Re: New hoof pics up for Saphira

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Dee,

Have added mark-ups to Saphira's album:

Regarding the pigeon-toed stance, it can be conformational but many more times it is pathological - need to work with your hoof pro, a good body worker and your vet to determine which scenario is the cause/contributor. In Saphira's case, there are definitely hoof issues that are causing an inward twisting to the hoof capsules as the current break over point does not align with the center of her cannon and pastern. It is also evident in how the heels and central sulcus align. More on that later. Muscle issues will contribute as tightness in the adducters (and other large muscles in the shoulders/chest) limit correct movement.

The general scenario is that Saphira's toes are too long, heels have migrated severely forward (esp behind), bars are quite overgrown. There are some medio-lateral imbalances. The xrays show a bit of distal descent (aka sinking) so there isn't any extra height in the hoof capsule to work with as the bony column is sitting slightly deeper inside than it should. Sole depth was barely adequate when the xrays were taken. General goals are going to be to back the toes from the top, bring the heels back under the bony column and tame the over-exuberant bars so they don't dominate the landscape. There has been some progress made on several fronts since the last set of pix, so kudos on that

LF dorsal: The medial wall is a tad taller than the lateral. The yellow lines are showing some of the points to look at when assessing M-L balance - they should be horizontal, not consistently dipping toward the outside. Note how bunched up the area of the coronary band is on the medial side vs the lateral side. Purple is where there are uneven (high) points in the hoof capsule. The bulges in the coronary band are current points - following the horn tubules down from these areas to the ground will show where the wall needs to be adjusted so that the bulges can relax. That there are bulges occurring all the way down the hoof capsule tells you these have been in place for some time.

LF lateral: Green line follows the angle of new growth coming in under the coronary band. Blue is where the heels should be to properly provide support while yellow is where they are currently. Red is the distance they need to come back to be functioning at their best.

LF sole oblique: Lime is the excessive bar height - it should be passive to the wall/frog. Pink is where the heel buttresses currently reside, yellow is where they should be, even with each other and with the widest part of the frog. They have migrated so far forward, and have been there for a long enough time, that the digital cushion and frog have also pulled somewhat forward and under and have buried the actual base of the heels. Need to work to back the heels and uncover their true location. Best not to slice too much frog away, rather lightly (as in o1-2 passes of the rasp) rasp the heels flatter once every week or two to gradually get things moving back without losing valuable depth in the back of the foot and without cutting away living frog material. Each time the heels are moved back, the resulting ground contact will work to remove excess frog and on the next adjustment you should be able to remove some dead/exfoliating material. Orange is migrating sole that has bunched up under the toe, covering the white line. Most of this will disappear when the toe is taken back  - any that remains can be flattened level with the walls.

Soles: Lots going on here. I tried to keep the "fruit salad" as clear as I could - please let me know if it doesn't make sense.

LF sole: Orange is where the toes need to be backed to and the walls brought inward. This should be done from the top, rasping downward, as you don't want to remove any sole depth. Pink is where the current heel buttresses are, yellow is where they need to be. This won't happen in one trim as there isn't enough depth in the back of the foot to move the heels that much in one trim. How much can be done will depend on Saphira's comfort level - use it as a guide. It appears as if the lateral heel had migrated further forward than the medial one but has been brought back to even now. Note how the hoof capsule was beginning to bulge between 9 and 12 o'clock and had flattened between 3 and 5. Lime is the excess bars that are leaning outward and pooling over the sole, burying the hoof-wall juncture. Gently but consistently (no amputations, please) work toward getting them brought back in toward the frog where they belong. Sometimes they will want to exfoliate quite easily, sometimes not - listen to them. Red is where the true tip of the frog is. The rest is old frog that has become trapped in the sole and is migrating forward following the pull of the toe. No need to carve it away until it releases - only nip off any flaps, hanging bits. This goes for the entire frog - only trim off dead flaps, curls that can trap debris.

RF sole: Same as LF but the lateral heel is still further forward than the medial. The hoof capsule has twisted more, causing it to look like the break over should be further inward than is true. The break over should align with a line drawn down thru the center of the lower leg, thru the center of the pastern and down the dorsal hoof wall. Underneath, draw a line along the widest part of the frog (yellow), then draw on running perpendicular to this thru the central sulcus to the toe (blue). This is where the break over should be for this foot (orange arrow). Right now, it's deviated medially but here has been some improvement in this since the last pix - good work.

LH sole: Same as fronts but heels have migrated forward significantly more, with the bars curling forward and pinching the frog. Rear of the frog has been pulled forward and under, burying the base of the heels. Purple "v's"  closer to the toes are where the juncture of the wall-bars currently appears to be. The "V's" closest to the back of the foot are where these junctures actually are so need to work to expose them as the heels get moved rearward. Need to keep in mind that when moving the heels rearward, you don't want to lower them in relation to the height of the front half of the foot as that will result in the coffin bone being tipped into a ground parallel or even negative plane scenario.

It looks like the front half of the back feet may be a tad taller in relation to the rear of the feet so the angle of the coffin bone may be flatter than would be ideal. Finding live sole plane in all areas of the foot and maintaining its integrity will help to correct this as you work. The same principle should be applied to the front feet.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut
Jan 05, RI
EC Support Team
Case History:


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