Hoof trim comparison- August '08

This horse was trimmed only 4 weeks ago. As you can see there is a lot of new growth and the feet are starting to self trim. Left unattended these hooves would look very ragged but they would probably chip back to a 'proper' length on their own. We have had very little rain lately and the ground is very hard. As a result my horse's feet are very hard and he has very little thrush in the clefts of his frogs. I took the hoof wall length down, beveled the edges and didn't touch the frogs or soles.

Sole view of Right and Left front feet before trim (top) after trim (bottom). Click on pictures to enlarge view.
You might notice that the heels on the right foot (left side of photo) are not the same length. I trim his heels down to the level of the sole and no further. If I were to make both heels even I would end up rasping his sole quite a bit which would cause him to be sore. If his feet were like cubes with even sides things would be easy, but his hooves are like tilted cubes with one side always askew. I do make sure to bevel the edges well especially if I see separation starting, or in the area where there are chips as in the case with today's trim. Beveling the hoof wall eliminates the leveraging forces that would worsen splits and separation.

Studying these pictures is very good for me because I am catching details that I don't notice while I am working. Looking at the hind feet I can see I need to bevel the hoof more at the quarters- inside and outside. The toe could be maintained more as well. My horse has difficulty keeping his hind legs raised for me so I usually work very quickly, and in compromised positions. I can see that working this way is causing me to miss some important things.

Hind sole view. Before on top, after on bottom:

I apologize for the less than perfect pictures. My hands get shaky with the exertion of trimming. There are more hoof comparison stories listed in the side bar. Thanks for visiting!

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