Concavity and Pea Gravel


 

Abby-

I just wanted to report the progress of Joe's feet since the addition
of pea gravel to the equation.

He had his laminitis bout in Dec 2005 with no rotation or sinking. I
quit using my farrier and started the natural barefoot trim in April,
riding him with pads and boots most of the Summer and Fall, and rode
barefoot where there were no rocks. His hoof grew out nicely, the
founder line was gone by October but I was never really satisfied
with the bottom of his hoof. The back feet were text-book perfect,
the front feet were adequate, but still flat and he was still ouchy
on pointed, "driveway" gravel.

We put in pea gravel in October and I continued to trim every 2-3
weeks. The first change I noticed is that his sensitivity to driveway
gravel went away in January. Then last week I picked up his foot and
my jaw hit the ground. Concavity! With the exception of an
approximate 3/4 inch area by the whiteline/toe that extends towards
the quarters, his foot is concave! Glory be! Of course, I'm inclined
to credit the pea gravel but I'm sure it's a combination of new
growth, healthy diet, frequent trims AND pea gravel. Amazing, simply
amazing how the bottom of the foot can change like that.

I'm going out now in the 15 degree weather to trim 3 horses and get
some new pictures!

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)


Karen in UT <ket62@...>
 

Kathleen,

How deep did you put your pea gravel? We are thinking
of putting it in our 16x20 run in shed to see if our
mule does better with it. HAve you ever heard that if
they lay in it alot it causes sores? My husband works
for a gravel pit so we will be getting some. I had
Pete Ramey here last year and he was saying how great
the pea gravel is for the feet. I wanted to put it in
the corral area but we get to much snow and mud and I
was afraid of wasting it.

karen


Karen Nunes
A Ditch Runs Thru It Ranch
TWH's, Curly and a Mule too!




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--- In EquineCushings@yahoogroups.com, Karen in UT <ket62@...> wrote:

Kathleen,

How deep did you put your pea gravel?
Don't even think about putting it down without laying down geotextile
fabric first or you can kiss it goodbye. The fabric costs 8-12 cents
(yes, cents) a square foot and we get it at the local landscaping
supply store. I put 4-6 inches of pea gravel on top of it.

It's like laying on a bean bag so I don't know that they would get
sores anymore than laying on the cold, hard ground. However, a warm
stall with deep shavings would be better if they were down a lot.

Water drains through it, it prevents mud, it's great for their feet,
it's like kitty litter when scooping poop, it doesn't hurt when you
walk on it barefoot. Great stuff.

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)


repete134
 

Concavity is a good thing on soft terrain or terrain that provides solar
support-such as the pea gravel, sand, rubber pads, etc. Concavity shouldn't
really be one's goal for horses living or spending most of their time on concrete
or hard, flat terrain because it causes "peripheral loading". Horses living
on hard, flat surfaces will tend to lay down more sole and fill in what would
normally be concave on horses living on softer terrain. Dr. Bowker is doing
some clinics in conjunction with some of Pete Ramey's clinics and I will share
some of the key points from Dr. Bowker's findings for your reading enjoyment &
hoof knowledge! These notes are also posted on the EasyCare site since they
hosted this clinic!!

~The hoof wall is not a rigid structure, but is fluid. The inside of the
hoof wall is the consistency of peanut butter.

~All hoof wall does not grow from the coronet. A significant portion of
inner hoof wall is formed from "grocery bags" of cells in the second epidermal
laminae.

~There is improved perfusion of blood flow through the foot on pea rock, sand
or foam pads and a dramatic decrease of perfusion on cement or wood.

~Movement is so important because it improves the perfusion of the foot.

~With peripheral loading of the hoof wall (through shoeing OR TRIMMING) blood
flow stops for a moment with every single heartbeat.

~In a good-footed horse, the entire digital cushion area is all
fibrocartilage; in a bad-footed horse, it is fatty connective tissue

~In a good-footed horse, there is fibrocartilage directly (under) the bars;
in a bad-footed horse there is simply a piece of thin, connective tissue

~Fibrocartilage is created through stimulation (proper movement). Once
created it stays there permanently but if they don't move enough they never develop
the fibrocartilage

~A solar load on the hoof encourages bone to be laid down. A peripheral load
on the hoof encourages bone to be lost.

