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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Just 3 weeks later

And another 80km (50 miles old money), only this time all in one day.  (see hooves from one year ago and 3 weeks ago here.  And post the one day 80km ride the hooves look like this:

LFSR post Rufus 50m 2011

LHSR post Rufus 50m 2011

RFSR - post Rufus 50m 2011

RHSR - post Rufus 50m 2011

Ride conditions were wet and muddy. For those who worry about slipping/traction and the need for studs. This horse had minor slips, unlike the shod horse they rode with who slid down one bank on its bottom.

I think the effort that the owner has put into preparing this horse is really paying off. Confident on her feet, the work over varied terrain to build the hooves has also conditioned her body - both body and hooves look great, good structure and strength.


Val said...

Gorgeous feet, but the real beauty is in what they were able to accomplish. Congrats to all involved!

DressagePonyDiva said...

Very interesting to see the photos and to compare these to my own barefoot pony. And congratulations on the ride

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know the sort of conditioning work she's done. I'm really impressed! CB

Lucy Priory said...

This is an interesting one. The conditioning work changes over time according to the overall health of the hooves and the challenges being worked towards.

Road work is invaluable, initially to help build a robust foot without the challenge of too many stones - and now the horse is a 50 miler I am encouraging even more road work to help build dense quality horn.

During the first summer/autumn we got a lot of false sole so the routine included weekly(ish) treks to a stream and then working over gravel, to exfoliate it naturally.

The owner/horse combo are now at the point where they can face most terrain, but perhaps (me being a purist) could do with more road work........ and some more stones :-)

The feet look/feel better when they have done a stoney ride than when they have been sloshing through mud.

Anonymous said...

I have finally changed my trimmer and found one AANHCP certified. I have been amazed at your work and this blog. I finally feel like I'm on the route to getting great feet for my boys.

As I have terribly soft pastures, I'm putting them to work on the road--any tips for how long, how often, when they start out? I also have access to gravel-lined paths, but that seems a little much for them. They're frogs aren't used to actually being on the ground!

Thanks for doing what you do and writing this blog--it let me know what was possible with the right management, and what I should be shooting for!

Lucy Priory said...

Bless you - thanks Dressageinjeans. Roadwork is excellent - in the US you want black top if you can find it, in the UK we call it tarmac. If it is free of all those little stones that accumulate when it is damaged so much the better.

Hooves respond to the surface they work on, but there is a time lag of several weeks, allow 6, for some it will be less for others more.

Assuming the horse has couch potato (soft pasture) feet, start with just adding a couple of hundred yards of black top to the normal work routine. When they can do that consistently comfortably you can extend it. At any point in the programme, don't extend distance if wear is exceeding growth or if the horse is not coping.

In either of the above, then there is something that needs to be addressed - you may have done too much too soon, made too big an increase in the amount done in one session or the diet/environment may need tweaking.

It's a very good question and I will blog about it as soon as I am home for more than sleeping! :-)

Anonymous said...

Black top I have. Woo! They all are 'couch potato' like, as the trimmer actually came out into my pasture to trim and said, 'This is probably the softest terrain I've seen horses in.' Ack! Until I can get some pea gravel in, the road will have to do.

I have already noticed that my colt, who often stood with his front legs underneath him, is already standing more square. Love!

Thank you so much and it's more then enough to get me started. I also forgot to thank you for you posts on feed and how they affect the feet--after changing my horse's feed to something MUCH less sugary, you can see the new growth coming down--Tight!

My horses thank you!

Lucy Priory said...

DressageInJeans - your trimmer should try trimming this side of the pond. I sometimes have to get owners to bring out old rolls of carpet - to stand the horses on to stop the whole caboodle sinking into the gloop while we trim.....

Not pretty! :-)

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