Need some support as I trim my horse's feet myself. *Pic heavy*

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Need some support as I trim my horse's feet myself. *Pic heavy*

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    06-07-2014, 12:00 PM
Need some support as I trim my horse's feet myself. *Pic heavy*

Good morning! I am happy to be here at The Horse Forum, having been recommended by mutual friend Trinity. I am new to this forum but not new to forming in general, so I hope I will already know how to play nicely. :o) I am active on another horse board but attendance there has really dropped off, particular in the hoof care forum.

I just moved to SW Michigan from north central Illinois, and have owned my mare for 14 years. Of course the more I learned about her foot care the more particular I was about who trimmed them, and went through a series of trimmers before finally found one who saw, innately, what Tuesday’s feet needed. Unfortunately we made a short-notice and FAST move only a few months after finding her, so now I am at square one again. Tuesday stayed at a boarding stable in IL over the winter while we found a place and ot settled, and she has been home with me now for about six weeks.

I am willing to share as much history as anyone cares to know and thinks beneficial or interesting to hear, but the basics are these: I have owned this mare 14 years and she is now 21 years old. Several years ago she was diagnosed with navicular syndrome and x-rays confirmed mild to moderate navicular bone deterioration (lollipops.) I made a trimmer change at that point and had some amazing results, although the trim method never changed with her changes and in the long run it was not working for her. Because of years of compensation she also is suspected to have arthritic changes but unconfirmed by radiographs. A maintenance dose of Previcoxx makes all the difference in the world in how she feels and moves.

She is an un-papered grade Paint with a QH dam, 15 hands on the button and around 900 lbs in ideal weight. Creeps up around 1000 pounds in the summer if I am not careful about her grass. She is mostly a pasture pet, although I do hop on and do a little road riding. Our trail-riding days are probably over, as much as I wish it were not true. She gets dry-lotted (about 30’ by 30’) at night and has a small grassy area temporarily fenced for day-time turnout. She has as much grass hay as she wants to finish at night, and about a half-pound each of Nutrena Safe Choice Senior and Purina Enrich Plus.

Horse has been home for....six? Weeks? I tweaked a little but now it is time for serious attention because already serious changes are occurring. Some good, some not.

I am unable to find a reputable barefoot trimmer in SW Michigan, and the two highly-reputable trimmers I managed to contact do not come this direction and have no one they are comfortable recommending. I am much more confident with a good professional watching my work and guiding us, but that is no longer an option…at least for now, I keep hoping I will find someone.

I have some very important points I would like to bring up before I post some pictures:

1. I am reading, reading, reading, and watching recommended videos. I am on my second read-through of Ramey's Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You, and reading updates and articles on his website. I am watching the Ovnicek videos on ELPO, and reading some great websites like heike-bean's to study good bare feet. I thoroughly understand the basic concepts, understand the general changes that have to occur, but am having a heckuva a time with actually applying trimming tools to Tuesday's feet. I am clumsy and rough with the nippers, a little better with rasp and knife.

2. When I post pictures asking for critique or guidance, unless I specify otherwise I will benefit most from recommendations for changes to make in the immediate trim time. The detailed information I have received in the past from some uber-smart people is invaluable, but I have a really, really hard time processing too much information at once. I completely understand that the big picture is what is going to improve my knowledge of good trimming practices, though, so there will definitely be times when I am going to want to examine long-term goals in addition to immediate needs. It is just that I can only absorb so much at a time. I literally had to watch the Ovnicek videos in two or three minutes increments.

3. I did my first "real" trims today (yesterday, May 6 2014), managed to get the fronts sort of done. I thought I was being very conservative, especially for me, except for finding that frog apex as Gene shows in that awesome mapping video. My horse is quite sore now, especially on the right front. I never did get her casted in Illinois when a friend was kind enough to send me casting materials, and I think I am going to employ them now. But first I want a trim critique.

So, on to some pics.

First, I want to say that I realize she is holding a LOT of false sole, a surprising lot especially in the back where her feet don't even look over-long. In all my reading I come across some moderately-conflicting opinions on removing it, so I have been fairly conservative but will pick away at obviously crumbling sole.

Second, she is very sensitive when I am trying to clear overlaid bars in her hind heels, even when I do it a smidge at a time. I have uncovered some bruising, and I hope that is the reason, but I am soooo nervous about going too far! My A-Number-One problem, hands down.

