Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Four weeks with Mr Knightley

I had a visit from Kate, Deborah and Mel - my lovely former students - last week, as they were keen to catch up on the progress of the rehab horses they already knew and meet the new guys.
They always get roped in to helping me photograph and film the horses and this time was no exception.  We started off with Mr Knightley who had at that stage been here for 3 weeks.

An improved landing, going from toe first and intermittently flat to flat/heel first.  Its still early days for him and he still has weak frogs so I would not expect a more definite heel first landing until he has a lot more good mileage under his belt.
For good measure here are his hooves, above on arrival and below at 4 weeks.  They bear out the changes you can see on landing and of course the healthier the hoof becomes, the better the landing should be.
Although we are still fighting the central sulcus infection in his frogs, there is are also progress here, along with his high heels.
No trimming required, of course...
Its interesting to see from this angle how high heels and long hoof wall were actually causing a medio-lateral imbalance, shunting the hoof capsule sideways and reinforcing the vicious circle of weak frog/caudal hoof pain  - and of course putting strain on internal ligaments.  With a healthier frog  - or the beginnings of one, as we have a long way to go before that central sulcus infection will really be a thing of the past - the balance improves as well as the rest of the caudal hoof.

Finally, I also have some footage of him on a circle - at just under 4 weeks into his rehab - so that Debbie his owner, who is in Dubai, can see the virtual Knightley even when she can't see the real one.

As you can see, he was struggling with the fact that there was a howling easterly wind and the dogs of course chose the moment we started filming to have a wild, fast and extremely noisy game round the arena which he found rather alarming.

Over time I would want to see a much more relaxed frame and better straightness and suppleness but the important thing for now is that he is happy to extend in front and land heel first, which is a crucial precursor to any sort of rehabilitative work.  The rest will come with time and work.


jenj said...

The amount of change that feet go through at your place never ceases to amaze me. Glad to hear that Mr. Knightley is doing so well!

cptrayes said...

The house is looking good too!

that's a tight circle on a relatively hard surface (Padstow beach sand?) and he is amazingly sound for a horse who was lame a month ago.


Nic Barker said...

To be fair, C, his veterinary assessment in Dubai was done in September, as he then had a month of quarantine before he came here, so its more like 8 weeks since he was at his worst but I am impressed by how fast he has improved, especially as his activity level has gone up a lot just since he got to Rockley.

Like you, I was also impressed with how well he coped with a fairly tough surface - I love my arena for how well it shows up lameness!

I would have preferred him on a bigger circle - he was too tense and too crooked for that to be an option, but I would hope he will be much better by the next time I film him.