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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 3 December 2010

Let there be light part two - laminitic cob hind foot

Left = Before/Right = After

Before trim

Partly cleaned

Wall height

Heel view post trim

This is the foot from 'Are you being kept in the dark?'  If you look at the Before picture you will see that it looks like 1'000s of other cob feet across the globe.  Only this one is attached to a horse that has been in a box for 9+ months with laminitis which has not resolved.  Advice has included PTS.  Upon shoe removal the owner was advised that the feet could not be trimmed because there was nothing to take off.

In the partly cleaned photo the chalk has been scraped (not cut) from the sole and the bars have been started.  Wall height shows just how high the walls have become.  That is a standard hoof pick for comparison purposes.  Walls should not be the sole weight bearing mechanism for a horse, it causes all sorts of problems.  You can see that prior to trimming this horse had no option but to largely walk on his walls.  With laminitis, that was probably quite painful and not at all helpful for the healing process.

The trimmed view (solar) shows a rather different foot.  Longer than wide, the stretched white line at the toe is now clearly visible.  The quarters which had looked flared, now look quite tight and much of the gunk in the walls and around the frog and on the sole has gone.

The final view across the back of the foot shows a frog which can now be properly engaged.  It is slightly prominant but it will flatten and toughen quite quickly.  The hoof is no longer peripheral loading and the true state of the sole can be seen.

This foot has been trimmed to the AANHCP guidelines, which seek to facilitate nature rather than work against it.

This horse now has limited turnout onto a nettle patch, which he loves and will shortly be going out onto a track.  Photos when we have them.


amandap said...

Blimey (sorry) but I would never have guessed from the previous photos this was the hoof of a horse with laminitis.
Amanzing to see how the unshed sole was masking the stretched white line (to me) and even the overall shape of the foot as well as the overgrown wall.
Great for learning, thanks so much for posting. Looking forward to see his progress.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

SO I am understanding that you want the frog to be able to touch the ground, and that the taller bars keep that from happening?

Lucy Priory said...

Yes we want frogs to touch the ground, but this is not why I took the bars down.

Although the amount of bar a horse grows does vary for various reasons, generally bars are not meant to touch the ground first or be a primary load bearer.

Neither should they be cut to the quick. They are merely taken down in line with the hard sole plane.

I am still working on this horse and it is clear he is still not quite right dietarily. His return to soundness was from the broad improvement in diet, (which we are still working on), the freedom to move as he needed/wanted to, a reduction in stress (out with other horses) and a trim which didn't leave him on unbalanced, overly tall feet.

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