Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The importance of frog contact

I wanted to put up some new photos of Ella, who arrived last week, as I have had a lot of comments on that post.
First off, I should mention that although she has only been out of shoes a week and although she is not yet comfortable on a tough surface like concrete she is fine walking about on our tracks and of course turned out in the field.

She is also loving being with a group of friendly boys 24/7 and is proving herself to be an extremely sociable mare which is lovely to see.
So, back to her feet, and here they are on day 1 in her shoes (I'm only posting sole shots on this blog as they at this stage show the clearest changes).
These are her feet the next day and at least you can see them properly. Although the frog has already opened out in just 24 hours you can see a contracted heel and a long toe with a fairly weak frog and bars.  
This is her a week later. One of her farrier's concerns was that her frog was lacking stimulus in shoes and its nice to see how quickly it is responding to movement our tracks. This is a foot which should undergo rapid change over the next few weeks.
Again, a sole shot from her arrival in shoes and pads, this time of her LF...
...and next day out of shoes, with a weak frog, contracted heels and bars sloughing off.
A week later there are some nice signs of improvement, particularly as her frog is coming back into work. The long hoof wall at her toe is chipping off which is quite normal and not bothering her at all. 
More on Ella soon, and meanwhile back to the party...Ella, meet Merlin....


Fiona said...

I was a farrier..actually being the second woman to graduate from the farrier Science program at Olds College in Alberta, Canada,,,,way back when in 1977. Shoeing and proper hoof care are so important and I have too admit barefoot was always my choice for my horses for 90% of what I did with them. I used my horses for cattle work and lots of relaxing rides. Some of the cosmetic and artificial shoeing done to the modern equine is a sad thing. Nice work starting to get this lovely horse's feet to a normal healthy state!

Nic Barker said...

Thank you Fiona :-) We only have a small number of cattle here but our own horses absolutely love herding cows, which is about as far as cattle work gets over here!