Monday, 3 September 2012

The importance of looking at legs not feet

Candy has now been here 8 weeks and her owner came yesterday to visit and to ride her for the first time since February. When she arrived one of the most immediately obvious things was that Candy has a very offset carpal joint on her LF. 
The photo above shows her the day she arrived; the photo below is her yesterday. Clearly I haven't got the photos at the same angles, which doesn't help - I will try to rectify that and put up a more direct comparison but what I hope you CAN see - especially if you compare her hooves and stance - is that she is loading more evenly today.  
The reason for this is partly that she is beginning to build a stronger palmar hoof - again, the photos compare her at day one and yesterday. I hope you can also see that if you trimmed her or shod her looking at only her hoof, rather than her limb, you could easily unbalance her hooves and put undue strain on tendons and ligaments. 
You can see that her heels are still very under-run but less crushed than they were and with a frog that is starting to look healthier and less contracted. 
As is so often the case, trimming this foot would be counter-productive at the moment. Not only would backing her toe up overload her palmar hoof - which is still weak and only slowly getting stronger - but shortening the toe on the medial side would also unbalance her, especially on the LF, and lead to more strain on the limb and a less even loading.  
Here are the lateral shots showing the growth and angle change over 8 weeks. Her toe is still long but the heels are better. Like many horses who come here, Candy's problems had been building up for a long time - certainly months rather than weeks - and so it will take months for her hooves to become as strong as they can be. 


Unknown said...

So good to see her on the mend. Best of luck to Candy and Hannah for the rest of the journey. Sam

Hannah said...

Hi and thanks Sam!
I was so surprised and delighted when Nic suggested I ride Candy when I came to visit her yesterday.
Looking at my diary it was actually mid March I stopped riding her due to lameness and mid April she was finally MRI'd. Her shoes never went back on.
She arrived at Rockley at the beginning of July after months of rest and very restricted turnout.
Nic has been leading her out four times a week for about four (?) weeks but this was her first time ridden.
It was so wonderful to ride my barefoot horse! She was full of beans but perfectly behaved, and hardly tender at all on the stoney tracks, except for a little when going downhill (when she can't avoid loading the back of the foot - still weak but getting stronger).
I really should be commenting on the offset carpal joint, but at the moment I just can't get over the excitement of yesterday's short but perfect ride.
Thank you Nic!

M's mum said...

Fantastic news, how exciting!! Well done Candy & Hannah!