Wednesday 5 March 2014

The advantages of a never-shod hoof

I know quite a few regular blog readers have been intrigued by Gemini, who arrived here just over 2 weeks ago. Because she has never been shod its natural to assume she should have very healthy feet. 

That's true, as far as it goes, but a healthy foot doesn't mean a horse will never suffer injury. After all, athletes suffer injuries all the time but - here's the important thing - they will probably recover pretty quickly as well. 
This is exactly what has happened with Gemini. She has feet which are used to loading and working normally and which are basically robust.

However, despite everyone's best efforts her feet became unbalanced and she suffered an injury which prevented her from landing properly - her landing on arrival was toe first, as you can clearly see from the still taken from her initial footage.
But here's the difference between Gemini's feet and those of a horse who has been in shoes long term. Its only taken 2 weeks for her to start rebalancing her feet and landing heel first. 

These are also interesting comparison shots for those who think horses should be fine landing toe first. Compare the extension (what biomechanists would call the cranial phase of the stride) and stride length between her landing toe first and heel first - and feel free to show these to anyone who thinks that a toe-first landing really is ok ;-) 


cptrayes said...

Oh I the dog in that video!!

MY turn on the catwalk!!!!!!

C :-)

Nic Barker said...

:-) They are shocking, C - I have to run so many takes due to dog interference...!