Monday, 23 November 2020

Valentina's 12 week update

Valentina went home this weekend so its a chance to review how she has done. As usual, her top phtos are from the day she arrived and her lower photos are the comparison from 12 weeks later. 

The LF is definitely her worst foot, as her landing on this foot has not yet improved enough for her to be back in full work. This is unusual, as the majorioty of horses are working 4 times a week by this stage but occasionally wehvae a horse who does not play by the rules and Valentina is one of those! Still, her stance is showing a better foot than she had on arrival so she may well develop a better landing over the next few months. 

This is now a different shaped and much healthier looking foot but her frog is under-developed compared to the RF and it is this which is probably impacting her landing. 

Again, from this angle her foot has a better digital cushion than it had when she arrived, but this has not yet been enough to give her a good landing. It may be a question of more time, but its impossible to be sure. 

Not the best angle of photo as it has made her feet look boxy, which they aren't, so apologies for that! This is actually her better foot where she has developed a heel first landing and a better stride length as a result. 

Again, the angle is not great, but she has a shorter toe now and a stronger frog, which is good to see. 

From this perspective its easy to see how her digital cushion has improved and her foot balance improved, despite the poor light for taking photos. 

We're keeping everything crossed that Valentina will continue to improve back home over the winter. 


Friday, 16 October 2020

Buddy's 3 week update - with photos

 You know how technology is either brilliant or a massive waste of time which absorbs hours and gets you nowhere? It feels a bit like that here at the moment, as my iPad is out of action (and has been for 4 weeks already!) and although my slow motion camera is still working we've had 3 attempts at getting Buddy's footage and photos...

Anyway, finally here we are and Buddy's footage is now up here:

Buddy was already barefoot when he arrived, which always helps as the foot is already used to loading more centrally and to receiving much more stimulus than in shoes. However, you can still see that Buddy's feet, even after 3 weeks, are undergoing some good changes.

Buddy was landing toe first/flat when he arrived despite being barefoot so development of the back of the foot was, as ever, going to be an important part of the process. You can see that his frogs have made good progress already and this has led to him developing a better landing and stronger foot. 

His feet were pretty long when he arrived but there has been no need to trim him, his feet are doing a great job of rebalancing and strengthening through better movement. 

These aren't the best angles for comparison but you can see from the lower photos that his palmar hoof is stronger and his toe shorter than when he arrived, both good signs.

The interesting thing is that you could have simply trimmed his foot to look a bit more as it does now but that would have missed the most important element, the stronger frog and digital cushion. That sort of development only comes through better movement. 

Buddy's feet are becoming more balanced but he still has a tendency to load laterally. This has improved from the top photo but we've got a way to go before his foot balance is where it needs to be. 

More next week, with fewer tech problems I hope!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Rebel's 3 week update

 Intermittent posting at the moment, I am afraid, as my tech has been letting me down but we are pleased with new arrivals Buddy and Rebel who have been working hard to grow new feet over the last 3 weeks. 

I'll update with photos as well but for now wanted to post Rebel's footage, which shoes some good progress especially on her LF and a generally more confident landing. 

Her full footage is here for comparison: and check back for her photos soon!


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Valentina's 4 week update

Valentina has been here 4 weeks so its time for an update. She arrived with a very clear toe first landing and a lameness which was worse on her LF. 
Over the last 4 weeks she has started to develop better structure in her palmar hoof but the improvement has been faster on her RF while her LF is still landing toe first. There are signs though that this foot is changing, with slightly better balance and a less under-run heel. 

On her better foot she is looking more upright but her toe is shorter and her landing on this foot is much better than when she arrived. 
Its not uncommon for one foot to improve faster than the other, especially when there is a long term lameness, so we will monitor Valentina over the next couple of weeks and keep working her on easy surfaces in the meantime. 

Valentina's comparison footage is here:


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

New arrivals - first post feet

 New horses arrived at the weekend, which means horses went home as well, so lots of reports to write and photos and video to process, which I am only slowly getting on top of, so apologies for the delay. 

To try and clear the backlog I am going to post both new horses' photos today so as to have time to post updates on the other horses later in the week. First up is Buddy, who had a long journey from Berkshire but appears none the worse for that. 
He has fairly flat feet and despite being barefoot for a longtime does not have the best landing. By contrast, I saw a shod horse at the weekend with a stinking heel first landing - it just goes to show that hoof health is not just about shoes!
His feet don't look too bad, although there is some weak hoof wall (which will chip as it is weak already) but he has decent enough frogs, despite a slightly long toe.
I'm not worried about the long wall as the tracks will take of that as Buddy ambles about and he will find the gradual change much easier to deal with than a sudden trim. 

Buddy's footage is here:

Next up is Rebel, who also arrived at the weekend. Despite a history of lameness which goes on for many months she is actually landing quite well on her LF, not so well on her RF. 

She is more recently out of shoes and also shows signs of having had poor medio-lateral balance, with the digital cushion looking as if it has loaded unevenly when you look at the palmar hoof (below). 

As with Buddy, there are some good aspects to her feet, that decent landing on one of her feet and her frogs, which don't look too bad even though her heels are a little under-run. 
Rebels' footage is here, and of course we will follow up with updates once there are changes to see:

Monday, 31 August 2020

More new feet: Libby's post

The second new arrival is Libby, another long term barefoot horse who has come to us because her feet have improved but plateaued out of shoes. 

She has a fairly complex history as she has had laminitis in the past as well as a diagnosis on MRI of bilateral DDFT and navicular bone damage. She has been out of shoes for some time but is still uncomfortable on hard uneven ground.

On video (which is below) she is landing heel first on the RF, flat on the LF and has a medio-lateral imbalance which means she is landing laterally on both feet, worse on the LF.

As you can see, despite the fact that she is landing well on the RF she has a long toe and under-run heel (worse on the LF) which we would want to see improve. 
Her feet are fairly flat and shallow, usually a sign of nutritional or metabolic problems, but as she has a history of previous laminitis this is not particularly surprising.
Despite her problems, there is lots to like in her feet, as she is happy to stand square, loads both feet evenly and has well-developed frogs. So we have a good starting point even if there is a lot of room for improvement!

Libby's footage is here: