Monday 31 August 2020

More new feet: Libby's post

The second new arrival is Libby, another long term barefoot horse who has come to us because her feet have improved but plateaued out of shoes. 

She has a fairly complex history as she has had laminitis in the past as well as a diagnosis on MRI of bilateral DDFT and navicular bone damage. She has been out of shoes for some time but is still uncomfortable on hard uneven ground.

On video (which is below) she is landing heel first on the RF, flat on the LF and has a medio-lateral imbalance which means she is landing laterally on both feet, worse on the LF.

As you can see, despite the fact that she is landing well on the RF she has a long toe and under-run heel (worse on the LF) which we would want to see improve. 
Her feet are fairly flat and shallow, usually a sign of nutritional or metabolic problems, but as she has a history of previous laminitis this is not particularly surprising.
Despite her problems, there is lots to like in her feet, as she is happy to stand square, loads both feet evenly and has well-developed frogs. So we have a good starting point even if there is a lot of room for improvement!

Libby's footage is here:

New week, new feet: Valentina

Busy weekend again with new horses arriving yesterday and now settling in. These are Valentina's feet, she is a PRE who has been diagnosed with navicular damage via x-ray and has a clear toe first landing - her footage is below. 
As you can see from the sole shots, the landing has led to a weak palmar hoof with an under-run heel and narrowed frog.  
As the foot runs under it exacerbates the lack of support to the back of the foot, creating a vicious circle of poor landing and under-stimulated heel, making the foot even weaker. 
As the frog has contracted you can see the beginning of a central sulcus split. This should improve once she has a better landing but its good to catch these issues before they become a source of pain in their own right.
It is a similar story on the other foot, with mostly there same issues. She is also landing slightly laterally, a media-lateral imbalance which you can see more clearly below. 

Overall she is slightly stronger on this foot but both need to strengthen - we'll update with news on Valentina soon. 

Her footage is here:

Saturday 29 August 2020

Jazz's 8 week update

More update photos, these are Jazz's and are also late, with apologies. Sam has been away for the week so I am doing his work as well, which is my excuse (brings out tiny violin...!). 

Regular blog readers may remember that Jazz already had a decent landing when she arrived, though had been toe first a short while before she came here. 

The changes in her feet are subtle but significant - she has a better angle of new growth in the top of the hoof capsule and a shorter toe. 

She has made good progress and is a good example of the fact that older horses (she is 20) can do as well or better - and quicker - than the youngsters when it comes to improving hooves and soundness. 

As she was already heel first there are no dramatic changes here but her foot now has more functional stability and strength. 
Her digital cushion will be developing the longer she goes on with a better landing - her palmar hoof is working well now and should be protecting her much more effectively. 

Jazz'z footage is here:

Thursday 27 August 2020

Ophelia's 8 week update

As I was away last week this is a late update but we're really pleased with Ophelia's progress after a slightly slow start. As usual, her original photos are the upper ones with the recent ones below. 
There is a good angle of new growth here and generally a more stable stance, although as you can see she is still reluctant to stand square for more than a short time. 
A much better foot from the sole shot, with a healthier frog and more supportive palmar hoof. She is self-trimming and has made these changes without any additional trimming being done. 

She was fairly slow to start landing heel first but now she is able to do that her digital cushion is improving as well. 

Again you can see the better angle of growth - this is the foot she is less willing to load so will probably take a few more weeks to catch up with the RF. 

Nevertheless its already a more balanced foot which is helping her to feel more capable and confident. 

Looking at hairline is a good way to assess balance and you can see that her medio-lateral balance is improving now, with a more substantial digital cushion and healthier foot. 
Ophelia's comparison footage is here:


Thursday 13 August 2020

An eight week update: Deluxe's photos

 Deluxe's update should have happened earlier but the haylage got in the way, so here are his photos now with apologies.

As ever, his original photo is at the top and the current photo is below. You can see his new hoof capsule is growing in at a much better angle, with better connected growth at the top which will result in a shorter toe and stronger heel once it has fully grown down.
With the shoes it is hard to see the frog but you can see that the major weight bearing was round the edge of the foot rather than loading centrally, through the frog, as it does now.
This is still a weak foot, with a frog which needs to develop much further, but his frog is already improving and he is landing heel first so that should continue to improve. The ridge of sole you can see round the frog is a sign of a flat foot and thin sole. It is really common in feet like this and will slowly disappear as the  better hoof capsule grows down. 

From this angle the digital cushion is clear and you can see that its much deeper than before and is starting to beef up. Better shock absorption is another key factor in a stronger palmar hoof and will provide further protection for the limb as a whole.

Another great angle to show the change not only in hoof capsule but also in stance, from toe first to a more confident stance where he is happy to load the back of his foot. 

Even without seeing the frog clearly above, its obviously stronger today and is starting to be a functional foot, operating in the way it was intended to. 

Again, building better shock absorption is an essential element of a better hoof capsule and with a stronger and more capable hoof capsule the limb is better supported, with a better supported limb better movement becomes a possibility. 
We'll add his video footage later but now that he can move properly the virtuous circle is in place, and more movement becomes beneficial rather than problematic.