal hoof pain.  Lots and lots of heels which are stratrospheric in their ambitions.

Horizontal or near horizontal coronary bands supported by near vertical heels are not a good thing.  I have no idea why they are so popular, but in some parts of SE UK they seem almost endemic.  It seems boxy feet are fashionable these days, even more so if the hoof capsule can be persuaded to go to 5 inches plus.

These unnatural edifaces may or may not also be very contracted.  They are nearly always bruised to some extent.  Not necessarily visible from an external perspective, but the minute the foot is picked up and cleaning commences there it is.

One I've done recently had more than 1/2 depth of deep purple bruise in his heels both fronts.  Yes the poor lad did breathe a sigh of relief when we'd helped him out with that.  Took two goes over 3 weeks.  All credit to the owner for being able to deal with it.  We booted and padded for exercise in between but such was his relief at having his heels seen to I understand he has been going really rather well despite it all.  Prior to trimming he had been in so much pain we had to stand him in shavings just to do his feet.  Now he can stand completely bare on concrete quite relaxed and happy.

If you know what you are doing heels are 'easy', but if you don't I can understand why people worry.  It is very easy to make a mistake that takes a long time to recover from.  I can even understand, although I don't endorse the view, why some people say to leave them alone.  Wishful thinking that perhaps they will magically take care of themselves with or without some road work.

Well in SE it's not happening.  Not because people don't try, they really do.  I know people who do hours of roadwork, but because the horse is not using their heels properly they don't get worn properly and it all goes base over apex.  Then trimming the resulting hotch potch isn't something that can be approached with all guns blazing.  If you are going to restore function and comfort it can take time, a lot of skill and often takes boots, sometimes with pads too.  And my owners always get homework and I always know if they have done it.

Remember the mantra 'comfy footsteps'.  Progress will be so much faster.

When I get some time I'll post some heel pictures.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Asymmetry/deviation and balance

Brief intro - previously shod cob.  Hooves were 'pretty' when shod, but the horse used to trip. I don't think they qualify as 'pretty' anymore, but horse doesn't trip either. I know which I prefer, for the horse's health and the safety of the rider.
LFT - balanced?

Know the difference between flare and asymmetry/deviation? Not everyone does and confusion between the two often leads to unnecessary heartache and drama. It is important to understand why they are different and how each arises. Although if the HCP is practising NHC not too much can go wrong.

We have reviewed deviation before; basically all the structures are synchronised, but the solar area of the hoof has shifted. This might be en masse to the lateral or medial sides or there maybe a bit of a wibble going on see here. So long as the horse is sound and the pedal bone is in balance I don't worry too much.

In an 'ideal' world we might see deviation as an abberation, it does tend to reflect a compensation for another issue maybe higher up. Sometimes if the issue is resolvable the deviation will disappear over time, see here. Sometimes the issue has become fixed, it might be wonky legs or an old injury.

Regardless by applying NHC and with the owners/carers playing their part, the horses I have dealt with have all kept sound and done well.

Flare is another matter and by flare I mean the flare you see when the white line is stretched. See here where the toe is stretched - seen most clearly in the second to last photo of the series (in the linked post, not this one). The hoof in the second photo below has flare, from a stretched white line which you can see extends all round.

It was suggested to the owner of this horse that the hoof was out of balance and that this should be addressed before dire things happened.  As you can see from the photos below the hoof is actually asymmetric or deviated from the outside, but perfectly balanced from the solar view.  If an attempt were made to dress out the asymmetry/deviation you can easily imagine what might happen. 


Stretched white line, foot in balance

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Credit where it's due

I've been asked on more than one occasion to promote products and/or companies in the body of this blog.  For money.  I won't do it.  This blog is meant to be an educational and discussion tool.  It isn't a front for selling.

But today, I break my rule, but not for money and not because I've been asked.

Round of applause goes to Priors Farm Equine Vets.  Once again Ben has risen to the challenge presented by Grace.  No drama, no second mortgage required, just sensible, horse centered pragmatism. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Would you be interested?

Student Opportunity

Due to demand for our services outstripping supply, Barefoot South is offering two student places. Students will qualify to become a Barefoot South employee when training is successfully completed.

If you are interested in applying please email by no later than 11th May 2013.

Applicants will need to meet the following criteria to qualify for interview.

