Monday, 20 October 2014

Sorry for the delay - internet issues - but here is Ernie at last

I meant to get these photos up this morning but the computer and the internet have been against me all day. Still, eventually here are Ernie's photos showing a comparison over the last 2 weeks. 
 With Ernie, as with most horses, we are looking for better frog and palmar hoof development and a stronger, more functional hoof. We are only a fortnight in so its early days but his frog and sole are working harder and his bars are straighter and more even. 
As ever, the caudal shots are some of the most interesting. Apologies that the angles are not identical but the frog and digital cushion are tougher and developing better today so lets hope that continues over the next couple of weeks.  

 Not a huge change from this angle but a slightly less deviated hairline is a good sign and his hoof capsule is growing at a decent rate as you can tell from the disappearance of the nail holes.

The central sulcus split is still evident on his RF but its improved slightly and hasn't stopped him from working the frog on this foot. 


Finally, here is Ernie's footage - again apologies that the new footage is so dark - the perils of October but I will get the halogen lights sorted out for shooting soon. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Happy Friday everyone!

Haven't had one of these for a while but this was such a great shot that I had to post it!

This is Indy, who was here last year, celebrating going XC for the first time in 3 years - doesn't he look fab?  Big congratulations to Emily for all her hard work and the well-deserved reward!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Eagerly awaited

Apologies to Eager's owner, Nicola, who has had to wait til now for her photos even though she arrived at the weekend.
 Eager is only 5 and has, as far as we know, never been shod so she has pretty nice feet - a much better frog and digital cushion than I normally see in horses on arrival and fairly strong hooves.
You could look at photos and conclude that she doesn't have a thing to worry about where her feet are concerned - and this is why you should never rely on photos or a static hoof as a way of assessing hoof health!
 These ARE nice feet - but Eager has an imbalance which means she is landing only fractionally and intermittently heel first (when she should be definitively heel first with a good palmar hoof like this) and she is landing on the lateral heel which means she is unevenly stressing the hoof.
A lameness work up before her MRI identified a bilateral lameness which was worse (3/10) on the LF and which also affected the RH. The MRI itself showed "mild loading changes" to the navicular and pedal bones and some soft tissue damage, though this wasn't severe.
In a foot like this, which has a good baseline of strength, I would expect to see fast changes so expect more on Eager soon. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Alfie's 10 week update

I missed posting Alfie's update last week so he has now been here 10 weeks and its long overdue. He had adequate hooves when he arrived but although he had been out of shoes for several months there was little development at the back of the foot as you can see in the top photo. 
However Alfie was keen to get going and was able to work on tougher surfaces relatively quickly which has helped to strengthen his feet considerably. His heels are now less under-run, his digital cushion is deeper and stronger, his toes have shortened and his whole hoof capsule looks more capable.
This is now a more balanced foot but his heels need to come back to be more supportive of the limb. This should continue to happen as he grows in a healthier hoof capsule. Overall, his foot is more symmetrical when you view it from the sole  - this is a key factor in checking whether his media-lateral balance has improved. 

A much stronger palmar hoof  - better frog and digital cushion development.
   
A similar picture on his LF though its not quite as good yet as his RF. 

There shouldn't be any question which is the healthier, surely?! 


Finally, here is his footage showing his landing today. He is now clearly heel first and loading both medial and lateral sides of his front feet evenly as he lands, which is great news. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Filly's final update

Like Felix, Filly went home on Sunday so its time for her update. Apologies for the differing angle of these photos but when there are 3 horses coming/going with 3 sets of owners and 3 sets of photos to take its not always possible to perfectly replicate. 
As you can see, she suffered a nasty abscess at the toe and although that has now resolved it has left a nice clear marker of how fast her hoof is growing. 
At the business end the comparison shots are clear. Like Felix yesterday, a hairline which is diving towards the ground is a sure sign of a contracting heel and in her original photos there is little or no depth to the digital cushion. 
The much greater depth is clearly visible today - all you need to do is compare the distance between hairline and hoof wall. Shorter, straighter hoof walls are more supportive along with a healthier frog. 
These photos were taken on arrival and immediately after shoes came off. 
The lower photo is the same foot a few weeks in. Still relatively weak, with a ridge of sole extending from the bars which is typical of thin, flat feet.  
Today (below) the frog is broader and healthier and the ridge of sole has disappeared as she has built better concavity and sole depth. No trimming has been required to achieve these changes, only work on varied terrain, a good diet and patience. Her new point of break-over (where the new hoof growth will hit the ground) is clear to see and will result in a much shorter toe in a few weeks' time. 

Again, a different angle for which apologies. Nevertheless the better digital cushion depth is clear when you look at the hairline and the angle of the new growth is also clear. This will result in a shorter toe and more supportive palmar hoof over the next few weeks and months. 

As with the LF, a stronger digital cushion, shorter hoof wall and healthier frog. This is all critical not only for hoof balance but for the integrity of the palmar hoof.

As you can see from these photos, the under-run heels on this foot were clear.
Today (below) the heels are much improved and considerably less under-run. The sole is tougher and not so flat and the toe, as with the LF, will become shorter over the next few weeks; as with the LF, her break-over is already coming in at the point where her toe will be once the new growth is complete. 

 As with Felix, her stance is to my mind much more balanced today and should improve further has she grows a fully balanced foot.
Here is the comparative footage for those interested in how her landing and loading have improved. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Felix' final update

It was a busy weekend here with lots of comings and goings, including Felix' return home to Wiltshire. His original blog post is here and its great to be able to compare his feet from the day he arrived (above) to today. 
There is a lovely new angle of growth which has grown in nearly two thirds of a new hoof capsule in 14 weeks. So for anyone who still thinks hooves take a year to change, think again once they are bare! Looking at his palmar hoof you can also see there is much more depth to the digital cushion (look at the hairline) as well as a better hoof/pastern axis. 
A healthier looking foot today with shorter hoof wall, a more robust digital cushion and stronger frog.  There is still a split in the central sulcus which will need to be kept clean tip its fully healed but its a lot better than it was.


Better frog, straighter bars, stronger sole and shorter toe. Good job Felix!

As with the other front foot, the development of his palmar hoof has meant he has a better hoof pastern axis. The more level hairline is as always a giveaway and his foot is now better able to support the limb.

Again, compare the hairline and you can see how the digital cushion has strengthened. Pinched, contracted heel bulbs like those in the top photo are always a sign of a deteriorating hoof. 
 You can also see from this angle how much stronger and more stable a shorter hoof wall is. 

 As with the LF, the main changes are a better frog, shorter toe and healthier sole but the whole foot is now more balanced under the limb.

 his stance today (below) isn't perfect but it looks a whole lot more comfortable than he was in shoes and, most importantly of all, he is much, much sounder.
I'm working my way through all the updates from this weekend as well as last week so I will get everything up as soon as I can.