Monday, 28 April 2014

The benefits of a bare hoof - Gemini's 12 week update

Gemini goes home at the end of this week and it was good to take the opportunity to review her feet with owner Diane yesterday. Gem is unusual among rehab horses as she has never been shod but nonetheless developed a medio-lateral imbalance which led to navicular and collateral ligament damage. 
Comparison shots of her caudal foot show a huge and rapid improvement in her digital cushion and frog as well as a much more symmetrical and balanced foot. Gem had an advantage over most rehab horses as she had never had the caudal foot compromised by shoes so she has strengthened much more rapidly  - if you ever want a reason for not shoeing young horses, these sort of changes should give you a clue!
Lateral shots show a shorter toe and less under-run foot with a new angle of better growth evident in the top half of her hoof capsule. 

Shots from the front show that Gem is now making use of her medial deviation to support the hoof and limb, which is less distorted than it was on day 1. This will probably become less dramatic over the next few months but it will be important to allow her to grow and wear this as she determines, rather than having hoof balance imposed by someone else. 

Sole shots of her other foot give a clear indication of how the concavity and sole strength of her hooves has developed. Her frogs will get better still over the next few months and as the new hoof capsule grows down.  

And finally the proof of the pudding - stills and her video footage showing a much better landing and longer stride, which Diane can also feel under saddle.

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