Welcome to Natural Hoof Care
Mr Twist - (Oliver)
Background -According to passport he was born May 1st 1993- which makes him nearly 20! Registered for passport in 2006 by previous owners, but prior to that he had belonged for 5 years to her sister. During this 5 years, apparently, she didn't do much with him but once at younger teenager Rebecca's, she took him most weekends to shows, where they competed in the jumping ring. Don't know to what level. He came to me in June 2009 as Rebecca had bought a younger horse with whom she wanted to compete to higher level. Mum Lorna felt Oliver had earned an 'easier life' and by coming to us, we fitted the bill.
Health and fitness - In 2009, mindful that Oliver had been quite active and fit, and coinciding with my introduction to the Parelli programme, we walked together for miles in hand around our area practising the main elements of the 'on line ' programme. We learned the 7 games and became better in tune with our communications. In company, we hacked on roads/tracks/fields and slowly built up a trust and bond under saddle. With hindsight, over the last few years I have noticed him having less energy, (getting older-aren't we all?) tripping more when being ridden, and being generally lacklustre. All changes could be explained by age, 'poor feet'.
Oliver lives out 24/7 in a 7 acre home field, bounded by a river, with 5 other equines and until November this year when diagnosed with Cushings and laminitis, he has lived on grass in summer and hard feed/forage- mainly Simple systems products- in winter for the last 3 years. Forage has varied between local hay and haylage. Until this diagnosis, Oliver had appeared healthy and sound. However when I regularly questioned both farrier and vet about his hooves and their thin, flat soled nature, they have been consistently described by both as 'typical thoroughbred.' ... 'It's how he is'.... 'not a candidate for barefoot'... A previous attempt to go barefoot was abandoned in 2010 when he became lame and unsound after 7 months without shoes. What had not been addressed by me during this time, was the impact of Oliver's then diet - unknown sugar content- and the type of trimming I had enlisted. He had shoes on until October this year and the diagnosis..
Radical changes - Since his diagnosis, we have made radical changes both to his diet and his environment . No grass ; no hard feed carrying sugars to his gut = plenty good quality hay and rainwater on tap. Simply, we are supporting the horse to heal himself and grow 4 new natural hooves.
Written by Oliver's owner Pauline
The first time I seen Oliver's hooves with the shoes off. You can see where the toe clip has went through the inner and outer hoof wall into the white line. The heels are far to far forward and the hoof itself is very unbalanced. Below the side view, you see the stress rings near the heels giving a good warning sign that something is not right.
Photo Below October 2012
This is Oliver's Hind Right before shoe removal at this point the vet had removed both fronts 2 weeks prior to me removing the backs. You can see how long the hoof is very long and has the "bull nosed" appearance.
Below 4/01/ 2013 Oliver's front left, Oliver is on bute daily at this point and is very foot sore, he spending most of his time in the out door school and on deep bedding his owner has got him hoof boots to make him more comfortable. Oliver is trimmed on rubber matting or in the sand arena so its more comfortable for him to be trimmed. You can see the the tight new growth coming down marked by the stress ring.
Volar view of above after trim, Oliver's heels are coming back nicely, you can see the stretch in the white line.
Below Oliver's front left on the 25/2/2013 Oliver's new growth continues. Oliver is still on a diet of hay and whole oats. He has access to a salt lick and mineral block. Oliver is still on pergolide for cushings and bute when needed. You can see the new healing angle growing down at a much healthier angle above the stress ring compared to the growth and angle below the stress ring.
Below the 9/4/2013 Oliver is now completely off bute and all pain relief he even is even trotting and cantering around his new paddock paradise that his owner has made for him. The new angle of growth is growing down fast, the only problem is now that the hoof looks unsightly to some. At this point its important to be be patient and wait for the new hoof to completely grow out.
Volar view of picture above as you can see no more toe can be removed.
Below 18/7/2013 Oliver's unsightly long toe has grown out leaving a much healthier hoof, notice how the stress rings are now minimal and and he has much healthier angle.
Volar view of above, Oliver still has bit to go before he is 100% but he is now being ridden and has his life back thanks to NHC
The most important thing now is for Olivers owner to stick to the diet and boarding management program.
And remember that hind right at the top of the page how it was distorted and bull nosed, well 9 months later.................