Trim is often the “missing link” in regaining and maintaining soundness. Because your equine friend deserves the best hoof care possible, the ECIR Group is glad to assist anyone wanting trim evaluations. To do this, we need some specific help from you:
1. Good Photos: Hooves are a 3-D object that we are evaluating using a 2-D medium. That places us at an immediate disadvantage. Good hoof pictures - of clean feet, taken from the correct angles, with good light and non-cluttered backgrounds - enable us to do this as accurately as we can. It helps the volunteers compensate for not actually "being there" to pick that hoof up or crouch down on the ground and look at it up close. Good photos help eliminate and/or clarify some of the variables that play a part in our ensuing recommendations. We understand that this may be awkward to accomplish but it is essential for providing the necessary info we need to help you help your friend. Although the front feet are where everyone tends to focus, providing pictures of all four hooves is encouraged. Anything that affects the front feet will also affect the hinds, although often to a lesser degree. If there are trim issues in front, there will also be trim issues behind as it is usually the same individual caring for both sets of hooves.
The sooner we get clear and usable photos, the sooner we can assess and make specific, thorough recommendations. Here's the link to instructions for taking good hoof pictures:
2. Proper Identification of your photos: Having to guess whether a hoof is front/hind, left/right makes helping your horse doubly difficult and the Photo Section of the group chooses its own order when loading your shots so you can't count on them being uploaded in any particular order. Identification of individual hooves can be as simple marking LF, RF, LH or RH with a magic marker on the appropriate hoof before snapping the shots. For dark hooves try a metallic silver marker or use marked masking tape as a “label”. For those with computer savvy, labelling the pictures themselves is fine. Please note that “left” refers to the horse’s left (near side) while “right” refers to the horse’s right (off side).
3. X-rays: Radiographs are always a bonus as they clearly reveal what is going on inside the walls where our human, non-superman vision cannot penetrate. With the advent of digital x-rays, however, the cost of a basic set has risen considerably. We understand if this just isn't an option but x-rays are never a waste of money when hoof problems are present and sometimes are an essential ingredient to a good outcome. If you are going to have xrays done, here are some tips on making the most of your investment:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/ groups/ECHoof/files/X-Rays%20% 26%20Radiographs/
Hope this helps with the "why" of your volunteers' repeated requests for good hoof shots.
Owners, Moderators & Primary Response Team of the Equine Cushings List