Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feet for Funder

The last time that Christina Cline came to trim the horses I promised Funder that I would post some pictures. I finally got around to snapping them today while Christina was working away. The angles aren't ideal (I didn't want to neglect my horse-holding duties entirely) but the pictures below show (left) Tonka's front right in January of last year just after being trimmed by a local farrier and (right) the same hoof just after Christina finished trimming it today (click on it to see a larger version). This foot was more affected by the founder, with greater rotation and more remodeling of the coffin bone.

Sure his toes are shorter and his heels (naturally a bit high on this side) are under, but what I like most is the quality of the new growth. The ridges on the left indicate periods of disrupted growth, probably due to acute laminitic episodes, but the smoothness on the right is indicative of a more metabolically balanced horse. Now the front left:

Here you can clearly see how the plane of hoof growth used to break about halfway down with the angle (as measured with respect to the ground) getting smaller. This occurs due to weak laminar connection between the hoof and coffin bone, and you can see how stretched the white line (connection between hoof and sole) was in this picture:

Unfortunately I didn't take the matching pictures for this today, but the white lines on both fronts had tightened completely after six months of care. Also unfortunately I cannot find the pictures I took of Raven's hooves after Christina pulled her shoes, but the two pictures below show them today (you can see how a scar on her right coronet causes a seam to grow down the quarter).

Being a thoroughbred Raven doesn't have the toughest hooves, but we are very pleased by how much they have improved in shape and substance. All four used to flare like crazy between 4-week trims and the soles were like pancakes, but now they stay compact and there is real concavity around the frogs. She will probably never ride out comfortably without boots (assuming that she will be sound enough to ride out at all) but overall I feel that she is a much healthier horse without shoes.


Brandy said...

Those are some NICE looking toes, I must say!

It amazes me. People like you and Stace make it look so easy! Pay attention to getting the appropriate feed, get the mani-pedis done regularly and well, groom, clean, train, ride. If these things are hard for you to figure out, ya prolly shouldn't have real live horses! But somehow these big angels fall into ignorant and uncaring hands. Then Fugly has to step in, and YIKES! No sane person would want that!

I'm sure that sole and frog look waaay better than the photo here, I can nearly smell it still!

Wearing boots is a fashion statement that Raven can totally pull off in any season! She's so happy and healthy now!

Happy anniversary with Tonka, and many thanks to that amazing man in your life!

EvenSong said...

I don't know, girl, but it seems like Raven REALLY toes out is that "one" photo of her fronts! ;-D

Congrates on your anniversary: seems like a long time, and seems like just yesterday, right? In spite of the scary moments, it's all worth it! Here's to decades more equine adventures (plus a front loader in the near future).

coquesse = the attribute of flirtiness

Funder said...

Yay feet! Those are some truly beautiful feet. I'd never look at Tonka's feet and think he'd foundered - really good work by you and Christina. And Raven's feet are lovely too, not at all splatted like TB feet usually are. Thanks!

adkjenn said...

those hooves are looking so much better!!! you must feel a lot of pride when you see how far they have come :)

also, about the rib bones for jack's teeth...frozen or thawed?

Anonymous said...

Nice! I wish I knew more about hooves. Our farrier is also the assistant trainer at our barn so Casey gets his mani-pedi on time, exactly when he needs it. Maybe I'll go hang out and bug the farrier some so I can learn/relearn somethings.

In response to your comment on my site (and I do respond to comments there), that's Charlie with Kitty. He was pre-Casey and turned out to be not a nice horse and not a good fit for us. We called him the Giant Flaming Jackass, as he bit EVERYBODY.

idorati- a group of Italians that adore and idolize someone

Serena said...

The picture of Raven's feet scared the heck out of me! I had to look really closely to see how you put the two photos together . . .

allhorsestuff said...

Wow...gotta catch up...the header pic made me go oh! it must be explained in a back post.
Raven's hooves are tiny, like Wa's!
Wa's are a bit tender for all the mush lately...and her gravel underlayment slid...I am so dissappointed with that investment+ the owner has "claimed" the best spot for herself now thta Pantz left and has not paid mefor materials.(though said she would) I may not pay lease next mo for the payment...having some Drama-trauma right now with them.I wish I had my horse with me at home like you do DP!
Thanks for the pictorial on the yours!You do great work making sure they are sound.

allhorsestuff said...

Ha..just read Serena's comment...it did me too till I looked closer! I almost made Wa move her feet for the Cavalletti pic of how she banged them up= as she looked cow hocked...but is not!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've never been very good at deciphering hoof problems. Did you understand everything before you got horses with hoof problems? Or did you take a crash course after they arrived?
I'm really impressed at how far along the hooves have come, though. You've been so dedicated in making it happen, for sure.

I hope there is even more improvement over the next year.

aka~ Rapunzle

(word veri: "obeame"=Obama's nickname.

Rising Rainbow said...

I just do not understand founder like I would like. I don't know if it's because I haven't had to deal with it first hand (knock on wood), or if I am just dense in this department. There is so much to learn.

I have seen x-rays of a rotated coffin bone but I'm not sure that I grasp the bio-mechanics of how that actually happens.

dp said...

RR: I promise that you will learn FAST if you are ever faced with founder, but I'm knocking on wood for you.

Very basically there is a laminar connection that holds the coffin bone to the hoof capsule, and vice versa. When this connection fails (due to inflammation and death of the tissue, which can be brought on by many different things) the elastic branches of the deep digital flexor (which are always exerting pull on the coffin bone) can work the bone from the capsule, causing that tell-tale rotation of the P3. With more catastrophic failure the coffin bone has no support from the hoof capsule and it will also drop inside of the hoof. In the most severe cases the bone will rotate and drop right through the sole, and the hoof capsule can slough off completely because its entire connection to the rest of the horse is dead.

Anonymous said...

Even Sparky and Teddy would approve. I'm thinking we throw down a few more wood chips and twine it, twine it.

dp said...

I still yell "twine it, twine it" to myself in my head when applicable.

For any confused comment readers: this is a friend with whom I worked for many years. I am thrilled that she dropped by for a visit.

Rising Rainbow said...

Thanks for that explanation. That's the first time I've heard anything about laminar connection that holds the coffin bone to the hoof. A failure like that makes perfect sense. Looking at laminae inside the hoof wall and the location of the coffin bone, it just didn't make sense to me.

I have only seen one foundered horse. A beautiful mare I posted about on my blog a while back. She was on my farm for a day or two before she was taken to my friend who tried to rehab her, because the owner couldn't. That short time seemed like forever. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can't even imagine what it must be like to have to deal with one of my horses with founder. You have great respect from me for this one, I can tell you.

dp said...

Thanks RR, but it hasn't been that onerous. Once you are set up for founder rehab and you have the diet sorted out (assuming it's a metabolic founder) you basically just sit back and let the horse heal. The biggest challenge is pasture turnout -- timing it correctly and making sure that Tonka is wearing a grazing muzzle when necessary. It's like most challenges in life -- they seem challenging until you get into the groove.

Can you point me to the link for the foundered mare?

Rising Rainbow said...

Well, I guess I feel the same way when people say things about me saving the twins. When you have to do it, you somehow get it done. But it's still hard and worrisome, not to mention a huge responsibility.

The post I did on the mare was more on what caused her founder than her treatment. Here is the link.

An Arabian Mare's Death Due to the Halter Division's Dirty Little Secret.

I don't know that I mentioned in the post that her coffin bone had severly rotated but it wasn't poked through the bottom of her foot.