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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

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