Hoof casts/shoes/barefoot


Vicki Kline <vlk@...>
 

Geez, I've barely been able to get caught up with this!

I've been rehabbing foundered and navicular horses for about 8 years
now. I trim some "normal" horses, but I work mainly with rehabs. In
fact, sometimes I'm not sure there is a sound horse in the world. I
have to go seem some of my sound horse clients or contact successful
rehabs just to be reassured.

One thing I've learned is that you absolutely cannot use any broad,
sweeping statements about horse feet. When I talk to rehab clients,
I use qualifiers in every sentence - usually, generally, I think, in
my experience, but, except, unless....

I used to think barefoot was the only way to help them and was just
horrified when Gene Ovnicek put a pair of cuff shoes with rails to
raise the heels on a very difficult founder rehab. What do you know -
the horse loved them, moved more, grew better feet, and we lowered
the heels/rails as he improved. This horse wsa VERY demonstrative
about what he did and did not like. When we tried clogs on him that
Gene was sure would help, the horse would not get up for 24 hours
till I ripped them off. Sometimes he liked boots, sometimes not.
And he did not like the casts. One day I tried on 8 different shoe
and/or boot ideas on him. Sometimes he'd take 2 steps and say "nope,
not gonna walk in these!" It's all individual, but you really cannot
rule out anything. I've read so many accusations of farriers being
close-minded, but I see the same thing going on with the barefoot
argument. Don't dig in your heels and defend a single position - be
open, at lesat to understanding the mechanics of why something might
work.

Everyone I deal with is barefoot right now, except a gelding that was
rescued by the SPCA. He's got less than 1/2 of his coffin bone in his
LF, and he wears glued-on little rubber half round shoes that make
him quite comfortable (actually there have been quite a few
laminitics that liked this shoe from Flex Step - and I have used them
just taped on). This horse does not have internal structures, so I
give him som external support - kind of like my mom had to wear a
back brace for severe arthritis years ago!

Recently we used shoes with slightly raised heels to rehab a QH with
underrun heels and toes that grew forward too quickly. I had trimmed
this horse for 5 years, always keeping his toes back, heels back and
low, but he was not comfortable. Granted he could barely walk when I
met him, and he did improve a lot, but he was still lame. The
concept behind the raised heels for this horse was that he would USE
the heel (he didn't have much choice), and generate proper growth
(more upright heel) from the interaction with the ground - i.e., we
got his footprint correct by having the shoe provide the footprint.
Used the shoe for about 3 trim cycles, and the horse is better than I
have ever seen him - even his face looks younger because the stress
is relieved. He's been barefoot again for about 4 months. Want to
see how he holds up (he's due for a trim today), but so far so good.
I'll use the shoes again if I have to, hopefully for just one cycle.

Point is, nothing - not frequent trims, not aggressive trims, not
backing off a bit - could get the footprint right for this horse
because he just didn't have the foot in the proper place to get the
right feedback from the ground to grow. I have no idea whether that
just made any sense to anyone! Boots are on the foot that exists;
shoes (or shoes with the cast), can be put on the foot as it should
be, and that's what stimulates the change.

I've got another (actually my own) that has the underrun heels and
toes that grow forever, that I'd love to try casting. I'm probably
going to try the same method I used on the QH for now - because I
happen to have that product here. I really do need to break down and
buy some casting material!

Actually here's my dream - someone needs to invent a shoe/boot/cast
combination that you can VELCRO on/off for trimming, adjustments,
etc. or in case they pull it off, it's easy to replace. Something
like a sandal.....

Vicki Kline


Abby Nemec
 

Vicki Kline wrote:
Geez, I've barely been able to get caught up with this!
Tell me about it!


Actually here's my dream - someone needs to invent a shoe/boot/cast combination that you can VELCRO on/off for trimming, adjustments, etc. or in case they pull it off, it's easy to replace. Something like a sandal.....
I'm working on an idea for some kind of sandal-like shoe to use under the cast, but it will never leave the drawing board because I have way too many other projects in the queue.

But really, the only problem with using standard shoes under the cast is a perceptual one. When the OWNERS can get past the idea that shoes are the devil's handiwork, the horse can benefit. I do sort of like those plastic half rounds that you had Vicki, and those would permit the ML deformation that a steel or aluminum shoe prevents. Where did you get them?

-A


--
**************************
Abby Bloxsom
www.advantedgeconsulting.com


Vicki Kline <vlk@...>
 

--- In ECHoof@..., Abby Bloxsom <dearab@...> wrote:

I'm working on an idea for some kind of sandal-like shoe to use
under
the cast, but it will never leave the drawing board because I have
way
too many other projects in the queue.
Yeah, I've tried to make some using different ideas, but I'm
definitely not an engineer!

But really, the only problem with using standard shoes under the
cast is
a perceptual one. When the OWNERS can get past the idea that shoes
are
the devil's handiwork, the horse can benefit.
Actually that's not my biggest problem. I just want something easy,
something that if the horse decides he doesn't like it, I can
remove. One of the benefits to rehabbing horses here at my farm is
that I can change my mind as the horse changes - adjust the trim, try
different pads, boots, whatever, but the whatever has to be easy to
use.

I do sort of like those
plastic half rounds that you had Vicki, and those would permit the
ML
deformation that a steel or aluminum shoe prevents. Where did you
get them?

I got the first pair at Amsterdam Farrier Supply in New Holland, PA,
but I don't think they sell a lot of them and often don't have the
size I need in stock. Can purchase them directly from the
manufacturer: http://www.flexstepshoe.com/FLEX-STEP.php. I think
they were originally designed for standardbred racing, although the
website does not say that. I've used the swedge, but the horses seem
to like the half rounds much better. I also usually cut out the
inside (web?) part, leaving the support across the frog. I glue them
on with Adhere, but if you do that, you have to scratch the smooth
surface up pretty well to insure that the glue sticks to the shoe.

Vicki