We’re going to start this article by saying:
WHY? Because balanced hooves promote soundness and that’s in your control.
Being in the horse veterinary profession for so long, I know that a lot happens to horses outside anyone’s true control. I hear this from clients as well. However, what I am about to share is one of the things that can be in your control; and in turn, makes it priceless and “a must” for horse owners.
Hoof Balance is a major factor in horse soundness. If a horse has bad angles, the soft tissues in the hoof and up the leg receive significant and unnecessary strain. The horse’s body and hoof can adapt for a while, but it will eventually give way to lameness.
Correcting and managing hoof angles is something every owner should do to prevent lameness and keep your horse healthy for life.
Included here are some very recent radiographs from our horse Zuko (13yo, OTTB, gelding, low-level work). The normal looking outside appearance of his hoof masked the great imbalance within his hoof.
Before recognizing his hoof problem:
Check out the before and after radiographs below.
Too much weight and strain is placed on the back of his foot. This crushes the heels, makes them under run, and makes the horse uncomfortable. You try walking with your toes higher than your heels.
The distribution of weight is not placed on the strongest and ideal portions of the bones. The wrong surfaces are bearing the weight so arthritis and ligament strain will eventually occur. Is it easier to hold a push-up with arms straight or arms bent?
A positive PA is needed to sustain soundness and decrease deep digital flexor tendon strain on the navicular region.
Straighter aligned bones bear weight more appropriately as nature intended on the correct cartilage surfaces to slow progression of arthritis.
Below is Zuko’s full trim & shoe series. Take note of the progress and improvement on all the feet over time. We’re not done yet, but we’re on the right track!
Call or text 703.505.2320 or CONTACT US HERE to schedule your appointment for farrier balance films.
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