Monday 15 July 2013

Foot balance, shoes and lameness - Itsy's udpate

Horses have a range of lameness when they arrive here. With some its as mild as a slight shortness in stride, noticeable only to someone knows the horse well and can contrast how they move when at their full potential.
With others, like Itsy, its much more dramatic.  She is only a young horse and was demonstrably lame in walk when she arrived. In trot on a circle (as you can see from the footage at the end) it was obviously uncomfortable for her to move. These stills from the clip contrast her landing on her worst foot (in shoes) on day one, above, and today, below. 
Of course its not just her front legs which have been affected. A freer stride in front means she can also properly step under behind.

Her lameness was first assessed in November 2011 and had been an on/off problem during 2012. MRI revealed impar ligament damage and navicular bursitis and although Itsy initially improved with remedial farriery the lameness recurred after a few months, hence her referral here. 
Over 8 weeks her nail holes have grown out and her palmar hoof has become stronger. There is an interesting change in the profile of her hoof wall, too - now straighter and less convex.
If you contrast her hairline, particularly towards the back of the hoof, you can see that instead of having heels which were under-run and becoming crushed, she has a more robust heel and digital cushion.
Of course her frog has become more substantial and her heels have de-contracted...
 ...but her foot is also re-orientating and re-balancing. Itsy is a good example of a horse whose foot balance is much better when she is loading centrally rather than peripherally, as in a shoe.
I've already posted footage of her landing, which improved over the first few weeks she was here. 

At that point she was still struggling on a circle but as her landing has become more established and her foot has strengthened she has steadily become more level in trot. Obviously, the new surface on the school has helped but its really only the icing on the cake, as she had already become noticeably more level when coming in from the field and as she was moving round the tracks. Here is her comparison footage.


lyndac said...

What a difference!

AmandaB said...

I thought the video was impressive but the stills really show how her length of stride has massively improved and that she can now use herself properly. I used to think she had a terrible trot before she became obviously lame but now with hindsight it was all down to discomfort and poor foot balance. Makes me shudder to realise how blind I have been. So now time to move on and look forward to a better future for her. Thanks so much Nic .

M's mum said...

What a difference in such a short space of time :-)

RedsMum said...

Amanda we've all been there, don't beat yourself up, think of the many horses whose owners don't give the horse the chance that Itsy's been given, well done you too!

Nic Barker said...

Very well said, Red's mum and agreed, Amanda, definitely time to move on and look forward :-)