Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Rose's 3 week update - changing hooves which are landing badly

Rose is, as you can see, making some fairly dramatic changes to her feet. She was landing very toe first when she arrived and although she is improving she is not yet landing heel first on the concrete. 
However she is definitely building up her palmar hoof so I am hopeful that she will be strong enough for a better landing soon. 
This was her lamest foot when she arrived. Of course it is still under-run and still has a long way to go before it is a healthy foot but there are encouraging signs that she is heading the right way with a much healthier frog and bars and heels which are becoming more supportive. 

These are the first small steps towards healthier hooves. Rose has not progressed as far or as fast as some of the other horses who arrived at the same time as her but like them she is developing a stronger palmar hoof which is the precursor to a better landing.  
I suspect there will be a very different angle of growth visible at the toe as well in a few more weeks. 

Basically this is a foot which is still weak but is starting to function like a foot again. The long hoof wall has not been trimmed so all the changes in her feet have happened simply with increased movement and stimulation from the surfaces on the tracks. 
Although Rose is not yet landing as well as I hope she will be in a few weeks the changes in her feet show the importance of allowing horses to move on conformable surfaces when they have weak feet. 
These surfaces provide essential stimulus to the frog, heels and soles even when horses are not landing optimally and so allow weak areas of the hoof to begin to develop without excessive strain.  


Sara said...

do you allow her \ horses on the track surfaces even if they are still lame to get the benefits of movement on these surfaces?

the shoes came of my horse 11 days ago (MRI diagnosis of Navicular and DDTF damage which 10 months of remedial farrier has failed to help at all), but I've kept him turned out 24/7 on grass and had planned to leave him on grass until he is sound on grass before progressing to concrete \ other surfaces.

I've mailed you regarding him possibly coming to you at Rockley Farm but no response yet and I'm unclear how to balance improving hoof quality by movement over different surfaces and not putting him on harder surfaces until he's sound on softer ones

Sara said...

I'm currently reading your e-book Performance Hoof, Performance Horse, which is excellent and going some way to answer my question.
I gather my horse should be on a "deformable surface" but I'm not sure what that is.
My fields are pretty soft, certainly at the moment, but would he benefit from being walked on my sand arena (he can't be turned out in it as he digs holes in it) or should I create an area with pea gravel or bark for greater palmar stimulation? (I had planned to move to these once he looks sound in the field but what with navicular \ DDFT damage and flat feet \ underrun heels i'm not sure he'll ever land heel first)

Nic Barker said...

Hi Sara,
I don't think I have had an email from you so could you resend to nic@rockleyfarm.co.uk?

The secret to improving a toe first landing as you can see from this post is to get the back of the foot receiving some stimulation but not so much pressure that it continues to strain the soft tissue which has been injured. Usually a soft field does not provide enough stimulus - sometimes it does so if you have nothing else then thats worth a try.

I am reluctant to recommend exercise when I haven't seen the horse as what is beneficial for one is not for another who has a worse landing but if you want to start walking him then let his soundness be your guide.