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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 10 May 2013

Asymmetry/deviation and balance

Brief intro - previously shod cob.  Hooves were 'pretty' when shod, but the horse used to trip. I don't think they qualify as 'pretty' anymore, but horse doesn't trip either. I know which I prefer, for the horse's health and the safety of the rider.
LFT - balanced?

Know the difference between flare and asymmetry/deviation? Not everyone does and confusion between the two often leads to unnecessary heartache and drama. It is important to understand why they are different and how each arises. Although if the HCP is practising NHC not too much can go wrong.

We have reviewed deviation before; basically all the structures are synchronised, but the solar area of the hoof has shifted. This might be en masse to the lateral or medial sides or there maybe a bit of a wibble going on see here. So long as the horse is sound and the pedal bone is in balance I don't worry too much.

In an 'ideal' world we might see deviation as an abberation, it does tend to reflect a compensation for another issue maybe higher up. Sometimes if the issue is resolvable the deviation will disappear over time, see here. Sometimes the issue has become fixed, it might be wonky legs or an old injury.

Regardless by applying NHC and with the owners/carers playing their part, the horses I have dealt with have all kept sound and done well.

Flare is another matter and by flare I mean the flare you see when the white line is stretched. See here where the toe is stretched - seen most clearly in the second to last photo of the series (in the linked post, not this one). The hoof in the second photo below has flare, from a stretched white line which you can see extends all round.

It was suggested to the owner of this horse that the hoof was out of balance and that this should be addressed before dire things happened.  As you can see from the photos below the hoof is actually asymmetric or deviated from the outside, but perfectly balanced from the solar view.  If an attempt were made to dress out the asymmetry/deviation you can easily imagine what might happen. 


Stretched white line, foot in balance

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Credit where it's due

I've been asked on more than one occasion to promote products and/or companies in the body of this blog.  For money.  I won't do it.  This blog is meant to be an educational and discussion tool.  It isn't a front for selling.

But today, I break my rule, but not for money and not because I've been asked.

Round of applause goes to Priors Farm Equine Vets.  Once again Ben has risen to the challenge presented by Grace.  No drama, no second mortgage required, just sensible, horse centered pragmatism. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Would you be interested?

Student Opportunity

Due to demand for our services outstripping supply, Barefoot South is offering two student places. Students will qualify to become a Barefoot South employee when training is successfully completed.

If you are interested in applying please email by no later than 11th May 2013.

Applicants will need to meet the following criteria to qualify for interview.

·         Demonstrate some practical experience of barefoot, performance horses, this could be owning a working barefoot horse, or looking after working barefoot horses

·         Be able to discuss the pros and cons of barefoot management techniques

·         Hold a full, clean, current UK driving license

·         Have own transport

·         Be capable and competent in handling horses of all sizes

·         Computer literate

·         Have use of a mobile phone

·         Be a quick learner

·         Capable of taking direction

·         Excellent communication skills, written and verbal

·         Possess strong basic maths skills

For further details or any other queries or if you are not sure if you meet the criteria, but are interested in becoming a student please contact Lucy on the above email address.

UK applicants only, all physical aspects of training to take place within one hour of any part of the M25, at Barefoot South’s discretion.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sweeties and Spavins

The biggest challenge with this horse (for me) was getting her shoes off without hurting her.  I was pretty sure she was nail bound, quite possibly pricked and being on the older side, somewhat stiff and she has spavins. Shoeing had always left her sore, and her owner had to bute her before being shod.

The owner has an ongoing task which is bigger still.  Keeping this young lady away from the sugary consumables she loves.

A recent incident involved breaking out of her stable and into the cattle feed shed where she was found stuffing her face with Liquorice Allsorts.  Apparently that is one of the ingredients of cattle feed these days, and if you check out Dairy One you can get the analysis for 'Candy Byproduct'.

Despite these challenges, the usual livery/grass problems and the dire warnings from the usual suspects about how a spavined horse can't go barefoot, this partnership has done very well.  You can see them below on a sponsored ride, completely barefoot, no problems with slipping.  Quite a few problems with brakes so I'm told.  Oh and her hinds aren't nearly so stiff these days.

Rocket fuel not required, a forage based diet provides this horse with plenty of energy - picture taken by Mark Dalton

One of the fab four... hooves that is

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Southern England, United Kingdom