Tuesday, 17 May 2011

News on the boys and its not about trimming(!)

Lots has happened over the weekend, including an email from Danielle giving me an update on Ginger.  Undeterred by the bad weather they went out and about :-)

"...took Ginger for a gallop on the beach this morning, he loved it!"

There is also a fun short clip of him (but not on the beach!) here:


Brilliant to hear!

Wiola has also put up some new footage of Kingsley - his first time schooling under saddle in a year and a half!  He had such a lot of body issues to sort out and its a credit to Wiola's patient and correct work that he is made such progress.  The footage is not "perfect" but this is a horse who found it impossible to trot AT ALL 6 months ago, let alone with a rider on board.  The thing I noticed immediately is how much his shoulders have freed up, and how he is beginning to really stretch out in front - he is going to be stunning!

Back at Rockley, Solomon, Zan and Harvey are also making good progress.

Solomon's feet have only taken a week to go from this...
to this...His caudal hoof is beefing up nicely again and no trimming required :-) Its not that the heels needed lowering, it was the frog that needed stimulating. 
The reason for the fast change is the time he is spending on the conformable surfaces - on them he will always land heel first which gives his foot the right stimulus.  Even on concrete although he is not perfect his landing is much better than it was a week ago. 

Solomon May from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

Harvey's feet are also undergoing major change.  With him, the most obvious sign (as well as the improved landing) is the new angle of growth at the toe.  Here he is on the day he arrived...
and here he is a month later...
The new hoof angle will, as always, bring his toe back of its own accord (again, no need for trimming!) and will result in a more supportive heel as well. 

Harvey from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

Zan has been here much longer than the other 2 but had shockingly thin soles which has delayed his progress because its limited the work he can comfortably do.  He is getting there though, and has a fantastic new angle change to show for himself.  
This will be a big help to his thin soles as well, since the new angle will allow the sensitive internal structures to be suspended higher in, and be better protected by, the hoof capsule.   

Zan from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

I'm pleased to say that his landing has improved as well - from his initial footage, where he was sliding his RF and RH into the ground to now, where he is landing correctly on all 4 feet.  Slow progress, but progress all the same :-)


Unknown said...

I've just put some more schooling footage up - he is so good to work with and is trying really hard.
We did some roadwork today and he was really marching on.
His soles, however, look a bit like Solomon's in the "before" photo - wish we had another Rockley Farm down here - maybe you could open a franchise here near London ;)

Kate said...

Just wanted to let everyone know how amazed I am with the changes seen in Harvey since he has been under Nic's care at Rockley for the past 4 weeks . This is the 1st time since he had his shoes removed in January that I've seen any decent hoof growth :) Just goes to show how important movement on comformable surfaces is. I must admit knowing that in the past year since Harvey has been lame he hasn't grown hardly any foot, I wasn't having huge expectations of his progress as I had already changed his diet last Sept & took his shoes off in Jan & there wasn't much happening in terms of growth. I just thought he was a horse that didn't grow much hoof & how wrong was I!! How great it is to see a definite change of hoof angle & all that new growth.
Can't wait to visit him at the weekend :)

Nic Barker said...

Brilliant news, Wiola, and I am off to check out the new footage - Kingsley has the most phenomenal work ethic - he just loves it, and I am sure he is as pleased with his new found athleticism as we are :-)

Kate, I can't wait to show you his feet - sad I know but there is nothing more exciting than changing hooves :-) Roll on the weekend!

Cristina said...

Think we need a nationwide franchise ;-)
Quick question, when Frankie reacted to the wormer his landing deteriorated esp the RF. Luckily as it left his system he improved so we were OK but I am always watching and checking for any sign he is not landing correctly.
A lot of us (like Lucie) are not in control of our horse's environment as much as we would like and don't have conformable surfaces. In that scenario would hoof boots and pads be a way of encouraging a correct landing to set them back on track? Not ideal of course but if you're in less than ideal circumstances.

jenj said...

Nic, just to be clear... what do you mean by conformable surfaces? Primarily pea gravel, or something else?

And the difference in Zan's hoof angle is just incredible. Wow.

Lucie said...

I cannot believe the difference in his frogs in a week!!
Ditto Cristina - would boots help to encourage a correct landing if there was no access (or limited access) to comfortable surfaces??

Nic Barker said...

Cristina, Lucie - there is definitely a place for boots/pads, but as always I think you have to distinguish between a horse who is footy but landing correctly (heel first and good m/l balance) and a horse whose landing is compromised.

With the latter, you have to get the landing right before upping movement, so you'd need to be careful to check that the boots/pads had achieved that before working the horse. FWIW, its actually quite rare for a horse's landing to become compromised and it doesn't usually happen just because a horse has had a bad reaction to a wormer/grass.

Nic Barker said...

Jen, by conformable I mean pea gravel but also the surface in the fir woods (which you can see on the "magic forest" vid clip), plus we have a wood chip area and the arena, of course, which all function in the same sort of way.

jenj said...

Nic, thanks for clearing that up. Does sand count as conformable?