Thursday 23 June 2011

The most incredible feet

These hooves are just as extraordinary as they appear.  They belong to Zan, a horse who arrived with the weakest, thinnest soles I've yet seen but who is growing in utterly different hooves. 
You can see from this shot that his "new" toe will  be at least an inch shorter but the most astonishing shot is from the sole.   From here you can see (and in real life feel) how much further back his breakover will be when the new hoof capsule has grown in.  The dark area on the left of the picture is old damage, and its about at the edge of that where the new breakover will be. 
For comparison, here is the same foot, below, just out of shoes.  Totally different proportions, breakover and loading - and the changes are not a result of trimming.
And finally, a quick comparison of the caudal hoof in bar shoes on arrival and now.
Gon on - I dare you to say that bar shoes provide support for the back of the hoof...
If you ever hear someone say that their horse has thin soles - like its a problem they are stuck with - please show them these photos.  No horse likes to have thin soles and most horses will grow a fantastically improved, tougher, stronger, thicker, more robust, healthier, well balanced, sounder hoof if you give them the chance.


sarahh said...

Wow! That's all I can say on that...clever Zan

Val said...

The new breakover line is quite amazing.

jenj said...

Nic, can you please describe exactly how you can tell that a horse has thin soles? I'm still not sure what I'm looking for...

And Zan's new feet are just amazing!

Nic Barker said...

Jen, the giveaways with Zan were - flat feet with shallow collateral grooves, long toe and soles so weak that they flexed on thumb pressure. As you can imagine he bruised pretty easily as a result.

Stretched white lines are another giveaway, though weren't something Zan had.

Glad you like his new feet :-) They look pretty bizarre at the moment but should be smart when they've completely grown in.

cptrayes said...

You can feel thin soles - the whole foot can be bent with your thumbs!

To anyone else with a horse like this (I know Nic does not need this advice!) the horse needs to be prevented from doing too vioent exercise. I stupidly let my thin footed rehab go for a gallop around the field when his feet were at this stage and they bent in the middle and he was unsound for over a week :(

Yesterday's post links with this too.


Nic Barker said...

With Zan the sole flexed at the toe but not elsewhere, but as Caroline says, you have to be extremely careful with the work level and surfaces these sorts of horses go on till their hooves are stronger.

One of the reasons Zan has been here longer than most horses is simply because he has been slower to grow good foot because I haven't been able to expose him to work on tough surfaces as soon as most rehabs.

Austen said...

Wow this sounds like my horse. We've FINALLY been having good luck with him after turning him out on mostly grass and softer ground. His foot's been getting stronger every day!