Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gracie Trim 3.03.11

Gracie is a 4.5 year old Andalusian cross mare. She has never been shod, and had her first trim at about 2 years of age. Her feet were good, she grew up in rocky hilly terrain. She was 100% unhandled and wild when my sister got her.

Her feet went to crap when I moved to acreage and took my old TB with me, leaving Gracie on agistment for a further 2 or so weeks. She was due for her 4 weekly trim at that time, and I just didn't get around to it until she moved to the new place too. She was at 6 weeks since her last trim, and she had been showing signs of early laminitic stress on her feet (LOTS of flare). So I have been battling to get her feet back in to good shape for the last 14 months. I had recently realised it was her diet holding her back, and have now cut as much sugars out as I can. Feet are starting to improve now (as is waist line!).

Gracie could have gone another half week or so before she was due, but I err on the side of early now with her. Not much wall height to remove, but plenty of outer wall and especially flare to remove. Some flappy bits of frog etc. taken too. I barely rasped the heels, nothing to tweak there.

Click pictures to see bigger version. (Before on left side of pics)

Right front
Dramatically reduced flare - I think this will grow out in about 3-4 months. Note the event line closest to the coronary band? That is from when my two horses broke through the fencing on NYE and galloped down the road.

Funny how things jump out at you in a photo but not when you are actually looking at the foot? Note left heel/quarter.


Left hind

Left heel a little higher before.

Nice bevel if I do say so myself! :P

She has great heels, very tough digital cushions, lovely frogs (very very hard at the moment, the ground has dried up).

And some of me trimming the mare:

Lucky there is no plumber's crack today!

She is not this narrow at all!!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Workshop

I just got back from my first ever trimming workshop and I am so excited to trim my next horse!

The one day workshop was really good. Aimed at the horse enthusiast with little to no prior hoof knowledge, I was expecting not to get too much out of it. I am so glad I went, as although I already had that prior knowledge and a lot of what they spoke about I knew/understood, I still learned so much. I am definitely going to their advanced workshop, and then depending on whether I like that workshop, I will probably go ahead and fork out the money (and time) to do the Diploma in Equine Podiotherapy.

From my notes (in no particular order. I was rough on my booklet and it became unbound. On my way out I dropped it and the pages got all mixed up. Grr):

Blood in hoof = 300-400 times more than what the hoof actually requires for nutrition - energy transference/protection from concussion.
Ringbone caused by toe first landing - pedal bone and P2 connect at landing. Bad.
Heel first landing = knee straight before hoof hits the ground. Toe first landing = knee bent as hoof hits ground.

Outline of the sole is the outline of the pedal bone - follow sole template!

Base width of wall from the width close to the heel.

Outer wall non-weight bearing, quarters non-weight bearing.

Hard ground - little or no wall height. Soft ground - need extra wall for grip.

Be conservative with heel height! (This is something I have been too aggressive with in the past.)

Hairline viewed from front - parallel to ground = joints all the way up the leg also parallel.

Hoof wall same height all the way around.

Proprioception - Spatial awareness (a term I had not read about before today).

Pressure in hoof pushed blood into all nooks and crannies therefore feeding the small structures.

Laminar line = white line.

Underlined or starred in the booklet:

"... test the hay quality myself by simply soaking it for 4 hrs. If the hay is not high in NSC [non structural carbohydrate] the water generally will not be discoloured or taste sweet."

"Another high fibre low NSC feed I have used is Speedibeet". Possibly for Gracie?

"The gravel I am talking about is natural river or creek gravel rounded by natural water erosion not crushed rock which can be sharp and pierce the sole." (Regarding putting rocks in the paddock to help with the feet).

So... I have some (crappy iPhone) pics of my cadaver trim - don't scroll down if you don't want to see! (No blood and gore, promise...).

I forgot to take before pics!!

It was a hind foot.

The only thing I should have been more conservative with was heel height, which was a hair shorter than the frog.

It is incredibly hard to get good hoof pics when there is no horse attached to the leg!

Go ahead, laugh at my sparkly red nails...

Bit blurry, but shows the quarter scoop.

This was the table with all the interesting bits!

A hoof/leg cut in half - you can see the digital cushion at the back there, P3, navicular bone, the deep digital flexor tendon, etc.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So tomorrow is my first trimming workshop. I'm a little nervous about the cadaver trim, and I'm dissapointed in myself that I didn't get off my butt and book earlier so I could bring a horse, but it should be a fascinating day for me. I have had no formal training, and so I am viewing this as the first step. It's their beginner course, aimed at the owner who wants to learn more about feet, but you need to do this course to attend their advanced course. I'm interested to know what basic stuff I might have skimmed over in the quest to feed my brain, and to see things from the ground up.

After this course, I'm hoping to attend their advanced course in Canberra in April, hopefully with horse in tow. Then... Not sure? I would love to go do anatomy (eek! More dead horse!) and massage, biomechanics etc. I think concentrating on the hoof alone is not the answer. I've seen a trimmer go up to a horse, poke it in the bum and get a violent pain or soreness reaction, pick up the hoof, rasp a few sweeps, then poke again, with no reaction. I want to be that intuitive. I want to be that trimmer, to see the whole horse, treat the whole horse, not just the foot. Wholeistic or whatever it is called. Yeah.

I'm taking my camera tomorrow, I hope they let me take pictures to post here!