Low Plantar Angles - Update - The Horse Forum
 18Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 08-28-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 30
• Horses: 0
Low Plantar Angles - Update

I recently posted a thread on my suspicion that my TWH mare suffered from low / negative plantar angles, and asked for advice. I'll put my original post below. I received a lot of useful observations and advice from several forum members, especially @gottatrot @dogpatch @loosie and @4horses . Here's an update. And I welcome all comments and advice:

1) I reviewed all videos I have of my mare "stumbling" / "dipping " (under saddle) with her hind legs - in super slo-mo. In every case where she stumbled or "dipped", it was clearly caused by the knuckle-over of either right or left hind foot, after she placed her foot toe-first. And this ONLY occurred in the ring (deep sand) - and never on flat surfaces (road or trail). From what I've read, this is a symptom of LPA.

2) I noticed swelling in both of her hind fetlocks over a month ago. And I now suspect this was partly - if not wholly - due to her low plantar angles (hopefully now improved through trimming), as well as her occasional knuckle-overs. The swelling is almost all gone now.

3) After over a month of stall rest - transitioned to pasture turn-out - the outward bowing of her hocks is almost all gone, and only occasionally appears when walking on a lunge line (in circles, of course). When I film her walking in straight lines, I see no bowing, although her hocks seem "tentative" when she places her feet. Wringing? Don't know. But I do know that she has sickle hocks, which is apparently common - and even desirable? - in some TWH's and even jumpers. I believe that the higher angles (now) of her hind hooves, and muscular development, will marginally reduce her sickle hocks as time goes by.

4) My mare still shows an occasional shorter LH stride, but this seems to be improving daily now.

5) I have no intention of training my mare for "big lick" work. She is flat shod, and will remain that way for life.

6) My vet diagnosed, treated, and cured (go ahead and disagree with the use of that last word) my previous horse with EPM, after which she became a not-too-shabby barrel racer, jumper, pole bender, cow-sorter, and all-around cantering, galloping, and "running walking" versatile athlete. So yes, my vets and I are well versed in the symptoms of EPM. My new filly does not show symptoms. My vets are also fairly sure that DLSD is not evidenced by what they've seen.

7) Based on the video evidence, and the last two vet's gait exams of my filly, my farrier and vets will Xray her hind feet next week. Following what they find (she's barefoot now), we'll proceed with neural blocking, further Xrays, and / or remedial shoeing as necessary.

I'll update further when I have news. I welcome input, and hope this and my past thread are of help to others in the future. Here's my original post below.




"I bought a young TWH mare 5 months ago. When I looked her over, I noticed very long toes on all 4 hooves, very elongated hooves, almost no heel under coronet bands, and she had clearly not had any significant hoof care in months (lots of dead frog tissue and overgrown bars on soles). But when I took her for an easy ride in the ring, I didn't see or feel any problems.

I had her shoes removed for transport to my barn. Then I had my farrier trim her fronts (arrived with 45 degrees or sharper) and rears (arrived sharper than 50 degrees). My farrier trimmed her to increase the angles as much as we agreed was safe, trimmed her again 6 weeks later, then shod her again to allow her heels to grow out.

While riding her in the ring about a month ago - just flat walk or running walk, her hocks tended to bow outward (laterally), she would often take short strides with her left hind leg, and she would occasionally "dip" both hind legs - as though she suddenly lost strength. To me, it was obvious that she was in pain. Also: I noticed that her hind legs often appeared "stiff" when walking in the videos I took of her. And standing at rest, she often tended to "park-out" in a "sawhorse" posture. I have since learned that these are all symptoms of Low Plantar Angles. But she gives me no resistance when I manipulate her hind legs (no obvious signs of pain in fetlocks, hocks, or stifles).

I had my vet do a thorough gait exam. She basically determined that my mare had pain, but couldn't identify the specific area(s) - feet, fetlocks, hocks, stifles, or hips / pelvis.

I did some reading on low plantar angles, and am fairly convinced that that is the issue with my mare. I put her on stall rest, trimmed her two more times, and left her barefoot. Her last trim took her almost to what I believe are the ideal angles for her conformation (approx 50 deg in fronts and 56 deg in rears). She now has about an inch of heel under her coronet bands, her hoof walls seem to be gradually expanding, and hooves are more rounded (not elongated, as they were when I got her).

