Views Read Edit View history. Rubber mats catch the edge of the flap disc and can jerk it out of your hand, metal makes a loud noise when the disc is pressed against it, dirt and sand get thrown up and can get in your eyes or spook the horse. Aging nails need lots of moisture. When myelin is not properly maintained or is eroded by autoimmune illness, you are bound to experience any number of symptoms of nerve dysfunction, common ones being muscle weakness, inexplicable chronic pain, and diminished vision. Bodybuilders drink protein shakes for breakfast and after working out.
Increased bone density can, say Grabowski and Tortora, prevent a condition called osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bone and an increased likelihood of suffering fractures. Osteoporosis is more common in older females but can affect either sex at any age.
The bones are held together with nonelastic avascular strap or cord-like structures called ligaments. Without ligaments, the joints would be very unstable and would probably bend the wrong way! When exposed to regular exercise, ligaments become stronger and more resistant to injury. Because ligaments have no or a very poor blood supply, any adaptations are very slow to develop.
Video of the Day. Common Diseases of Skeletal System. Types of Joints in the Skeletal System. Ways to Keep the Skeletal System Healthy. As a result horses with healthy feet are very comfortable on their home ground barefoot, and many go barefoot on the trail year round. I look for long relaxed strides at a trot and canter with nice, heel-first landings to assess movement. Some horses have thin or sensitive soles, or inadequate wall, and need protection. Most of the time, horses coming out of shoes are comfortable without protection in their living environment, but if they are sensitive, they get boots or glue on shoes.
Most horses can grow a thicker more durable sole with the correct trim and diet, but many still like front boots for performance work for the first year or two. Some horses have limited ability to grow a thick enough sole to be barefoot for performance because of past hoof care, breeding or pathology.
I see many photos of horses online who have either had their soles aggressively thinned by owners with good intentions, or whose walls have been trimmed, chipped or worn so short that the hoof has inadequate traction resulting in soles becoming dangerously thin.
These are the horses and owners we need to help. When a horse has a thin sole, it needs hoof protection to move comfortably and rehab successfully. The primary advantage is that they avoid concussion and flex more than a metal shoe. Boots and pads can be left on for days or weeks, and should be checked daily. Epoxies and sole treatments also help protect feet depending on the condition and terrain. This is is a early fall October hoof from an Arab on pasture.
The summer sole and frog have shed. This is is an early winter hoof from an Arab on pasture before the rains have started. We have very wet winters that start in October and last through March and April. In the summer, a thick sole accumulates and protects the hoof from all of the rock on our trails, and before it can get too thick to create a problem, we have wet weather that encourages the accumulated sole to shed.
Some regions are extremely arid and sole builds up in a dense, hard layer that can make horses very tender. What is a thin sole, and what is normal? And why remove any protection at all? I see sole retention when a horse with hoof pathology first comes out of shoes… sometimes they retain this sole for 3 or 4 months as the hoof rebuilds itself from the inside out. I used to trim it out, and the horse was always more tender and the feet rehabbed slower, and the horse did better in boots.
I do very little. When it starts popping out, I help it as it pulls free but leave chunks that are resistant in place. Environmental Sole Retention The retained sole that makes me crazy is that found in horses that live on stall mats without shavings or in arid locations like Las Vegas. Even feet with great concave sole shapes will pack solid and flat, and the heels contract…. I think these are the hardest feet in the world to trim, physically super hard sole and intellectually because its difficult to know how much sole to remove unless you trim this type of hoof a lot.
I see them primarily on horses that live on mats, and I have trimmed the retained sole, not trimmed it, relieved the bar slightly, nothing seems to work well! Some horses have had chronic thrush and end up with retained sole that seems to grow to isolate the super tender frog from the weight bearing surface and any flexing in the tender frog area.
I help the client fix the diet and treat the thrush, and this sheds out in a month or two. If a horse has a solar abscess that covers the whole sole, the hoof repairs itself and eventually sheds the sole in one large piece. I had one horse who only retained sole in the lateral side of one hoof, all the other feet looked great. The horse was very slightly off on that foot barely noticeable… after 3 months, the owner insisted that I knife it out, it was rubbery and durable, the horse resisted, but I did as she asked, leaving much of it but adding some concavity, and the horse went lame immediately.
