Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hoof Trim Pictures, Before and After

Took the time to trim Arabee's hooves yesterday. Takes about an hour to do all 4. When I first started, it took that long to do just two, but I don't have to do as much now, plus I've gotten stronger (and the rasp has gotten duller, which means it doesn't take as much hoof at once, which means it's easier to use!)

This is a "before" picture of her left front, and hind feet. Not terrible, but you can see that the wall has lost most of the mustang roll on the inside of the hoof, and that she's got a center crack started which means that she's putting too much pressure on the front "corners" (this is probably not what that's called, but it's the part of the hoof that's about an inch or two on either side of the center front of the hoof). It's probably starting because the wall is touching the ground (the mustang roll has grown out) on the inside of the hoof.

This is a "before" picture of her front hooves. It's pretty obvious the line about 2/3 of the way down the hoof where the new growth has come in after I started giving her mustang rolls in the barefoot trimming style. The new growth is nice and tight, where the last 1/3 of old hoof is sort of bumped out from the wall pulling away from the laminae (called flaring) - The mustang roll keeps the walls from bearing all of the horse's weight and allows the wall, sole, heel, bars, and frog to equally share the weight burden.

This is the "after" picture. It's not great, but you can kind of see where I rasped the hoof.

Basically, my strategy on this trim was to have her prop her foot up on the jack stand, and I rasped about an inch up from the bottom of the hoof. I worked on bringing the bottom of the hoof's angle to match the rest of the new growth at the top of the hoof, then rounding the bottom edge in to meet the outside edge of the white line. I wish I had taken an "after" picture of the bottom of the hoof to show where I stopped rasping. I never ever rasp the sole - it's Arabee's job to wear her sole, my job to help her keep her walls and bars even with the sole. The sole is the road map to help you determine where the wall all around the hoof is supposed to be.
Today or tomorrow I'll try to take some better pictures of her new trim. It had started to rain just as I was finishing up last night, or else I'd have taken them then.
Arabee's hooves are quite sound walking and trotting on gravel and really all surfaces, and she's developed nice concavity to her soles. I'm having some issues with her frog - Unfortunately that week I was sick and I wasn't well enough to pick hooves (or really move) , the thrush bug thought that would be a good time to take up residence. I'm working on treating that, but she's not showing any soundness issues because of it thankfully. It really shows the importance of daily hoof picking in this wet weather.
If I've said it once I'll say it a thousand times: I am so glad that I have taken charge of the care of my horses' feet! It's weird, too - Arabee almost seems to enjoy having me trim her hooves - she gets this soft look on her face and just really relaxes and lets me have her feet however I want them. She must appreciate the results!

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