Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bars and heels

I may have won my bet with the farrier! We had an in-depth discussion the last time he was here, just after Christmas, because he had trimmed away her bars (to normal levels for an 'average' healthy horse) and had left her heels longer than I liked. He trimmed her heels a bit more at my request and was adamant that her bars weren't overtrimmed. I agree that he hadn't trimmed her bars too much per se but it's too much for this horse. My experience of trimming her myself for almost 2 years was that every time you try to remove those ghastly big bars and the ridge around the frog apex, she goes sore and they grow back in double quick time!! Plus, she does better in terms of soundness and how she uses the leg and foot when you just leave 'em be, within reason. We also discussed that the heel height needed to be lower because she needs to develop the caudal (heel) aspect of the foot and when she's left with high heels the reverse happens; she gets hoof contraction and central sulcus infections.

Sure enough after he'd trimmed her she was moving very short and gingerly in the paddock and he said 'that's cos you made me over trim the heels' (they were about 2mm above level of live sole at the turn of the bar) and I said 'that's cos you've trimmed off those bars!' so we agreed we would wait to see what the horse grew back in double quick time as an indicator of what should have been left.

Tee hee - the heels haven't grown back a lot but the bars have popped back as though they were never trimmed! This is how it looks after around 3 weeks post trim.

There's something about the photo that makes the heels look really uneven, but they're not. The heel on the left side of the photo is just blending into the background.

Here's the concave view showing the huge bar that's just popped straight back.

The interesting thing on this foot though is that she's started shedding an enormous wadge of frog, almost the whole thickness of the insensitive part is peeling away from the heel forwards. I checked it and it's not stinky or black under there - in fact, the new stuff looks in good order but it's a heck of a piece to shed!


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