Thursday 2 June 2016

6 months to grow a new hoof

Most horses who come here only stay for around 12 weeks. During this time they can grow anything up to half a new hoof capsule but its rare that I get the chance to blog photos of the same hoof over 6 months. 
Ironically, Darcy - whose hooves these are - came here with fairly healthy looking hooves. He is a young horse who had been unshod most of his life, although he had a couple of sets of remedial shoes after he went lame. When he arrived he was extremely lame on this foot and landing toe first despite a reasonably robust palmar hoof. 
Although it looked better than some of the hooves we see, it was much smaller and very much boxier than his left foot and it is likely that he hadn't been using himself evenly for a long time. As you can see, the hoof was almost the same size at the ground as at the coronet, instead of being a cone with the broadest part on the ground as a normal hoof is. 
This was evident at the time but the importance of it only became clear in hindsight, as his foot developed and as we compared his photos 6 months down the line. 
 The back of his foot has developed too but this is still a problematic limb and he is still not able to use it as freely as his left leg, although his soundness has improved enormously.  

The comparison shots of his left foot are interesting in themselves but what is more striking is how different the left and right feet were on arrival and how they are much more similar now. Its a sign I hope that we are still heading in the right direction with Darcy. 

Darcy was never really lame on this leg and the foot was always a bigger, more balanced foot, but there has been a lot of development here as well, which is interesting.

As the saying goes, it doesn't have to be bad to get better.  

1 comment:

Jax said...

Always amazes me how much rounder the hard working bare foot it. And also amazing is the length (due to hardness) of the hoof wall given the abrasion of the Rockley track and tarmac. Great stuff.