Monday, 24 April 2017

Zac's 3 week update


Zac has now been here just over 3 weeks and so its time for an update. He has fairly upright feet so there is no dramatic change in angle to see but he is starting to become less under-run at the back of his foot. 

You can see this more clearly when you look at the sole shots. His frog is becoming more robust but he still has a ridge of sole extending from his bars to the apex of the frog which is a sign of a weak foot.  

He is one of those horses whose feet actually looked too small for him when he arrived so its good to see them beginning to look a bit beefier now


A slightly less under-run foot and slightly better hoof pastern axis but still plenty of work to be done. 
Because he has been slower to land heel first he has not been able to work as hard yet as the rehab horses I blogged about last week. 
Nevertheless stomping about on the tracks as well as working in the school has helped his feet to begin heading in the right direction. 

His frog and digital cushion are working harder than before and I think he is on the verge of being confident enough to land heel first; I hope this will happen over the course of the next few days. 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Another seventeen days - Teddy G's update

Teddy also arrived on 1st April and had also been out of shoes a while. This is his worse foot which in addition to the problems diagnosed on MRI had a central sulcus split. 
These can be problematic as they are prone to infection and in a horse who is landing toe first can be slow to heal. The secret usually is to get on top of any infection with a mild treatment like Veterinus derma-gel or manuka honey. 
Once the infection is no longer causing pain the horse will usually, on conformable surfaces, be able to start engaging the back of the foot and this of course promotes a change in landing. 
Once a horse is landing heel first then the back of the foot can rebuild and stimulus to the frog is key to this. In Teddy's case we have been treating the split and it is slowly improving. 
He is already loading the back of the foot more readily and I hope that over the next few weeks the split will close up fully.

His foot is starting to appear less under-run but we still have a long way to go, as you'd expect at this stage. 

Its good to see a better frog and the heels moving back, which is confirmed by his improved landing - his footage is at the end of this post. 

You can see clearly from this angle that the frog on this foot is healthier - no split although it is still in need of development. 

The biggest change, again an incremental one but definitely in the right direction, is in his landing footage which is up here: https://vimeo.com/213982614

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/213982614" width="320" height="180" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/213982614">Teddy G</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/rockleyfarm">Nic Barker</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>



Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Fourteen days

More updates, this time Ted M who arrived soon after Jigsaw and so had been here 14 days when these photos were taken at the start of the week. 
Ted had probably the best feet and the best landing of the current crop of rehab horses when he arrived so I would expect 2 things: first that he should make fairly rapid progress and second that, although his feet should improve further, there won't be such dramatic changes as with some horses. 
Sure enough his feet are becoming stronger and less under-run, with a developing frog and heels but he already had some good structure there. 
 
Now that he is working on harder surfaces his long hoof wall is wearing down which should also  help his foot to balance as it loads more centrally. 
He is doing a good job of building up the back of his foot as his clear heel first landing shows. 

Again, a less under-run foot but nothing shocking. He is setting himself up a solid platform for future work which is what we want. 

More of the same changes that we are seeing on the other foot, heading in the right direction. 

  There is a slightly different angle to these 2 photos but the shorter hoof wall is still clear to see. 
His footage is here or on this link on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/213817431

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/213817431" width="320" height="180" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/213817431">Ted M</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/rockleyfarm">Nic Barker</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

He was already landing heel first but his stride has become more confident in the time he has been here and I hope it will improve again as we go through the rehab process. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Seventeen days

Jigsaw has been here since April 1st and so its time for an update. I am in the process of sorting the photos and video for all the horses who arrived that weekend and hope to have them all up during the rest of this week.
As always, the original photo is at the top and the update is the lower photo. Jigsaw had been out of shoes for some months before he came here which has given him a good head-start. His frog and heels have improved already and he is now confident enough to land heel first. 
Not the best comparison shot but you can see his frog is working harder than it was and is helping to regenerate his palmar hoof. 

Jigsaw does not seem to photograph well from this angle but you can at least see that his heel is less under-run.  

There is an interesting medio-lateral imbalance on this foot which will be worth keeping an eye on. At the moment it looks as if it is, if anything, improving but lets see what his next update looks like. 

I like the stronger and more balanced frog and digital cushion which he is developing now that he is landing better; its a very encouraging sign.   
 

Again the heel is looking more supportive although there is still a long way to go.  
 
Jigsaw's footage is here - Vimeo seems to be behaving again so I hope it will display properly or you can see it directly on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/213630593
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/213630593" width="320" height="180" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/213630593">Jigsaw</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/rockleyfarm">Nic Barker</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Monday, 17 April 2017

Truth, consequences, regenerating feet and happy endings

I posted before Christmas about a horse whose feet had started to fail due to too much stabling, too much grass, not enough minerals and not enough exercise. It was proposed to shoe her to solve the problem but fortunately her owner disagreed and brought her back here. 
It has taken several months to get her feet back on track and even now it will be another 4 months, I reckon, before she has truly healthy feet again but I am pleased to say that instead of being shod and lame she is barefoot and sound and is making great progress. 

The top photo was taken the day she arrived back here. Not only had her toe become long but her heels had under-run quite dramatically and if you look at the back of her foot it had also weakened in the few months she was away. She had gone from having a strong heel first landing to having a flat landing and was even lame from the pain in the back of her foot at one point. 
She is a horse who grows hoof capsule more slowly than some so it has taken 4 months for the new growth to reach halfway down her hoof capsule but you can see how much better her foot will be once it has grown in completely. 

She now has enough good foot to be back to her old self, happily hunting at the end of this season and back in consistent work which is allowing her feet to fully recover. She's a good example of a horse who thrives when her feet are taken care of but deteriorates quickly if you take your eye off the ball.