TIM: The Recovery of a Foundered Pony
- August 29, 2014
- Jan Swan Wood
Posted in: Horse Care
TIM: Trim #3
August 22, 2014
Note to readers: The farrier caring for Tim’s feet has nearly 50 years of experience under his belt and has made a study of the equine foot, thereby giving him knowledge of where the interior structures lie in the foot and what is safe to do to the outside. Even with his experience, some things involve risk, and he doesn’t trim Tim’s feet without a great deal of thought.
Tim was a little overdue for his third trim but good changes were happening in his feet. The new shape and improved health of the hoof itself was becoming evident. When his feet were cleaned out and the dead sole removed, the new growth had the healthy “waxy” look of a normal foot. He was landing further back on his foot when he walked
and much flatter, as opposed to landing on his heels. His heels are wider and looking healthier, as is his frog. His toes need pulled back more to help him break over quicker.
Since a foundered horse’s toes grow forward instead of down, it’s necessary to be rolling it and taking the pressure off of the hoof wall as the hoof grows.This may look a little drastic, but it’s working on Tim, as the new growth on his hoof is growing downward with the angle of his pastern. Without taking the pressure off, the hoof wall would just continue to separate and migrate forward, doing nothing toward the future health of the hoof.
Tim has a about an inch of new growth on his feet.
Tim’s front soles are really improving now.
As can be seen in the comparison photos, before and after the right front was carefully soled out. More of the foundered hoof is removed and the striations in the pieces demonstrate what founder does to the hoof wall.
Tim’s fronts were finished up and looked more than ever like normal hooves with the heels under the bulbs of the foot as they should be.
The hind feet on Tim were the worst from the beginning due to the extreme overgrowth of the sole. The overgrowth is called “false sole” and it could finally be removed.
Bill trimmed out the false sole with the nippers, being very careful to not get too deep into the sole. The false sole came out in big chunks.
Tim’s heels had been rolled in for years, but the regular trims are gradually getting them to a more normal structure.
The inside heel on Tim’s foot had rolled the worst, and Bill was able to get more of it removed with this third trim because he was able to remove more of the false sole than before. The heels tend to roll in due to the weight of the horse being carried in an unnatural manner due to the thickness of the soles when the feet have been foundered.
With the false sole removed on the left hind, it was very evident just how much difference there was in the two feet with just that much done. The long toes needed some pretty drastic help at this point, so the standing trimmers were once again employed to shave off the toe gradually until it was ready for more refined shaping. Bill then trimmed the hoof with his nippers to get it as close to right as possible, then he used his rasp to finish them and to bring the hoof wall down to the correct angle for growth with the toe rolled.
The right hind has a little bit different shape than the left hind, which is normal for foundered horses. With the hoof cleaned out and the false sole removed, the real shape of the hoof was very clear and Bill trimmed toward it.
In the photo, the light colored rim of the hoof line shows and the distortion of the long toe is emphasized. The frog is also distorted, stretching toward the toe, as it is on the other feet as well. As Tim’s feet improve in overall health and he gets more and more normal pressure on his frogs, they will pull back from the toe and migrate back to where they belong, with the point at the widest part of the hoof.
Tim has his toes rolled on his hind feet and isn’t bearing weight on the walls at all at the toe region. Taking the pressure off of his toes will help his hind feet to grow down instead of forward. Normal wear from walking will also help to naturally reduce the sole buildup.
Tim has come a long way since he arrived not quite three months ago. He travels well, feels good and his feet are healthier with every passing month.
Tim is also healthier in general as he has slowly lost some of the fat deposits on the crest of his neck and on his rump and ribs due to his restricted calorie diet. He is fed crested wheat grass hay with access to loose salt and a quality mineral.
Posted in: Horse Care
About Jan Swan Wood
Jan was raised on a ranch in far western South Dakota. She grew up horseback working all descriptions of cattle, plus sheep and horses. After leaving home she pursued a post-graduate study of cowboying and dayworking in Nebraska, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota....