Friday, 8 February 2013

More on angles, breakover and sole depth

I posted yesterday about the changes in a foot which came out of shoes with poor biomechanics and a weak palmar hoof. The dramatic angle changes you can see there are fairly common and are most often seen in horses who - in shoes - are described as having flat feet, long toes and under-run heels. 
This horse, by contrast, has been out of shoes for many years. He has a much healthier hoof capsule already but contrast the 2 photos, taken about 9 weeks apart. The changes which are happening are similar but less dramatic because this horse - like Buddy - also had feet which needed to improve.
Like Buddy, his frog and heels are becoming stronger and his breakover is moving back, resulting in a shorter toe. 
You can see confirmation of this in the lateral shots - again the time difference is just under 9 weeks. As  with Buddy, there is a clear angle of new growth but its not as severe a change. 
Here are the same photos with the green line showing the point of breakover and the angle of the new hoof capsule; the blue line is (roughly) the ground-bearing surface of the hoof.  
The difference is more subtle than with Buddy but the principles are the same. The hoof is growing a shorter toe and better-connected hoof capsule and as a result the load has shifter towards the back of hoof - where it should be!
Beano is a good illustration of something which I have long believed - that hooves aren't static and that a weak, unhealthy hoof isn't past repair. On the contrary, poor hooves are far from genetic and  - in most cases - horses are pre-programmed to grow the best possible hooves if they are given the opportunity to do so.  

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