Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Pathological, But Unique Nonetheless

Lately, I've been posting lots of pics of very pathological hooves. So, today I'm going to flip the script a bit and focus on some more "normal" hooves--Salem's! It's been quite a while since I've taken pics of his hooves, let alone posted them, and I think it's important to periodically document them so I can see what's going on and compare them to older pics.

Luckily, Salem's front hooves are now just about textbook-perfect--they have extremely tight wall connections, big healthy frogs, good concavity, thick sole calluses, incredible balance, and zero fungus.

Right Front

Left Front

His rear hooves also have a whole lot going for them; but, while they're healthy and strong, they're a bit more...*ahem* unique. Particularly his right hind.

Right Hind

Yes, that hoof is a bit cattywompus--the frog is off-center, the medial side looks a bit squished, for lack of a better word, and the medial heel bulb is much smaller and less developed than the lateral heel bulb.

But, in all honesty, I'm not worried. Because Salem's whole back-end is a bit funky, and *this* is the hoof that works for him. There isn't a "cookie-cutter" trim that each hoof must fit into; in fact, the only measurements and mark-ups that Candy does are for a 30-degree hairline and a heel that is 1 1/8" from the coronet. That's it. The bars are kept trimmed and the walls rounded, and basically the rest is up to Salem. Keep in mind, too, that his right hind is where his mystery lameness/stiffness is, and hooves are a reflection of what's going on in the horse's body. That's the great thing about having a barefoot horse--everything will show up in the hooves, so it's a great barometer for the health of the rest of the horse's body. So, while this hoof looks less than perfect, it's functional and it works well for Salem.

Left Hind

The left hind is certainly more "normal"-looking than the right hind, but it too is less well-balanced than the fronts. You can see that the frog is, again, slightly off-center. And the medial heel bulb is smaller and less robust than the lateral. (But check out that amazing concavity!!) I do think he either weights the lateral walls of his hinds more, or just wears them more because of the way he moves, because the medial walls are always a bit longer.

Yep, as with all things, Salem definitely has to be unique.


Alana said...

Hoof Pics!! Healthy Hoof Pics! Yay! Them are some nice tootsies! That one foot is very unique, it is amazing to me how much being barefoot helps them. Just think in the 'normal' way of doing things, he would be slapped into some shoes that make his hoof more 'normal' shaped, and his mystery lameness would more than likely get much worse. People like cookie-cutter, and people like shortcuts, and if you can slap basically off-the-shelf shoes on a horse to make them 'sound', why take the time to get truly healthy hooves for that horse? Hmm? Oh wait, hippy coming out :)!
I have officially taken over Ta'ceyewi's trims, and am having a blast at it. This winter we had lots of icky mud, and unfortunately thrush took its toll, but his frogs are slowly but surely getting bigger, wider and stronger, and he has some super nice concavity and some decent tightness to his lines! Rascal, eh, we are getting back on track. I am taking a super slow rehab line with him, as his bars were, well, wonky. I would need to make a blog just on his hooves.
And the (almost, though not really I guess) best thing? Bailey has always cow-kicked when you pick her feet up (ah the things rescues carry with them), and as I got more nervous it got worse with me. A week into training, just a week, I am comfortable on her fronts, and am hoping to tackle the backs soon. Luckily my actual trimmer was able to 'tackle' her on a fairly loose schedule, and remarkably the girl still has some decent feet, I guess the goodness of sound diet paid off for her...
Can we get some updates on the two founder ladies you helped out awhile back? And what is going on with Salem? Have you tried him under saddle to evaluate his soundness issues?

Frizzle said...

Alana, you need a blog! Because I am always reading about your lovely beasts but I never get to actually see them. I'm sure a LOT of people could learn a lot from you (and then I would have another fellow hippie weird-o blog to read!). Glad to hear that your herd is doing well and T'ac's thrush is clearing up.
Good for you for trimming your boy's hooves yourself. I am *almost* to the point that I would be comfortable wielding a hoof knife & nippers, but I'm not there yet. I will stick with my rasp for now. :-)
BIG things are happening with my two little horsepital patients! I know I need to do updates, I have been SO horrible at that lately. Tiff went through a bit of a tough spell but that old girl is tough as nails and now she's doing really well.
Haven't ridden Saley yet. I was doing a lot of longe work with him up until last Saturday (not this one we just had, the one before that), and I will have more on that in another post (soon!!).

smazourek said...

The white lines look gorgeous!

One little thing: collateral grooves end where the bar ends, about halfway down the frog, there should not be grooves all the way down to the apex. I know Linda M would agree with me on that one :)

Did he blow an abscess on that right hind? Lateral bar looks like he did.

I had to resort to drawing myself cheat lines for trimming the bars. I found that if I don't I tend to leave them too long and curved.

Frizzle said...

Huh, interesting, smaz--I have never heard that about the collateral grooves (??). Can you explain more?

Nope, no abscess on the RH so not sure why he has that little deviation. Funny you should bring up abscesses, though, as these photos were taken a month ago (started the post three weeks ago and then got distracted, lol) and Salem developed an abscess in the LF not long after. Just blew a few days ago (thank goodness!).

Frizzle said...

Oh, and smaz, do you men Linda Mair (sp?) by Linda M? I believe she lives very close to me and knows my trimmer and one of my feed store guys (who is my "guru" and the person who started me on this whole barefoot journey!).

smazourek said...

Yup, she's who I meant. I was doing the same thing when I was trimming and she pointed it out to me.

The collateral grooves are formed by the frog and the bar wall. Since the bar naturally ends at the middle of the frog that is also where the collateral groove ends. After that point the frog/sole junction should be smooth- without a ditch. Any groove past the bars is just a thrush catcher ;)

Frizzle said...

Well, thankfully thrush is not a problem for us! :-)

Nina said...

Those hooves look bloomin awesome! Well Done! I bet Salem loves them as well!

Frizzle said...

Thanks, Nina! Most of the credit goes to Candy, as I'm just the in-between-trims rasping person. :-) And, yes, I do believe Salem is quite content with his hooves.

Achieve1dream said...

His hooves are looking great! Even if they are a little unique. :D