Monday, 8 August 2011

A study in heel support and hoof development - by Lenny and Flynn

Flynn was due to go home this week but Matt, his owner, has had to go to Chicago to be a humming-bird (as regular blog readers know, this follows his previous trip to New York to be a wasp last month...).  He came down last week though and we filmed Flynn for the final time before he goes home in a couple of weeks.
Flynn has had a very stubborn central sulcus split which is prone to becoming infected and sore.  This not only means he has discomfort in the back of the foot, which was a contributory factor in him landing toe first but  - as the other half of the vicious circle - the perpetual toe first landing meant his frog was lacking good stimulus which would have helped it, and his whole caudal hoof, become healthier.

Flynn from Nic Barker on Vimeo.
Breaking that vicious circle has been a slow process, but finally we are getting there :-)
Lenny went home last week after making very rapid progress.  His hooves day one (above) weren't too bad at all but if you compare to his hoof when he left, below, the new angle change makes it clear that his hoof capsule will become much more balanced  - with a shorter toe and more supportive heel - as it carries on growing in.
The caudal view is an even more telling story - bearing in mind that Lenny, along with nearly every other horse at Rockley had a lameness which blocked to the caudal hoof.
Here he is shod with bar shoes the day he arrived.  Bar shoes are often described as providing "support" to the caudal hoof, but compare the development in his hoof after only 8 weeks out of shoes and on conformable surfaces.  The top photo shows a shut down hoof, whereas the lower photo shows structures which are getting stronger and stronger.
It seems to me that allowing the caudal hoof to function properly provides a much more fundamental  - and effective - type of support for the limb than bar shoes.

1 comment:

Media Wurzel said...

God, you get me every time with your video compilations. I watch them thinking the first clip is the latest and have a pang of anxiety as I see his toe first landing. By the time the actual latest clip comes up I'm ecstatic. What a difference in his landing! I just hope his progress can continue at his old/normal yard. I am trying to sort out some sort of surface arrangement but it's tricky when you don't own the land. Still onwards and upwards.