To preface this, I have to say that I almost didn't publish yesterday's post, there was quite the tug-of-war going on in my head about it. In the end I decided that the information was too important to withhold.
The first reason that I almost didn't publish it is because knowledge is power, but sometimes you can have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. One rule of thumb about trimming is that you do NOT cut into the sole. Overgrown bars aren't sole so they need to come off, but you need to be VERY, VERY CAREFUL how you do that. If you've got a hoof where the bars have completely overgrown the sole, you can pretty much bet there's only the thinnest sliver of sole material between the bar material and the corium. You need to slowly and methodically shave that bar material off the sole and remember that if you go too far you can hit corium and seriously wound your horse. If you are shaving that material down and your horse suddenly jerks their foot out of your hand, you need to stop. That was your horse telling you, "Hey, I just felt that!"
With Gwen's overgrown bars I've been taking a little bit off each week. I'm hoping that I can get rid of enough bar material that the corium will start growing sole again even if there's still some bar covering it. That way I won't have to worry about cutting too deep. I'll let you know how that goes.
The second reason I almost didn't publish yesterday's post is because so few people know what they're looking at. Chances are, if you see that your horse has overgrown bars and you say something to your hoof care provider you will either get blown off, scoffed at, or looked at like you've grown three heads. Lots of people think that IS sole. Use discretion when you talk with them about overgrown bars.
Here's one more photo to help you out on this issue. This is a closer view of Coriander's bar/sole junction. You can see a distinct dividing line between the two tissues and the pebbly texture of the sole. You can use this as a reference of what that connection should look like. I know I will.