~Peripheral loading is a BAD THING. (shod or barefoot)

~A horse living outside will take 4,000-6,000 steps per 24-hours. A stalled
horse gets about 800 steps per 24 hrs

~There is no direct connection that Dr. Bowker can find between the hoof wall
to the coffin bone that can create support. There is simply dermal tissue
between the laminae & coffin bone.

~The function of the laminae is not to support but rather to produce tubules
for the white line and sole.

~Increased laminae density is a sign of stress.

~Solar plug (ground material that packs in the hoof) minimizes peripheral
loading effects.

~Scooping out the sole and bars accentuates peripheral loading effects.

~There is 1/3 the amount of pressure on the hoof wall when standing on rubber
vs. standing on concrete. This is because the hoof is fluid and there is
more surface area on rubber (and pea gravel).

~Bars should be a weight-loading structure, with a healthy bar at a 45 degree
angle to the ground

~Most of the sole comes right from the bars and is growing forward. If bars
are removed, you remove sole regeneration. Bars provide keratinized horn for
the sole.

These are just a few points from Dr. Bowker that I found very important to
know!! Especially since the beginning of the barefoot movement focused so much
on concavity....but now we know you have to consider the terrain first ~
amongst a myriad of other things!!!

Paula Hanes
Natural Hoofcare Practitioner
HoofSense Natural Hoofcare
www.hoofsense.com

"A horse that is sound only in shoes, is not a sound horse." ~ Steve Dick,
BWFA, CESP

"Ask not what your horse can do for you.....Ask what YOU can do for your
horse!!" ~ Chris Irwin


Karen <karen@...>
 

I have pea gravel for all my horses, but first put it in for Tilly.
I started out with about five inches. Need to get more soon it is
somehow disappeared. Tilly does lay on it especially in the summer
when it is hot. In the winter I make her a bed of shaving to lay
on. She does not like to lay down in her stall which she has free
access to.
The only thing that is a little troublesome for us with the pea
gravel is when it snows or rains and then freezes hard for days the
gravel is then kind of ouchy to Tilly, but not to the other horses.
If it is covered you don't have this problem.
Karen, Chantilly and Tommi--- In EquineCushings@yahoogroups.com,
Karen in UT <ket62@...> wrote:

Kathleen,

How deep did you put your pea gravel? We are thinking
of putting it in our 16x20 run in shed to see if our
mule does better with it. HAve you ever heard that if
they lay in it alot it causes sores? My husband works
for a gravel pit so we will be getting some. I had
Pete Ramey here last year and he was saying how great
the pea gravel is for the feet. I wanted to put it in
the corral area but we get to much snow and mud and I
was afraid of wasting it.

karen


Karen Nunes
A Ditch Runs Thru It Ranch
TWH's, Curly and a Mule too!




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Kris Kenyon <laveen2923@...>
 

repete134@aol.com wrote:"some of the key points from Dr. Bowker's findings..."


Paula,

Thank you for sharing your notes, that's absolutely fascinating!

What about terrain that is naturally dry and rocky (lots of small jagged rocks along w/ larger ones)... would that encourage concavity or a flatter foot?
Krista, Mancha and Dulce
(in rocky Arizona)


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repete134
 

Hi Krista. The famous answer is "it depends"!! <smile> It depends on each
horse and the current state of health of their hooves. If they have adequate
sole thickness and healthy digital cushions you will probably see some
concavity. And if the hard dirt surface is somewhat giving to the weight of the
horse, you'll have concavity. Maybe not as much as a horse that lives on pea
gravel or sand....but you should have some especially if it's rocky. I believe
Pete Ramey says the horse is seeking about 1/4" expansion room to the terrain
when loading...if they had more concavity than that and were moved to an
environment with concrete-type footing...they will lay down more sole to fill in the
concavity for added support. Your collateral groove measurements will still
be that of a healthy foot...they will just have hard sole filling in the
concavity. If the collateral groove depths aren't what they "should" be....then a
flat foot may be a sign of pathology. So many factors to take into
consideration!!


Paula Hanes
Natural Hoofcare Practitioner
HoofSense Natural Hoofcare
www.hoofsense.com

"A horse that is sound only in shoes, is not a sound horse." ~ Steve Dick,
BWFA, CESP

"Ask not what your horse can do for you.....Ask what YOU can do for your
horse!!" ~ Chris Irwin