Meet Molly! A Shetland mule who came to us in on September 1, 2012. Molly is about 20 years old and she is overweight, and has wry hooves, both fronts. The hinds seem fine. Other than that, she seems fairly healthy.
Molly was living with a family alone and must have been lonely as she left her yard to go visit horses a ways from her house. After she made her second time journey from her home to the closest horses she could find, we were called.
Molly had been under the care of a farrier who was doing a good job of maintaining her hooves at a place where they were serving her okay, she wasn't lame. But he was seeing her every 8 weeks and he wasn't actually correcting the angle of growth. From what I was told, he fully intended to resolve her issues, but that couldn't have happened with his conservative trimming methods and allowing 8 weeks or so to pass between trims, and although she could move without lameness, her tendons and ligaments were stressed.
So with our first trim, we made some major corrections to her hooves. Getting more assertive with the tools engaging with the angle of growth guiding to a change in the vertical angle rather than allowing the walls to roll under her weight. This first trim is a good start!
Whenever I begin hoof work on a new horse with issues to correct, I have a plan in mind for the trimming program. So the plan for Molly is to work on her hooves and continue this new guiding trim every 2 to 3 weeks causing progress with the change in her growth patterns. It will take approximatley 8 months for her to be deemed "rehabbed." Let's see if I'm right! In that time we will also make sure she's allowed plenty of exercise with our herd so she should lose some weight over the upcoming winter months.
Each time we trim Molly's hooves, we will post a new page so you can follew her progress as we go. There is a link below for questions or comments. Thank for your interest in Molly's progress!
Molly, Arrived 9-1-012 - and our first trim is done on same day.
Fronts Prior to First Trim
It's not real visable in the pictures, but there is a dip in the outside wall, but you can see the the sweeping growth rings around the hoof.
Note: The last trim done on these hooves was within 3 weeks prior to these Before Trim pictures.
You can see how the hoof wall was rolling under on the medial (inside) of this hoof. And not as obvious in the picture is a dip in her lateral (outside) wall of this hoof. But you can see the rolling under and rolled out wall mirrored in the sole view of the hoof. The fix for this is relatively simple.
It helps that her front hooves are different colors. The left fore is the white hoof. Do you see how shelly the wall of her right hoof is? That is caused by nutritional imbalances, lack of movement and incorrect trimming or lack of trimming. Which happens to be the causes of most all hoof issues.
Successful rehab requires: trimming away excess medial wall, balancing the heels,
guiding the healthiest angle of the hoof wall to the ground and the time it takes to grow out those new angles.
Movement & a good equine diet.
Not rocket science. Stay tuned for future trim reports and watch Molly's progress.
Removed excess wall material (solar view), opened collateral grooves, balanced heels as much as possible. Rasped outer wall to remove flare which removed the dip in lateral wall and offered her a more balanced hoof relieving strain on her ligaments and tendons. This is why it's not fair to the horse to try to rehab trim these hooves slowly. Just get it done so the leg can relax and do it job with less stress. If you're wondering if she was more tender-footed after the trim than before, the answer is yes. But for only a few days. I would have booted her, if I had boots that fit her, and I would have just let her wear them for a few days. I could have made a pair of poor-man's hoof boots, but she wasn't that uncomfortable. A bit of pain medication for a few days and she's fine now. She made it clear that she wanted to be out in the pasture with the herd on day one, so that's where she went and since I'm aware of some of her past history, I knew she was familiar with herd life and could handle herself appropriately. She's doing fine with the herd.
The same was done for this hoof as the Left Front.
If you learn trimming strategies from this article that help you in your trimming...that is our goal for taking and posting these pictures. If you'd like to keep articles like this coming feel free to make a donation to the horses rehabbing here at the Rainier Equine Hoof Recovery Center.
Second Trim - coming soon.