Feedback on these feet

Kat

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I have finally managed to get some pictures on my girls's feet. I would appreciate some feedback from the barefoot experts on here if they don't mind.

Happy to answer questions and provide background information for anyone who is taking a peek.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, it isn't easy under artifical light in the dark!
 

Clava

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I have finally managed to get some pictures on my girls's feet. I would appreciate some feedback from the barefoot experts on here if they don't mind.

Happy to answer questions and provide background information for anyone who is taking a peek.

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, it isn't easy under artifical light in the dark!
I can't see any photos?
 

missyclare

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I'm only as good as your pictures, so these lines are tentative.
It looks like they are doing well. Three weeks after first trim? When you first start, you are in a tighter trimming box with the pathology and its good to see the conservative approach at this time.
The main issues are flare and flare forward. Otherwise, all the parts and pieces seem to be pretty closely in place and not pulled out of whack.
Flare is the skirted width around the hoof wall. Torque on the hoof causes the wall to be pulled out away from the sole. When the hoof breaks over the wall, the outside edge of that skirted flare contacts, bends outward and pulls some more. It is the same as bending your fingernail back and then walking on it. Flares hurt and you get immediate relief when you bevel and disengage them. Flares have a habit, when released to slump down the wall and bulge at the ground line, so keeping this bevel maintained is important, or else the pull is right back on. With this in mind, this hoof has arrived at this point and needs to have the bevel working again. When you just start, the trim appts. should be 3-4 weeks apart in order to maintain this bevel. There is still a lot of flare all around this hoof, needs to be tightened up, you can't see a bevel relieving the wall anymore. This bevel is a 90 degree, where I do 45's. It brings the breakover back and relieves more and when the horse breaks over a 45, when he pushes off, he's ON that bevel, pushing the toe back with every step. The 90 leaves the breakover way out there and thins the wall at the toe, removing protection and not promoting. Make sense? This is merely a difference in trimming style. A bevel all the way around will relieve the flare and keeping it maintained addresses the flare forward. Flare forward doesn't happen overnight and can't be fixed overnight, so maintaining the bevel at the toe is key, along with patience on your sleeve.

This is flare:


This is flare forward:

In order to get the coronary band to the angle shown, the wall needs to be down even with live sole next trim. Looks like you have the concavity to do that, but I don't have hoof in hand either. The white lines are balance. The fact that you have boots, gives me confidence. Getting that coronary band balanced means that P3 is now ground parallel. No matter what length the hoof is left at, this should be achieved, couldn't last trim, hopefully this trim. I can tell that the heels have been lowered and brought back in order to get the back of the foot in order. If you had thrushy/atrophied frogs, you wouldn't even be able to do that. Once the heels have gotten their ducks in order, then you bevel the toe. Doing this brings the weight back on the heels for that heel first landing and they had better be ready to take it, otherwise, sensitivity will have the horse avoiding, going back to a toe first landing.....and defeated. You have a good trimmer with patience and is listening to the hoof.


Now these are real tentative lines. When you look at my lines, a lot of them are straight, but they should be. That is the shape they should be. FORM IS FUNCTION. Just like the shape of the 45 bevel working with every step, the old coronary band is showing that its shoved up. On both feet, the jam up is at the quarters. You can see the stress lines on the wall following suit.
I will venture to say that your horse is left handed. The left foot is lower, more splatted than the right, as he weights it more. The red lines going up the fetlock are where they will be when balanced....less sag/straighter delivery.


This one, I put lines on to show you the depth in the hoof. All that is colored in white is bar and is also showing the lumps on height on bar that is facing the ground. The rest is sole. The lines also show how high the bars are, coming up from the bottom of the groove.
The lumps on the bar tops are pinch points of jam with the ground. The height of the bar shows that when those pinch points make contact, the jam goes right down the bar height and into the corium. Not all goes straight up into the hoof, however. It splats outward as well, pushing/flaring the right side outwards. If you were to take the wall down even with live sole, it would bring him down on those bars and jam worse, so they must be addressed.


