Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Brett - Set Up Trim 1.10.11

Brett is an older (over 20) OTTB gelding. His owner turned to me for trimming because her old farrier was unable to trim the hind feet close to the ground as he is an older man. Poor Brett has arthritis in his hind pasterns and is very very sore if the joint is hyperflexed. His feet are also very flat and have a lot of flare.

His last farrier would only trim him every 8 weeks or so, as he would go foot sore after every trim. He suggested leaving longer walls on for comfort. I started him off on a two week trim cycle until I could get his wall length and heel height were I wanted it, and now he is on a 4 week trim cycle. I didn't want to make any drastic changes right away with this horse because he is so sore, all over. He has been dragging himself along for so long that his entire body moved incorrectly.

We took a short video of Brett prior to my trim. His owner seems to be dragging him along, and then at the end he just stops. His shoulders are tight and tense, he is holding himself together with his back and shoulders. Just a sore horse all over, poor thing.

I only got photos of the left front, but all his feet look the same.

Same as the first photo, but with some lines. Blue line shows where the hoof wall should be. Red line shows how I have relieved the quarters a little (note the bulge in the coronary band is not so pronounced after). 

This one shows heels and wall height. Brought heels almost to the frog.

Side view shows the bevel - more outer hoof wall to take but I wanted to change things slowly for this horse.
These shots probably show how little I actually did during this first trim. It also shows how much separation this poor horse has, in the super stretched laminae line, even in the after shot.

With lines showing hoof balance - His hoof is actually well balanced. Frog is 3 quarters of the hoof, toe isn't too long. Brett's main hoof problem is just the separation. So easy to fix!! Shorter trim cycles.

Video of Brett after trim - owner doesn't have to drag him - the walk is more free and he looks a bit more relaxed.

Brett is already almost 3 months into his hoof rehab. He has his good and bad days, due to his arthritis and body issues. But there is definitely improvement.  Next trim is in just under a month. I will get some updated pictures then. Wish us luck!


  1. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for posting the photos and video. I do see a difference in his walk before and after. I also liked reading your reasoning for addressing the trim conservatively.

    This post and photos are very timely for a horse that I helped trim yesterday. The solar view of his feet look a lot like this horse. He has tons excess wall at the quarters and flare. He is basically maintaining his toe and chipping at the quarters in a effort to self-trim. His feet do not look too bad other that the excess wall and over-grown bars. I am concerned about those, but debating as to whether they should stay or go. If he were my horse, they would go, but he is not and I am not a professional so you see the dilemma. I was helping a friend trim out of desperation, because the horse is terrified of the farrier. Miraculously, he was relatively cooperative with us. Probably some history of mistreatment present, as he is an older fellow and came to the farm in his teens.

  2. Hi Val. Yes, overgrown bars. These were the bane of my existence when my old boy was alive. I struggled with them on him.

    Like you said, if he were your own, you could just remove the bar and if the horse needed it you would find out by the next trim because he would grow them right back! I would view the hoof from the side off the ground and only remove any bar material that is visible above the finished trimmed hoof wall that may cause bruising or the 'pebble in the shoe' effect. Everything else should probably stay for support if the horse has weaker frog and digital cushion.

  3. Thanks!

    I did a little bit of what you said already, so I am happy that you confirmed this without my mentioning it. He had a couple high "peaks" on the inside bars of his hind hooves. The peaks were higher than his heels and we already know that he suffers from some stiffness and discomfort behind, so when I saw those peaks I could not resist taking them down below his heels and hoof wall (which we left "as is" at the back of the foot).

    As for the rest of his overgrown bars, I will do what your suggested. Thanks for the advice.