comments for transitioning hooves
I'm going to use the most problematic hoof. LF. History,
1 year by ex farrier, trimmed inside high, inside jamming coronary band
last work of ex was having 12 weeks of shoes. Why did I let him continue for a year?-another story.
Eight weeks ago, New farrier, shoes pulled and trimmed evenly. Coronary Quarter unjamming, but caused rippling in inside hoof. Inside wall grew longer than the rest of the hoof, and that stunted the hoof from trying to unripple. (not really growing longer, just unjamming more).
So far, I have trimmed both sides equal and put a "credit card width" of relief under the jammed area on the inside quarter, and have started to work the toe/heel back. She does need a bit of toe for gait timing, but the picture shows she can come back further, it will take time.
So the problems are letting the inside quarter unfurl (I relieved it last week and it's already getting longer than the rest of the wall!)
The other problem is that the inside heel is curving under. I know she's had it for quite a while, and I don't know what to do because if I lower the heel, I lost the relief of the quarter.
I need direction!
I need advice.
Re inside quarter & heel, if the pics give an accurate idea of how she generally weights that foot, she's rolling to the inside, which is encouraging the heel to curl under. Tricky. It may be a matter of too much standing around(horses tend to weight the inside of the fronts more when standing) & more exercise will help, or it could be truly conformational, or how she's adapted. I'd consider asking the chiro I think I remember you've consulted, for opinions.
Re the 'credit card' relief, this may be enough if she's only on concrete all the time & you redo it daily, but if the ground isn't flat, that will likely negate that tiny amount of relief. I tend to just keep the quarters(right back to the heels) level with the sole plane & if there is flaring/jamming, will keep them strongly bevelled.
Don't get what you mean by 'need a bit of toe for gait timing' but she does still have quite stretched toes. I think there is more rotation going on than you realise too, from your pic with the lines. I think I've been generous in my blue sole lines, to show where the toe should be. As per Sharpie's pic, take into account the toe stretching & hairline angle. Also the lumpy look of the coronary border. Could be that the heels can come down(a tad at a time), but it's unclear from these pics only as to how much.
Loosie, thanks. Yes, her toes are run forward as well as her heels, and this is the "problem" hoof.
It's always been a compromise between slightly run forward/too low palmer angle. TWH are of human creation. I think their hooves took the pacey side genetically. If her hooves are balanced the way they should be, it's great for a pacer, and that's what she does. With a bit of toe on the front, she gaits nicely. I am the last person to admit that a horse needs some toe. I'm a firm believer in balance as we all strive for in any horse. It took me the last 4 years to have to admit to her needing a bit of toe. If I back up her heels, her palmer angle is not acceptable. What I'm trying now is to keep the palmer +, and let the hoof show me MOL when I can take back more. One of the farriers I had got the hoof perfectly balanced, good angle, and mapped out well, however he was cutting into live sole to do it. That's not right. Now that I have control over her feet back, I can tweak her more often and perhaps get a foot that is closer to being well balanced.
I really appreciate you marking up the pictures. It tells so much more, esp on a message board .
What are you talking about with rotation?
I have a chiro at the barn, I could ask her. She's in a pasture 24/7. I'm exercising her more. Confirmationally, she tends to stand toe out wide base. That added to being trimmed high medially for a year prior to 6 weeks ago I don't think helped. She had had a pushed up inner heel for a time. You would think that a farrier would see all the negatives he was getting trying to get her to stop toeing out. Jerk.
So will proper balance and exercise and chiro-I'll do.
Last xray on this hoof. Date is on xray
Hmm, admittedly I know nothing specific about TWH's, except that they're often purposely trimmed with high heels & long toes to make their gait more pronounced and I've heard many people who do seem to know what they're on about say a hoof's a hoof & they shouldn't be trimmed any differently.
So saying, of course every horse is also individual & should be treated as such IMO. On that note, I know we've been through it before, but it appears she is valgus(outsie) from the MP joint, so the lower inside is right for her (tho the gap on the medial side of the DIP joint is bigger...) and the rolling onto the inside heel may be unavoidable.