Same picture, more lines. The bar ramps merge from the sole and ramp straight up to the heel platforms and should run parallel with the frog. These should be established right away. What is in front of the ramps, needs to slivered off gradually, so the jammed corium can heal while the pressure comes off. There are many things that overgrown bars can do, but here, there are only two issues to explain. The height of the bar is one issue, and splatting over the sole is another. The white arrows show how much the bars have been pushed outward and need to come down. Think of that high bar wall as a solid retaining wall. The push has migrated it outward and from bottom to top of it, has pushed the sole away with it and flared the outside wall. It is replacing where the sole should be and behind the bar wall, its leaving dead space where the ramp should be.
What is causing this? A medial/lateral imbalance of inside higher than outside. The horse is forced to land on the lateral (outside) of the hoof and splats bar/white line/hoof wall on out. He's walking on the outside edge of his foot and breaking over to the inside of 12 o'clock. (wider/splatted hoof wall from 10-12 o'clock) Do you feel the curl towards being pidgeon toed? The area on the outside wider than the inside?
The two outside areas of white are not the bar wall, but have been splatted over the sole like a blanket, also jamming into the sole, thinning and bruising it. They also need to come down in slivers as well, starting by just relieving the bumps on them.
The red cupped lines show the shape of concavity. Imagine looking into a cereal bowl and you can see beautiful concavity happening at the toe, but the rest is filled in by excess bar. The development is nicely there in spite of it.
Coming in from the outside, the black should be gone, rasped from the top. The existing brown is the hoof print. The first red line is the leading edge of the bevel, so everything outside of that line should be beveled from there on out. The next red line is the edge of sole, which is the boss. Now you have a front hoof that looks like a front hoof in shape, instead of a hind.

Its a good first trim, glad you have boots, hope to get the flare and bars disengaged next time and next time is now. There is also a possibility that you won't need the boots on the hinds too much longer either. But again, I"m looking a photos and not with hoof in hand. These are good feet that I feel are going to fly through transition. Nice frog and decent development in the back of the hoof already. That's everything.
Only use the hoof polish when you absolutely have to and get it off completely right away. Whether its polish, or something else, it will suffocate the hoof's natural ability to breathe and take up or remove moisture at will.

I wouldn't show these pics to the trimmer as somebody else's opinion. They are doing fine without comments from the peanut gallery. This is just for you, so you can see and understand what you are looking at.
It's nice to see a hoof that is about to fly and a lot of things you don't have to think about. Hope this helps....:)
 

Kat

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Wow, thanks for that detailed analysis - very interesting!

I'll have to read it a few more times I think. I understand the stuff about flare but the rest I will have to go over a few more times, and concentrate, I'm very new to this.

In terms of trimming, your comments are interesting because she has never seen a trimmer. She was shod in front and bare behind under a farrier. The vet pulled the shoes due to lameness and she hasn't been trimmed at all since her shoes were put on. She is desparate for a trim now, but the vet has been telling me no, we now have x-rays booked and the vets remedial farrier is going to look at her feet with the benefit of the x-rays. Personally, I don't want shoes putting on her hinds, she's never shod behind and I would prefer to leave her bare all round. Prior to this episode her hinds had been pretty self sufficient with the farrier normally just needing to tidy them up and bevel the edges when she was shod in front.

So I guess the next question is are there any good trimmers, or barefoot sympathising farriers in Derbyshire? I'm hoping that the vets farrier is going to be willing to work with her bare, and/or that my usual farrier will be as I'm a bit concerned about the insurance issues that could arise from using a trimmer.
 

