Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Last post for this weeK: Amy

The last horse of the new arrival is Amy. Its clear from her photos that her front feet are very different  but in fact she has had lameness issues with both front feet, 
Historically this is of course a weak foot and has probably never been as robust as it should be in terms of palmar hoof strength. However that is something that can certainly change and improvements here are what we will look for over the next few weeks. 
Her frogs are weak on this foot, as you would expect, but actually her digital cushion looks much better from this angle. 
From this view the difference between her feet is very obvious and its an indication that in the past she has used the RF much less than the LF. The lameness on the left is more recent and could be the result of overloading over time but we can't be sure. 
The frog on this foot is better and as with the other 2 arrivals there is a lot to like. 

Amy's footage is here :

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

More on the new horses: Apollo

The second new horse to arrive is Apollo, who is a local from Devon. He has ostensibly good feet but has not been in consistent work since before May and each time he has been brought back into work his lameness has recurred.  
This is his worse foot historically and it doesn't look too bad but there is an asymmetry in his medio-lateral balance which is also clear on video. 
Nevertheless there is lots to like about Apollo's feet, and most importantly his landing is already much better than it was. 
When you take photos there are clear differences between his left and right foot. We'd want to see these normalise over time. 
This is a more balanced foot as well, with better palmar hoof strength, so it would be good to see his other foot become more similar. 

Apollo's initial footage is here:

Monday, 9 September 2019

New rehab horses arriving: Frank

New horses arrived this weekend and there will be plenty of pics to follow on Instagram as the weather has been gorgeous and they are extremely photogenic!
For now these feet belong to Frank, a Highland who is expert at batting his lashes at us and his new friends in a charm offensive, which has been very effective!
He has good solid feet - his hinds have never been shod - but has had recurrent lameness in front which of course is why he is here. 
These are basically nice feet and he has been out of shoes a few months so although he is not 100% on stony ground he has a head start in building better feet. 
There is of course lots of room for improvement and his medio-lateral balance in particular is something that needs to develop but I am feeling quite positive that he will make progress fairly rapidly. 
Franks' footage is here:

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Home time and holidays

I'm posting a quick update as DB is off home tomorrow and I wanted Gill to have updates as she can't get down to collect him herself. As ever, the original photo is at the top and the most recent one below. 
DB came with a fairly severe RF lameness. Like Harvey, who left last week, he pointed his RF almost all the time and was reluctant to properly load it. He has been slower to improve, partly I suspect because he is a bigger horse and doesn't have the useful chunk of pony toughness which Harvey had.  Nevertheless he has made good progress although there is still a lot more to do. 
His frog is improving and therefore his palmar hoof is becoming stronger. Over time this should continue to get better but for now he is landing heel first and so more mileage once he is home should allow his progress to continue. 
HIs feet are also becoming less flat. This is a work in progress which will take at least another 3-4 months since he has to grow in a full new hoof capsule. 
Its hard to see changes from this angle and his digital cushion is still not as strong as it should be but this is a more balanced foot and better able to support him. 

You can see that this is a foot undergoing change. In fact the back of his foot has changed faster and until the growth of the whole hoof capsule catches up I think his hairline will continue to look odd. Its encouraging though to see a more robust palmar hoof and that his toe is shortening as his heels become less under-run.

 The changes to his LF are less marked as he was not as lame on this foot but his landing has also improved on this foot and its looking much stronger.

DB's footage over his time with us is up here:

We've now got a short intermission before the next group of rehab horses arrive so blog posts will be resumed with the new arrivals. Happy hols in the meantime!

Thursday, 8 August 2019

With apologies for the delay...

Sorry for the lack of blog posts over the last few days - I was laid low with a stomach bug and I am afraid at such times blog posts are the first casualties as they are expendable when lots of other jobs are not!

These are comparison shots for Harvey who has been here nearly 9 weeks. He has gone from being severely lame on his RF (unlevel in walk and unwilling even to stand on it for the other foot to be picked up) to, now, being back in work and able to go out on the roads.

Of course over such a short time frame, less than 2 shoeing cycles, you cannot take a horse back to full work so its a case of building up steadily and allowing previously injured soft tissue to heal and strengthen. This is a slow, long term process since, as any physio will tell you, tendon and ligament damage is some of the slowest to full heal. For Harvey his weak, atrophied palmar hoof is stronger and he has made excellent progress but it will be some months yet before he is as sound as he can be .

 I hope you can see from this shot that his foot today, the lower image, is much more balanced and better able to support his limb compared to the narrow, boxier foot he had before. His frog is much healthier too and now that he is happy to load this foot properly he can really start to recover.

Harvey's comparison footage is here:

I am going to combine posts today and add DB's footage too, as the posts are delayed but as with Harvey I am going to focus on his lamer foot, coincidentally also the RF.

So here is DB, again clearly lame on his RF when he arrived and pointing it while standing, although he was not as bad as Harvey. You can see the back of his foot is slowly building up; he has a long way to go but there is better structure and bulk to his palmar hoof now, as you can see when you compare how underpin his heels were on arrival (above). 

This is still a flat, weak foot and as with Harvey it will take further months of good hoof growth before his feet are fully strengthened but he is heading the right way. 

 His frog is the main difference in these photos as its less contracted today but as his feet are still weak there is lots more improvement to expect in the future.

DB's footage is here:

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Harvey's 7 week update

Until I came to update these photos I had forgotten something important about Harvey. When he arrived, we were only able to get photos as at day 1 of his RF because he was too uncomfortable on that foot to be able to happily pick up his LF. 

As a result we have a full set of RF photos but only a standing LF shot. Harvey has been so good at picking his feet up recently that I had forgotten it was ever an issue. 

 Anyway, here are his comparison photos. Although he is still not standing square in the recent photo, below, he actually does do so most of the time. Overall he is much more comfortable and much happier to properly load his palmar hoof. He has been able to work on hard surfaces for the last couple of weeks and although he is not back to full soundness I am really pleased with how he has progressed.

 This is his worse foot and its still pretty gnarly but he is building structure where it matters, the frog and heels. There is a lot of deconstruction still to go, as you can see from the curved bars, but the foot is steadily broadening and strengthening.

 I have to say my comparison shots for Harvey are much more accurate than I sometimes manage - the same angles any everything! There is no dramatic change from this angle but he does have shorter hoof wall and overall a slightly more balanced hoof capsule.

This is the only comparison shot I have for his LF at day 1. The toe is quite long at the moment but that's mostly a function of his foot being less under run so its not something that worries me. He is landing much more confidently, with a consistent heel first landing, on this foot now so the long toe will shorten as his foot grows down.