Thank you in advance to all who are willing to advise me in my journey, I really need some more eyes than just mine on my work.

Third, I am going to post a full set of all feet before trimming, then a few separately after trimming the fronts

Okay, enough talk. I will try to let the photos speak for themselves. I guess I will find out here in a few minutes if there are hard limits to pictures posted. I will do them in this order: various angles of right front, right hind, left hind, left front, then a few of the fronts after I “trimmed” them that morning. I will ost each foot in a separate reply, since it has been my experience this eliminates going over picture limits per post.

Right front: (this is the one she is real ouchy on after trimming)

Really deep gullies around frog apex, indicating a good deal of false sole, I understand.

(more pics to come)
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    06-07-2014, 12:13 PM
Right Front: (error in first post, THIS is the ouchy foot after trimming)

    06-07-2014, 12:22 PM
Right hind:

Left hind:

Here is another example of really deep clefts at the frog apex. I was going to trim these rear feet that evening but they were so rock-hard I made no headway. I will need to soak again to soften enough to be able to trim.

    06-07-2014, 12:25 PM
Last but not least, these are the fronts after I “trimmed” them this morning. I did more on the right front than the left because the left needed attention much, much sooner and I was more aggressive last time I touched them up.

Right front: (this is the foot on which she is very sore, now. I also want to assure you that although the pictures make it look so, particularly with the fresh hoof showing alongside dirty hoof, that there is no bulge in that bar. I know it looks like it, but I checked it several times. I know it still needs to come down, but it is a flat plane, anyway.

Left front:

Also, it very much looks in the following picture like her sole is bulging out quite a bit in front of the frog. I took the last pic to give a more accurate view of where that sole is in relation to the bottom of the hoof wall.

So here you can see it does not bulge as far below the hoof wall as the other pics might suggest, but I am pretty certain I trimmed her too close to the sole anyway, despite my best efforts not to. :o(

And that is it, for now. I am very much grateful for any competent critique, and definitely more concerned with what I need to do right now to finish off her "trim." Hopefully, if I do not screw it up too badly, we will make progress each trim.
    06-07-2014, 12:59 PM
Not sure why the rest of my photo replies are not showing???

Here is a link to the album, although I had specific comments for specific pics. Maybe I over-pictured? The first/last nine are photos of the fronts after "trimming."

June 6 2014 Photos by greenhaven | Photobucket
    06-07-2014, 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by greenhaven    
Not sure why the rest of my photo replies are not showing???

Here is a link to the album, although I had specific comments for specific pics. Maybe I over-pictured? The first/last nine are photos of the fronts after "trimming."

June 6 2014 Photos by greenhaven | Photobucket
I released the last few posts for viewing, sorry but the Forum Software holds posts of new members for approval when that have more than 5 pics, it will quit doing that after you have 10 posts.

Welcome to The Horse Forum, BTW

    06-07-2014, 01:08 PM
Originally Posted by SouthernTrails    
I released the last few posts for viewing, sorry but the Forum Software holds posts of new members for approval when that have more than 5 pics, it will quit doing that after you have 10 posts.

Welcome to The Horse Forum, BTW

Thank you, southern! Nice to see a familiar "face!" Thanks for getting those released. I figured it was a gamble. I'll be good!
SouthernTrails likes this.
    06-07-2014, 03:39 PM
These photos really show how out of control those bars/heels are. Your false sole is starting to resolve but the bars are still pooling and tall. Is there anyone around you who could give this horse a trim that might at least get everything all cleaned up for you and the bars in hand so you can take over? Have you looked at ELPO farriers? She really needs a good and proper trim by knowledgeable eyes and skilled hands on those bars IMO.
loosie likes this.
    06-07-2014, 04:03 PM
You don't really have a lot of false sole in there.The "depth" you are seeing at the frog apex is just grossly overgrown BARS that have grown so tall and forward that they have nearly connected at the frog apex. Its like a narrow V shaped 'ring' of bar all the way around the frog.
The sole itself is not all that overgrown but may give the appearance of that because of some hoof wall separation at the edges of the sole creating an abnormal deep crevice there. So basically the heels and bars need to be cut down, a lot. Those heels are nearly an inch too long at the back. Do you have nippers?
loosie likes this.
    06-07-2014, 04:04 PM
How far are you from the Indiana border? I may know a few farriers who would be willing to help out.
Corporal likes this.

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