Please remember!

The information presented on this blog represents "learning in progress" on my part, a horse owner, who was not satisfied with professional farriers and took matters in my own hands. As far as I am aware at the time of the post, the information presented is correct, but may change with me understanding more about hooves, in which case I will edit or remove the post. In order to follow my learning and understand everything about Molly's hoof, you need to start reading at the bottom.

Friday, November 30, 2012

found Molly's training video

Yesterday, I suddenly remembered that I had kept Molly's training video. I had not watched it in a while as it was in a PC format and I have a Mac. But I decided I needed to see it because I wanted to find out if she already then showed signs of hitting the ground with her lateral toe on her FR. I found a conversion program and actually managed to upload it on youtube:

It was taken on Nov. 26, 2006 and Molly was 2 years and 8 months old. As far as I know this has been her second month of riding at the trainers. I did not yet own Molly, she was still owned by her breeder.

First and foremost, I fell right back in love again with Molly! She is such a sweet horse. Was and still is. A pleasure horse with a pleasure mind. And I would have bought her on the spot again!

I saw several interesting things on the video.

  1. While I cannot see the hooves clearly it is rather obvious that Molly makes small sand clouds (indicating the toe hitting the ground) when landing with her FR much more than when landing with her FL. 
  2. When Molly backs up, she has a much easier time placing her FR back than her FL.
  3. At some point in the video I hear the trainer saying "much better on this side". This is when he canters on the left lead. This is true for me too, she canters much nicer left hand than right hand! On the right lead, she "dives" in the corners. 
  4. As this video was taken PRIOR to her injury to the right hind leg (Molly got stuck in a fence om May 07, 2007, also still at her breeder's) I can finally rule out that this old injury (where she until today has a scar on the leg) had anything to do with her landing patterns. 

I think it is now really clear that Molly's leg and hoof conformation developed out of her habit of her placing the FR back and her FL forward when grazing. Until today this is how she grazes preferentially, the FL is forward the FR backwards nearly always.

I recently came across an interesting article: "The embryology of the right front club foot", written by Amy Hayek, DVM, MA, CVA, CVC. It can be found here.

The first sentence reads: "The tendency to have a clubbed foot on the right, or to not extend the right front when grazing can be linked to embryological development of the G.I. tract and post partum sensory input from the environment that encodes for a gait pattern causing shortness of stride and compensation in the right front limb."

You will need to read the article to fully understand the connections. I cannot repeat this here. I wonder if this is why Molly has such a predisposition to place her FR back. I doubt, however, it is the only reason, as Molly always had plenty of grazing (or ad lib hay in slowfeeders), and at least for the past 2 years did not eat any concentrated feeds but only a ration balancing vitamin/mineral supplement, pre and pro biotics. 

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