Barefoot hoof critique, please?
Sooo I've been doing Lacey's hooves myself for...I think, almost 4 months (I trim her about once every two weeks) and I'm just wanting to check in and make sure we're still mostly on the right path.
I can definitely see areas I need to improve in - getting her heels ore even and backing up her front toes more, to be precise.
Speaking of her toes, as you will see from the pictures, I've gotten pretttty close to the white line in front with a (what feels to me like) significant roll BUT the angle still looks "wrong" to me...like her toes are stretched forward... Does that just mean her heels need to be longer and even it out or ...........? For instance, her front right has some "good" heel going on but that toe! It seems to stretch on forever...
And her front left..crushing heel much?
I'm trying to give the front left a bit more leeway seeing as how that is the pastern she partially tore a suspensory in a few months ago and she's probably not back to completely using it "right" like she used to (though she is 95% sound currently)...but really, c'mon Mister Hoof!
I'm really embarrassed about how uneven her heels are on that front left. I promise tha they are even height-wise (aka, both are even with sole)... The side that appears shorter/less stretched is the side of the suspensory issue. I would welcome thoughts on what I can do about this...
I am pretty proud of her hinds though. Definitely there is more improvement to be had back there but traditionally she's had really high heels and very short toes back there...almost like 2 clubfeet behind.
All the farriers I've used before said that it couldn't be changed and that it was just the way she moved that was creating hooves like that. AND OH SNAP. Look who has toe and a nearly normal heel back there? Also who's not dragging their back hooves nearly as much as they used to? This horse! :twisted:
She's also moving a whole lot better behind, really stepping up under herself (she reminds me of a gaited horse with how far she steps up under at a walk) and she's not nearly as stiff back there as she's been seeming in the last few years. She used to have to do a whole lot of leg stretching/rearranging to be comfy with having a hind picked up but not anymore! :D
Link to pictures (plus a whole body shot so you can see allll the angles...) : https://picasaweb.google.com/1116720...C-87uZy4ajuAE#
Sorry about the mud in those pictures. I cleaned things up as best I could but you know winter in the PNW: mud=love.
And forgive her tree-trunk like hairy legs. Due to her sight issues, her body seems to be under the impression that we are in the midst of a winter rivaling the North Pole.
Thoughts? Help? Improvements? Comments? Concerns?
- currently mostly retired due to previously mentioned suspensory issue
- will be 28 in Feb.
- nearly blind so she does move a little "differently" compared to a normal horse
- I am treating her with ACV for thrush, which, while not bad, she does have in those crevasses
- I currently only have a rasp to trim with. No nippers, no knife. So yeeeah.
Thank you!! :hug:
I have no idea how to address the heel on the left front. Without the suspensory problem, I would say it needs to be dragged back more, but I'm sure an injury needs special care which I am in no way qualified to suggest.
The only pic I see that shows something I know how to fix is the right front. See how the growth rings on that foot all curve up at the quarters? Those rings are supposed to grow down level. Do you scoop the quarters on that foot?
Overall you're doing a good job. You certainly can take advice and turn it into good results.
I would personally bring the heels back and down quite a bit. More so on the fronts than the backs, but yes the backs as well. I also would trim the bars until no fold is evident. I can't see a big roll going on, but that might be because of the mud and pic itself. I agree that the fronts still look long in the toe. What is her sole like? I'm thinking there's some overgrowth there, but maybe not much. Is it chalky anywhere?
The long toe syndrome is something that I have to watch myself. I am being much more aggressive with bringing the toes back now again. I rasp my girl right back to the white line in the front, then blend that around to the quarters, where there will be more wall on the ground. If I don't, my girl gets stretched and its a time chore to get her back on track again. When I lose it (needing fresh eyes), I will rasp her back every week just on the toes until I am happy, maintaining the rest of the trim every 3 - 4 weeks. That way I can do a bit at a time and still get ahead.
Hopefully one of the local experts will post some comments for you!
Thanks MBP! :)
That's how I feel about the suspensory thing too. Initially, right after the injury (about 3 months ago), I took the quarters back really hard on that foot - especially on the left side, because each side had evidence of WLD. Taking them back like that seemed to alleviate a lot of pressure off the injury and she was feeling much better within days (as in, she went from lame at a walk to sound at a walk with much less swelling within a day or two). But then longterm that seems to have made her toe and heel go nutso - I'm sure in part due to the pressure that was then placed on them. Gah! haha
Now that you mention it, I definitely do see that change in rings on her right front - I hadn't noticed that! I think I did gently "scoop" (if, by scooping, you mean make it so the hoof wall is not touching the ground at all..? I don't know the terminology so well yet..:oops:) her quarters on that hoof when I did the quarters on her left front (I wanted to try and keep things as even as possible) but I have not done any scooping since. Would taking the quarters back there do the trick? I recognize that the change in those rings is probably due to excess pressure in that area from the wall touching the ground "too much", right?
I've really been enjoying her hooves, somehow it reminds me of painting or sculpting. haha :)
Hah, yeah, to me it feels like this HUGE roll like I'm "so close" to the WL! Walking the line of danger. But to someone more experienced it's probably nothing, I'm sure I'll look back in a few months and chuckle to myself. :lol:
With her heels, since I only have a rasp, how would I go about bringing them down more since they already seem to be really level with the sole? Is it just a matter of going back maybe once a week and knocking them all down again? If so, I can do that.
