Saturday, 29 January 2011

How long toes affect the back of the hoof

Following the photos I posted yesterday of the TB with long, crumbly toes, I thought it would be interesting to plot how the state of his feet, and particularly the long toes, were affecting how his limb loaded. 

 The 2 photos were taken only minutes apart, and all I have done is take the shoes off and lightly trim the weak, chipped hoof wall.  This horse has a weak caudal hoof and, in shoes, you can see why.

The vertical red line in both photos goes from the weight-bearing point at the back of the hoof.   This point shifts considerably once the shoes are off and you can see how the long toe and underrun heel in the top photo had made it extremely difficult for the horse to engage the caudal hoof.

7 comments:

Jenny said...

Question:
In a severe case where a horse's hooves are never trimmed, especially during its development, do you think that eventually as the toe grows out longer and longer in front... the fetlock and pastern tissues would break down and lead to conformational faults such as "soft pasterns" or "low fetlocks?"
This horse has good lower leg conformation.... but I have seen many horses with both long toes and soft pasterns. (I have an ancient conformation book in which they describe this as being "coon-footed"). I always wonder which came first... did the angle of the hoof adversely effect the tissues of the lower leg... or did the lower leg create the run-under hoof?

Thanks!

clairesgarden said...

very much looking forward to following your progress on this, such a good idea to document every stage.

Nic Barker said...

Thanks Claire - there a few things more fascinating than watching hooves change :-)

cptrayes said...

Now there is some farriery to bring farriery into disrepute - pu ton FOUR weeks ago? What was he/she thinking of????

C

Nic Barker said...

I know, Caroline - most of the farriers I know would be as (or even more) appalled than we are :-) There is no excuse, though...

Nic Barker said...

Jenny, who knows ?! Long toes usually = weak caudal hoof and that's always going to affect pastern angle. I don't think its primarily a trimming issue, though...I've got lots to post on that later this week :-)

Jenny said...

Thanks Nic...
I also suspect soft pasterns to be more than just a trimming issue... but I've heard it both ways. Some people say it's a result of poor trimming, or no trimming in some cases.... whereas others see it as a conformational defect. I was just curious what your view was on it.