Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hoof Progress - Lots of Pictures!

The horse who is featured in 'Is This Hoof A Good Hoof?' is making progress. The first check and trim was done 18 days after the set up trim. The next check and trim photos are from eight days after that. At each trim all that was done was to tune up the mustang roll on all four hooves, including making sure the quarters were relieved. Ted also worked at bringing front hoof breakover back a tiny bit more at each of these two trims. This is something that he will continue to work at a little bit at a time as Ted is very cautious to go carefully because he firmly believes that every trim should leave a horse as comfortable or more comfortable than prior to the trim. Keep in mind these are showing the progress these feet made over only 26 days. Particularly impressive given the fact that for a good portion of those days we had to restrict (rather than encourage) her movement due to risk of injury. However the weather conditions moderated and allowed us to begin turning her out for a lot more exercise right around that 18 day mark. Since the hoof and sole develop by load and release (as Pete Ramey says "Length of recovery time is measured in miles not days.") This truth is well demonstrated by the progress in the last eight days.

Right front, 18 days after set up trim
At this point the frog is beginning to touch the ground in some spots and some flaky junk has exfoliated off the outside of the sole and a healthier looking sole is beginning to appear.

Right front, 8 days of turn out later....
Now the sole is really showing growth and the frog has developed substantially. 

 For comparison - here is an original front hoof picture after the set up trim.
Starting Point - Right Front After Set Up Trim
Although it is difficult to see from this angle, the sole is developing some thickness so there is a little bit of depth at the apex of the collateral grooves. Also you can see the callous ridge development beginning to show up around the outside edge of the sole. Most impressive is the rapid growth of frog once the mare was turned out on soft footing. On the original set up trim day the frog was not contacting the ground at all, eighteen days later barely touching on a few spots. During those eighteen days she did get a couple of days of turn out play (when snowcover seemed adequate to offer some protection) but for the most part activity was quite restricted due to safety concerns. Eight days of turnout on soft ground later and the frog is fully functioning (at least on soft ground) and developing accordingly. 

This photo is of the left front but it is a better angle to see the development of some sole.  

Hind foot progress is going well too. The first photo is eighteen days after set up trim. All that she needed on the hinds at this point was a little relieving of the quarter walls and the second photo shows eight days of turnout later. Compare the apex of the collateral grooves in these two photos and you can see that she is getting a thicker sole. The frog is also beginning to develop well. We are very pleased with her progress. 

Left Hind - eighteen days in 

Left Hind - 26 days in (8 days after above photo)
Hind Hoof after Set Up Trim
Note how flat the bottom of this hoof is compared to the concavity that is beginning to develop now ( 26 days later). In about one month the internal structures of this hoof (P3 especially) is so much safer and more protected than when we started. 

I will keep posting progress reports. Personally I am interested to see if, when, and how much the bars begin to develop on these hooves. Up to this point Ted has not touched bars, frogs, or (of course!) sole. All work done has been to the walls.  

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