The hoof wall on my horse's feet, particularly the front feet, has changed a bit since his last trim. I decided to roll the hoof wall less aggressively and see if this allowed his foot to begin widening at the back. I also wondered if it might make him more comfortable, if that is possible, as he moves along wonderfully without a hitch. I do not know if the back of his foot wants or needs to widen, but I do not want to inhibit this just in case he is trying to grow his foot differently than I am trimming it. I am always hoping that my horse will be able to self-trim. I do not want to deny him the opportunity to try.
The lighting and shadows made taking clear photos challenging that day. Here goes nothing.
|Right front, three weeks of growth|
|Left front, three weeks of growth|
|Blurry right hind, three weeks of growth|
|Left hind, three weeks of growth|
I noticed that the hoofwall of the front feet is spreading at the quarters. I hate to use the word "separation", but that is what it is. I am not really surprised to see this, because a while back, I tried backing off trimming the hoof wall and this was exactly what happened. I considered it unacceptable and immediately went back to beveling the hoof as I had been before. But now I am wondering if I should wait a little longer. If his foot were to widen, wouldn't the sole need somewhere to go? Maybe this is the horse's way of making room for a wider palmar foot?
Check out the fronts post-trim.
|Left front: The space between the wall and the sole is noticeable at both quarters even after I relieved mechanical pressure on the wall with my bevel. The central sulcus looks nice and open.|
|I found this crack in his right front, medial heel. Um, not cool.|
The hinds look good, even if the photos are subpar.
I am trying not to overreact and bevel his walls like crazy, but I do not like the hoof wall changes that I am seeing in his front feet. If this continues, I am going to return to my previous technique. At least now I have documentation to show the effects of backing off the bevel in a barefoot horse. Despite the lack of perfection, he is sound and wonderful, especially since we have been working on new stuff from our last lesson. His canter has been so fluid and free and he seems to be hinting at a cadenced trot. Is this a coincidence or does it mean keep letting his feet change?