Critique these feet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 103 Old 02-26-2017, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Critique these feet

These are Troubles front feet today after the farrier was out yesterday. He was very flared on all four, his toes were quite long and his bars were laid over.

It's been four or five months since I could get Troubles feet done due to my farrier severely injuring his elbow. I have been rasping what I could, trying to keep things "in line".

What do you see? I had a thought that his toes are too short, and he was a bit ouchy on hard ground yesterday, but the ouchiness is gone today. He also lands heel first on his left, but toe first on his right. I want to begin trimming my own feet, for various reasons, and have been reading up on Pete Rameys methods and the ELPO site. According to elpo, the toe is good length, but on side of his foot is still too flared. I may go out with a rasp later and take off some more flare, but I don't want to push too much too fast.

What am I missing when looking at these hooves? Something about his heels doesn't seem right to me, but I can't place what it is.

I'm sorry for the quality of the pictures, were up to our necks in mud and gross slush, and I need to recruit someone to help me take pictures, so I took what I could by myself. This is the front left.
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Last edited by WhattaTroublemaker; 02-26-2017 at 11:44 AM.
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post #2 of 103 Old 02-26-2017, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry, I have no idea why the pictures are turning sideways. They are straight when I upload them!!

Anyway. Here is the right front. He has a lot of frog to shed on both fronts, but Trouble was getting a little worked up by the time the trim was finished and we opted to leave the frogs and let him end on a good note. He doesn't have the best rap sheet for farriers, and is very weary of strange people fiddling with him.
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post #3 of 103 Old 02-27-2017, 07:46 PM
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Can you post some side and front shoTs
Just looking, It appears to me as if there is not much sole depth in front of the apex of the frog,with heels run foreward, toes stretched
You say he never had any laminitis, but am suspicious
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post #4 of 103 Old 02-28-2017, 01:21 AM
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I can see parts of the hoof rasped too much that shouldn't have been.
I see a healthy hoof is an equally rounded hoof all around... Just think of it as your foot. The frog is the part you don't want pressure on.
The hoof/hoof wall is designed to help with that pressure. So in order for that pressure to go, the hoof will need to grow evenly around. Distributing the weight onto their hoof not their frog.
(I'm trying to make this as basic as possible)


You have rasped the heel and the ball of the hoof, that part actually lifts the frog from being on the ground. It should be left longer and rasped evenly to the toe. Not rasped off.
The toe does look short. Be careful to not rasp them too short as they can cause bruises and/or become pressure cysts...
Like Smilie said, the sole depth is shallow, in order for that to deepen the hoof needs to grow & be rounded evenly.


When rasping. Don't rasp against the grain, go with it. Side to side with the shape of the heel. Little bits at a time until you get the hang of it. Don't be scared to put his foot down and ask your horse to bring it back up. Its all in the process!
Look into the horse hoof itself, its an interesting part of their body.
It'll give you a much better insight on how to do it yourself! Good luck. ♥
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post #5 of 103 Old 02-28-2017, 10:40 AM
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I agree that the hoof wall and sole , but also the frog, need to share the load.
Frogs are not designed to be off the ground, but functional, as per work by Dr Robert Bowker
The collateral grooves appear deep at the back of the foot, and quite shallow around the apex of the frog. True apex of the frog should be gently found, to determine whether that frog is stretched forward
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post #6 of 103 Old 02-28-2017, 08:41 PM
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You've got it spot on, I was trying to explain in a basic matter. But yes. Evenly distributed hoof and sole for correct movement and comfort.
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post #7 of 103 Old 03-02-2017, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaity Painted Equine View Post
The frog is the part you don't want pressure on. ♥
I absolutely disagree thoroughly with that. The frog should be a *primary* loading zone. *However* due to very commonly weak/contracted/undeveloped caudal foot - that is, the digital cushion & lateral cartilages, above the frog(skin), many horses are not in a position to *comfortably* use their heels naturally. Comfort is hugely important.