Kat

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Thanks wellsat, I'm on my phone so can't PM. Horse is between Belper and Matlock, if he would cover that sort of area let me know. I'm not actually unhappy with my farrier so I may well stick with him (he has been so good with my girl who is difficult to shoe), the vet is also planning to get their remedial guy to take a look but I'm not sure what attitude they will have to barefoot.
 

cptrayes

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I wouldn't show these pics to the trimmer as somebody else's opinion. They are doing fine without comments from the peanut gallery. This is just for you, so you can see and understand what you are looking at.
It's nice to see a hoof that is about to fly and a lot of things you don't have to think about. Hope this helps....:)

Missyclare I am concerned about your post because of the level of intervention that it seems to imply. Some flare in some horses is structural and should be left. I cannot agree with you that "form is function" in horse feet. There are many horses which do not have a perfectly symmetrical body and they will therefore require asymmetric feet. In those horses, functionality is everything and form is irrelevant.

If I take a rehab horse I am part way through doing now, for example, he has years of history of being unsound in shoes, in spite of being shod "balanced" to xrays. He is sound now that he is being allowed to shape his own feet, in his own time, by working him on roads at a rate where the wear matches the growth. He is not going to have symmetrical feet and he is going to have some fairly big "flares", which will actually be structural, not cosmetic. In his case, if he remains sound, functionality will win where form kept him lame, even when barefoot for a year.

Kat, my advice to you would be to avoid the use of boots if you can, and to do as much work on abrasive surfaces to allow your horse to shape his own feet over the next 3 months as much as you and he can manage.

Good luck. If you get nervous I'd be happy to run over and give you some moral support. I am not a paid trimmer and I won't trim your horse but if it would help I'd be happy to take a look.
 

Kat

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That is incredibly kind cptrayes! Thank you.

I'm going to see what the vet says tomorrow, but I may well take you up on that offer.

I'm feeling a bit conflicted, I feel that I need to follow the vets advice but I can also see the sense in the barefoot advice I am getting. I've been under orders to keep her stabled on a deep bed and give her exercise in hand in the boots. I bought the boots to try and minimise the time I had to keep her in. She's walked out on the road and our stoney track in the boots, and I turn her out in the school or lunger her (mainly in walk) with just her front boots on or sometimes nothing. She is noticeably short and toe first without the boots even in the school so I'm reluctant to do much without.

Funnily enough DH, who hasn't done any reading up on this, has said entirely independantly that he thinks she needs to do more and get out more too. He can't understand why she can't be turned out at least. To be honest other than the stoney track I am starting to struggle to understand this too.... unless they are concerned about laminitis, but then the vet didn't think it was laminitis when she first pulled the shoes and used the hoof testers.

Argh think I'm going to have to have a list of questions and my brave pants for the vet tomorrow.
 

TigerTail

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Dont forget the vast majority of vets know little about barefoot as opposed to remedial farriery....dont be surprised if thats what is suggested and barefoot is met with a blank face and instant dismissal!
 

missyclare

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Cptrayes, this isn't an invasive trim. These lines represent balance and end of transition and an explanation of the pathology, nothing more.

Flare is not part of the hoof structure. It is very painful pathology. When you release flare with the bevel, the effects of comfort on the horse are noticeable the second you set the hoof back down. That's what starts the transition line coming down with a tighter/unencumbered capsule behind it. Keep the flare disengaged and you won't see old pulling into new. Again, the lines just show the hoof with flare removed.

As for the Form is Function, I believe you misunderstood. What I'm talking about is the shape on the trim...the surfaces left by the rasp. Placing the toe bevel correctly and maintaining it, ramp shapes on the bars, clearing the quarters and making heel platforms face the ground instead of walking on the backs of them without shortening them anymore. There is great power in that shape and that shape is also in my lines. Proper form= proper mechanism= proper growth. Form IS Function.

There is nothing screaming at me with these feet. The fronts still need boots for a bit, but the hinds are blooming concavity and I love the frogs. I have great faith that this horse will fly and that you are doing all the right things. Regardless of what they find you are already doing all the things to answer for it in your homework. It shows. I can see it on the hoof. Have faith.

