More feet

Taking pictures of the soles of Minnie and Cassie’s feet takes more than one pair of hands, so today I got my daughter to supply those extra hands and operate the camera, while I picked up the horses feet.

Here is Cassie’s left fore.

Cassie’s right fore

Cassie’s right hind

And Cassie’s left hind

It is hard to see with the shoes on, but the bars on her feet all feel sharp. Her hind feet have some concavity, her front feet are much flatter. Her frogs look withered, and there are loose bits flapping about. To my inexpert eyes, Minnie’s frogs look much better and I wonder if that is because she has been barefoot all round until recently.

Here is Minnie’s right front. This is the foot she was sore on and also the leg with the damaged tendon. Again it’s hard to see in the photo, but the bars on her front feet look and feel as if they have folded over.

Here is Minnie’s left fore

Minnie’s right hind

Minnie’s left hind

Minnie has a small bit of flare on the outside of her hind feet. Her hind feet have some concavity and there is a toe callous. She doesn’t seem to have any problems walking on gravel with her hind feet.


5 thoughts on “More feet

  1. Thanks for posting the interesting pictures!

    Cassie’s forefeet – both have way too much toe, and both have extremely underrun heels. The frog will sort itself out when shoes come off. Again her hind feet have too much toe. The heels are as underrun much less than the fore.
    Minnie’s fore feet – on the right one, the heel of the shoe is way far forward from where it should be. The heel is slightly contracted, and it looks as if there are bar issues. She almost certainly has heel pain. The left fore isn’t nearly as bad in terms of the heel. In both feet the breakover is a bit too far forward. Her hind feet don’t look bad – although there is some folded over bar.

    • Thanks June, it’s been really good to get your opinion on this. You have also confirmed what I thought myself with my inexperienced eye. It seems that farriers are just concerned with hammering the shoe on, without looking at the foot as a whole and making sure it is well balanced. Another reason to go barefoot!

  2. I think you’ve said it right when you say the problem is when farriers just try to hammer shoes on without regard to balancing. I think this problem arises because farriers and others think the shoe is protecting the foot and so the main thing is to just get it on there. But the foot is capable of taking care of itself – it only needs intervention if the horse is living in an environment where the hoof doesn’t wear properly. The only reason to wear a shoe is if it improves on nature’s balance – e.g. Ovnicek’s performance shoe which reduces joint damage caused by a lot of turning.

    If the horses are uncomfortable transitioning to barefoot, you could always temporarily use Easyboots or something similar, maybe just on the front feet, when you hack out on hard ground.

  3. I’ve been looking at the Easyboot glove, I think Minnie will definitely need them in front. Cassie might be ok, even when she lost a shoe she didn’t seem footy on the gravel. I’ll just have to wait and see. I gather from the website that boots are recommended for roadwork during the transition phase anyway.

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