Friday, 23 November 2012

Rocky - charting a changing hoof

Rocky has now been here nearly 8 weeks and has been changing the medio-lateral balance of his hooves in a big way. On MRI he was diagnosed as having damage to his DDFT and impar ligament, navicular fibrocartilage and bursa. 
As always, I find the best place to assess hoof balance is the sole view. The first photo is Rocky the day he arrived, having just pulled off his remedial shoes. As you can see, he has a pretty healthy frog but his foot is not symmetrical from this view, which hints that he is overloading the lateral side. His heels are also under-run - further forward than the widest point of the frog. 
 A few weeks later and his frog is shedding, his heels are moving back and his foot is starting to look more balanced and symmetrical. 
As of yesterday, this is how the same foot looks. The heels are still a bit under-run but are in a better place and a line drawn through his frog would leave the medial and lateral sides looking much more symmetrical than on day one. 
From the lateral view, lots of growth and at a tighter, healthier angle with the nail holes almost gone. 

From this angle the areas to focus on are the length of the walls (the lateral side is much longer in the photo from day one, but more even today) and the outline of the digital cushion. The angles of the shots are slightly different but again the 2 halves are more symmetrical and even than they were on arrival.
As you know, I never worry about symmetry from the top or the front as long as I have it where it counts - where the foot meets the ground :-) As with all the horses here these changes aren't a result of trimming but of the hoof being allowed to function more healthily. Form always follows function!

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