I thought it might be interesting to share all the photos of Bonnie’s hooves that I have taken over the last few years. I love studying hooves and learning all I can, so I take lots of photos of my own horses and spend hours looking at photos of other horse’s hooves. My hubby thinks I’m so strange. Especially when we are sitting in bed and I am on my laptop showing him the changes in my own horses feet over the years as well as photos of what I hope they will become with all my careful management. He just rolls his eyes at me. LOL!
Bonnie’s feet have progressed and then regressed a few times over the last few years. There have been times they have looked really good and times when they have been down right ugly. The interesting thing is some of the times they have been ugly she has been the most sound. I just sigh and keep on trudging.
To trudge: walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions.
Something I have learned over these last months is Bonnie is happier with more heel that she should have. There have been times I have just let her have that heel. Then she can walk without wearing her boots. I watch her and study her feet and decide she needs to have less heel so I trim some off and she is lame again. Last year I was trying to help her by actually trimming heel off. Then I started studying a different method of barefoot trimming called TACT and learned more about the inner foot. I learned a ton about helping my horses grow a healthy heel and heel buttress and found that trimming Bonnie’s heels wasn’t helping her. In fact it was causing her heels to be pulled UNDER her foot and distorting, thereby losing her heel buttress. The heel buttress is the shock absorber for the foot, so it’s IMPORTANT.
What you are going to see in these photos is how her heel has moved back under her coffin bone as I’ve been trimming her correctly. I’ve started trimming to the inner foot and that is what is changing her hoof.
In the first photos I was trimming her by taking her heels down and bringing her toe back. I was looking for balance, but trying to go slowly.
Bonnie before I trimmed her:
Bonnie was in great shape here. We walked regularly 4-6 miles all summer long. These photos were taken in September.
After October and through to December Bonnie put on some weight. She was on dry lot with alfalfa mix hay and just ballooned up. I cut back on the amount of hay she got. I also had to split the mares from the boys because Zorro was still a stallion. He was the instigator of movement so Bonnie would tend to stand around and eat. She started to loose weight in November. Then in December she became laminitic after being out in the pasture for a couple of hours.
Now things are going to get ugly. She foundered in March of 2017 after her vaccinations and her feet took a turn for the worse…
These photos were taken in April 2017. She had been wearing boots since about December as she became laminitic in December after being turned out on the snowy pasture for a couple of hours. She was comfortable in boots so I kept her in them. Then after she was vaccinated in March she went down for several days and couldn’t stand at all. At this point there was NO HEAT in her feet. But this is what they looked like.
I have to get Bonnie to the vet for her blood tests and her x-rays this month. I will be sure to share her new x-rays then. I am very interested to see how everything is looking.
**UPDATE: This morning when I went out to feed Bonnie came striding up to me as though she hasn’t been acutely laminitic for the last week! So whoot whoot!! She is wearing her EasyBoot minis with a comfort pad in them. I am just so darned happy to see her walking around like that!