Fixing Sonny's feet, From Foundered to Fixed

Fixing Sonny's Feet, From Foundered to Fixed

Friday, December 5, 2014

Catch up of the last 10 months. It's still all good!

I have stopped doing Linda's trim since I discovered that making a large bevel all around the hoof now helps to keep the sole flat.

I experimented with leaving some wall height above the sole & am getting good results. You can see those results in previous posts & the photos in the right hand column beside this post.

We have been in drought with almost no rain all year so his feet are rock hard although they are growing well enough but no crumbly soles.

Currently his feet are going through some angle changes since a little concavity has been consolidated during the year. If I leave the trim more than 4wks, the toe runs forward a bit so I still have to keep onto them.

I make a toe bevel but rarely go inside the whiteline now & keep it between the pillars. Sorry no photos this month, too busy.

But I have a good solid angle change/tighter growth half grown down & holding well.

Sonny has had no soreness for many months although I do think his digital cushions are almost nil so he is not capable of weight bearing such as a rider. He is happy to gallop around the paddocks & cavort which is wonderful to see. But still a bit gimpy on the gravel driveway & road.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Just check out this photo

Look at that lovely big toe callous (or is it a sole ridge?) that has worked it's way pretty much right around the whole hoof now. Also note the big thick frog rather than the thin squished flat frog he has had for years now. Oh & not to forget the extra length of heel platform that's developing too.
I have worked so hard to get that to appear & work it's magic :p

It is helping the walls to lift the sole right off the ground & relieve the sole of the ground forces. That will enable the sole tubules to begin growing straight down rather than horizontal. Now there should be some sole thickening occur. Apparently the sole renews every 4-6wks so if thickening is to occur I should see it happen fairly soon. Already I can see depth to the collateral groove adjacent to the tip of the frog.

I like the way the sole is exfoliating even in these extremely dry conditions. There hasn't been a drop of rain for weeks & the whole wet season has gone AWOL!
I had planned to apply Epona shoes which have a reputation for helping to thicken soles rather quickly. But I'm not sure now it is necessary.
There is no heat nor soreness evident on Sonny's feet at all now.

I rode him 2wks ago without boots around my huge house yard. We cantered, trotted, walked, did a few little cavalette style jumps & ran across the gravel driveway several times without incident.
Because he is prone to getting sore or developing an abscess after a ride, I have been waiting 2wks to be sure he is ok again before another test ride.
I think everything is going well now & another ride (this time with boots) along the old highway for a few k's might be the order of the day. He is a lot more animated these days too & happy to canter up hill at feed time.

Here are a few other photos with more to be found at this link:-


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trim time again!

 It is bone dry here, big drought, wet season gone awol, feet hardly growing.

It's been over 100*F / 38*C most days & yesterday morning it was 95*F by 8am so I did their feet in the shade rather than on the concrete so the standing photos are not perfect, sorry...sun just too hot.

The only riding I have done recently on him is a quick bareback & tackless demo.

Somewhere along the last several weeks Sonny's LF ran to a long toe & the heel seems to have collapsed. I think it was when I was experimenting with leaving a bit more heel to aid in sole development. Obviously that process only works if the capsule is in good shape first.

So there is lots of blood in the whiteline again. I am bevelling or rockering depending on whether I think he is sore or not. Bevel if he is sore otherwise rocker. These toes & heels have a mind of their own & are playing hard ball that's for sure.  Rolling Eyes

The weakness on the medial side of the RF has grown out quite well with reasonable horn now reaching the ground. His hinds are very slowly changing shape. They are not quite so triangular now as they were a few months ago. That is a good thing & shows the rocker/bevel is working. There is still some flaring caused by collapsed heels but I think as the general capsule shape changes there will be less pressure on the heels & they will stand up.

Here are a few photos with the rest at the link below. I only took photos of 1 hind. My camera went flat! 

