Friday, 11 February 2011

Kingsley - a case study in foot balance!

Kingsley has now been here for 4 months and is well on the way to a better, more balanced hoof. 
Here is his LF at 4 months, with the red line showing the angle of new growth.  As you can see, the old growth is more detached and although there are only a few mm of difference between old and new hoof capsule, its enough to significantly affect how his hoof and limb load.
Here I've taken a shot from above his hoof, which I don't normally do, but its the clearest way to show how his hoof capsule has shifted position relative to his limb.
This is a lateral shot of his RF, and again its taken at an angle which highlights how much difference there is between the way he has been loading his hoof, and how he will load it once his new hoof capsule has completely grown in.

For now, the big contrast in balance between the old growth - which is still what he is landing on - and the new growth - which will better support his limb - causes some problems, particularly on uneven  ground.

There is a huge temptation to radically trim his feet to get rid of the old growth, or at least bring his toe back and remove some of the wall deviation.  You could argue - with good reason - that he should be more comfortable and move more correctly once that was done.

Unfortunately, Kingsley doesn't agree...  Possibly its because a sudden shift completely in favour of the "new" balance puts too much pressure on collateral ligaments, but what is certain is that interfering in Kingsley's attempts to grow a better hoof or trying to speed up the process are counter-productive - and I know because I've tried(!)

I always reckon its fair enough to try a trimming technique, and sometimes its important to do so, particularly when you think it may benefit the horse.  What is essential though is not to keep on trying it if the horse has made it clear that you've got it wrong :-)

1 comment:

cptrayes said...

Campero also found the way that his foot "folded" at that crease line was difficult for a little while and I had to be careful with any work on hard ground. It's difficult for them when there is such a marked difference in angle with the old and the new unless they have very strong horn, isn't it? And of course they don't, which is why they are in trouble in the first place :(

I'm glad that you posted about trying once to trim him more "correct" but it being clear that it's not what he wanted, it's very useful to know.