Friday, 8 January 2021

Rockley - locked down, still working and moving online!

Its a beautiful, if cold, morning on Exmoor and there is a lot going on a Rockley. Like everyone else in the UK, we are in lockdown but as with the first lockdown we are fortunately able to carry on working safely, which is a great relief. 

We have new horses arriving next week and will be taking all the usual precautions to keep their owners, the horses and us as safe as possible. We can't allow visiting, as we would normally do, so I'll be posting as much as I can on here and on social media to try and make up. 

In the meantime, I've been planning a new series of webinars all about the barefoot horse for the New Year. These will build on each other over online sessions of about an hour at a time and would be for a small group only, so there will be a charge, but I'll post more details shortly. Until then, hug your horses and keep smiling!

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Buddy's update - eleven weeks

Buddy has been here for 11 weeks and so its time for a review. Buddy had already been out of shoes a whole before he arrived but his landing was stubbornly toe first and he had poor medio-lateral balance, particularly on his LF. 

His landing is now much improved and although he didn't have terrible feet, they are tider to look at, as well, with a shorter toe. 

His frogs and palms hoof have developed considerably, as you can see, and the  back of his foot is much stronger than it was. His landing is now heel first and he is generelaly more confident. 

This is also a more balanced foot, although he still has a tendency to land laterally. As hie grows in more of his new hoof capsule this should continue to improve. 

its usually a sign of long hoof wall when it chips or cracks, and in Buddy's case this was probably true as he has not been trimmed over the time he has been here but his feet nevertheless look shorter and neater. Most rehab hroses self-trim, not just here but once they are home as well, as growth and wear balance to the horse's movement.

Again, a much more developed frog and a shorter, stronger foot, which is what we want. consistent work will be the key to keeping this going forwards. 

Monday, 23 November 2020

Valentina's 12 week update

Valentina went home this weekend so its a chance to review how she has done. As usual, her top phtos are from the day she arrived and her lower photos are the comparison from 12 weeks later. 

The LF is definitely her worst foot, as her landing on this foot has not yet improved enough for her to be back in full work. This is unusual, as the majorioty of horses are working 4 times a week by this stage but occasionally wehvae a horse who does not play by the rules and Valentina is one of those! Still, her stance is showing a better foot than she had on arrival so she may well develop a better landing over the next few months. 

This is now a different shaped and much healthier looking foot but her frog is under-developed compared to the RF and it is this which is probably impacting her landing. 

Again, from this angle her foot has a better digital cushion than it had when she arrived, but this has not yet been enough to give her a good landing. It may be a question of more time, but its impossible to be sure. 

Not the best angle of photo as it has made her feet look boxy, which they aren't, so apologies for that! This is actually her better foot where she has developed a heel first landing and a better stride length as a result. 

Again, the angle is not great, but she has a shorter toe now and a stronger frog, which is good to see. 

From this perspective its easy to see how her digital cushion has improved and her foot balance improved, despite the poor light for taking photos. 

We're keeping everything crossed that Valentina will continue to improve back home over the winter. 


Friday, 16 October 2020

Buddy's 3 week update - with photos

 You know how technology is either brilliant or a massive waste of time which absorbs hours and gets you nowhere? It feels a bit like that here at the moment, as my iPad is out of action (and has been for 4 weeks already!) and although my slow motion camera is still working we've had 3 attempts at getting Buddy's footage and photos...

Anyway, finally here we are and Buddy's footage is now up here:

Buddy was already barefoot when he arrived, which always helps as the foot is already used to loading more centrally and to receiving much more stimulus than in shoes. However, you can still see that Buddy's feet, even after 3 weeks, are undergoing some good changes.

Buddy was landing toe first/flat when he arrived despite being barefoot so development of the back of the foot was, as ever, going to be an important part of the process. You can see that his frogs have made good progress already and this has led to him developing a better landing and stronger foot. 

His feet were pretty long when he arrived but there has been no need to trim him, his feet are doing a great job of rebalancing and strengthening through better movement. 

These aren't the best angles for comparison but you can see from the lower photos that his palmar hoof is stronger and his toe shorter than when he arrived, both good signs.

The interesting thing is that you could have simply trimmed his foot to look a bit more as it does now but that would have missed the most important element, the stronger frog and digital cushion. That sort of development only comes through better movement. 

Buddy's feet are becoming more balanced but he still has a tendency to load laterally. This has improved from the top photo but we've got a way to go before his foot balance is where it needs to be. 

More next week, with fewer tech problems I hope!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Rebel's 3 week update

 Intermittent posting at the moment, I am afraid, as my tech has been letting me down but we are pleased with new arrivals Buddy and Rebel who have been working hard to grow new feet over the last 3 weeks. 

I'll update with photos as well but for now wanted to post Rebel's footage, which shoes some good progress especially on her LF and a generally more confident landing. 

Her full footage is here for comparison: and check back for her photos soon!


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Valentina's 4 week update

Valentina has been here 4 weeks so its time for an update. She arrived with a very clear toe first landing and a lameness which was worse on her LF. 
Over the last 4 weeks she has started to develop better structure in her palmar hoof but the improvement has been faster on her RF while her LF is still landing toe first. There are signs though that this foot is changing, with slightly better balance and a less under-run heel. 

On her better foot she is looking more upright but her toe is shorter and her landing on this foot is much better than when she arrived. 
Its not uncommon for one foot to improve faster than the other, especially when there is a long term lameness, so we will monitor Valentina over the next couple of weeks and keep working her on easy surfaces in the meantime. 

Valentina's comparison footage is here: