Saturday 30 March 2019

Billy's 4 week update

The current rehab horses have been here 4 weeks this weekend so its time for a proper assessment of how they have got on so far and what progress they have made. I'm starting with Billy as he had the most problematic feet when he arrived.  
The other horses had all been out of shoes for weeks (or in some cases months) before they arrived but Billy came in bar shoes and pads. Initially therefore he had a bigger adjustment than the other horses as he had to go from a sole and frog which were completely covered by a thick pad to bare, and from taking all his weight on the periphery of his feet to loading more centrally.  
This meant that he took longer than the other horses to become comfortable on tough surfaces. As his palmar hoof was particularly weak he has also taken longer to go from landing toe first out of shoes. his landing is flatter now than it was initially but he is not yet heel first (he had an exaggerated heel first landing in his bar shoes).
However, he has made some good progress over 4 weeks and I am particularly pleased with how his comfort levels have improved over the last 10 days or so. He has grown out his nail holes and the new hoof growth is looking stronger and more supportive.  
He has also started to grow a more robust frog and his toe is beginning to shorten as well. His heels are still under-run but as he can now move more correctly on good surfaces his palmar hoof should strengthen fairly quickly.  
Billy's footage shows that he is getting close to a better landing - he has it on a good surface but is not quite there yet on a hard surface:

Saturday 23 March 2019

2 week comparisons: Sisco's update

Google in their infinite wisdom decided to make some changes to the blog site that hosts this, which meant it signed me out inexplicably and when I signed back in it gave me a whole host of very old photos instead of the current ones. All most peculiar but we now appear to be back in business so here is Sisco, with apologies for the delay. 
Sisco was extremely toe first when he arrived and had very long under-run feet in front. It is of course going to take longer than 2 weeks for this to change significantly but if you compare the original photo (above) with his 2 week shot his stance is better now.

His feet still look long today but the time he has spent on the tracks has made his frogs work harder, which is an important first step in his recovery.

Basically you need frog stimulus to improve the frog and digital cushion and its this that allows the horse to become more comfortable using the back of the foot. 

Two weeks is nothing, really, so all we can hope to see at this stage are hints that things might be changing. A hairline which is less distorted in the lower photo is this sort of hint. 

Here again there is a harder working frog in the most recent photo but its still a weak and under-run hoof. 

A little more depth at the back of the hoof - another hint and a hope that we are heading the right way. 

Thursday 21 March 2019

2 week comparison photos: Mac

I'm posting Mac's photos today but with apologies that its only his RF - for some reason I didn't upload the left ones so will need to try again.  

Mac has been barefoot a long time but his landing has never been as established as it should be in a long term barefoot horse. Our aim is to improve this so that he has a solid heel first landing which can then be built on. 

He is moving confidently on the surfaces here and in the school but although he is heel first on the tracks he is not quite there on a hard surface like concrete or tarmac. 

I'll be filming him again quite soon and will post as soon as I have an update. 

May 5th workshop

New workshop date for May in Powys - full details are below, contact me or Sara to book. 

I'll also be running a date at Rockley later in the summer, probably August, and will post the date here when its live.

Wednesday 20 March 2019

2 week comparison: Humphrey's post

On with the comparison shots for the rehab horses and its Humphrey's turn.  AS ever, the original photo is the upper one, the most recent (taken earlier this week) is the lower photo.
I like the better palmar hoof structure which looks to be giving him more support. His landing has not changed enough to view on video yet but this is an encouraging step in the right direction.

No dramatic changes on the solar view though his frogs are beefing up.

Humphrey had nice-looking feet already but still needed to develop a stronger palmar hoof, as is usually the case with rehab horses.  

As with the other foot his heel is slightly less under-run.  This is his lamer foot so I am hoping that the fact that it is looking less boxy means he is starting to load it more than before. 

A tidy foot and looking a little more balanced.  

Although its not that clear from the photo, one good change is that Humphrey's frogs are now level with his heels rather than below them, meaning they are starting to improve. 

Tuesday 19 March 2019

2 week comparisons: Poppy

Today's comparison shots are Poppys; as usual, the earlier photo is at the top and the most recent photo below. 
Poppy had a better landing than the other horses when she arrived and so has been able to work on hard surfaces as well as in the school and on the tracks. Because her feet were better initially, however, the changes are less obvious. 
The clearest difference is her heels which are moving back to a more supportive position. 

It looks from this angle as if her foot is becoming slightly more balanced but we need longer to be sure. 

Slightly different angles which make comparison tricky, sorry. If anything though she is loading the palmar hoof more than she was. 

Again, the hoof looks more balanced in the recent shot but there is still a way to go. it would be good to see if her medial hoof is more supported in the next set of photos.