Friday, 13 July 2012

A study in medio-lateral balance: Roo

Here are some interesting shots for the true hoof nerds amongst you...Sole shots for Roo, who has been here since 11th May. I said earlier this week that the best way to assess whether a hoof is balanced is to look at it from the sole - since that's where it meets the ground and where loading is defined. 
Here is Roo in shoes - her LF which was her better foot.
Here she is on 27th May - so just over 2 weeks later (and look - it wasn't raining!). You get a better view of the heels, which are slightly under-run and a better view of the medio-lateral balance. If you draw an imaginary line top to bottom down the centre of the frog and compare the 2 sides of the foot, the lateral side (on the left here) is bigger and suggests she was loading that side more than the medial side. 
By 24th June - about 6 weeks after she arrived - the heels are looking much better though there is still a lot of change happening on the medial side particularly. Now a line down the frog would show a more balanced foot, though still more loaded on the lateral side. 
Today (and of course its raining as it has been all week...) both heels are better still - though they will improve again over the next few weeks. The bars are straighter, the frog no longer distorted and the foot looks as if its medio-lateral balance is now fairly good.
Here is her RF - the lamer foot. You have to assess this one on your own :-)
At 2 weeks...
At 6 weeks...(clue: check out the heels, bars, frog and draw that imaginary line...)

This foot was worse to start with and so is not yet in perfect balance but I hope you can see that (as with the LF) things are heading in the right direction. Its interesting that on this foot she was overloading medially, which is unusual. The change in frog orientation is another giveaway, of course.

These hooves are a good illustration of what I was talking about a few days ago because none of these changes can be achieved by trimming. These changes are the result of better growth coming down, and changes from within the hoof capsule  - they are a response to better loading and better stimulus and can't be achieved with a rasp or knife. 


Carolyn said...

My horse is in the exact same predicament. I just pulled her shoes so am hoping her feet will start to show the same improvements. I don't have the varied terrain that you have at Rockley. Do you think her feet will still be able to make these changes on their own? I hope so! Great blog...I am learning so much.

cptrayes said...

Radar's hind feet are both "unbalanced" with a frog displaced towards the inside. I adopt a celery approach, given that he is sound and it appears to be the foot he wants. Since he is happy to jump six foot hedges with them, then I assume that they are biomechanically suited to his body and that activity :-)

I take it this would meet with your approval ?? :-)))


Nic Barker said...

Lol C :-) hind feet ate different as all horses land on the lateral side first, unlike fronts where they should land evenly..! But I agree with you and more importantly, Radar does :-)