Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Jess' first fortnight

Jess is the next horse to get an update. As usual her initial photos are the uppers ones and todays photos are the lower ones.
She is going to have quite a steep angle change I think as her new hoof capsule grows in - ideal as it will shorten her toes and shift her weight back as her palmar hoof strengthens.  
You can see from this angle how the back of her foot is changing and the footage below confirms this.  
A bit too dark/muddy for good comparison but the digital cushion/hairline is looking better today.  
 The shorter toe is already clear from these photos - and there was no trimming required!
The change is equally clear from the sole shots, and you can see that the heels are more supportive. 
Her landing was flat rather than toe first when she arrived but its improved to become more like a heel first landing today. 

Her footage is here: https://vimeo.com/265178072

Monday, 16 April 2018

Vico's first fortnight

Its update time as the rehab horses who arrived at Easter have now been here for 2 weeks. I'm starting with Vico for no particular reason and will post photos of the others as we go through the week. 
As always his initial photos are at the top and the current update is the lower photo in each case.  For Vico the biggest change so far is that his frogs and palmar hoof are starting to work harder and are loading better than they were when he arrived. 
This IS the same foot, honestly - I am not sure where his white markings have gone but as he is changing his coat pretty fast at the moment maybe he is losing a few grey hairs! 
Terrible lighting I am afraid but you should just be able to make out an improving digital cushion and less under-run foot. 
Looking rather tatty at the moment which is a function of him using the palmar hoof more. It should get prettier over the next few weeks.  
Vico's comparison footage is here: https://vimeo.com/264948505

Monday, 9 April 2018

Hoof workshops

We've now got several Performance Hoof workshops scheduled and at the moment we have a few spaces at each, so if you are interested in bringing a horse or just coming to watch please get in touch: nic@rockleyfarm.co.uk.

Saturday 21st April      Crofthouse Farm, Briestfield Road, Dewsbury      

Saturday 5th May         Park Farm Stables, Otford, Kent                              

Saturday 26th May        Moorwood Equine, Stannington   S6

Sunday 27th May          Unthank Hall Farm, Holmesfield   S18                 

There is more about the workshops in the poster above - if you click on it you can enlarge it. If you've got questions or want to book just drop me an email :-)

Friday, 6 April 2018

Mickey's first blog post

Mickey is the last of the new arrivals, another who has been diagnosed on MRI with damage to the cartilage of the navicular bone and DDFT.
He has quite narrow, boxy feet and like the other new arrivals he has previously been shod and has only recently come out of shoes.
 Clearly his frogs and heels are contracted but Mickey is quite a tough chap and should be able to bounce back from this.

 On video he is landing toe first in front, as you would expect with his weak palmar hoof.
 He is also loading the lateral side of each front foot which typically indicates a medio-lateral imbalance. You can see on the sole shot above how the lateral side of his foot is more developed than the medial side and this is something we would want to see change over the next few weeks.

His footage is here: https://vimeo.com/263472811

Vico's first blog post

I am combining 2 horses today, something I hardly ever do but just because I am running out of weekdays.

First up is Vico, our third arrival, who also came at the weekend.
He is a warmblood dressage horse who has had low level lameness for 2 years which has been treated with remedial farriery and cartrophen. He had his shoes removed about 6 weeks ago and has come to us to see if his lameness can be improved.
He has not had an MRI but x-rays showed navicular bone damage.
He doesn't have bad looking frogs although his feet are relatively flat. He is landing toe first, as would be expected with his diagnosis.
 This is his more under-run foot and it will be interesting to see how it changes.
His initial footage is below, as usual.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Jess' first blog post

The second horse to arrive at the weekend was Jess who has been diagnosed on MRI with impar ligament and navicular bursa damage, worse on the right foot.
There was no damage associated with her DDFT and her palmar hoof is more robust than we often see.
She has a slight heel first landing, which is normally a sign of a reasonably comfortable palmar hoof, but is landing on the lateral side of both feet.

Although there was no lameness diagnosed on her left foot it is similar in appearance and landing to the right foot. Her toes are long of course but I expect that to resolve without trimming on the tracks.
An update on Jess will follow in a few weeks and her footage is below. 

