Friday, 14 December 2012

Balance is more about the leg than the hoof

I've been wanting to post new photos of Rocky for a few days  but it was tricky getting the right comparison shots. As his owner said, before he arrived, he has a lot in common with Zan, who was here last year - also chestnut and also with hooves that desperately wanted to help balance his limbs.
What's interesting with Rocky is how his limbs have loaded differently as his feet have changed. The top photo is day one - he had pulled off his remedial shoes a few days before these photos were taken and before arriving at Rockley.
Here he is a few weeks in - still with most of his lovely summer coat and with feet that are starting to look as if they are up to the job of supporting his limbs.
And today, with a much shorter hoof capsule which is still more supportive than it was a few weeks ago. The clue is that his legs are straighter and the hooves look more balanced, whereas is the earlier photos a line drawn down the limb would be weighted much more towards the medial aspect.  

These photos are a good illustration of why a symmetrical hoof can only be judged in the context of the whole limb and how the horse moves. You could trim all you want and make the foot as pretty as you like. If it doesn't support the limb then the whole pack of cards is in jeopardy!


Molly's hoof blog said...

I am very excited to see this horse, how it self trims. My mare Molly, featured in my blog

has the exact same leg anatomy, and I have come up with the same hoof, coronary band slightly raised towards medial and a short lateral toe. I trimmed her, as I do not have the terrain you guys have, but I have come up with the same balance! It just took me a hell of a lot longer to understand it, than a few weeks!

Check out that picture:

and this to see what causes the leg conformation of the FR, a longer medial side of P1:

Please keep us updated on that horse. How much longer will it stay?

Nic Barker said...

Glad you like it :-) You've got to remember that his hoof has only got about half of the new growth it needs - the rest of the hoof capsule needs to grow in over the next 3 months or so before he will be fully balanced.

He is going home just after Christmas but I will do a hoof update before he leaves.

Molly's hoof blog said...

how is the owner going to maintain him? Will he continue to maintain his hooves my self-trimming?

cptrayes said...

This horse is very similar to Woody and my pictures would look almost the same. He's made more obvious changes to the backs than the fronts, and he was never regarded as lame on the back - but he did need "the back person" on a regular basis.