Monday 17 September 2018

Webinar - 30th September 2018

Its been great running the Performance Hoof workshops this summer and meeting so many new people and new horses. Thank you to everyone who has come along!

I've already got ideas for workshops next year and there are one or two dates already in the diary but if anyone is interested in hosting a workshop do let me know.

In the meantime the last workshop - this time a web-based one for those in the US - is running on Sunday 30th so if you are State-side and would like to join us, this is for you!

Monday 10 September 2018

Finally! Flynn foiled by photo failure....

With apologies for the massive delay, I am finally posting Flynn's update. My stills camera died so I tried using my other camera but then the SD card conked out. Fourth time lucky here we go...  As usual, old photos at the top, new photos below.
So Flynn is now at week 11 of his rehab and has done well - he has been landing heel first for a while and has been working on the roads as well as in the school. The rich flush of grass in August meant I had to be careful with his turnout but he is now back to being out at night which he loves.   
Comparing his photos, the most obvious difference is the shorter toe and less under-run heel. The sole shots show better concavity and a better heel balance, whereas he was overloading the lateral heel when he arrived. 

Nothing particularly spectacular here, though you can see the lateral heel is lower now and he has a better digital cushion. 

From this angle the better support he has now is pretty clear, I think - the whole limb looks a lot more stable. 

As with the other foot the main differences now are better medio-lateral balance (he lands more evenly) and a healthier palmar hoof (he lands heel first). 

I will try to add Flynn's updated footage when I can recover it but for now you'll have to take my word for it about the improved landings!
18th Sept: Even more belatedly, here is his footage:

Friday 7 September 2018

Put DOWN the rasp and pick up the celery...

It was over 7 years ago that I wrote my first post about celery: 

I didn't realise it was potentially explosive to suggest that farriers and trimmers should try NOT laming horses when they trimmed.  I certainly never imagined that so far down the line I would STILL need to be posting the same message but in fact I not only blog regularly but am also covering the topic every time I give a workshop. 

You can see if you search this blog for celery that its a theme I keep having to come back to, and the reason is because horses are still being lamed by trimming. 
Here is an email I picked up this morning, about a rehab horse who went home a few weeks ago. 

"Up until about a month ago, he was doing amazing.  I had heel-first landings and he was really steady and level on his gait."

Shortly after this he had a blip with too much grass, as many people did when the drought broke and the grass flushed. This is always a shame but is normally sorted out completely with a few days of going back to limiting grass during the day. For this horse, however the problem was compounded because a trimmer came to see him that day and rather than assessing the situation correctly she decided that it would help if she removed some hoof. 

The owner's email tells its own tale:

"She then rasped the medial "flare" that he has on both fronts, she rolled his back toes, took the bars back, trimmed the frog, and as she said "tidied his feet up".  

Well I know even in my little experience, that tidy feet don't make sound feet! He's not been walking comfortably since..."

Three weeks down the line the owner is understandably wondering whether her horse will recover. The answer is that he probably will but it will take several weeks.

Aggressive rebalancing of a horse's foot is almost never a good idea and it is DEFINITELY not a good idea when a horse is rehabilitating from long term lameness. In addition trimming a horse who is in the middle of a reaction to grass is a risky strategy and one which will rarely leave a horse sounder and more comfortable.