Thursday, 6 July 2017

How to stop feet collapsing - Rose's 12 week update

Its always interesting to look back at the initial photos when horses arrive and compare them with how their feet have changed in the 12 weeks of rehab with us. 
Rose's feet really were quite collapsed behind on day one. You can see the palmar hoof overhanging her heels and how her long toe was giving no support to the limb. Naturally she was landing toe first and she had been diagnosed with DDFT damage. She had previously had surgery to repair it but the tear had recurred which is not surprising given how she was landing. 
Twelve weeks later and we have a more respectable looking foot which is better able to support the limb and a stronger palmar hoof which is able to land heel first. This has taken the pressure of her DDFT and she is much sounder. 
Deterioration in the back of the foot is not something which happens overnight and consequently it also takes time to rebuild. It never ceases to amaze me how fundamentally horses' feet can change - either strengthening or weakening.  

This is a nice illustration of the fact that hooves do not like to load primarily on hoof wall. Rose has not been trimmed but as her palmar hoof has become stronger the frog, sole and digital cushion have developed and hoof wall has worn away to give her a more balanced and supportive foot. 

This foot was less extreme but still had similar issues to the right foot. 

This foot was far less under-run and she was able to start landing heel first on this foot sooner than on the right foot as a result. 

 Apologies for the funky camera angles - I think I was blinded by the sunlight this morning!


Unknown said...

I know you are recommending to avoid rasping the hoofs but would it be ok to lightly rasp away sharp edges that often occur when the shoes are removed after a longer period of being shod? I need shoes on my horse over winter which is close to six months in my part of the world. Shoes are needed to fix studs to prevent slipping. When I take the shoes off after the icy season there is a period when chunks break off, often up to the old nail holes. When this happens I usually rasp very lightly to take away burrs and sharp edges. Am I doing wrong when I do this? I should add that my horse has no lameness issues that I have noticed, with or without shoes.

Nic Barker said...

Let your horse be the judge - if he is sound then you aren't doing much wrong :-) Hoof wall damaged by nail holes will always break away and is usually irrelevant to the horse.

Unknown said...

Got it. Thanks :-)