I've been leaving her bars alone because some of the stuff I've read says that they'll eventually knock off on their own when they're not needed...and they have been slowly knocking off of their own. What makes you think they need to come off? (I'm not trying to be sassy, I just want to understand all the views, you know?) :)
Her sole...it's been hard for me to tell.
A few months ago, right after she injured herself and I really started working hard on her hooves, she had a MAJOR sole+frog shedding situation. Sole was coming off in giant chunks, all her frogs literally peeled off in entire pieces...it was rather horrifying. That sole, that came off but before it came off, had a really weird "fake" sort of texture - all lumpy and if I tapped it, it felt hollow. This sole, however, feels really solid and "real". But, that doesn't mean that it is real..of course! haha
As far as "chalky" goes, it is a little chalky in the bar area but not "bad". In the toe, it's all solid not chalky stuff.
That's a good idea about taking her toes back once a week for a while! I hadn't even considered that that was a possibility.
Seems like it could work! Thanks!
As far as the scoop, just check from the underside of the foot, that the wall in that section is down to just above the plane of the sole. I was fascinated to realize, when you trim it uniformly from the bottom, and then put the supposedly flat foot down on the ground, you will see the hoof has a natural arch to it. Just use the sole as your reference and trim the hoof wall to above it with a subtle 45 roll to blend it to the outer wall.
In all honesty, every part of the hoof will knock off on its own eventually as long as the horse has freedom of movement and suitable ground, however, given the lifestyle most of our horses live, we really don't want to leave the walls go until they are chipping and breaking. Likewise with the bars. Trim them with your knife.
My order of operations is: 1. clean well :-) 2. trim away excess sole from the quarters back to the heel 3. trim excess sole to the dirt line at the frog to keep the frog and collateral grooves open. 4. trim excess frog only -- that which is thrushy, flakey, loose and keep the central sulci open 5. rasp the walls to be level with the sole. I'll rasp just until the file scrapes the sole. 6. bring back the toe and 7. mustang roll all around.
Re: the fronts and pardon my fast explanation, its late.
You should map those fronts and bevel those toes back. I have found that Pete's way doesnt get the job done on a flare forward foot. The ELPO mapping does. I switch between the two basic trim styles as needed. You need the 4 point here to deal with the run away toe. If you already have an injury, you NEED to get the toes in line post haste. Toes need shortened and beveled for faster breakover from the front, even back into white line if called for, due to distortion. The frog and the toe are stretched past where they actually are supposed to be from flare forward. Then I dress the toe back from the top leaving a thickness of about what the wall SHOULD be if it were in proper alignment. I would do the 4 point trim for awhile and get really aggressive with those toes till they are more in line.
If you google ELPO hoof mapping, there is loads of info out there including free videos and PDFs you can download and take to the barn for help.
Also, the heels look all pretty out of whack but I cant tell much from the angles we have here. Above all they must be level and short.
Go do some research on the ELPO mapping stuff and see what you come up with. The Suspensory injury foot is the worst and most in need of balancing and breakover being put in its proper place, but they all need a little work.
Ah, Trinity. I'm soooo sorry that I couldn't remember your user name. Thank you for posting!
Thanks Trinity! I appreciate it!
I'm not sure how to do hoof mapping without a hoof knife but I looked up ELPO hoof mapping and I think I understand the concept (trying not to get stuck on semantics! haha).
The one part that's really confusing me is that in all the ELPO diagrams I've seen, there are "before trim" lines way above the WL (makes sense) and "after trim" lines that appear to be inside the WL (doesn't make sense)... I was under the impression that the WL was something you should not cross, ever, but then these diagrams seem to be saying "cross it!". haha
Maybe I'm just misinterpreting what I'm seeing?
Here's what I see:
RF- Outside Jam . See the pushed up growth line? But can't tell if it's been in the process of being fixed. Inside may be too long-check balance. Toe way to long, heels run forward. Broke back angle. Taking heels back at this point will make the angle worse. Back up toes and correct the angle. Then work on the heels in a month or two.
FL- Outside looks a tad high, check it. Angle is broken back. Bring toe back and fix angle. Work on heels in a month or two. Go slow. Over a few months. Backing the toe and proper angle will certainly help the heel . I found on my horse once I corrected the angle and the toes, the foot maintained itself at the angle and toe that was correct for my horse.
BL: Shorten sides about a credit card width off the ground and bevel. The hoof looks too upright. Bring heels back to fix angle til it aligns with pastern.
RL: Inside heel too high. I think it has the best angle of the 4, If you bring back that inside heel a bit, it appears that the hoof will be good. Trim frog. Why does it seem so ripped up on the heel end?
I had one frog completely chewed up, and Durasole worked the best for me. I really can't give advice on the suspensory, but I would imagine that a broken back angle would put more stress on it (?). I would think you would have to correct very slowly? Ask your vet. It's very important to get an expect opinion on how to trim this. This is my amateur opinion. Hopefully it will give you things to look at. Pictures can be deceiving, but very valuable. I keep an album with the dates to compare as I go along.
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