Monday, 2 April 2018

Happy Easter and welcome to the new rehab horses

 After a short break it was a busy Easter weekend welcoming a new group of rehab horses to Rockley.  As usual, I will post their photos day by day and the first new arrival is Maysie from Essex.
Maysie is a 6 year old and has been diagnosed on MRI as having a medio-lateral imbalance and navicular changes in all 4 feet. Her palmar hooves are under-developed but could be a lot worse.
Its always particularly worrying when a young horse has lameness at such an early stage but fortunately her discomfort and poor landing were spotted quickly.

This foot looks the worst of the two if anything but as her lameness is relatively mild I hope it will quickly start to improve as her feet strengthen.
Maysie is landing toe first, as you might expect, and is also landing on the lateral side of both front feet. We need to see improvement in both these areas over the next few weeks.
Her footage is here: https://vimeo.com/262820337

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

17 years old and diagnosed with navicular - 3 years on

I got a great email a few days ago and I just had to post it here (with permission of course!).

Alfie is a wonderful Irish sports horse who came here for rehab in 2014. He had been diagnosed with "terminal navicular" and his first blog post with his original photos is here:   http://rockleyfarm.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/new-boy-another-alfie.html

His progress has not always been totally straightforward but he has had an extremely dedicated owner who has turned into a bit of a hoof obsessive, like many of us. His attention to detail and unrelenting care of Alfie's feet has certainly paid off.

Here is his email:

"I thought you might be interested – I had Alfie x-rayed today (to check on his hocks) but had his front feet done as well.

I hadn't had him x-rayed since his "terminal navicular diagnosis" just before he came down to you, on the basis that once he came back if he was having a full, athletic, and pain free life that's all that mattered, but I was nonetheless interested to see the x-rays of his front feet when I had the opportunity.

The vet advised that there was no abnormal wear and no wear that you wouldn't otherwise see in a 17 y.o. active horse, and no navicular diagnosis.

Interestingly, the front foot that I would consider much "healthier & better" of the two (better frog, wider heel, shorter toe), was in fact showing more wear (the sole thinner and a tiny bit more sign of age) – so I think that maybe he is favouring it (and that diagonal in general) a bit because it is stronger.

Anyway, what great news and what a rewarding result and recognition for your approach!"
As you can see, the pair have had a busy season and I was interested to hear about how they find hunting barefoot:

"Purely for feedback for you, my hunting this season has given me much more experience of the self trimming approach in this new context. My current thinking is, vs "shod":

1.      Surfaces  

a.      Better - overall it's much better, with better performance in plough (no lost shoes, less weight, easier to lift foot), wet ground, great on grass, no difference on jumping, fine on smooth tarmac (tho will slow down), (tarmac without gravel, or grit, or when the verge is accessible and safe), it's also safer on tarmac vs shoes as you don't slip when turning (to jump a wall etc) etc.

b.      Surfaces where I need to be careful – roads with gravel or grit basically, farm tracks made of broken stone, (where there is no good verge), and also;

c.      Cornering on slippery grass around headlands (you have to manage your balance), tho the horse becomes more aware of the slipperiness of what's under his feet and adjusts accordingly.

2.      Amount of work:

a.      I am convinced that not having the extra weight of shoes makes a big difference to the amount of energy expended during the day/how tired he gets.(i.e. I think lightweight racing plates taken to the extreme). This is a big plus as a less tired horse is safer etc.

b.      I think also the focus on better diet and its constituents makes for a stronger horse with better stamina.

3.      "Wear" to hoof:

      The extra work over multiple surfaces seems to benefit the foot, except on the days when there is lots of roadwork on roads where there is grit/gravel, and I think the sole gets sore (that was the event in my earlier email).  In VWH area this seems to be our low lying, wet areas where grit washes onto the roads. Think I might to skip those Saturdays in future, now I know which areas they are.

      So in conclusion self trim works fine / better, save that there is a need for some level of awareness and management / avoidance when on hard surfaces with grit/gravel/broken stone on top."