·         Demonstrate some practical experience of barefoot, performance horses, this could be owning a working barefoot horse, or looking after working barefoot horses

·         Be able to discuss the pros and cons of barefoot management techniques

·         Hold a full, clean, current UK driving license

·         Have own transport

·         Be capable and competent in handling horses of all sizes

·         Computer literate

·         Have use of a mobile phone

·         Be a quick learner

·         Capable of taking direction

·         Excellent communication skills, written and verbal

·         Possess strong basic maths skills

For further details or any other queries or if you are not sure if you meet the criteria, but are interested in becoming a student please contact Lucy on the above email address.

UK applicants only, all physical aspects of training to take place within one hour of any part of the M25, at Barefoot South’s discretion.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sweeties and Spavins

The biggest challenge with this horse (for me) was getting her shoes off without hurting her.  I was pretty sure she was nail bound, quite possibly pricked and being on the older side, somewhat stiff and she has spavins. Shoeing had always left her sore, and her owner had to bute her before being shod.

The owner has an ongoing task which is bigger still.  Keeping this young lady away from the sugary consumables she loves.

A recent incident involved breaking out of her stable and into the cattle feed shed where she was found stuffing her face with Liquorice Allsorts.  Apparently that is one of the ingredients of cattle feed these days, and if you check out Dairy One you can get the analysis for 'Candy Byproduct'.

Despite these challenges, the usual livery/grass problems and the dire warnings from the usual suspects about how a spavined horse can't go barefoot, this partnership has done very well.  You can see them below on a sponsored ride, completely barefoot, no problems with slipping.  Quite a few problems with brakes so I'm told.  Oh and her hinds aren't nearly so stiff these days.

Rocket fuel not required, a forage based diet provides this horse with plenty of energy - picture taken by Mark Dalton

One of the fab four... hooves that is

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down

Experience of hoof rehab highlights how much an apparently solid and well defined part of a horse's anatomy, ie the hoof can change, both for the good and the not so much.

And of that outwardly solid structure there is one section which can cause enormous heartache and pain, whilst being largely ignored and when noticed frequently misunderstood.  Yet this section is also capable of impressive transformations which often go unnoticed.  What am I referring to?  Heel bulbs of course.

Hence the title
"Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."
Which means to me at least, that the heel bulbs can be in terrible shape, but the poor horse attached to them will still struggle on. Until they reach the point of catastrophic failure anyway.

When you know what to look for the signs are obvious.

Personally I like heel bulbs to be substantial, plump, full bodied, balanced. These qualities hint at well developed lateral cartilages which are a vital part of properly functioning hoof.  I also tend to find them attached to hard working, high performance hooves.  Soggy, squishy, underdeveloped, pointy heel bulbs are generally attached to hooves which are in poor shape one way or another.
Can you see the 'wobble' - horse unsound

Bulbs bulked up - wobble gone - horse sound

Major wobble

If your hoof anatomy is a little shaky, there is a diagram below. (I never said I could draw...) If you want to you might like to try to apply that drawing to the photos. Then compare the anatomy drawing with my rough sketch of a hoof I saw recently (below). Can you see what is happening? The horse was not comfortable. There was other 'stuff' going on, but leaving the foot out of balance wasn't helping. It will take time to address the balance for that hoof (it's not just a matter of lopping a bit off the bottom), but early signs are good.


Friday, 19 April 2013

18 days

RFS - Day One

RFS - Day 18
Compare white stripe in hoof wall with RFS Day One
LFS - Day One

LFS - Day 18
Compare lateral cartilage and heel bulb with
LFS Day One

We first met these hooves here. The horse is currently competent over tarmac, concrete and grass, somewhat footy over stones. Flight of forelimbs significantly improved post trim yesterday. (Improved breakover) Horse looked softer, more relaxed and behaved impeccably despite very windy conditions and rattling sheds. Exercise is designed to rehabilitate hoof and body and is focused on comfortable footsteps... lots of them.

If you have time to exercise your horse then rehab at home is very doable and you get to learn what will and what won't work for your horse. 

This horse lives at a conventional UK livery yard, no special facilicities, equipment and all the usual challenges.  And still we have significant change and improvement in a short space of time.

The owner is fabulous, and that is what makes the difference - the diet and exercise regimes are being followed through.  It's a team effort and the most important member of the team is the main carer/owner.

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Southern England, United Kingdom