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

Gus "swapping study"

I wanted to upload some pictures of Gus' hooves for a while now.

Gus was born and raised in Texas and for most of his first 4 years of his life lived on large pastures on ranches with horses, cattle, ponds and streams. He grew up a lot like a wild horse. He never wore shoes in his life. He also never had any injuries to speak of. I know this as he was owned by my sister, who bought him when he was a 2 cell embryo :-)! So between my sister and me, we know every day of Gus' life.

When he came to me in June of 2009, NW Indiana, temperate climate, I had no idea that I could have done my own personal "brumby swap" study, observing how Gus hooves would respond to the sudden change in environment, from dry, hard and rocky ground 24/7 on search for food, to soft, wet and sandy with hay available 100% of the time (plus limited grazing). Unfortunately, I knew not much about hooves back then. Gus was incorporated in Molly's trimming schedule, which was every 8-10 weeks trimming by a professional farrier. Unfortunately, I have only very few pictures of Gus feet when he first arrived. And these pictures were not dedicated hoof pictures. They just happened to show the hooves in some meaningful way.

August 2009

August 2009

I think what is pretty obvious from these pictures is that within 8 weeks Gus hugely overgrew his walls and bars above sole level. Also nice to see on the picture above is that even the sandy environment allows for some wear, in Gus' case, he wears the lateral toe and wall more than the medial. This is caused by his conformation and the fact that he rolls over his lateral side. This is 100% normal. Nowadays, since I understood that natural asymmetry of the hoof I am integrating this feature in my trim, so that Gus does not have to wait for 3-4 weeks until he would be able to wear this hoof in this way. I am now maintaining (to a certain degree!!) this natural asymmetry.

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