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, June 14, 2013

I may finally know what Pete Ramey is talking about

I think everybody who is seriously interested in hoof care has studied Pete Ramey. The one aspect he is most often cited for is: "if some part of the hoof that has just been trimmed grows back quickly, the hoof needs it and should be left alone".

For me, this principle was, and still is, hard to apply. Since everything on the hoof grows, how I am supposed to know which growth is important for the hoof and which one isn't?

In any case, I have described in my previous post how I used to trim the bars. I basically forced them to merge with the frog at the bottom of the collateral groove. The problem for me was always how to treat this transition between bar and sole. In order for me to trim the bars such they would meet the frog at the bottom of the collateral groove, I really needed to thin out the area at the end of the bars. My horses always developed cracks and holes there, I think as a consequence.

Now, just accidentally, I took a picture of Molly's feet 4 weeks after I had trimmed that transition between bar and sole. The picture below shows how Molly grew her bars, and the area of sole just in front of them, within 4 weeks. She has grown the sole up straight from the bottom of the collateral groove to meet the bars in one long and straight line. There is no crack, or no bar "migrated" or overlaying, the collateral groove side of the sole just grew straight up. Importantly, this is how Molly is sound on hard ground, and this is also how she can maintain a stronger heel (I used to also often have cracks in the seat of corn). And this is pretty much the only significant change in 4 weeks.

So maybe this satisfies Pete Ramey's definition of a structure that is needed for comfort, at least at this given time and stage the hoof is in. I have now, for the first time NOT trimmed that extension of the bars off and will see how the foot develops. For some reason all this looks much more natutral to me than this sharp transition between bar and sole as one can see on the left part of the picture, which is how I had left the foot 4 weeks before.

I should point out that my horses do live on soft and (often) wet ground. Maybe this has something to do with how the bars, and the sole in front of them, grow. Gus grows his bars and sole in exactly the same way.

I will wait and see what happens next.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading about your journey! Nominated you for a blog award!