My question: I recently took her for a brief ride in the ring (flat walk and running walk) and filmed it. The bowing of her hocks is reduced - but not gone. The stride length of her left hind is only slightly shorter than right hind (and only intermittent). But I did see her do the hind-end "dip" thing twice in 15 minutes. So I know she still has some pain.

So my question is this, if anyone can answer it: Will it take very long for her pastern and canon bones (and ligaments) to adjust to her new feet (and, ideally, positive plantar angles)? She still shows some signs of pain, apparently. Should I keep her on stall rest a while longer?

FYI, she's still growing (has a much better diet, and appetite than when I got her), she's building bulk and developing muscle mass, and is on a supplement with MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Hyaloronic Acid, and Hydrolyzed Collagen).

Thanks!"
carshon likes this.

Last edited by RichardX; 08-28-2019 at 11:59 PM.
RichardX is offline  
post #2 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 04:48 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 332
• Horses: 0
Hi RichardX,
I don't remember how much I shared with you on your first thread, so some of this may be repetitive. But I'm hoping I can give you some timeline perspective with what's been going on with my 17 year old TWH mare since I bought her around Christmas, 2018.


Since we're talking plantar angles, I'll share some right hind sole shots of my mare from 1/10, which was her SECOND trim. I didn't have the guts to do what I did on the first trim.


The first picture is the Pre-trim picture of the right hind. I've outlined a very prominent toe callus, which mirrors the outline of the coffin bone. The material between this ridge and the hoof wall is lamellar wedge, the result of her toe being allowed to stretch forward, which drags along the heels and everything in between, thinning the sole. I believe this could contribute to negative plantar angles and a WHOLE lot of stress on the soft tissues.


The second picture is the right hind just after I beveled the wall and wedge to just in front of the toe callus. This was the beginning of her rehab. At this time, all four feet were plattered out like this. Eight months on, I am still dismayed at the amount of stretch in the white lines, but they are resolving, and should be pretty tight by next January.


The degree of "plattering" of her feet, the collapse of her heels and the internal stress on her legs, caused her fetlock joints to knuckle forward with toe-first landing, then the joints would "snap" back into place upon heel contact. Actually, I believe this motion was caused by caudal heel pain, as a result of soft tissue strain and degenerated caudal foot, which may or may not have involved negative palmar and plantar angles. I did not call on professionals, although in April, I had my vet come out for a lameness exam, which the mare passed, despite my knowing that she was not yet "right". From December through April, the mare was in padded hoof boots 23/7. She graduated out of boots when she could walk more or less without knuckling joints. (It is only within the last two months that this problem has complete resolved itself.) I did not get radiographs done, because unless there was something going on like sidebone, my approach would have been the same...relieve weight bearing/shear force on the walls and pad/boot the horse so she could walk comfortably, which promotes circulation and healing. I did not ride her until April, when she was BEGINNING to lose the clacking joints and achieve something closer to a flat or heel first landing.


So, the next picture is the left fore (which would involve palmar angles as opposed to plantar angles), shows the "deflated, run forward heel of the left fore on 1/10/19.


Following this, the same foot a couple of days ago. Seven months. As you can see, I haven't gained much in the angle of the toe, only about 1.5 degrees. That will come as a tighter connection between bone and wall continues to grow down. It's the heel that is important. If there's any "lift" occurring at the back of the coffin bone to correct the palmar angle, it is due to "uppening" as a result of internal caudal foot development. This heel is strong enough to land on, despite the fact that the foot is still remodeling, and may be for another year or more. The heel has developed because the toe has been kept back diligently and during her first four months of rehab, padded boots, which allowed her to move more comfortably and get the circulation she needed to rebuild those tissues in the heel.



Basically, what I'm offering is a sort of timeline of internal healing. When I began this process, there were times that I totally despaired of ever healing her. Her back was sunken and her right fore turned out at a 45 degree angle from compensatory movement. Those disabilities have corrected, but I would judge her to be very weak, so we are taking physical conditioning very slowly as her hooves continue to remodel. She is learning to gait (again?) where before she was very tight and pacey.


