Monday 14 October 2013

Thought for the day...flare in action

I've been meaning to post some more of the footage we took in HD slow motion but its taken til now to find the time.
Candy is one of the horses who starred in the film and there is no doubt that she doesn't have the most straightforward feet. She was a rehab who arrived here in 2012 and had been given a fairly dire prognosis from her vet. 

Her feet were symmetrical on day one but she was landing badly and was quite unsound. 

By the time she left she was developing less symmetrical feet but was standing and moving much better, although its her owner's hard work over the last year which has turned her into the rock-crunching pony who features in the footage. 
The reasons for her asymmetry and the logic behind leaving her "flare" alone all become clear when you see the footage of Candy in slow motion which was taken last month. 

Looking at her conformation in motion its obvious that her "flared" medial hoof wall is in fact necessary for her soundness. 

Candy is a 20 year old horse and you can't reasonably expect to change her wonky knees but by letting her hooves compensate she can still land comfortably, heel first, and load her limbs as evenly as possible. 


cptrayes said...

Yes but look how much less wonky the knee is now that the foot is wonky instead :-) and let's have a guess which wonkiness causes less problem!!

Molly's hoof blog said...


billie said...

This is reminding me of a naturapath (for humans) who once told me to beware taking the calluses off one of my feet b/c they were there for a reason. Interestingly at some point after that I started seeing a chiropractor too and learned that my left hip tends to rotate out, causing me to have a slight unevenness when I stand. The right foot forms the calluses - which I think evens my legs out a bit.

Do you have any thoughts on a horse who is barefoot, sound, but periodically develops a deep cleft in his right front frog? I treat it and can get it healed but eventually it returns. He does tend to use this particular hoof to splash in the trough during the summer months and that is generally when we get the deep cleft. I've treated him with CleanTrax with good results in the past.

I may be answering my own question by saying that this tended not to happen when he was ridden more regularly - and that it is somewhat better now that we've put in various kinds of stone in gateways, paddocks, etc. But it's curious to me that it's always the right front.

Kate Williams said...

This is really interesting. How many times have I asked you Nic "is Saffy's flare normal?". Saffy only has flare on one foot but this is the foot that she was sounder on. I believe her flare was to compensate for her opposite leg which had the issue. I still get funny looks all the time and comments on "you do know your has one foot that is massive compared to the other" Leave her flare well alone. She has been sound and happy for over 2 years now :)

Nic Barker said...

Love it Kate :-) Bring Saffy next year and we can film her in HD too! Would be FAB!

Billie, I suspect you've answered your own question, as one thing I see here is that frogs which aren't working hard aren't happy and can develop problems quite fast. One horse here got nasty central sulcus splits within 1 or 2 rounds of bar shoes so I'm with you that lack of work is probably the trigger :-)

C - I love it - the horses never EVER fail to come up with the best answers, do they ;-)

Nic Barker said...
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Milena said...

How much does slow-mo camera cost ?

billie said...

Thanks - he and I are back in work as of last week and our arena is a clay base with really nice stone screenings as the footing - it does a nice job on the hooves.

The last few trims he had done left him ouchy so we are back in work partly to let him self-trim and mostly to make both of us happy. :)

I passed on your blog address to daughter's riding instructor - she foxhunts on one of their horses and they have mostly barefoot OTTBs they use for lessons, polo-x, foxhunting, and general riding. I am always impressed when I see a bunch of hard-working horses sound and happy with bare feet!

Nic Barker said...

Milena - A LOT! I hired one just for the day - couldn't afford to buy one :-)