Thursday, April 28, 2011

21 months barefoot

I was digging around in some old photos and wanted to share the changes Buttercup's hooves have made since going barefoot. Now I'm still not an every-horse-must-be-barefoot person, but I do believe it was the right decision for Buttercup's hooves. And, really, that's what hoof care is all about: the best thing for the individual.

Since we've had ups and downs over the last 21 months (going barefoot post), things haven't always been 100% with Bud being barefoot. But I think these solar shots show a story of a hoof developing concavity and a stronger frog and toe callous.

September 2009:

November 2009: (post laminitic episode)

February 2010:

June 2010 (post laminitic episode):

September 2010:

(On the previous post's subject of bars, you can see the trenches in this photo of where the bars have been taken below the sole plane)

January 2011:

April 2011:

It's also fun to go back and see what I was writing even just two years ago ... I don't feel like I've changed all that much until I read those posts. Just like it's hard for me to see the change in Buttercup's hooves until I look at all these pictures.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hoof update 4-26-11

(My husband and Buttercup share a rare moment together)

Got to see Buttercup this past Saturday. She is looking very good under the watchful eye of Scott! Her hooves are steadily improving and her weight looks fabulous. One of the biggest things I notice about her hooves is the straightening of the coronary band. A smooth, straight coronary band is a sign of a healthy hoof.

While Bud isn't on a specific cycle right now, she does look like she's ready for a touch-up. Her sole was pretty dead so I scraped some of that off for the pictures.


Not too much longer now! Grow, baby, grow!

While these bars are not ideal, I'm still pleased with her hoof overall. I will address the bars later in the post.


(taken on a weird angle and not straightened)

So about the bars, they are being taken back slowly over time. Having worked with them myself, I understand why Scott hasn't just wacked them back to the collateral groove. They aren't so much folded over the sole, as pushed against the sole. As in, there isn't sole underneath the overgrown bar ... I may just be learning about hooves but I can't see any benefit in opening her hoof where there is no sole underneath.

I've never seen bars quite like hers and I've been working with quite a few hooves lately. I have a lot of questions as to why they're like this and if this is a common affliction or due to her genetics. But the bars are literally spread and up to the point where you see them in the pics, below the sole plane.

Here is the best way for me to describe it:

Top left is a normal hoof showing the frog, bars (red) and sole (yellow). Top right is a hoof with overgrown bars that are laid over the sole. Bottom center is how I feel Buttercup's lay. Now it could very well be that there is sole underneath those bars, but because it is below the sole plane, it doesn't feel that way.

Anyway, I think we can't get much better, other than continuing to grow out separation, until the bars are normalized. I'm not sure if they can be normalized, but remember the bars have a lot to do with hoof health and a nice straight coronary band. I guess time will tell while she's in the expert hands of Scott.

In other news, check out the Chronicle of the Hoof facebook page and post your favorite silly horse picture!