Saturday, April 10, 2010

My herd...Part 1

Hoanna on her first 50 at the Bryce Canyon XP

Well, thought I would throw in some pics of my own horse's feet. And one of Terri's, LOL...basically the mare band I posted about earlier, that hang out in the "mare pasture". I have to admit, I let them go a little long when I took these pics and did the trim (8wks instead of the usual 5-6...they need it every 4 or so if I ride lots and they grow more, but 5 is ok right now). The old saying about the 'cobbler's kids are the last to get boots' sometimes rings true. I get so caught up in stuff and since I don't really write down when they were done or are due (ug, I know, set it on the calendar like with clients!), I sometimes just forget when I did them. If I ride all the time, I notice it more (cleaning feet all the time and such), but not when they are lazying about the pasture. Anyway, I will start with Hoanna, my 13yo, 14hd MOrgan/QH cross. She is my steady eddy, do anything horse. My first horse actually (didn't "own" horses til I was in college!) and my perfect pony in many ways. She was what got me really convinced about barefooting...she would wear her hind shoes thin enough to shave after 6wks of good riding, only on the outside branch though. If doing endurance, I had to pad her as she'd be tender over rocks/gravel (she is borderline insulin resistant, which had a lot to do with that, but this was before I knew about IR and nutrition). I never thought this horse could go barefoot, so I used her as my main guinea pig when I started all this. I figured if SHE could go bare successfully, most any horse could! Well, as you can see, I still am a barefoot fan, so it worked! Happy Barefoot horse! :)

This mare is interesting....leaving her long is actually good as an example trim... She tends to grow LOTS of toe and wants to run her heels under, so I try (when I am less of a dunce and remember!) to keep her toes back and often... It has made her feet SO much better! And on her hinds, she "twists" with every step, so she REALLY wears the outside of her feet (and twists off every boot of every brand I tried...or twists them around on her foot...sighhh..only glued/foamed boots stay on properly with her....though I have a few simpler tricks for endurance rides... I just ride her bare behind if on trail rides) . This means trimming mostly the inside of her feet, trying to keep everything relatively balanced.... The pics might be of left or right side, as I didn't really take total pictures of ALL feet the whole time. But she doesn't really vary much from R/L so I do the same thing on both sides and you can get the idea :)

From the front and side.. here you can really see how she shoots that toe out and her heel actually makes her look even longer than she is (as you'll see when I show you the solar view).

Front feet...she has about 1/2" too much wall height, but about 1" too much toe length... frogs have the typical "tattered" look most our local horses have (I still think it has to do with acidic soil...there is not really much thrush in there, though sometimes they will get it...AFTER the tattering..).

First the rough nippering... just taking length off, toe still on, cleaned the frog a little. Then I rasp it all clean and take back that toe and round the hoofwall. The difference in the hoof shape is huge... think of where the breakover is on the first shot, then the second...

And a side shot...she doesn't have a huge amount of concavity, but seems to do fine with it. Sugar is her enemy when it comes to hoof sensitivity (and she'll be coming off pasture this month, as it is starting to grow again...more than she should have...her daughter is the same way...).

I also take off any wall flare (once the toe is set back, the flare almost disappears and the wall doesn't need a ton of rasping) and round the edges from the top as well.

And the back feet can see how she really wears the outside (the whole foot really...I don't have to nipper the hinds like I did the fronts! At least I know she is using her hind end well! :) ) and how that heel even comes back further as a result.

So I just rasped the walls a little all around, brought the inside wall down to where it is now even with the outside one, and brought the inside heel back as much as I can to even it out more. I also cleaned up the frog and evened out the walls, finishing with a roll around the walls.

And the finished project. She is standing a bit under herself, so the angles look a bit odd, but if you see her more "normal" standing and moving, she looks correct.
But it gives you an idea of how bringing the toes back really makes a huge difference on her feet...

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