Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A better palmar hoof in action

There is no better way to assess a hoof than to see it in action. For me its impossible to judge a static hoof because its only when its loaded and moving that you can tell whether its balanced and functioning as well as it can.

Of course, once you have seen a horse's movement you probably have a pretty good clue about what might (or might not) be wrong with his feet but it should always be that way around. Its actually quite dangerous to pre-judge a hoof by its appearance alone.
Goofy on Vimeo.
Have a look at this comparative footage, for instance, taken 3 and a half months apart.
You can tell from the stills that the foot is healthier now (below) as compared to in November (above); the landing is more established and confident and the stride length is better - so you'd expect to see improvements in the back of the foot.
Sure enough, comparing the hoof photos there is the confirmation.
 Someone asked last week for a critique of good and bad hooves - and for the reasons above I would be reluctant to critique any hoof on the basis of photos alone.
Using the footage to demonstrate improved movement, though, you can see that the foot today (above) has a healthier frog, less contracted heels and the sole is more symmetrical - which indicates better media-lateral balance. Deeper collateral grooves and better concavity are outward signs of better sole depth and a stronger hoof capsule.
This foot is only just over halfway growing in a stronger hoof so there is still more improvement to come. In the upper photo the horizontal mark is immediately below the hairline.
Today its just over halfway down the hoof and the profile both of the hairline and the back of foot is improved. Once the new growth is all the way down the toe will be shorter and the entire hoof more supportive. 

3 comments:

Angela L said...

Hi Nic, I just have to say how much I enjoy your blog about the goings on at Rockley Farm and also express my appreciation for all the educational material you post. I took my mare bare a year ago and have had varying degrees of success. You blog has given me the courage to press on and find the real reasons why things were not improving as they should. I believe I have finally figured out the body issues that were the real culprit and finally see the beginnings of the heel first landing. Thank you again! Angela in Arizona

SHADBELLY blog said...

Fascinating work work you are doing with the horses at Rockley Farm, Nic. We're about to undertake construction of a new, small-scale equestrian facility here in Florida and you've got us rethinking how our horses really should live. Keep posting!

Nic Barker said...

What lovely comments - thank you both :-) Much appreciated!