Vet xrayed the foot and the lateral edge of P3 had a fracture. She retained sole in that area for a year, it finally shed and the mare was sound. But I let it shed out naturally until its loose. Occasionally horses are so uncomfortable that they are unable to lift one or more of their feet for trimming. Examples of scenarios I have run into include:. He had chronic laminitis with severe coffin bone degeneration, along with many musculo-skeletal problems, stifle and joint problems. His feet and body were so uncomfortable that he was unable to lift his feet for more than a second or two….
He had to be walked with a muzzle on because he was so large that he would literally drag people to the nearest patch of grass…. His owner had financial constraints. There are several approaches to using an angle grinder to trim. I suggest that anyone wanting to try this do their research and practice technique ahead of time with wood, plastic and rubber to understand how the different materials affect your ability to hang on to the grinder. Grinders throw off a sharp blast of air, and this is the one characteristic that has the potential to alarm horses.
I turn the grinder on and off several times, letting the horse watch and get used to the noise, but not showing it to the horse or making a big deal of it. I then do this to the owner and anyone else standing by….. I blow their hair around and laugh. Sounds silly, but it works. I stand back, turn the grinder on, I fan my face, the owners face, and the the horses face, and, from a few feet away, fan the horses body and legs. My preferred disc is a 40 or 24 grit flap disc, but I have used an abrasive stone disc also.
There is a lot of information online to help you choose tools.. The grinder flap disc has to go to the ground to get a clean edge on the bevel, and most other surfaces create problems or present hazards. Rubber mats catch the edge of the flap disc and can jerk it out of your hand, metal makes a loud noise when the disc is pressed against it, dirt and sand get thrown up and can get in your eyes or spook the horse. Concrete or asphalt can be used, but a pattern of the horses foot will be left on the surface.
If the horse is the least bit active, I have any observers stand on my side of the horse, behind me and at least 3 feet away. The top edge of this bevel should parallel the coronet band or growth ring around the front half of the hoof.
Each case is different. When the training and desensitization goes well, I run through a mental check list, then have the horse holder stand on the same side of the horse as I am on, and I turn the grinder on and, working on a front foot, I lightly touch it to the lower edge of the wall, where the bevel will be.
By this time the horse is usually alert but relaxed, and I can continue around the front feet, and then the back. I started this to show my frogs but expanded it to include frogs from around the world. Check out the International Healthy Bare Feet page too! Gabby lives in a rich pasture and is muzzled March to July.
I wish I had left a little more heel height. His frog shed 4 weeks earlier so this frog is immature. I have been grinning over super nice sometimes immature frogs for the past few weeks and started taking pictures of them to share. Most of these frogs shed out in late August or September and are coming back in great now.
Some are well developed, others are still immature. They all look super to me. I nipper the core out of the central sulcus, nip any flaps, open cracks up and treat thrush with Usnea tincture if I see any. If I find thrush, I nipper off as many flaps as I can with Bonsai tools. How aggressive I get opening up cracks depends on the season, conditions, environment and how close the frog is to shedding again.
I moderate the Whole Horse Health Yahoo list http: We had a thread going on in September on Thrush, and I sent in a post that included this comment:. Great story on the consequences of ignoring our horses pain… http: I got the following post from a member whose posts had gotten tiring for many members.
I decided to hold this particular post back. This horse, picture below right. You can see the deep crack on the Freedom case study that she referred to. When I look at this case study, I see nothing but thrush and a horribly unhealthy frog!!!! The fact that someone who claims to trim horses in wet east coast weather could see this and not recognize thrush? I was blown away.
A good trimmer needs to know the many components of soundness. This was one very unhealthy foot on a very uncomfortable horse. We did clear up the thrush after a few months of treatment, and the horse regained total soundness, but he later coliced, twisted a gut and had to be put down. I still have a lot to learn. We each need to think for ourselves, professionals and owners. Question whatever person you call an authority. Question your own assumptions.
We each need to learn the difference between painful unhealthy frogs and healthy frogs, and how unhealthy frogs affect movement and comfort. Frogs are important, no matter what climate you are in.
I really want folks to get this deal about the importance of healthy frogs, so if you have healthy frogs to share, email two to three pictures, your area and a brief bio to me at healthyhoof comcast.
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