Tuesday 19 January 2021

New arrivals part 2

 Following on from yesterday, here are the photos and footage for our other new arrivals, starting with Astro. 

Astro has been diagnosed on MRI with navicular bone and DDFT damage with some additional damage to the LF. He was in bar shoes when he arrived but has coped well with coming out of shoes and is comfortable on a variety of surfaces. 
This is his better foot and he has a flat/slight heel first landing on this foot compared to a flat landing on his LF. These are not the strongest looking feet, with narrow frogs and weak hoof wall, not to mention a distorted hairline (visible in the top photo) which is usually a sign of uneven load. 
His frogs though, which are always the most important factor in rebuilding palmar hoof strength, are in reasonable shape and his digital cushion could be a lot worse. This is the foot on which he can already land heel first, which is a good sign. 
Although its historically a weaker foot I suspect he may have been switching to compensate, which we see quite often, as this foot looks as if it has been working harder than the other foot (its less boxy) up until recently. 
Ultimately there is lots to work with here so we will monitor Astro's progress carefully over the next few weeks. 
Astro's footge is here: https://vimeo.com/501426336

Next up is Isla, veterinary history to follow, but when we filmed her on arrival her landing was better (heel first) on the RF than the LF (toe first). 

Her lameness was previoulsy worse on the RF so (as with Astro) it is possible that the change is a compensation as usually (as with the horses we looked at yesterday) the pathology on MRI is bilateral even though the lameness may be only in one side. 
She has reasonable frogs but they should definitely develop over the next few weeks - when you look at her foot from this angle the frog is quite weak and has not been fully load bearing. 
This is her weaker foot at the moment with a more under-run heel than the right (which is more upright). She has a farily long toe, which usually corresponds with an under-run heel, and this is something we would want to see improve once she is landing better. 
Again, though, there are plenty of good points, with a fairly healthy frog and moderate digital cushion. 

Isla's footage is here: https://vimeo.com/501425752

And finally we have Jules, who like Astro arrived in shoes, in her case with pads as well. 

Jules has quite strong looking feet but the sole shot shows a frog which we would expect to see build quite considerably. As with Mojo yesterday, the curved bars are a sign of a contracted heel and the frog also looks pinched; this should change fairly quickly. 

A reasonable digitaul cushion and, in common with Isla, long hoof wall that will likely chip and shorten naturally over the next week or so. 
When we filmed her Jules was landing toe first on both front feet, worse on the RF. 
She also has an unusual medio-lateral imbalance where she is landing on the medial rather than lateral edge of her RF. There is evidence of this in her sole, where the medial side has a less under-run heel than the lateral (it is usually the other way around). 
Jules' footage is here: https://vimeo.com/501426019 and there will be plenty more on all the rehab horses over the next few days. 


Monday 18 January 2021

New arrivals, part 1

A busy weekend here with our first new arrivals of 2021 so after a few weeks off we are back and raring to go again! I'll post photos today and tomorrow so we can get all of them up on the blog so brace yourselves for a slew of new feet...
First up is Mojo, who has been diagnosed on MRI with bilateral navicular bone and DDFT damage, more serious on the LF. As you can see from the photos he also has a central sulcus split which is always a trap for infection and often accompanies palmar hoof pain. 
He has been out of shoes for several months and his soundness has improved over that time, to the point that he is now landing heel first on the better foot (RF) and flat first on the LF. 
Although this is a healthier frog you can see the sickle-shaped bars, which are usually an indication of contracted heels. As expected, this is worse on the LF. 

However, there are a some encouraging signs with Moj's feet as well - he is already comfortable out of shoes on tougher surfaces and on conformable surfaces his landing is good. he has already built some good depth to his digital cushion so we will hope for more progress over the next few weeks. 

Mojo's initial footage is here: https://vimeo.com/501425181

Next up is Merlin, our second arrival, who has also come with a diagnosis on MRI of DDFT damage, worse on the RF. He has quite nice-looking feet but it landing toe first on both front feet. 

Merlin is interesting because he bears out the adage that the outward appearance of hooves is not always indicative of well they are working for the horse. 
Merlin has fairly strong looking frogs, although his feet are a little flat, but his landing tells us he has ongoing palmar hoof pain. There is some good structure here though so I would hope Merlin will be able to improve fairly quickly.  

If you compare the shot of his RF (above) with the LF (below) then this looks the stronger and more balanced foot. Although photos are only unlikely to tell the whole story its a fair bet that the left foot has been loading more evenly and working harder than the right, which is borne out by the MRI.
However on his footage his landing is fairly similar on both feet, so again the photos can be misleading.  
Merlin's footage is here: https://vimeo.com/501425474

As during the last lockdowns, I am going to try and post more regular photos on Instagram and Facebook, not least for all the owners who are of course unable to visit at the moment, so do follow Rockley Farm on there if you would like updates.  


Friday 8 January 2021

Rockley - locked down, still working and moving online!

Its a beautiful, if cold, morning on Exmoor and there is a lot going on a Rockley. Like everyone else in the UK, we are in lockdown but as with the first lockdown we are fortunately able to carry on working safely, which is a great relief. 

We have new horses arriving next week and will be taking all the usual precautions to keep their owners, the horses and us as safe as possible. We can't allow visiting, as we would normally do, so I'll be posting as much as I can on here and on social media to try and make up. 

In the meantime, I've been planning a new series of webinars all about the barefoot horse for the New Year. These will build on each other over online sessions of about an hour at a time and would be for a small group only, so there will be a charge, but I'll post more details shortly. Until then, hug your horses and keep smiling!