Saturday, 18 April 2009

Hoof growth rate

...the other question people ask a lot is why our horses feet don't wear down to stubs when they are hunting barefoot. 

Here is why.

The lower photo is Uriel, one of our rehab horses, who arrived here on 26th March.  The photo was taken the next morning, just before I took his shoes off. 

The top photo is Uriel yesterday - 3 weeks later.  Bear in mind that he is only in light work on conformable surfaces, because his hooves have a long way to go before they are fully fit.  

Despite this, you can see from the line in his hoof wall how much hoof capsule he has grown in this very short time.  

We see this time and time again with barefoot horses that are living and working on abrasive surfaces - their rate of hoof growth is stratospherically greater than that of a shod hoof, or an unshod hoof on soft ground. Great for us - means we can turn feet around quicker, most of the time :-) 

What is already clear with Uriel, which is very encouraging, is that his "new" white hoof, once its fully grown in, will be much more similar in angle to his black hoof.  He has a lot of changes to go through, but he is doing his best to grow good feet as fast as he can :-)


cptrayes said...

He's on target for coronet to floor at heel in 9-12 weeks and coronet to floor at toe in 16-20. No wonder he was unsound in shoes!


Nic Barker said...

He even eats his tea fast :-) Turbo-charged warmblood for sure!

I'll post dorsal views next time - his hoof capsule on the white foot was way off where it will be once his new hoof capsule has grown in...Don't think he liked peripheral loading ;-)