The vet if showing concern, its probably with the fronts. He's calling in the remedial guy and will take xrays and get your trim balanced to the bone. You couldn't get a better start. If they throw shoes at you, say you want to try this, already have the boots in hand and let's just see how comfortable the horse is in them after the trim. Play it by ear. Float over the wall of possible argument, leaving all options open, including your own.
If the vet is a professional that has held this hoof in hand and has these concerns, then I certainly WOULD NOT tell that person to take the boots off and ride the roads. Here's why....
IF the measurement from the bottom of the groove at the apex to the top of the wall is less than 1/2" distance, then boots are needed to protect the bone. The wall height shouldn't be lowered either.
In this scenario, the bone is low in the hoof on thin sole and the descending weight pushes the bone down on sole and squeezes the blood-rich corium between them. This aggravation to the corium causes bone remodeling. Here's the catch....every other bone in the horse's body is surrounded by a periosteum that when injured, remodels and heals, but not the corium around P3...the destruction is permanent, there is no re-building. You must protect that bone at all costs. Now that will change hoof form and not for the better. Put a bare hoof in this scenario on the road and you have a painful prelude to certain road founder.
So lay a ruler across the hoof from side to side and measure that distance and see what it is for yourself. Pat yourself on the back for those boots, they were the best move made regardless of the situation. Boots develop the hoof and help it get its ducks in order safely. A horse does not have to transition by the School of Hard Knocks, leaving painful memories and permanent scars.

The two most important aspects of surviving transition are wearing patience on your sleeve and having faith in the horse. Transition is like a snowball rolling down a hill, faster and better as you go. Document with pictures at every trim and see the changes. This is your transition too.

A good balanced trim, your homework...yup, flying forward. Have faith.
 

Kat

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Ok so we've had x-rays and will be having a trim with reference to those x-rays.

The vet says she is still too sore for nail on shoes so that has been deferred for a while, though the vet thinks that she will never be sound without shoes in front (we'll see). The vet has been impressed enough with the boots that talk of glue on shoes has been abandoned though.

So, there was no imbalance in the front feet, just thin soles. The hind feet have a small amount of reverse rotation which have caused her to be sore in her heels. This should be capable of correction by trimming.

I'm waiting now for the farrier and the vet to talk to each other so I can get an appointment for a trim.

In the meantime I've got a few more weeks with her confined to the stable and sand school as she can't wear the boots on our muddy fields and it is too rocky to risk her going out with bare fronts. But I can start to up her exercise and introduce a bit of ridden work with the boots on.

So other than gradually increasing the exercise using the boots to protect the front feet and continuing to feed the pro-hoof, linseed and salt with a low sugar and starch diet what can I do to help the sole to thicken?
 

cptrayes

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Cptrayes, this isn't an invasive trim. These lines represent balance and end of transition and an explanation of the pathology, nothing more.

Flare is not part of the hoof structure. It is very painful pathology.


I was not talking about invasive trim, I was talking about trimming with no reference to whether the horse is perfectly symmetrical in the rest of its body. Without seeing the horse, you have no way of knowing whether your lines will be right for that foot or not. (besides the fact that they are wildly inaccurately represented, a fact that I was not going to mention, but must if you want to insist you are correct)

Flare IS sometimes part of the hoof structure. It is NOT always, or even very often, a "very painful pathology". There are many, many horses working with greater or lesser amounts of flare which suffer no pain at all. I hunt one. I do dressage on another. And my third horse, unsound all his life in shoes, is unsound without them and sound with them.

You seem to have been trained by an organisation which believes all flare is wrong. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is there to balance the rest of the leg, and if that balance is removed the horse can often be less sound, not more.

Can I suggest that you read back over a couple of years of this blog, written by the owner of the only commercial barefoot rehab yard in the UK which will show you pictures of many horses where the flare is structural and should not be removed.

rockleyfarm.blogspot.com
 

cptrayes

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Kat the diet changes should thicken her soles. The negative pedal bone angle is best righted by working her heelsso they develop digital cushion and strength, and support the back of the bone higher in the foot. The more work on smooth tarmac you can do when she is able, the better.
 

whisp&willow

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i have to agree with Cptrayes- my very old mare has a rather interesting twist in her fore, and is completely happy on her feet (although retired)

I believe this to be a product of her conformation and arthritis, and her foot has grown in a way which counteracts these forces, giving her a "balanced" foot.
 

