Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Progress reports - 8 weeks to change hooves

Its hard to believe but the rehab horses who arrived in March will have been here 8 weeks by next weekend - time for some updates, as I am really pleased with the progress they have all made so far.  
These are Billy's feet - his original photos above and todays' photos below. He arrived in bar shoes and pads and with an exaggerated heel first landing in his bar shoes which reverted to a toe first landing out of shoes. Not surprisingly his palmar hoof was extremely weak and his diagnosis on MRI was DDFT and navicular bone damage.  

Its great to see the solid improvement in his frogs, heels and digital cushion and this is confirmed by his much more confident landing - the footage is linked below.  
There is a lot more structure to the back of his foot now and he has reached the point where he can move correctly on hard surfaces as well as conformable surfaces which is a huge breakthrough.  
You can, I hope, see from the change in his stance that he is more comfortable; the essential is that this is translated into better movement, which is the critical thing.  
As you can see, better movement builds better frogs and that in turn builds a better, stronger hoof internally, reducing stress and damage to the DDFT and navicular bone. As Billy continues to move with a heel first landing and gets proper stimulus from the surfaces he is moving on his feet should continue to recover.  
These photos are a good illustration of why bar shoes and pads give only a temporary solution. They did indeed give Billy a better landing than he had out of shoes but the structures of his feet, both internal and external, were atrophying as a result of the lack of correct stimulus. Out of shoes and with supportive but stimulating ground to move on he ca start to build a stronger, healthier foot. 
We had to have a couple of attempts at filming today as someone kept video-bombing...Footage is below, showing progress over the last 7 weeks. Billy has been working the arena since his second week and we have added roadwork as well as over the last week, which has helped improve his landing further. 

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