Help with hooves - how does it look? (Picture overload)
I'd like the help of more experienced eyes to understand, how could my boys' hooves be improved. The pictures were taken a day after the monthly trim (done by my barefoot trimmer). I have also started to do maintenance trims in between the monthly ones, as the hooves grow so fast during summer, so I'd appreciate tips on how I could support the growth of a healthy hoof.
His living conditions: Grass pastures, dry summers, very wet cold seasons, concrete surroundings and roads, a rocky road to the trails (he's a bit ouchy about that), dry and hard dirt trails, sand arena. He's fed low sugar/starch feeds, never been shod, I take him on walks over various terrains, and he has a history of contracted hooves which won't open up, no matter what.
His front hooves have a slight groove that has now almost grown out - it appeared on both his front hooves after a huge abscess in each front hoof last November.
(Pictures of hooves will now be coming, leg by leg)
I would get a new farrier. The angles on those feet could be much improved.
I see some flaring on his hoofs.... at least his heels aren't under run. I don't think his hoofs look that horrible. Not worth firing the trimmer for. Most farriers around here leave long under run heels and long toes and bars over grown. The very reason I now trim my own.
When looking at your horse from the front look at the knees....see how they are bowed in....now look down at the coronet bands, notice how they aren't level...and together they are forming a shallow V shape. The hooves are not balanced and it's causing the knees to bow inwards. On the subject of coronet bands....none of them look, "relaxed". They all appear to be shoved upwards which means the hoof walls are causing so much pressure when they are in contact with the ground that it is literally pushing the coronet band up.
It looks like the trimmer rounded the edges of the hoof wall to about the quarters from the top, but didn't touch the bottoms. It needs to be rounded/beveled from the bottom to relieve any pressure. All those cracks in the hoof wall are likely being caused by too much pressure from the hoof wall and long toe being in contact with the ground. And if you notice all the rings around the hoof.....this is also another indication that shows that there is too much pressure being put onto the hoof walls. The toes appear to be too long and there is also noticeable flaring on a couple hooves.
Since you don't have many trimmers in your area, then IMO, it would be well worth your time to gain the knowledge required to maintain a healthy hoof. Believe, you, me.....it will pay off, and IMO you be very happy that you did.:D Gain as much knowledge as you can and if you can find someone that knows hoof mapping then use them and learn from them while also gaining your own knowledge. Check out www.barefoothoves.com and google hoof mapping. I really like Linda's stuff on youtube...her channel is thehappyhoof she also has a yahoo group by the same name.
The flaring suggests that growth is getting ahead of his monthly trims. I would have liked to have seen more of an effort by the trimmer to address this. Some of the edges are a little crude. Since you are already learning to maintenance trim, this should help. If the trimmer you are sending photos to is unable to visit, could they mentor you? I expect the more you look into this subject, the keener you will become to barefoot trim yourself and dispense with the services of your current trimmer.
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