 You can see in both the front below that the sole is again receding away from the flares so next trim I should be able to take those flared quarter walls away & have a tighter hoof. At least he has bars on both fronts again now even if they are still cracked. It is a huge improvement. I have left some of the lumpy sole that is exfoliating so he has as much sole thickness as possible.

In 4 days time I will take the heels down on the fronts a little bit more. Taking down both heels & toes at the same seems to make him very sore. There seems to be some good heel platform developing now too.





In this pair above you can see how I have got the growth rings level again. Those toes ran wild very quickly. You can see the bottom rings are ok then the middle rings show the wavy pattern then the top rings are level again.

The slight purple colouration in these photos below is the camera going flat! Not some funny colour in his feet. If I was stronger I could lever out the bits of overgrown bar that remain after the grinder disc has taken what it can reach, but those remaining bits are well below ground contact level so I leave them to aid sole thickness. They will fall out soon anyway. 

This hind foot has heels that aren't too bad but the other has quite underrun heels again. They will get better over the next few trims.

Here is the link to the January album to see the remaining photos:-
The grinder is such a time saver & energy saver too, especially since both my shoulders have given up the ghost recently & rasping is just not something I can do anymore. Both my arms have become weakened with no shoulder strength. There is no way I could have done all my horse's feet yesterday if I had to do it manually. I wouldn't even have achieved one horse done, let alone all 3 horses done.
Yes the grinder is not perfect but for me in this time & place it is the saving grace. Once their feet are softened by moisture from rain I can get into them with the knife again & tidy them up.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cordless Grinder best xmas present :D

Last post for 2013

Ozito Cordless Grinder to do Horse's Feet Now


Very nice little machine. It took me about 4 seconds to get used to handling it.
I can lock the switch ON & move the machine around into either hand or hold it at all sorts of angles & do a nice job.

Here's a couple of photos of the finished work on Sonny's feet.

There is no way I could have done these feet by hand as they are so hard just now from extreme dry conditions & dry paddocks. But after a little knife work trimming tags, I used the grinder to trim away overlaid bar & define them. Too easy!! No aching arms after a heap of rasping or slashed wrists or torn shorts from the knife slipping on the extra hard hoof.

I found I can be very precise with where I touch the hoof & because this machine doesn't rev at 10000-15000 like tradies tools do, I have far better control of it. And of course much less noise.

I'm experimenting with leaving a bit of heel as that is supposed to aid building of thicker soles. Now that I have the toes much shorter I felt I could test this theory without fear of the toe running forward so fast.

My rocker has turned into a bevel of just the wall because I think I have to toe back as far as it can be just now. Maybe after the heel stands up more I can bring the toe back a bit more then.

I haven't ridden him again yet. He is a bit tender on the RF since the test ride but I will try again in the next week after this trim settles. Possibility of taking him to the beach which should work a treat.

Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog.
I'm excited about the coming year as things are really turning around for me.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Short Test Ride on Sonny

Yesterday I went for a short ride on Sonny along the old highway.

Here's a short video of the event.

I met the new neighbour down the road who has horses too. I wanted Sonny to have something to want to go 'out' for. He's become a bit of a lazy bones home body. Previously he was always telling me he wanted to go riding or to go 'out'. I would say "want to go out Sonny?" He knew that mean going for a ride & he would beat me to the gate!

But now it's like 'do I have to?'  So I figured if he knew there were more horses down the road he would want to go meet them again & be happy to go 'out' until it becomes more exciting for him again.

This evening I checked his feet for heat but there isn't any as yet. I think his back is a bit sore from carrying this big lump of weight around! lol  I used to be 25kg lighter last time I rode him any distance. (:-/

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Looking Good Now :)

Well it's all good this month.

I've learned exactly where the live sole & corium is in Sonny's feet, the frog apexes never moved back at all this month meaning they have reached their correct location, I got the heels down to what I think is the final height & I think I have found his individual dorsal wall angle.