Take it slow and do not let yourself become discouraged.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rt Hind Pre Trim 1-10-19.jpg (297.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Rt Hind Post Trim 1-10-19.jpg (257.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg left fore 1-10-19a.jpg (107.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Left Fore 8-28-19.jpg (250.3 KB, 0 views)
gottatrot and RichardX like this.
dogpatch is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 06:35 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 332
• Horses: 0
Notice in the sole shots her medial heel wall (the upper one) is curled underneath. She was like that in all four feet. Still having trouble with the left fore.
gottatrot likes this.
dogpatch is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 06:59 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 19,824
• Horses: 0
Hi,

Quote:
In every case where she stumbled or "dipped", it was clearly caused by the knuckle-over of either right or left hind foot, after she placed her foot toe-first. And this ONLY occurred in the ring (deep sand) - and never on flat surfaces (road or trail). From what I've read, this is a symptom of LPA.
Yes. Just not ONLY LPA. There are a range of things that can cause this. Of course, you haven't shared any pics, so I don't know the state of her feet.

Quote:
I noticed swelling in both of her hind fetlocks over a month ago. And I now suspect this was partly - if not wholly - due to her low plantar angles (hopefully now improved through trimming), as well as her occasional knuckle-overs. The swelling is almost all gone now.
Yeah, 'LPA' or whatever other imbalances, stresses, combined with too much work especially(which can be minimal in a growing lass) first causes soft tissue damage, often including swelling, before, if chronic, it will cause joint & bone changes. Great that it's gone down, but IME, as mentioned, in the majority of cases, 'LPA' in hind feet comes from 'upstairs' issues, so you can't fix it SOLELY with hoofcare.

It's generally not something you can just 'trim your way out of' anyway. - Sure, you can change angles by trimming the toe wall shorter, leaving heels longer for eg, but this IME doesn't fix the problem, at least in the long term. I think the above eg is a good one to illustrate that - the foot was slightly 'run forward' to begin with. The Toe wall was shortened, but the heel platforms left, to 'raise the angle'. Unfortunately this has resulted in the whole foot being more 'run forward' and heel walls are now very long, forward, and starting to buckle under the pressure. While raising heel walls(in relation to the toe at least) will indeed raise palmer/plantar angles immediately, it is *support under the frog* which is needed, or else, being peripherally loaded on distorted walls, the internal foot will just drop down further over time.

Yeah, leg angles - such *** 'sickle hocks' can indeed change with hoof angle changes, but again, it's not necessarily *because* of hoof angles they're like that - and it may be a case of chicken or the egg - are her hoof angles a result of leg angles/upstairs issues? Certainly with combination of sickle hocks, bowing out at the hocks, short LH... I would be thinking it's far from ONLY plantar angles that are a problem.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
loosie is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 07:50 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 332
• Horses: 0
Loosie, I know I stuck my neck out with my post, If it's inappropriate, please delete if you are able. But please help me out. What does eg mean?

I have not left the heel walls long to gain height. They are barely above the sole plane and I take a little off each trim , but don't want to trim level with the sole. The walls were curled under at the heels when I got her, this foot being the worst.

I am now mortally embarrassed so will withdraw further comment. My apologies.
dogpatch is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 08:16 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 19,824
• Horses: 0
No Dogpatch, sorry if I made you feel like that - I think your post is very appropriate & helpful, to better understand stuff.

Eg is just short for 'for example'.

Many vets & farriers want higher heels(or wedge shoes) to 'correct' the internal angles, but leaving extra to the heels does tend to make them distort/collapse for one, doesn't encourage them to grow more *strongly & straighter, to provide a good 'landing gear' for the back of the foot, and it doesn't support/help raise the *internal structure* where it's needed, but being further peripherally loaded, can allow matters there to become worse, as the internal foot 'drops' further.

So if you're not leaving heels long to 'gain height' why are you doing it? Why don't you want to trim them to the sole plane(or close), as with the rest of the foot? Long but 'run under' heels can be a reason for low or negative angles too.