Pity the second xray isn't marked, or it doesn't have a matching photo at least. I would be surprised if the hoof looked exactly like it does now, for that xray. It appears pretty well balanced & tight, if a bit long in the toe because of the low position of P3. If it's the same now, agree fully you don't want to lower the palmer angle. Of course, perhaps the bulge above the coronary border & angle of hairline & heel height - or how it appears in the pic - has given me a false idea though & they look like that just because of the lower bone position. Curiouser & curiouser...
Dont fall for the "trim fixes the gait" theory. That is a band aid. I do know about gaited horses ;) and I will tell you that your first priority should be to fix the foot properly and find health.
Gait and performing it well is related to genetics and inherited conformation as well as muscle memory. Using improperly trimmed feet to gain the gait you want is backwards thinking although very accepted old school thinking.
I highly suggest looking into purchasing Larry Whitesell's videos Larry Whitesell Gaited Horsemanship if you are having gait problems with her with a properly trimmed foot. If she is a performance bred TWH, she could tend to be pacy as a rule anyway since they prefer that gait as it is easier to train when they pad them...but it can be made better and it has little to do with how long her toe is. Dont use a shortcut. Find hoof health and retrain.If someone has used a long toe on her all her life to make her gait, she will have to relearn how to the right way. It can be done. just my 2 cents living here in TWH land.
Hi Trinity! Wondered where ya been.
I fully agree that gaited horses should be trimmed just like any horse-healthy. Totally agree that long toes and underrun heels are wrong. I've ridden her 8 years, from clueless, to knowing every little bobble and knowing which foot it came from. I've just started trimming her again after 4 years of various farriers who all had their own ideas. Long story.
My goals for her are M-L balance, Toes and heels where they should be, and proper angles.
So I have longer than healthy toes, more forward than healthy heels, and we are hanging on to a healthy angle, which is hard to keep in that foot. I feel there are several different ways to go about getting to a healthy hoof. Which is the priority? Toes, heels, or coffin bone angle? I feel that if one's Improved, it gets easier to solve the other 2.
However, if I back up her heels, her coffin bone will be negative palmer. If I back up her toe, it shortens her base of support. If I go with keeping a proper angle, the toe will eventually say "cut me!" and the heels will sing "rasp me baby!" and that hoof will give me more and more of what I want, just keeping a proper angle. In keeping some toe, what I mean by that is not rasping the toe back to the white line. Nothing shocking or exaggerated.
So to me it's just a different order of things. One will lead to the other and to the other.
I've had too many screw with her angles, "oh , she's gaited" Lets give her duck feet! I feel the low angles were more of a detriment to her than slightly longer toes. When the hoof says it's ready to bring the heels back further, then I can do that and take toe, and because her heels are backed up, her gait won't even know there's a little toe missing.
I will be backing up the toe and heel , but not at the sacrifice of angles. Maybe I'm angle obsessed but am I sounding a bit more normal here?
I am confused as to whether you're saying her hoof looked better in the xray or better now? I'll try to find a picture , but I deleted most of them because this is like a fresh start now.
Loosie, thanks. I can see from the million times of looking at these pictures that yes, I can bring her toes back.
I think I get in trouble any time I say that TWH need a bit of toe. But it's not an extreme.
I think what I'm realizing from you and Trinity here is that run forward with a bit of toe is far far different than having a balanced foot underneath her with a bit of toe. I realize now that it's not a bit of toe she has but a stretched forward foot with a bit of toe. I am seeing that because her hoof is stretched forward, it's like having toes that are already too long and making a bit of toe is just too much more at this point. I'll work on the toe.
I think her quarters have been mismanaged for over a year. I'll really have to scoop them. Do you think that unscooped quarters actually have a lot to do with dragging the heels forward?
Okay, I'll back up the toes and keep the angle.
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