Friday, 22 April 2016

Deep flexor damage and long toes

New boy Thomas, who was bred to showjump, arrived yesterday.  Like many horses who come here he has a deep flexor tendon injury which occurred in 2014. He had steroid treatment and remedial farriery which didn't really improve him.  
He has been better since having his shoes off but as you can see from the photos these are still weak feet and he is still lame in front. 
The temptation with feet like these is always to shorten the toe and shift the horse's weight back under himself but that doesn't really work because you are moving the load onto an area which is still weak - the back of the foot.
Instead, the better option with a foot like this is to allow the horse to rebuild the strength in the back of the foot first. Once this is in place the horse will be only too happy to have a shorter toe and less under-run heel. The beauty of doing it this way round is that the horse stays comfortable and makes changes to his feet at a slower pace, allowing muscles, tendons and ligaments to adjust as well.
I am hoping for some good changes from Thomas very soon!

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