Nature's Design Hoofcare - "Going beyond hoofcare to help horses"

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Donkeys! They need hoofcare too
Cowboy Up!
"Cash"ing in on going barefoot
Sole Bruising Caused by Overthinning
Look that horse in the mouth, you may be surprised at whats going on


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Donkeys! They need hoofcare too

I trim a lot of donkeys these days. some are in bad shape when i first see them. due to strong, thick hoof walls their feet tend to curl and keep growing rather than break off like most horses will. i'll use this blog to show the good, the bad, and most certainly the ugly. most are donkeys used to protect cattle and it takes a little while to get them all trimmed up. i think thats one of the reasons they are left for so long, they're hard to deal with and expensive to sedate. ive been very fortunate to work with people who understand the importance of routine care and now maintain a healthy schedule to keep their guard donks in tip top coyote chasing shape.

Cowboy Up!

This is Cowboy Jack. He was a gift to a client and that turned into a project for me. HA! He was fairly lame on the fronts and very stiff with the hinds. Didn't like to move around much and especially not at a brisk pace. First thing i noticed was the effort he had to put into lifting those front feet off the ground. Every step looked like it was such work for him. Upon pulling the shoes I noticed why, thick steel shoes, pads, and an expoxy filler to help with cushioning and easing the pain. Wowza!

"Cash"ing in on going barefoot

not much to say here about his guy, picture speaks for itself!
way too long and underrun foot. common happening in horses that are shod. this is because the hoof is not able to expand and contract naturally all the way around the foot. in stead what happens is it moves the only way it can, forward. so the constant shoeing and lack of expansion pulls the foot forward creating this long toe/underrun heel condition.
just trying to show the misalignment of the angles here due to the hoof condition.

just a little too much toe here.

Sole Bruising Caused by Overthinning

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 :)

Nahla-2yr old rescued quarter horse

Nahla is a great girl who was neglected in all areas during the first few short years of her life. Rescued by a wonderful lady and so begun her quest for a happy life for this girl.
This is the pic I was sent when she was looking at the horse. I was asked if I thought her feet could be corrected. Of course I love a challenge and was happy to be included in the whole process of this sweet girl.
long, deep crack running up the entire length of her hoof. This happens when the hoof is left to self trim and the prying forces of this movement create stress cracks that can cause lots of problems if not addressed.

Foundered Mule

Foundered mule that was taken in by some good people to get back on the right track.Her feet are way overgrown, so pile neglect on top of the foundering. Fat crest on her neck
indicative of founder as well.

majorly overgrown hoof wall. heels curling
under like crazy. hind feet in bas shape as well. mule was getting around pretty good but with over exaggerated leg action
to compensate for the overgrowth.

 Close ups of her front feet.

i took her heels down a good bit this first trip out but didn't get any good work done on her hoof walls.

Candi~Sweet Girl, Overgrown Feet

Candi is another case of the failing economy and its affect on horses. Owners didn't have funds to keep up with hoofcare or adequate feed. She was rescued by the lady who called me. Another horse angel swooping in and caring for our beloved equines :)
On to the pics:
Right fore. cracks from overgrowth, good amount of flaring.
Same foot. showing the extra toe and flare.
Right fore sole view.

Long Term Trim Neglect Case

This is a great little horse! She was purchased about 3wks ago and was told she had just been trimmed (by the owner). Her new owners weren't convinced that was true and when I got there I confirmed their suspicions. If this horse grows this much hoof in 3 wks she needs to be on a 1 1/2 week schedule!
Lots of flare, disconnected hoof wall from being left to long. those nasty prying forces at work. some ripples down the hoof so she's probably mildly foundered a few times over the past year.

Rescue Horse

neglected hoof. rescue horse.This horse was acquired as a rescue in Nov. of 2010 and as you can see the feet were not taken care of very well. the horse is in his teens and is an awesome animal with the sweetest demeanor.
here's a glimpse into what can be done for these neglect cases. 
what this guy had going for him was that the hoof wall although there are some small ripples down the hoof, he had relatively well connected hoof wall coming from the coronet.
overgrown hoof.

Cat- A Work In Progress

shod. contracted heels. heel bulb cleavage as i call it. stressed hoof.This is the beginning of Cat's journey. Diagnosed as Navicular, heart bar shoes and equipak were applied in May 2010. An expensive application and unfortunately not doing the horse any good. Unbalanced would be an understatement!
look how crooked her poor foot is. horribly contracted heels, with what I like to call heel bulb cleavage. and you can see the results of the concussive forces of wearing shoes in the hoof wall. see the bulge in the wall on the right side of the picture? yikes!
had shoes pulled and feet trimmed by a well qualified barefoot trimmer but when she moved back home had to find someone else.
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