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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Barefoot - know your landmarks

I was trimming a foot the other day and an observer told me I should 'Take a bit more off one side to make the foot symetrical.'. Well I didn't and I wouldn't.

Using a completely different foot belonging to a very kind volunteer I will try and explain why.

I must emphasise that the foot in the pictures is for demonstration purposes only and is not the foot which sparked this post.

The pink lines show the vertical and the green the horizontal planes. I hope you can see where and how the foot deviates from being symetrical.

If this were the foot in question the observer would want me to take off the portion of foot sticking out towards the bottom on the left hand side.

Now look at the solar view below.


The pink line bisects the centre of the foot. The green lines to the left and right are equal distances from the pink line. If (please don't) but if you followed the chop it off to make it symetrical theory then in this picture you would take out the right hand side. (Completely opposite to that suggested by the front view.)

Yes it's the same foot, the pictures are taken seconds apart on the same day.

If I had followed the observer's advice I would have ended up resecting the foot which is of course completely unacceptable.

I'll post a bit more about this later in the week. Questions welcome.

5 comments:

Antonia said...

Thanks for those landmark pictures.
I have a 8 year old warmblood that has always been barefoot and has great feet. I have Sarah Braithwaite as my trimmer.

I had the osteopath out today for his back problems and was told , among other things , that his feet needed better balancing behind.

From the top they do look asymmetrical and it looks like more needs to come off from the outside.

This diagram has helped me to understand why it may look this way when his feet look symmetrical from below.
I will go back tonight with a better understanding and check his feet again.

Thank you for the explanation . The pictures really help too!
Cheers , Antonia

Antonia said...

Thanks for those landmark pictures.
I have a 8 year old warmblood that has always been barefoot and has great feet. I have Sarah Braithwaite as my trimmer.

I had the osteopath out today for his back problems and was told , among other things , that his feet needed better balancing behind.

From the top they do look asymmetrical and it looks like more needs to come off from the outside.

This diagram has helped me to understand why it may look this way when his feet look symmetrical from below.
I will go back tonight with a better understanding and check his feet again.

Thank you for the explanation . The pictures really help too!
Cheers , Antonia

Wolfie said...

Thanks for the pictures! My horse's feet are not perfectly shaped, but he has a nice white line and his feet are solid. I ride my guy 2-3 times a week on sand (paddock or arena) or on the trails, mostly walking or trotting. Is it critical to have perfectly shaped feet?

Sophie said...

Hi Antonia

Welcome to the blog. SB will probably be able to give you a more detailed explanation re your own horse's foot shape.

I am always a bit wary when professionals start straying into areas which are not their main subject.

I will blog about this more extensively in the future.

Sophie said...

Hi Wolfie

Remember the motto 'hooves and horses don't lie'. As a trimmer my job is to facilitate nature and the horse in achieving the hooves best fit for that horse. If the horse needs a slightly wonky foot to accomodate a problem somewhere else then let it be. But know enough to distinguish between naturally wonky and indifferent trimming/care.

No two horses are alike. My old grey mare grew one front slightly longer than the other - if you trimmed it to be the same length as the other then she went lame.

This is because of an old injury received when a youngster meant one front leg was subtly shorter than the other. I think only 3 people knew; me, the horse and mother nature.

I also know a horse that tends to go clubby on one foot because its regular rider leans to that side so the shoulder is compromised. When the ride is evened up the club goes away as if by magic.

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