Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Changing flat feet

A couple of quick comparison pics of Ruby, who arrived here 8 weeks ago. Although she had a reasonable palmar hoof her feet were flat and she'd had a recently bruised sole. She found stony ground a struggle and was clearly feeling her feet.
Today she is much more comfortable and her feet are beginning to build some good concavity. You can faintly see a ridge which extends from the bars round the sole. I've always found this is an indication of thin, weak soles and that as concavity and internal sole depth improves the ridge disappears, as this one is doing now. 
A lot of trimmers like to take down bars and ridges like this but in my experience its usually a mistake which makes horses sore. If you think about it, a weak foot will gain a lot of stability from them - as well as protection for the sensitive internal structures of the foot.

Once the whole foot is stronger then this extra support is no longer needed and wears away on its own. As is so often the case, when it comes to hooves, the horse knows best!

3 comments:

Julie Highton-spencer said...

What a difference! Vast lmprovement.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Is this the case of leave the foot alone BUT provide it with terrain in which it stimulates and softly exfoliates the hoof to get it to change on it's own, in time, when ready. Was this horse exercised as well, or left until less footy?

Nic Barker said...

She has been in work for several weeks, Kristen, but we've been careful with surfaces.