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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Monday, 20 September 2010

Story of an abscess

April '10
May '10
June '10
July '10
August '10
Sept '10

You can see the diagonal split in the quarter of the April hoof, what you can't see is underneath an infection has run from the abscess hole right through to the solar end of the water line.

By May this has opened up and June sees a whole chunk of foot breaks away.

You can see how the foot grows down and forward, the hole is now disappearing towards the toe.  By August all that is left is a slightly odd shaped foot and an unseen 'nip' at the edge of the hoof wall.

By September you would never know that this horse had abscessed.  Interestingly as the abscess hole has grown out the 'matching' deviation to the inside has also disappeared.  Because I didn't see the horse prior to the abscess I can not tell if she grew the deviation at the same time as she abscessed.  But I wouldn't be surprised.  Horses have an innate ability to grow the foot they need if we are smart enough to let them.

When I first met the horse in April she was ouchy over stones - but this I think was more due to a rather weak foot overall rather than the abscess.  The horse now works quite hard over all surfaces very comfortably.  And by quite hard I mean much harder than 80% of horses I meet.

In terms of trimming what did I do?  Well nothing fancy, I stuck to the AANHCP guidelines.  There was no packing of the hole, fancy treatments or washes, flushes or anything else required.  The owner did pick out the feet everyday and bad back allowing washed the feet with either a solution of cider vinegar or salt water.

Easy! :-)  The horse has remained in full work throughout.

1 comment:

Wolfie said...

Excellent photo essay. The earlier photos made me cringe the first time you posted them, particularly May and June! I like your comment “Horses have an innate ability to grow the foot they need if we are smart enough to let them.” We are always in a hurry and we want instantaneous results....we need to learn to be patient and assist nature rather than trying to hurry the process.

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