Monday 24 October 2011

The longest journey so far...

This handsome fellow is Mr Knightley, a new arrival who wins the "Rockley Air Miles" award for the most arduous trip to Exmoor.  He was in quarantine for a month then flew from Dubai to Heathrow, finally touching down here at 1am last Friday morning!   
I was a bit concerned that he would feel the cold but amazingly, having tucked him up in a stable rug, he was toasty-warm and hasn't been in the least bothered by the drop in temperature.  Its helped that we have had a lovely, dry few days with sunshine and a bit of warmth, so he's had quite a gentle introduction to the UK climate so far.  Of course he didn't have a turnout rug, so he's borrowed a spare of Charlie's until I can go shopping for him :-)
His feet are interesting - his heels are under-run and his hairline at the coronet is distorted on both, worse on the LF.  His front feet have a medio-lateral imbalance which is confirmed by x-ray and unfortunately he also has soft tissue damage to his hind feet.
His feet are proof that a desert climate in itself doesn't necessarily guarantee healthier hooves, especially - as his owner points out - if a horse spends more time in a box than moving around(!).  As you can see, he has quite a deep central sulcus infection and its one of the factors in his weak frogs.  
 Its a catch-22 - discomfort in the frog means the caudal hoof doesn't engage so over time it tends to become weaker and as you can see the frog is not touching the ground at all as the front hooves load on a concrete surface.   
The solar view just confirms what we've already seen from the top.  The foot is actually quite shallow but there is a build up of dead sole.  I won't touch that, as it will wear away on its own over the next few days along with the unbalanced hoof wall. 
For now, Mr Knightley is getting to grips with being turned out with a group of horses, which is a new experience for him, and much more freedom than he has been used to.  As with most horses who come here from box rest or restricted movement, the key is to allow him to move but on the most supportive surfaces, and as calmly and quietly as possible, with only gradual increases in the space he has access to.  


cptrayes said...

Whoaaa! Someone loves that horse to death to pay that air fare!! Is he going back to Dubai once you have him right??


jenj said...

Wow, an international star! How neat!

Nic Barker said...

Thanks guys! C - his owners are returning to the UK so Knightley came back a few months early :-)