Oberon

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Flare is not part of the hoof structure. It is very painful pathology. When you release flare with the bevel, the effects of comfort on the horse are noticeable the second you set the hoof back down.
SOMETIMES but not ALWAYS :).

We really don't know enough about hooves to talk in absolutes - despite what KC might say ;).

In the UK we have pretty much moved away from believing everything can be solved with a knife. Often time, patience and allowing the horse to rebalance his hooves and thus his body together, yields better results.

Rockley Farm have been at the forefront of the 'celery' approach to hoof rehab and we have seen some weird and wonderful hooves flare and distort but come (and stay) sound.
Nic of Rockley has been vilified over the years for this approach by most of the trimming mainstream - but her results speak for themselves.

I guess the point I am making is that the horse is the only expert here and we shouldn't talk in absolutes (especially from pictures where we aren't even seeing the horse load the limb) because where horses are concerned - there are no absolutes :).
 

Oberon

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So other than gradually increasing the exercise using the boots to protect the front feet and continuing to feed the pro-hoof, linseed and salt with a low sugar and starch diet what can I do to help the sole to thicken?
If you feel the need to do something more - you could pray :D.

Your horse will be doing all the hard work.

You just need to stand there and look pretty ;)
 

cptrayes

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Flare is not part of the hoof structure. It is very painful pathology. When you release flare with the bevel, the effects of comfort on the horse are noticeable the second you set the hoof back down. That's what starts the transition line coming down with a tighter/unencumbered capsule behind it.
No, it isn't. No horse at Rockley has any flare removed by trimming and they all grow a steeper line from the coronet.

As for the Form is Function, I believe you misunderstood. What I'm talking about is the shape on the trim...the surfaces left by the rasp. Placing the toe bevel correctly and maintaining it, ramp shapes on the bars, clearing the quarters and making heel platforms face the ground instead of walking on the backs of them without shortening them anymore. There is great power in that shape and that shape is also in my lines. Proper form= proper mechanism= proper growth. Form IS Function.
In that you mean that you can impose form and that will automatically result in function, I do not agree with you.

IF the measurement from the bottom of the groove at the apex to the top of the wall is less than 1/2" distance, then boots are needed to protect the bone.
This is not true. The protection of the bone will also be a function of thickness and density of the sole. There are many horses that are fairly flat footed which work perfectly well on roads. Before I discovered that I could keep his concavity by adding copper to his feed, my warmblood used to go completely flat footed in summer but still worked on roads and stony tracks without boots.

Put a bare hoof in this scenario on the road and you have a painful prelude to certain road founder.
Good grief you make some incredible assertions on the strength of a dodgily lit, badly angled set of two dimensional photos :eek:


So lay a ruler across the hoof from side to side and measure that distance and see what it is for yourself. Pat yourself on the back for those boots, they were the best move made regardless of the situation. Boots develop the hoof and help it get its ducks in order safely. A horse does not have to transition by the School of Hard Knocks, leaving painful memories and permanent scars.
Boots are not an unavoidable prerequisite of transitioning to barefoot without painful memories and permanent scars. Are you really suggesting that those of us who transition horses without them (including every single rehab that's ever been through Rockley Farm), are causing our horses pain and damage that leaves scars? How incredibly arrogant you sound.


The two most important aspects of surviving transition
For goodness sake no-one is helped by using such emotive terms! Most horses make the change to barefoot really easily. Most of the rest do it easily enough with some diet tweaks. Can we possibly leave out the histrionics of "surviving transition" :rolleyes:?
 
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Clava

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Missyclare - the correct quotation is "Form follows function" not "FORM IS FUNCTION", and form following function makes far more sense in terms of barehooves and their need to be the correct shape for that particular horse and the way it functions.

