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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 25 June 2010

Lameness - Removing shoes - a case study

Front Foot Shod
The purpose of this blog is to question, inform and encourage in equal measure.

If you are a regular follower, the questions will be easy to answer. If not then previous posts may be helpful.

If you are the owner of a horse which is in transition then I hope that this and previous posts will provide some inspiration.

In order to provide the photographic material a very very kind horse owner has given me permission to use pictures of their horse - which has just started the transition process.

The horse attached to the feet in the pictures has been progressively lame for some months. Besides being lame the horse was unable to stand without the front legs continually trembling at the knee. The regular vet referred to a specialist. Diagnosis was nothing wrong with feet. I'll let you make your own minds up.

Solar View Both Fronts Just Deshod

Two Weeks Later

Since removing the shoes the horse has been on a high fibre, low sugar diet. Exercise is on soft surfaces until the horse is able to cope with more. The knee trembling almost entirely stopped and the horse is 'beaming'.

Although footy over stones the horse is moving better in a straight line and around corners. The owner is incredibly hard working and dedicated to their horse. A credit to themselves and an example to us all. :-)

And here is one we did earlier ......


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I am new (well my horse is) to barefoot...he got laminitis in Oct and after many shoes, wedges and other non working trys, I finally tried a barefoot trimmer and we are soooooo happy. I wanted to your post, the last picture-does it show a 'callus' of sorts. It looks similiar to my horses laminitic hoof in which the sole has a callus which my trimmer said is his natural defense and to leave it alone. My horse is doing great and seems to be moving better and better.

Sophie said...

Hi Kristen. Welcome to the world of barefoot. It can be challenging at times but its well worth it.

The horse in the photos hasn't callused up yet. I do agree with your trimmer - do not remove callus. This horse has had two weeks on soft footing - but the chalk has mostly self shed. These feet are also putting out quite a bit of new growth. It's all going to look a bit weird for a while. It's not clear in the picture but the sole is convex rather than concave.

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Southern England, United Kingdom