What I would do in your case Dogpatch, (of course, only going off a few pics this is 'educated guess' as lots else to consider)would be to trim the ground surface to be uniform all round with the sole plane *depending on comfort - sometimes you might want to leave a tad of extra heel height, but I *guess* in her case, she'd be OK. I'd probably bevel the heels slightly, to 'relieve' the back of them & allow them to 'relax' back & become straighter. I'd keep the toes strongly bevelled, to allow the stretching there to grow out without undue force. And if her heels were too low/weak, I'd provide padding under the frog(you can get tailor made 'frog support wedges' off Easycare, to see what I mean), to support under the internal caudal foot, NOT under the heel walls - with more support under the frog, this will also take further pressure off those heel corners & allow them to become more vertical.

And many vets & farriers believe permanent support under the frog is the only way to fix NPA's - Eg(for example) Fixed shoes with pads - and that is certainly the easiest route for owners, no fiddling about, and it depends how much work, environment etc, but I (& others) have found that using frog support in boots just when the horse is working, or part time, is indeed helpful, so it is possible for the horse to stay barefoot for the most part & still help this. And fixed shoes, while I don't believe they're *necessarily* unhelpful in this sort of case, do, by their very nature, further load the walls, including, unless specially done, those heel walls that you DON'T want to overload.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg

Last edited by loosie; 08-29-2019 at 08:24 PM.
loosie is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 30
• Horses: 0
@loosie I wish I'd photographed her hooves when I got her. I didn't. All I have are her original, and current, hoof dimensions, which I have illustrated here. Since my "artwork" is so lousy, I didn't even try to sketch her frogs or bars. But the original dimensions were, to sat the least, alarming. And they were roughly the same for all 4 feet.

As I said in my first post, toes were very long and sharp, and almost no heel under coronet bands.

I'll take pics of her hooves next week, following her next trim.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hoof Dims.jpg (59.7 KB, 1 views)
loosie likes this.

Last edited by RichardX; 08-29-2019 at 09:18 PM.
RichardX is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 30
• Horses: 0
Thanks @dogpatch . Again, very useful info. Hope you get your horse healthy on all fours soon! And please don't hesitate to throw in your 2 cents worth. I wish my filly had had something approaching normal hoof dimensions when I got her. But months of neglect got her to where she was. I'll update more with vids tonight. Coming.
RichardX is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 30
• Horses: 0
@dogpatch and @loosie : I have to admit that I'm a "Technosaur". I deleted several youtube clips - not thinking they would disappear on this site. But here's a "compilation" of 4 different knuckle-overs I filmed between May and July - with both hind feet. PLEASE NOTE: I have hours and hours of footage from when I first started training my filly. Almost all of it is fine. But if you saw this video and nothing else, you might say, "My God! That horse is unsound and in deep trouble!" Remember: these are all 5-10 second clips taken from 10-20 minute rides over a period of months. I just dug through all my footage on my computer to isolate these knuckle-overs, then zoomed-in and ran in super slo-mo (I don't know how to do that with youtube clips, but maybe you non-technosaurs know how to do that?

Anyway, I now see clearly that this only occurs 1) in the deep sand of the indoor arena, and 2) when turning in circles. I have no footage of her doing this when walking in straight lines. And I've never felt her stumbling under me on flat ground or trails. But I think pain in her pasterns and fetlocks (from LPA as well as knuckle-overs - and yes, possibly other issues) may have caused problems further up her legs (hocks, stifles, hips?).
My plan now is to keep her walking in fairly straight lines, doing some uphill work (which seems to help a bit), and now focus on feet and fetlocks at my next vets' gait exam (with farrier) next week. I think these video clips will help my vets to better identify the issue(s) so we can start with feet Xrays and proceed with further imaging / neural blocking / remedial shoeing as necessary.


I'll post another clip of a ring ride recently, when I tried an experiment that a trainer I trust implicitly, as well as several forum contributors, recommended: take her on the trail, do some uphill work at a walk, then film her in the ring afterward to see if it helped or hurt.
RichardX is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 08-29-2019, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 30
• Horses: 0
Here's a vid from a few days ago - after I took her for a 30 minute trail ride, at a walk, and did a couple of uphills. Looks to me like this actually helped: Less toe-stabbing and no knuckle-overs, no turning of hocks, and LH stride much improved (same length as RH stride, most of the time) with good overreach and break-overs.

RichardX is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome