Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Who wants a hoof update?

I do, I do!

First of all- hello new followers, welcome to my blog!

Okay, back to hooves. You may remember how awful their feet looked back in July when I first posted pictures. That post is here for reference (I also posted recent front and side views here). Since then I've dropped that farrier and taken a much more hands on role with my horses' hooves. I am relieved to say that much improvement has been made. Still far from perfect but at least they don't look abysmal anymore. Without further ado:
Coriander's left fore, the clubbed one
Coriander's right fore. Wow, that heel is unbalanced, and what's going on at the apex of the frog?
Coriander's right hind
Gwen's left fore, the mildly clubby one
Gwen's right fore, still a flare on the outside.
Gwen's right hind
I think that the move to living on pasture 24/7 has made a huge difference to their feet. For one thing that horrible thrush has subsided (I had asked the farrier about that last time he trimmed them and he said it wasn't that bad. I'd hate to see what he thinks is actually bad.) Their walls show much better connection and the flaring has dramatically improved. Coriander's bars are longer because of his super-thin soles, I think he needs all the help he can get so I've been really conservative about taking anything off them. He's pretty sore on hard surfaces and rocks so I have to put boots on him whenever I ride outside of the ring or the back fields (those boots are another post, ACK), but he's getting there. Gwen, on the other hand, has rock-crunching hooves. They may not look perfect but that mare can walk on anything. If we're lucky I'll never have to boot her.

I want to note that I took these pictures while they were loose in the pasture, I literally just walked out with my camera and a hoof pick to get them. Considering that a year ago Gwen wouldn't pick up any of her feet and Coriander was falling over on the farrier whenever he had to hold a leg up (especially that right hind), I am majorly impressed with how good they've gotten. Time, patience, frequent breaks, and lots of treats have made all the difference.

Critiques are greatly appreciated. I'm enmeshed in the learning process right now and want more than anything for them to have healthy hooves, so have at it if you want.


  1. I'm a hoof addict. See them in my sleep LOL.. ;)

    You're on the right track- the hooves did not get in that shape overnight- they won't be fixed overnight either.

    The shot where you questioned what was going on at the apex of the frog- trim that to "normal" position and remove the material that WANTS to come from the sole. You're dealing with a bit of migrated bar tissue that the foot is ready to get rid of.
    Best advice I can give anyone? Keep studying. Watch your horses. Take ONLY ONLY ONLY what the hoof is willing to give. Maintain balance, take small bits at a time, and let the hoof tell you where you need to go next.

    Looking forward to seeing how your guys progress!

  2. Granted, I am still uneducated when it comes to the technical analysis of hooves, but I think they look way better than July! And, you were able to walk up to them in the field and pick up their feet??? Wow!!

  3. I'm not great on hoof analysis but they do look better. We've been dealing with a horse (Grady) on getting his feet in decent shape and they are getting better with good care and good trimming. It takes about a year for the whole hoof to replace itself so getting good feet is a long process and takes patience. I think you're on the right track. Good luck.

  4. Shannon - OT, I thought you might be interested in this if you weren't already aware....

    BTW, I received the Riding the Wave video but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. Will let you know what I think. :-)

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments and for reminding me that their hoof rehab will take time. Especially for Coriander, 9 years of hoof neglect aren't going to be fixed in a few months.

    Especial thanks to Mrs Mom, I'll keep my eye on that bit of bar tissue and see when it wants to come off.

  6. Wolfie you'll have to tell me what you think of it, thanks for the link!