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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Thin sole, thick sole?

In response to a request.  How to judge solar depth?  Without the training it can be hard to gauge sole depth and it is jolly difficult to do by photo.  Trust me, there are some horse care professionals who can't do it even with hoof in hand.

And solar thickness in isolation is not 'the answer'.  The hoof health has to be taken as a whole.  That said a thin sole is problematic.  Here are a few of the hooves I have worked on at various stages in their journey.

A random selection with a host of issues.  I make no comment on white line stretch, bruising, abscesses etc.

Some of the hooves were declared 'genetically' flat/thin.  You might be pleased to learn these got just as thick as the 'genetically' better ones, once the diet, exercise and so forth were improved.

Thought you might find the pictures interesting.  All hooves featured have thickened up.  Please note that hooves can go in the other direction just as fast.  If you are not sure how to judge depth, get an AANHCP trimmer to help you.

1 Decontracting, sole thickening

2 Oblique view of previous

3 Getting depth, lacks concavity

4 Recent deshod, flat, almost convex, quite thin, contracted

5 Thin, flexes under pressure

6 Thin, flexes under pressure, infected

7 Thick enough, getting concavity, decontracting

8 Very thin, very flexible, newly deshod

9 Very thin, very flexible, newly deshod

10 As previous

11 Thin, no concavity

12 Getting thicker, building concavity

13 Previous v.thin/flexy getting thicker & concavity, decontracting

14 As previous

15 As previous

16 Hind from earlier, thicker, some concavity, infection/splits gone

17 Previous, alternate view

18 Don't let overall shape mislead, thick enough

19 Thick enough, watch for false sole

20 Previous pancake flat getting thicker & developing concavity

21 As previous

22 Earlier hoof, thickening, more concave, no more flexing

23 Oblique view previous

24 Heel view previous

25 Thick enough, getting ready to exfoliate

26 Previous - layers of sole clearly visible

27 Previous - another view

28 Previous, stripes from boot, sole flaking naturally

29 Thick enough, flat, works mostly on road

30 Previously thin, getting thicker

31 Heel view previous

32 Gaining concavity, thickness, frog torn in accident, new frog underneath

33 Getting there, still contracted

34 Heel view previous

35 Very thin, very flexible, deshod day before

36 As previous

37 Progress of previous, a way to go yet

38 Getting there

39 Classic, traditional 'looks ok' but is actually quite thin

40 Classic, traditional 'looks ok' but is actually quite thin,
 but thicker than it was


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

u have an award on my blog, for you!
Regarding the pics..#8 picture counting from bottom can I tell that heel is contracted? I have a hard time seeing that/those?
Also, is it better to let a sole that is calussed, come off on it's own slowly vs digging it out?

Austen said...

Wow is this close to my heart right now. My horse is fighting front feet that won't keep sole on. They are improving angle-wise, but just keep losing sole. In shoes right now, mostly to keep pads on. Horse is 100% crippled without the pads. Ugh!!

smazourek said...

Could you do another post about the markers for measuring sole thickness? I'm still confused about that.

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