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, February 9, 2015

Gus winter hooves comparison...

It is time for another blog post. I have been really lazy taking pictures, mostly because all hooves are simply great, there is very little to do, they are for the most part self maintaining. Plus it is winter and hoof growth is noticeably slower.

Below are two pictures summarizing my journey, which started in January 2011, when I decided to start trimming because I thought my horse's feed looked weird under the care of my professional trimmer. Of course I had no idea what was going on and why the feet looked the way they were. Today I know that they had simply retained excess sole. The left part of the picture shows the status that I found 2 weeks after my last professional trimmer appointment. Due to the retained sole, it was hard to really see the sole plane and balance the hoof. Even though the hoof looked weird, it functioned perfectly fine in January 2011.

The middle picture is one I'd rather not have in my archive. It is taken one year later, after I followed the ABC method for 1 year. The ABC method described Gus' hoof in January 2011 as one where bar had overgrown the sole and needed to be removed. Also, according to that method, the heels needed to be brought back to the widest part of the frog, or 1 1/8th inch. This is what I had done, carving on that sole and bars and excessively lowering the heels. The hoof in the middle lacks crucial support structures and today I consider myself extremely lucky that in my environment (soft snow) this trim did not result in a huge disaster.

The hoof on the right is from today. This hoof does show very nice sole depth, but no retained sole, slight ridges of sole around the tip the frog, strong heels making a nice platform combined with the bars. This hoof has not been trimmed in this form. It has grown into it. The wire brush has been my most important trimming tool. As soon as the sole starts exfoliation, I wire brush the hoof. This way sole does not accumulate excessively, as it has the tendency to do in my environment (sand in the summer and snow in the winter). The frog is not getting trimmed (or at least absolutely minimally). The hooves have become very symmetrical and they are extremely sound.

The one thing I would like to know is with my knowledge of today, how I would have approached the 2011 hoof, removing just the excess, but nothing more and nothing less. It would have been a fun thing and very interesting thing to do.