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Going Barefoot?

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Going Barefoot?

  • No, unfortuneately not a healthy foot. This horse arrived and the xrays were taken 5 days later. He'd been up on heel wedges which jammed his heels up to his elbows. I not only had to grow a heel down, but get them back down first. On top of that, his insides were so tall, that it forced him to land on the outside of his foot, which isn't meant for that. The heel smashed across the hoof and his heel bulbs were literally twisted together. The wedges had come off and it was an instant neg. palmer angle.
    If you put your hand out flat, palm down, then tip you hand upward, then lift your thumb side higher than your baby finger side, then go pidgeon-toed (because a high inside does this too) That's the way he was walking...all four feet. Body score of 3 from extreme pain. Barely made it from trailer to barn.
    I couldn't stand his discomfort. Grumpy, not eating, not drinking, string halt, huge hunter's bump, ulcers. I started trimming right away and when the xrays were done 5 days later, I found that I had gotten P3 (last bone in the hoof) ground parallel without xrays. It was the one bright moment in months following painful rehab and recovery.....4 abscesses, 1 a major corium blow, teeth filed, then power filed again, full ulcer treatment, daily soaking, padding/booting and walking. The only thing that the vet said when he took his xrays was to make him as comfortable as I could for the rest of his days.

    The red line on his coronary band is the existing run of it. The green lines are a perfect hoof. The yellow line going down the center is the horse's descending weight and where the back of the heels should land. See the length and shape of his existing heel? Its short, undefined and sunken under his hoof because it got smashed in that direction. Feel the sag in the red coronary band, from landing on the outside all the time. Note how the red band line goes up at the heel...still jammed up from those wedges despite having a short heel.
    You can see that P3 is ground parallel at the bottom, but not a tight connection on the front wall. Those two lines should be parallel as well. A neg. palmer angle is when P3's nose gets jammed up higher than the back. The shallow angle on P3's nose hints at it. Now look at the run of all 3 bones (P1,P2,P3) Should be in a straight line, but not....tipping upwards. (like he was wearing high heels backwards) Now the green front line shows a perfect hoof outline, which shows both bone and wall have some work to do. Note also that the green hoof line is straight from ground to fetlock.
    Barefoot trimming is about trimming the hoof with a goal of getting the capsule to fit the bone like a tight glove with all torque removed. This guy had saved the nose of P3, because it was raised up in the hoof and didn't get beat up with the ground, but the grinding to the bones above it looked like mini explosions had happened with shrapnel all over the place.
    He had heel first landing when he left, no ulcers, a good bite, a couple of hundred pounds of weight gain, changed color and his hoof size had gone from barely fitting into a size 2, to easily fitting into a 0. Was well on the road to recovery. Just about wrung the life outta me.

    Hope this helps to explain what you're seeing.

    Now, to see if the pic I attached is going to work! 

  • I'm not seeing the pic with the diagraming you described but it sounds like you saved the boy's life. 
    I love Steve Johnson.  I made the mistake once of switching to a "cheaper" trimmer and holy-carp were my horses' feet messed up.  No foot, no horse is really illustrated by your post, missy.  I really can't afford to go "cheap" with my herd.  I wish people would understand you can't just start hacking at a hoof and call it a trim.  I know how critical it is for OUR shoes to fit right and our feet and stride to be balanced.  It can really mess a person up.  Now add about 900 pounds....  
    Looking forward to your pics.  Thanks!!
    Very cool. 
  • I got the pic up. Hope it makes sense...

    I live in a hole of ignorance. There was a barefoot trimmer around here that carved up the horse's feets pretty bad and upset a lot of people and against the barefoot trim as well. So temporary set back on that one. It's coming into the area slowly, though. Another one is seeing ponies up for sale that have been thrown out to pasture from the time of being outgrown to the time it was decided to sell. In full laminitic stance, owner clueless and asking full price!!! All I can think is....no......you don't want me coming to see this guy! The local tack shop never had the products that I needed to order either.

    I've been looking at a lot of hooves for years, now. I also was a drafter/photographer, so I have a good eye. I have great love for the horse and just put it all together. Who am I? Nobody. I'm not a professional, never dissected a cadaver, never been to a clinic, don't trim for money. I'm a Mother of 4 that lives on the end of a dead end road...period. The Hydro had put a quarry stone road (fist-sized) back the land and I couldn't ride on it or get back there anymore, so when I heard about the barefoot trim, I made it a goal to be able to ride that road without the horse batting an eyelash. I made it. That was 8 years ago. Since then I've helped a few friends rehab their horses, rehabbed this one (who came to me right off a forum), transitioned my own, taken a few courses and kept researching and learning. I must have been bitten by a bug or something,lol! I never allowed myself to be caught up in the barefoot/shod argument and ignored the different trim styles that came out. (though I did research them and learn from them) I think my strongest talent is to be able to feel what the horse is feeling. I don't have any pre-conceived notions when I go to trim. I just listen and do what the hoof tells me it needs.....nothing more. I've explained this in other places....shown pathology on other's hooves and made perfect sense to them. They have picked up a rasp and started doing it themselves. Its not rocket science, really. If you can imagine your comfort, you can imagine your horse's comfort. I find I'm leaving in my wake, a whole bunch of housewives, women who are about to give birth and in all kinds of situations picking up a rasp and doing it themselves. I'm amazed! Not one bad trim among them! I'm so very proud of them all. That's taking love for your horse and advocating for him, for sure! Doing a darn fine job too! What happened in the wake of all this, is that a few farriers lost some clients in the process. A couple of them even turned professional.
    So who am I? Nobody, really. Just love the horse too much for my own good and wish to help if I can, that's all. It's gotta make sense, then you understand....once you understand....you know.

  • Hi,

    There are a number of factors that effect hoof health aside from trimming, including environment, diet, nutrition, frequency of hoofcare, exercise, diet, etc.(Know I said that twice - it's extra important!) Check out this forum thread for some more good info & considerations;http://www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/