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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Thursday, 5 July 2012

What a difference five weeks makes

First I've been off sick for about 3.5 weeks so am now so far behind I almost don't know where to start and it's a bit daunting.  I never was that hot for the admin side of any job and now I have a ton of stuff to do.

Second - it brings to the fore another, hidden benefit of barefoot.  Most hooves can, if necessary, on occasion, go that extra week or two in between trims.  They may get considerably more tatty than their carers prefer, a few may get a little wonky, but the earth continues to turn and the hooves continue to be able to function.  It's only with the rehabs that I really start to worry.  And this is one of those.

Immediately post deshoe, just started to clean up

Five weeks later, to the day, note how toe wall
has grown in, the proportions have improved,
with a wider heel, buttresses coming back,
and frog bulking up

There is still a long way to go, but the horse was considerably more comfortable after the trim and is positively bouncing in boots and pads.  Not bad for five weeks.  And yes there have been some modest dietary modifications and an exercise programme put in place.  A few socks may have bitten the dirt too..........

A traditional viewpoint is that shoes 'protect' hooves. The hooves in these photos are actually stronger and more capable without metal nailed to them. It is going to take time to grow out the damage and in the interim boots and pads are invaluable.

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Southern England, United Kingdom