Wednesday, 25 April 2012

How front limbs affect hind limbs

Bryan goes home at the end of the week and its time for a recap. He came with a primary front limb lameness but it had inevitably had a knock on effect on his hind limbs as well. In fact, when you look at his initial footage, his hind feet were landing as badly as his front feet. 
Bryan is a big, strong horse who has had a highly competitive career but if you compare the photos of him standing on the day he arrived (above) versus today, its clear that the lameness had a massive effect on how he was using and carrying himself. 
Bryan is a really good illustration of why you can't effectively isolate lameness to one leg in a four-legged animal.  

Yes, Bryan had collateral ligament damage diagnosed in his LF but that had an inevitable effect on his hind limbs over time.  He is a show-jumper whose job depends on being able to use his hind limbs to propel his whole body up and over an obstacle and his fore limbs to be the strong and stable landing point.  The whole system is, naturally, inter-dependent. 
Here are his hoof changes on his worst foot (LF).  Its fascinating (if you're a hoof anorak) to watch the heels coming back and growing more supportive. 
The orientation of the frog and the current asymmetry are particularly interesting and to me this foot looks as if it has lots of changes still to go... it to his RF (below), which is already more balanced.  I suspect (and I hope) that another few months will make the LF more balanced and stable too. 
Here are the obligatory lateral shots...
...and you can see the distinct angle change in the lower photo which marks 12 weeks of new growth. The back of the hoof is more robust but there is more change still to come. 


Steph said...

WOW! That conformation shot comparison says it all!

Nic Barker said...

Doesn't it just? :-)

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

WOW, those two conf pics are so interesting. I agree, one lame leg equals 100% off everywhere. It's a balancing act. I still can't quite wrap my brain around how fast these hooves adjust, when it takes so long for us. I think a poorly used hoof (lateral cart so weak) causes continuing bad growth..I think.