The biggest improvement this last month has been that on the softer back paddock he is not displaying any soreness. woohoo!!

So next weekend I plan to put his boots on him & take him to the front gate & see if he wants to be ridden out down the road. It's his call.

The bars are beginning to have a much better shape with the cracks beginning to fill in which means the stretching of the foot has almost been completely reversed. The bar stay lumps are getting smaller now too.

The first half of this month was very dry so Sonny's feet were rock hard. Then we had some good rain & his feet went nice & soft & there was exfoliatable sole which is such an improvement. Then the weather dried out again & so did Sonny's feet. But a few days ago we had some rain & his feet softened again so I got in & was able to do a full trim on all 4 feet for first time in probably 2yrs.

Here is the link to a short video I made showing Sonny's collateral cartilages & digital cushions that I have been assessing plus some of Sonny trotting without lameness on the hillside.

Here are some photos with a lot more at this link:-



I have even started fixing his hind feet now too.


Sonny is feeling much better now too. His feet aren't hot anymore & he seems to have little or no lameness. It certainly must be a huge relief for him.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I've Got His Feet Back On Track Now

As per previous post I have done his feet again a week later to get the last of the long toe off.

They look a heap better now & he is walking better too although still a tiny bit sore if turning sharply to right.

Buck'n Farts
Yesterday we did a play session where I got him fired up doing a barrels pattern around some small trees in his paddock. He bristled with enthusiasm! :D His eyes went blue & opened wide with excitement. He dug his back toes into the ground & used his HQ rather than fall over his front end all the time. Then he did a heap of buck'n'farts & canter circles around me. It was good to see him excited again. I have been feeding energy into him because I think he has gotten too lazy from having sore feet, he now expects his feet to be sore so won't try. It took me a while to get him going but his was fine once he got in the spirit of the game. I'll do that every afternoon this week I think unless his feet get sore. Maybe after that I can start sitting on his back a few minutes again.

Here are some photos from this most recent trim with the rest to be found at the link at bottom of page.


Grumble, gripe, grrrr!
It's got me stuffed why these stupid photos won't sit side by side! Afterall, there's plenty of room. It's just really annoying particularly when they are the same size as others that are sitting beside each other. Plus this typing won't even come out up between the 2 offending photos like I wanted it too. There's got to be some sort of hidden formatting blocking the positioning of the photos. I'm not having a good day. Microsoft/windows keeps auto reloading software I have uninstalled so many times it has become bloody irritating. phit!

Heels looking steeper
Anyway you can see that his feet are looking good now. That weak part on medial side of RF seems to be growing down stronger now with steeper & stronger heels. LF toe is beginning to stand up steeper. Hopefully steeper heels will follow soon.
Digital Cushion
I palpated to find the digital cushions but it seems quite hollow inside the back of the hoof between the cartilages. His Trail easyboots are too big now so I may end up having to buy a new pair of smaller sized boots for riding & work wear if no DC grows back.
P2-P3 Joint has moved higher
There should be some sole building up now too. I have got the P2-P3 joint pretty much level with the coronet band now which is where it is supposed to be. However, he does leave the foot on the ground until the last gasp of breakover at slow walk or graze speed which is supposed to indicate a ground parallel CB so maybe there is still more wall height to take away particularly on the LF.
Heels lowered
I have lowered his heels by a good 1/2inch (12mm) over the last month since removing the casts. Each time I take a little height off the heels I have to take same height off the toe callous or I might end up with a negative angle CB. To my eyes the LF looks like it is negative palmer angle now anyway. But I'm reluctant to remove more toe sole cos there may not be much there to begin with. Hopefully this new angle growing down from the coronet band will keep tight so it should push the CB back plus up a bit at it's back. Both frogs still look like they are a bit stretched so there must still be toe shortening to do.
This is the link to the remaining photos of which there are several good shots, including a series of photos showing the breakover of his LF during grazing.