Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quick hoof post

I had a fun day, but now I'm too tired to post in my usual exhaustive detail. I did grab some hoof pics I wanted to put up. They're all left front shots, about 3 weeks post-trim. (Barefoot bloggers, if any of yall want to use these as good/bad examples, just let me know and you're welcome to them.)

Solar view:
Left front solar

Heel view:
Left front heel

Lateral view (in lieu of a shot with her weighting it normally):
Left front side

The thing that always surprises me is how much I learn from pictures. Even from ones I took 4 hours earlier! I honestly didn't notice how weird her heels look. I saw the overgrown folded-over bar, but I didn't "see" how short the lateral side is compared to the medial side. I did trim a bit, since I was looking at them - took off extra wall where I saw flare on all four, and took out a little at the quarters on the fronts.

Solar: She's getting that natural toe rocker again. It's something about winter and the terrain here. If I had to guess, her feet really do grow slower in the winter, so the sand wears off toe a bit faster than she can grow it. This happened last winter and freaked me out pretty good, then it quit happening in the summer, and now it's back again. I am not so worried about it now. Tight white lines - just a little separation at the quarters.

Heel: Just a little flare. Not bad for mid-trim. The frog crevice is pretty open, and I don't think thrush is bothering her right now. Again, you can see the toe rocker - see how you can see wall sticking up past the sole along the sides, then the wall drops out of sight at the toe?

Side: No toe flare (but how could there be!) Nice concavity.

We ride weekly right now. When these were taken, she'd just gotten back from 2 hours at all speeds over rocky/sandy terrain. She stumbled once for some reason, and she stepped on a tangerine sized rock and flinched once. Other than that, totally sound at all gaits. Mainly I let her have her head and she moved out over some big pointy rocks and avoided the rest - she knows better than me what's going to hurt to step on.

I'm still in the "fun" phase of winter. After the new year, I'll start thinking about training again - I need to make sure her boots still fit, start conditioning in them again, start fussing with dosing electrolytes, start doing hill sets or canter sets or whatever... but for now, we just go out with friends and do fun rides. :)

10 comments:

  1. Interesting photos. While my horses have been barefoot since long before I owned them I've been using "normal" farriers. I'm not really happy with the results. Dec 18th I'll take the plunge and start trimming them myself with a 1 on 1 lesson from a barefoot trimmer.

    I hope you keep on posting your photos 'cause I need to train my eyes.

    PeterC

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  2. Thanks! I need to post pictures of Pie's feet.

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  3. Kate and Peter - I'd love to see your horses' feet! I learn a ton from looking at everybody elses', too.

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  4. This is the left front? In the picture it looks like the lateral portion of the hoof wall is longer (right side of photo). The outside heel also looks longer than the inside, since the heel is farther forward. Photos can be deceiving, so maybe I am seeing things wrong. Usually the lateral wall is shorter unless the horse consistently leans to one side or has perfect medial/lateral balance and wears them the same. We should all be so lucky! Interesting photos.

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  5. Yup, definitely left front!

    The lateral part of the toe has more of a rocker worn in, which I think makes the heels look even weirder. The lateral wall is definitely a bit longer, you're right about that.

    I'll be interested to see what my trimmer does to rebalance her hoof. Val (and Mrs Mom, if you read this) - what would you do to that hoof?

    I'll try and get some shots of her right foot today.

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  6. Very interesting photo's. I took the shoes off my horses in September and am trimming myself now after a training weekend with a professional trimmer. Still find it hard and looking at pictures of other horses' feet helps. I always take photo's after a trim and usually find I have to go back and adjust, I always miss something!

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  7. Nice that she lets you know exactly where she wants her breakover to be!

    I've learned over the years not to pick apart any hoof too much. At one point I would have been happy to pick these pictures apart and go over every minute detail. I've seen horses with some amazingly functional feet that would never quality as "pretty."

    The only things that really jumped out at me were the laid over bar and the heel imbalance. But maybe she's wearing her hoof this way for a reason and it is what she needs. Another thing I've learned to take into consideration over the years. :) Without watching her go it is hard to know. It will be fun to see what your trimmer does at the next visit.

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  8. Thanks for the reply. Since you asked...
    I would take the lateral wall down to match the medial side and sight across the heels and toe to see if the outside heel was higher. Assuming it was higher, I would take the outside heel down to match the inside, as long as the difference in height was not greater than 1/8th inch and not below the bar. I like to let bars change on their own and scrape them away if they start exfoliating. I would bevel the wall to match the bevel she has started at the toe. This looks like a tough, hard-working foot!
    Can we see the after picture?

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  9. Thanks for the reply. Since you asked...
    I would take the lateral wall down to match the medial side and sight across the heels and toe to see if the outside heel was higher. Assuming it was higher, I would take the outside heel down to match the inside, as long as the difference in height was not greater than 1/8th inch and not below the bar. I like to let bars change on their own and scrape them away if they start exfoliating. I would bevel the wall to match the bevel she has started at the toe. This looks like a tough, hard-working foot! (I would examine all four before making trim decisions about the LF.)
    Can we see the after picture?

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