Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Hooves can be deceptive

Following the post I put up on Monday with Kingsley's footage, Wiola posted about it on her blog.  She gave me some really helpful comments about him and we talked about what exercises might help to strengthen him.

She also put up a copy of the photo I had included, showing his LF and the distortions in the hoof capsule which are visible currently.  Here is the original photo:
Wiola edited it, and it made me realise that, because she was having to rely on a photo and didn't actually see Kingsley at the weekend, I hadn't explained clearly enough what is happening with his feet.  Here is her edit: 
There is nothing wrong with the lines she has put on the hoof, but because they start at the ground, they give a misleading (but fascinating) view of what the hoof is doing.    The lines do dramatically demonstrate why Kingsley still doesn't have perfect medio-lateral balance - his hoof is not yet able to support his limb optimally even though he has half a new hoof capsule.    

By starting at ground level, however, it means that the lines start with the old hoof growth - which had been causing Kingsley problems in the past.  The new, supportive hoof growth starts at the coronet and now extends about halfway down the foot but its at a radically different angle from the old, ground-level hoof.  Joining up the newest new growth and the oldest old growth highlights effectively how much change Kingsley is going through.  The drawing illustrates what his problem WAS, and why he moved in such a twisted way, but its also deceptive.  

Here is the same photo, but I've put lines on which emphasise the angle of the new hoof growth and cut through the old growth, projecting where his new hoof capsule WILL be - roughly - when its grown down:
I hope you can see from this that the new hoof capsule - once it has fully grown in - will actually be much more supportive.  The old growth IS still influencing Kingsley, because it is on the ground at the moment and effects his footfall at every step, but it is becoming less influential by the day.  

Finally, here is one more shot which illustrates how deceptive hooves can be.   As Wiola said, from the top, it looks as if he has uneven wall height and thats what is causing the imbalance.  In fact a solar view shows that his wall is smooth and even (there is a tatty bit of frog on the medial heel but that's an irrelevance for these purposes!) - the imbalance is an internal, not an external one and it is that which the new hoof capsule should help to correct.

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