With the computer tentatively back - or at least in recuperative mode - lets try and get some photos and video footage up...
Deutz has now been here for 6 weeks and although he arrived with really quite nice, strong feet, there are still changes to be seen. His nail holes have grown out and there is better-connected growth at the top of his hoof, as you could see in this post.
His frogs are definitely developing and his palmar hoof is stronger. He had a heel first landing when he arrived so didn't have a chronically weak foot but there was obviously still room for improvement.
This is an interesting shot I think because it demonstrates that heel height is not necessarily the same as palmar hoof strength. The hoof wall is actually shorter now and the foot is less boxy but has a stronger heel and frog.
As with the left foot, no drama but a more balanced foot.
These feet will of course continue to change over the 6 months or so that it will take Deutz to grow a whole new hoof capsule. The fact that he had reasonably good feet to start with has certainly given him a head start and has enabled us to give him a good level of work right from the word go.
Deutz' footage is below which shows his landing on the day he arrived and today. Because he already had a heel first landing there is no radical change in the slow motion footage but I am including it for completeness.
Here are photos showing the feet of 4 of the rehab horses who are here at the moment, with one thing in common...
Its the clear change in the angle of growth of the hoof capsule, which becomes dramatically visible after a horse has spent a few weeks growing a better connected hoof.
The top 3 photos show horses who have been with us for 8 weeks. The trick when you assess a hoof like this is to project the angle of the new growth down in your mind's eye until it gets to the ground and then imagine the difference in support to the horse.
At the same time as visualising this new angle at the dorsal wall, which shortens the toe, you need to how the foot will look once the digital cushion and heels have strengthened, as is the case with Zan, above, who has spent lots more time out of shoes than the other horses.
This last photo shows Deutz, who has only been here for 4 weeks. Nevertheless he has a clear angle change visible as he, like Zan, already had a heel first landing which means he was able to work at a higher level even during the early stages of his rehab.
Deutz arrived 2 weeks ago recently out of shoes and with a diagnosis of DDFT damage to his LF. As you can see, his feet are growing at a good rate with the nail holes almost gone and an improving hairline.
He already had reasonably good frogs but they have broadened and I expect that his heels will also become more symmetrical over the next few weeks.
The asymmetry in his feet is clearer from this angle and should change significantly as he goes through his rehab.
This is his better foot and has an improving hairline, which is good to see.
I'd like to see his heel further back still but this is good progress for 2 weeks.
A diary of whats happening at Rockley, whether its news on rehab horses or on our own horses hunting and competing. All the horses are barefoot, and the blog includes updates on hoof rehabilitation and information about barefoot performance.
You can find out more about research, rehabilitation and our horses on the pages above or at our website: www.rockleyfarm.co.uk.