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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

nice break over

nice demonstration of great fit and great break over in Renegade boots...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

the difference between a hoof that works and one that does get by on soft ground

I wanted to post this picture as an example of the difference between a hoof, that is cut to specific parameters as given, for example, by the ABC trimming manual, and a foot that is managed by the horse's need. The ABC trimming manual mandates all horses heels to be backed up to the "baseline", which corresponds to the widest part of the frog and also most of the time to the position where the periople skin curls up (indicated by the red arrows in the picture below). I have previously written a blog post about the heel height.
I have trimmed my horses heels back to that landmark when I first started out trimming my horse's feet, in 2011. When the heel is so low, the toe needs to be brought back also very substantially, which meant in my case that I needed to remove a lot of toe, basically removing pretty much all toe wall and some sole in the toe.
As a result of this trim, my horses were basically unable to master hard terrain. They were fine as long as they stayed on their sand paddocks and pastures, but they were very uncomfortable on any sort of hard ground.

Long story very short, on the right part of the picture below, you can see my geldings front left hoof as he presents it today compared to the "ABC" trimmed hoof in 2011. It is pretty obvious that today he has a much more massive heel (it is roughly at the height that Cheryl Henderson thinks should belong to a draft horse) and much more massive bar, supporting that heel. Also, he is no longer walking on his sole but has some wall support all throughout his foot.

The difference in function between those feet is like night and day. He can now master any terrain without any hoof protection once again, something he was also able to do before I started the ABC trim, but never during the time of the ABC trim.

When I started trimming myself according to the ABC trim, I was always told that bar had migrated over my horses sole and circled around the frog. This caused me to shorten bars and "dig out" supposed bar material for months without end, only to find the foot growing back the exact same way as I found it before.

My horses live on a sand dune. The (mostly wet) sand compresses in their solar concavity and in the area right under the coffin bone, the pressure on sole is largest so that the texture of that sole changes slightly. It basically becomes much harder sole right underneath the coffin bone, than further out, where no coffin bone is pressing on the sole anymore. This is the one and only reason, why, on my horses in their environment, the sole around the frog looks slightly different from anywhere else. There never was any bar "smeared" or "pooled" or "migrated" anywhere else than where the bar was supposed to be, at the back of the foot. This whole concept was so wrong and caused me and my horses so much sorrow, that I hope with this post maybe someone will be deterred from that notion of bar pooling, migrating or smearing and find other ways to understand the hoof than following blindly such misinformation.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Maybe Gus does have neck threadworm...

Last year this article circulated Facebook and other horse related websites:

I became aware of it because Gus for the first time last year had developed a weird skin condition that did not seem to react to any topical treatments I tried out. He had little bumps in his girth groove on the left side of his body. The pictures are from July 26, 2013, and I probably have noticed those bumps for the first time 2 weeks prior to these photos.

Whether or not those bumps were itchy I can't tell as he can not really reach this area very well by himself and so I never saw him itching there.

I found out about the neck threadworm on September 26, last year (2013) by reading the article reference above. Since these bumps were still there, I decided to deworm both of my horses with a single dose of Zimecterin Gold. I usually deworm them for tapeworms in October anyway, so they were almost due for one anyway. Interestingly, two days later the bumps had disappeared and Gus regrow normal hair within 1-2 weeks (I cannot remember precisely).
After this single dose of Zimecterin Gold in 2013 Gus never had a single bump again, throughout the whole autumn/winter and spring - until last week. I noticed the spots coming back July 7th, 2014, again on the left side of his body, but this time on the underside of his neck and none in his girth groove. This time I did not hesitate long, bought the dewormer and administered it yesterday, again, a single dose. Unfortunately, this year I did not take any pictures of the bumps before deworming. They looked the same as in 2013, but a much smaller area was affected, most likely because I reacted to them 2 month earlier than last year. The picture below is taken 24 h after the single Zimecertin Gold dose on July 12th, 2014.

Gus must have scratched at night, as his skin was bare and a little bloody, which is was not the day before. The day before it just had those dry bumps. Also, the whole area was slightly swollen this morning, something that also seems to be expected according to the article above. But the bumps had disappeared, over night. I have now applied Zephyr's garden No-Fly-healing salve on the affected area and will watch it closely. He now also wears a fly blanket.

This is now the second time that Gus developed these symptoms, pretty much at the exact same time of year. It supports the idea of a neck threadworm is causing it though I can't know for sure, unless I have a skin biopsy performed, or maybe I will devise a molecular test (PCR) for larvae DNA in those bumps.