Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Paddy - long toes, high heels and cracks - comparison photos

Paddy's owner has been down to see him the last couple of days and has had the "Exmoor Experience" - she arrived from sunny Suffolk thinking that she didn't need to bring her waterproof trousers but of course whatever its doing in Suffolk you can guarantee that it won't be quite as nice on Exmoor!

However, she has done amazingly well, going from being worried about our slopes and free-ranging livestock to tackling the steep slopes of the hills behind us - both up and down - and herding cattle into the bargain!  We like our rehab owners to have a sense of achievement when they go back home :-)
One of the things that she said gave her much more confidence in Paddy was his incredible sure-footedness on even steep, slippery slopes.  When shod, he would often trip or stumble and so she was understandably worried about him going downhill.
Nowadays, he is one of the most confident horses at Rockley, and despite treacherous conditions has been foot perfect each time she has ridden him, although he naturally still has some way to go before he is happy on tough, stony surfaces.
The comparisons of his feet in shoes and out give you a clue as to why his proprioception is now so much better!
One nice fringe benefit of coming out of shoes is that a toe crack, which Paddy has had for many years, is starting to close up, probably because his weight is no longer loaded so heavily on the hoof wall.  
It was only a superficial problem which didn't really bother him but it will be interesting if it disappears  now his caudal hoof is stronger.  The other interesting thing from these photos is just how mcuh his feet have grown in just over 4 weeks - look at the horizontal crack, which was in the top third of his hoof in shoes - way to go Paddy!
And here is his footage - a massive improvement. 

No comments: