Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thrush recovery: 2 months

Left fore

Right fore

This is how Coriander's frogs looked last Sunday. They are coming along, slowly filling in from the crack between his heels. The overactive heel and bar growth are finally slowing down now, still high, but I can tell that change is afoot (he he).

I've ended up going in about once a week to cut off more and more of that old, diseased frog. You can see the difference in color between the old stuff and the new healthy growth underneath in his left fore (click on the photos to enlarge them). I'll need to go back this weekend and cut off more dead frog and also take those bars back, but I trimmed Gwen first on Sunday so I was a little tired when I got to him. Look at how nice and thick his walls are growing in though, and how nicely shaped his toes have become. He's going to have a darn nice foot once his frog is complete. I wish his feet would grow a little faster but it is winter, after all. I'm guessing that it will take another two months before he has full, robust frogs, but he seems sound enough under saddle now for light work (walk, trot only).

Stay tuned: I've been taking photos once a week that I'll be posting once the process is complete. That might make me the sole source on the web for documenting frog growth. This is how world domination starts, folks.


  1. Well, if it wasn't for your documentation I might not have noticed my mare had a problem until it was far more advanced. I was picking out her feet and had this moment of "I've seen those feet before". Glad I remembered where I saw them.

    Curious, you mention overactive heel and bar growth. I might have missed something in one of the earlier posts, but is this related to the thrush problem? Because my mare definitely has this kind of growth pattern.

  2. Ok, the bars thing is such a mystery. In a proper barefoot trim, should the bars be rasped down so they don't hit the ground? I'm always questioning Laz's bars as they look long to me...

  3. Story I'm pretty sure it is, I think the hoof compensates and tries to protect the diseased frog by growing extra heel and bars. How that happens I don't know. Then again, I'm no professional, I'll have to see what happens when he has frogs again.

    Kristen there are many different schools of thought on that. Pete Ramey advocates leaving them alone, a bunch of other people say you need to take them down because they either stifle frog growth or press into the bottom of the hoof like dull knives. The interesting thing about bars is that they will get chalky if they want to come off. Horses with a lot of movement will wear that off themselves but most domesticated horses don't, so we have to help them.

    If you really want to learn more about barefoot trimming check out http://www.barefoothorse.com/index.html and go on from there. I might do another post telling people which sites I've found the most helpful.

  4. Wow, that's a big difference. Good for you!

    Talking about excess growth, isn't one school of thought that the extra growth is stimulated by more weight bearing on an area. With the frogs compromised that would distribute the weight to the heels and bars. ??

  5. Perfect comment, that makes a ton of sense and would explain it completely. Thanks Mikael!

  6. Looking good! And how brave you are to do your own maintenance.

  7. Yes, I know of barefoothorse.com, it's great. My concern is knowing what is right or comfortable for my horse. Do I test out a new trimmer to risk loosing my current? I think I see things that need to be addressed (like uneven walls, long bars, etc) and I don't want to further create problems if he's ouchy and now walking differently due to it. SO COMPLEX! I wish I knew the 'right' way to trim so I could look for how to do things myself CORRECTLY. Your blog helps me think all this through :)

  8. Thanks Wolfie, I'm debating doing a post on why I decided to take over their hooves myself.

    Kristen your camera is your best friend in this situation. Check out this page for guidelines on how to get the best photos: http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/good-hoof-photos.html. It's amazing what you can see in a photo that you don't see when you're actually looking at the hoof.

    Once you've got the photos you then have the option of sending them to a different trimmer for a second opinion without ever having to tell your current trimmer. Or just print the photos out and see if you can get your trimmer to really discuss what's going on as he sees it.

    As for the "right way" to trim, hoo boy, that's a can of worms right there!

  9. Glad it's clearing up. I'm not really good with feet but I can see they're looking pretty good.