Troubles heels look nice and open, reasonably good, so without further info, I wouldn't necessarily put him in that boat, but it's important to trim & protect the feet in such a manner that whatever their state, you can give the frogs/DC's as much *comfortable* pressure as possible. No point dropping heels down to 'ideal' parameters if the horse is then too sore to use his heels. So if for eg, heels have been high for some time, you probably don't want to drop them too much at a time & pay attention to how he's travelling on them. I suspect they could be lowered slightly more, and appears they can be bevelled to bring the bearing surface back further, towards the widest point of frog.

Even if/when heels need to stay a bit high, laid over bars and quarters should not retain that extra length, but can be brought down to where they 'should' be. That will relieve a lot of mechanical stress causing quarter flares.

Toes look like they could be a bit short, at the ground surface. Not sure but appears they've been rasped into back further than the breakover point & maybe rasped flat, not a light bevel.

As for leftover flares, unevenness etc, maybe just a case of only so much you can do in one go after they've become distorted. But above point about bars & quarter walls may be the big thing. Can't tell from those pics.

As for the toe first/heel first on different feet, can't say from just those pics. Is he higher on one foot than the other?
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post #8 of 103 Old 03-02-2017, 10:52 AM
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Subbing ;o;

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #9 of 103 Old 03-02-2017, 09:11 PM
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Agree that providing I'm looking at a close approximation of the true apex of the frog, that the toes actually appear to be a little shorter than that recommended by ELPO.

I think if the live sole was carefully exposed at the seat of the corn, the heels could be taken down a bit. Depending on the foot, it might be good to leave them 1/8"above the live sole. But they "appear" to be a bit higher than that.

The frog is the blood pump for the hoof. Problem is it doesn't have a muscle like the regular heart. The frog depends upon contact and compression with the ground to pump. The frog should be the first part of the hoof to contact the earth, according to the recognized leaders in the field of hoof function. The frog compression provides both cooling and nutrients to the rest of the hoof. Very important.

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post #10 of 103 Old 03-03-2017, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
The frog is the blood pump for the hoof. .... The frog compression provides both cooling and nutrients to the rest of the hoof. Very important.
I believe this '5 hearts' theory is widely accepted as outdated these days, since Dr Bob's work has shown that it is 'phooeyness'. As, far from being a 'pump', there isn't a heap of blood going through the fibrocartilaginous DCs, and blood *in a well functioning* caudal foot is slowed down substantially, by going thru 'bazillions' of minute vessels in the LCs, which acts as a haemodynamic shock absorber.

And the blood flows through the rest of the foot before going thru these 'swizzle stick' vessels & out of the foot. There is a LOT more blood flow through the feet than is needed for nutrients to cells too.

**NB if anyone's ever heard him speak, you'll know where I get the... novel terminology!

I suggest people familiarise themselves with Dr Bowker's work(which is often quite 'heavy' but well worth the effort!), which will give you a better understanding. Here's one link to one article on his 'haemodynamic flow thoery'...
http://www.barefoottrimming.com/file...mics_small.pdf

There are also 'shunts' in the vessels above the hoof which can bypass, so greatly restrict blood flow though the hoof(such as when there's too much pressure on coronal & circumflex arteries from peripheral loading), and when this happens, there is a stronger blood flow back up the leg - that wouldn't happen if the frog/DC was a necessary blood pump either.

Quote:
I think if the live sole was carefully exposed at the seat of the corn, the heels could be taken down a bit.
As said previously, I think the heels *might* be able to come down a tad more, and most likely they can be brought *back* further, without lowering them much, but I think it's very important that the horse is *comfortable* on his heels, and taking them down to 'ideal' parameters, regardless whether you feel like exfoliating to live sole, to see where it 'should' be, *may* be the wrong thing to do.
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Last edited by loosie; 03-03-2017 at 01:17 AM.
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