Just for info and because I like his writing as an architect
"It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law"
 
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cptrayes

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This one, I put lines on to show you the depth in the hoof. All that is colored in white is bar
Sorry missyclare you have really annoyed me now so I'm going to tell you that it is completely impossible for you to state that the areas you have coloured white on this dimly lit two dimensional photo are laid over bar. You go on to say "The lines also show how high the bars are" which again is completely impossible on a two dimensional photo.

The rest of your post is just pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo. It sounds so impressive, but it's nonsense.
 

missyclare

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Yes, CPT, please breathe. We are both in the same boat, just differences in opinion.
I've been doing and studying the barefoot trim for 17 years. I largely studied with Pete Ramey, but have also studied many other trim protocols and have gained from them all. I have nutrition courses completed, Reading Rads and am currently following the informational front line on Cushings research at UC Davis.
For 10 years I've been helping owners trim their own horses in hand and online and they are amazing at it! I've done it for free all this time. I am simply for the horse. Right now I'm helping an owner on an island in Greece. There is no farrier and the vet only flies over once a year, no matter what.
I have rehabbed horses brought to me as well. The last one barely made it from trailer to barn and I was phoning the vet on the way. That will get your passion up. I've been passionate for a long, long time. I don't speak with arrogance, but from experience that has been well earned.
My own horses are long transitioned. My horsekeeping has completely changed around here. You wouldn't recognize the place, lol.
Anyway, that's me. Keep that bag handy in case you need it, but I won't need one. Before then, I will sit back and agree to disagree. That is my respect for you, along with reading carefully what you say first. Who knows? Maybe I'll learn something.

Form is function, lol! I'm sticking to my guns on that one. If you haven't got form, there is no function, There is no function on a hoof that hasn't been freed up, balanced and the torque removed. All three of them cause pain and there is no function in pain. The form is the shape of the barefoot trim itself. The shape that allows the hoof to function despite the pathology. With every step, he's promoting that trim and doing his homework with increased function from that shape. Form is function is a law of the barefoot trim. A hoof is live entity, not a building. I used to be architect, but I'm in the medical world now.
If Rockley is trimming from the top, yes, they are addressing flare, just not the way I'd do it......again, simply a difference of opinion.
I'd never heard of copper keeping concavity or trying to keep concavity in the summer. Copper strengthens the cross-connective tissue of the hoof but concavity has to be earned by transition. All the parts and pieces have to get back into place and start functioning together for concavity to happen. Copper helps by adding strength for the process and I'll throw in zinc, threonine, methionine, biotin and selenium as well. Concavity also isn't year round. A flat foot can mean low bone on thin sole, but it can also be hidden by false sole. The hoof fills in more thickness in defense of the hard summer ground as all hooves do. The concavity comes in wet weather, when the false sole sloughs out for improved traction. In either situation, both are needed. It is a natural, seasonal change. Either way, the hoof can be revealing or hiding the concavity that was always there. If the concavity is not there however, that's when you need boots to protect that bone. Its the padding in the boots that promotes concavity and speeds up transition. And that's the difference between your horse being able to ride the roads bare and the OP importantly needing boots for now.


To the OP:
I nailed it with the vet's concern being thin sole. I'm glad that you've been using the boots, glad that the visit was good. They recognized your good homework and gave you the benefit of the doubt. Yea! Carry on.
 

Clava

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Form is function, lol! I'm sticking to my guns on that one. If you haven't got form, there is no function, There is no function on a hoof that hasn't been freed up, balanced and the torque removed.....If Rockley is trimming from the top, yes, they are addressing flare, just not the way I'd do it......again, simply a difference of opinion.
Have to agree to disagree Form follows Function with hooves, some more than others, and far more so in the natural world than in buildings! Flare or not?? http://rockleyfarm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/puzzling-hoof.html
 
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Kat

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If you feel the need to do something more - you could pray :D.

Your horse will be doing all the hard work.

You just need to stand there and look pretty ;)
Funny you should say that, I'm not religious, but I'm very good friends with a vicar and his wife and they have been praying for her feet :cool:

Looking pretty however may be harder work for me than growing new feet is for madam!
 
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