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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 15 July 2011

More tall walls

Another day, another horse, another set of overly tall feet. 

This one came as a perpetual tripper.  I have never seen such an enormous jumpers bump (not pictured) on a medium heavy cob (and no he doesn't do any jumping).  Also camped under.  I suspect that this guy, being 20, is going to have more problems with reeducating his muscles than he will have with his new feet.

That's not to say the 'new' feet won't be noticed.  His heels will widen, the frog will come into use, breakover will come back, the proportions will change, the walls will get denser as will the sole.  How could all these changes not have an impact and not be felt?  Sometimes I wish the horses could talk to us - other times I am quite glad they can't.

Frog is tiny and not touching ground, heels are very tall

Heel is contracted, bars bent inwards,
 foot is 50/50 rather than 2/3 and 1/3

Wall much taller at quarters than toe

Height on opposite quarter


Jenny said...

Wow... quite a lot of hoof wall on this guy...

DressageInJeans said...

Wow. Sometimes it looks like these farriers who've done this for years only know where to place the nails, and would trim no better then my novice self!

Does the jumpers bump have something to do with toe-first landings?

Lucy Priory said...

Hi DressageInJeans. I don't know the rules in the US, but in the UK farriers have to train for 4 years.

Clients/owners then assume that they can leave foot care to the farrier and I wouldn't be surprised if this partly fuels the decline in standards. I am sure some farriers get completely disheartened by lack of owner knowledge and so don't bother.

I am not saying that is right, but I can understand it.

Personally I see it as my job to help my clients understand as much as possible about what makes a good foot, how to achieve optimum hoof health and the like.

And if they don't want to know? - I recommend them to a local farrier...

Also clients in the UK having not read the farrier syllabus don't realise the primary focus is on how to hand make shoes. As soon as their training is over they then buy machine made ones - what a waste of a training opportunity.

Rant over!

Lucy Priory said...

DressageInJeans - toe first landing - very contracted heel, probably had quite bad thrush over the last winter. I suspect the jumpers bump is from many years of standing camped under.

I find this is best eased out by putting the horse out on a track with suitable buddies. Preferably of decent size and on a moderate hill with lots of things to explore.

Minus Pride said...

I'm a barefoot novice...what's all the white "powdery" stuff?


Lucy Priory said...

Minus Pride - welcome! White powder, also known as 'chalk'. The sole grows in layers, a bit like tree bark - or lots of dinner plates stacked one on top of the other.

A horse in regular work over a variety of terrain will naturally exfoliate the sole. Pasture pets, those that work on soft ground, or those that mostly work in boots, or have shoes on tend not to be able to wear their soles.

Depending on the hoof and the environment, sometimes the sole becomes compacted and gets 'wedged' esp if the hoof has tendancy to tin can. Other times the sole will become chalky and flake out.

Ideally a horse should be worked appropriately enough that neither case happens. But sometimes they will go through a transition period where there may be a short hiatus.

The endurance mare tin canned for a while so her carer walked her in a local stream and then over gravel to exfoliate her feet naturally.

DressageInJeans said...

You should know--everything in the US is the 'dumbed down' version of what you guys do in the UK! *laughs* Anyone can be anything, with a business card and just enough information to be dangerous. We do have a lot of topnotch professionals but we have more then our fair share of wannabes because of the lack of management over the professions (farriers, saddlers, etc.). Oh well!

Minus Pride said...

What a great explanation! Thank you! I truly understand that now. I am learning so much from your blog!
I have to comment on DressageinJeans comment on just about anyone can be anything here with a business's very true. After extensive research, I had two well recommended "barefoot trimmers" out to the barn and was not happy with either one of them or the job they did. I continued researching and had to get someone from a different state (she drives 2-ish hours) to trim my horses...crazy!

Lucy Priory said...

DressageInJeans - just felt I ought to point out that if this guy's toes are shorter than the rest of the foot because that is how the farrier trimmed him, not from toe first as a barefooter. Just in case anyone is not sure.

Whether he is a toe first in 'real barefoot' life we will find out in due course and I will post to let you know. :-)

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