This is a horse who the lady has owned for 4yrs and he has never been sound on rocks, really ouchy and always trying to walk around them. And abscessing frequently. She called me out for boots after seeing some other ladies around the farm wearing them out on the trials. When I got there I saw a horse who was suffering from very thin and massively bruised soles.
He lives in a soft terrain pasture so i gave him a basic trim and told her to use boots whenever she rode him. I think she even used them just to walk him across the gravel driveway to get to the hitching post :)
You can see the discoloration from bruising and lumps where the sole is trying hard to form some kind of protection. the frog looks pretty nice though which helped support the back of the foot but i was really concerned with vascular damage through the toe area. This is the foot that abscesses as you can see by the large hole at 2 o'clock.
The sad thing is this lady tried to get her farrier to comply to a natural trim. He said he could do a barefoot trim, but unfortunately it wasn't what is required for a TRUE barefoot trim. There is a huge difference between a pasture trim and a real deal barefoot lifestyle trim. And this is why i question some professionals knowledge, they talk the talk but can't walk the walk and our horses are suffering for it! She has had 3 farriers work on this horse and not one of them told her he had flat soles or was bruising. And they were aware of his tenderness on rocks, just didn't figure out why.
Once i explained to her what was going on with her horse, instead of just becoming a boot client she became a trimming client as well. Knowledge has its perks!
After just 3 short months we have concavity building and no more bruising. She still uses the boots on the trails and i think thats a good idea still at this point but he walks across the gravel drive and down the road with no swerving, hesitation or dread.
This is one of those cases that was so easy to correct just by applying the right trim.
it was a little muddy out there that day but you can see the normal coloration of the sole. No more bruising or lumps!!! He was exfoliating sole rather well as you can see by the "crackle" lines along the frog.
Hard to see the concavity in this picture but here you can see just how much we have gotten:
My worries of vascular damage were put away once i saw how well he was growing concavity and sole depth. phew!
I'm looking to seeing if we have also eliminated the abscessing. So far so good but he was prone to doing it in the summer months so we'll see when we get there. I'm fairly confident that with his new foot we won't have that problem, unless there's something inside his foot like a foreign matter causing the abscesses. could be as she says he did it every year sometimes more than once. but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
All this is possible just by reading the foot, the collateral groove depths, frog to sole ratio, angle of new hoof growth, etc. etc.
It just takes the knowledge of the foot to truly understand how to trim it. What to leave alone and what to take off. This was a case of too much being taken off and not realizing the damage being done until there was a problem.
I'll post updates on this guy throughout the year. Hopefully my next pics will be during a dry spell!!