We tackled Luna’s hooves today, beginning what we hope will be an uneventful recovery process. When we first looked at her, her owner told her reluctance to move forward was due to the added weight of pregnancy. Forget the foal, her feet were a mess! Every step must feel like walking on glass shards!
Flares in her hoof walls indicate laminar stretching and separation. OUCH! The separation is also evident in the stretched water lines. Subtle red marks indicate angry bruising. Overgrown walls and bars concentrate concussive and shearing forces with each step. There is a Youtube video that illustrates this with revolting clarity–I’ll dig it up.
I just trimmed her front hooves. The hinds can wait ’til tomorrow. Healing is a process.
I asked Mark to walk her out to check the results in motion. Tentative at first, Luna gained confidence in her newly found comfort as she walked. Rebalancing the hooves caused a heel-first landing. Her stride–and her topline–lengthened. You could see the relief on her face!
Rolling the toe takes the pressure off the lamellar attachments, allowing them to heal. Over time we’ll see the tubules begin to grow straight down. The flares and resulting bruising will disappear. The water line will shrink. The whole hoof capsule will tighten up, supporting the internal structures–and the whole horse–with the integrity for which it was designed.
The lighter coloration of the freshly rasped hoof is decieving. To me it looks like there is a much greater difference between the heights of the structures. In reality, the weight bearing surface is pretty smooth. The bars and bottom of the wall are trimmed way down to help distribute the weight bearing load.
Note the extra toe length as seen in the left front-before shot cracked and broke off a few days before.
I’m excited! I think Luna has some darn good feet hiding behind the signs of neglect!