Wednesday, 25 November 2015

What happens when you don't trim a hoof...for years...

 ...they turn out like this...
 (apologies for the mud, we'd just got back on a slightly wild day)
...or sometimes like this...
I wanted to post these because you still can't read about barefoot on the internet without stumbling over trimming - although thankfully people are less invasive than they used to be and many are even beginning to respect the horse's judgment over their own preconceptions, which can only be a good thing.
The feet belong to 2 different horses and they have neither of them been trimmed since, I think, 2009 or possibly slightly earlier - so 6 years of no trimming.
I'm sure I will get comments but lets see!

Monday, 23 November 2015

What do you think of these feet?

These are the latest feet to arrive at Rockley - a horse who came in shoes when the weather was too bad for decent photos. 
She has pretty good frogs for a horse straight out of shoes and a reasonably good digital cushion too.

 She had an abscess on this foot before she came so its a bit messier than the LF but again lots to like.

Monday, 9 November 2015

There and back again

Andy, Winston and I were away for 3 weeks and got back to find our horses very happy indeed and enjoying a fantastic autumn. 
There is nothing more boring than other people's holiday photos but its Monday and no-one minds a bit of blue sky and beach, surely?!
There was plenty of this sort of thing and its was a perfect way to relax and re-charge and I hope you all had a fantastic October as well.
Sadly the gorgeous weather we had when we came home seems to be slowly but surely transforming into more normal weather for November but it was fun while it lasted.
Now, back to business!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

A month off

Thanks for all the great comments, shares and support on this blog especially over the last few months.

I'm going to take a month off during October, partly just for a break but also because Andy and I are having some much-needed time away - and our first holiday for over 10 years(!).

I'll be back soon  - both at Rockley and on the blog - so in the meantime have a fabulous October and keep working those hooves!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Not in the foot...Lady's update

An unusual update today, as Lady is a horse who arrived with a lameness which was NOT in the foot. This makes her almost unique among the horses we have rehabbed but there were some similarities as well. 
It was clear that the problem she had had caused dramatic muscle loss in her pectoral area, as you can see from her initial photo above. She was lame LF and had a corresponding lameness on the diagonal RH. The veterinary diagnosis was that there was sacro-iliac damage behind and most likely brachial nerve damage in front, so plenty to work on. 

Interestingly, she was also landing toe first on her LF - which makes sense as the nerve damage and  muscle loss made it impossible for her to fully extend her limb. 
Her vet thought it probable that the muscle atrophy would take up to 6 months to fully repair but it is nice to see that in 8 weeks she has already made progress though of course there is a long way to go.

Her lameness is also improving, as you can see from her footage. She is now working much better than she was in hand and led from another horse so ridden work will be the next step.


Monday, 28 September 2015

Dakota's final update

Dakota went home yesterday and so time for an update. Lets start with footage for a change - comparing her landing from June to September...

Dakota from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

I'm really pleased with how the back of her foot has developed so far - even with a good half of her new hoof capsule to grow in the hairline is straighter and the digital cushion is bulkier. 

Not only a better palmar hoof but a clear angle change in this foot as well which means a shorter toe and a more supportive hoof once the capsule has grown all the way in. 

Still a work in progress but a better frog and you can see that her toe will be considerably shorter once the new growth is complete. 

A much happier looking foot with a frog and digital cushion which are starting to work properly.

Sorry about the wrong angle - Mac playing silly buggers again...
All in all some nice changes and more to look forward to over the next few months. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Filming - the next step...

So one of the aims for the reunion was, as always, to get some footage of feet from a different perspective.
Steve Leigh and I had been planning this for a while but there is a limit to what you can put in place when you live 450 miles apart so there was a lot to be done once we met at the reunion in Wiltshire. 

It became clear pretty quickly that we faced a major logistical challenge, particularly as we only had the materials and tools which we'd brought with us. To the rescue came Will, whose horse Alfie was here earlier in the year and who not only lived nearby but had a workshop and an innovative practical solution to our problem. Without his time, help and expertise we would never have got this far, so huge thanks Will for all your help!

This was campfire technology, literally done on the hoof, and there is plenty we need to hone and improve on but its a promising start.

Ramping up from Nic Barker on Vimeo.