Monday, September 30, 2013

Uno's Problem Feet - Cont.

Uno has always had great big platter feet - unfortunately consisting almost entirely of toe and overgrown bar. Two trims ago I decided it was time to really get on top of things with regard to the bar which had totally overtaken the back of his feet. Some aggressive hacking later revealed sole in the heel area, and I think we were on the road to recovery.

Since that post (16 August), I trimmed him again two weeks later (2 September – just before we went on vacation) and then again as soon as I could - four weeks later (29 September). Four weeks is too long for him as his toes overtake everything.

On Sunday after his trim, I rode him 18 miles - mostly slow, consistent trotting. Although he never took a lame step, he doesn't seem terribly motivated right now. This could be lack of fitness, but he seems flat...I'm wondering if his feet are generally uncomfortable?

Although the overgrown bar around the heel area is much more under control than in August, it occurred to me as I pared away at the stuff next to his frog that I actually have no idea what I'm doing.

I know bar should not overlay the sole (something that has caused Uno to abscess in the past), but as far as how far forward the structures should stretch alongside the frog towards the toe...? I'm thinking only about half way along the frog? ...<blank>.

Freshly washed left front the day after trimming and an 18 mile trot-on-hard-pack ride.
  • Note the bruising on the left heel. No idea how to fix that.
  • He has flaky sole, but it's not flaky enough to pare away without getting aggressive (admittedly his feet were dry and hard - but even when soggy, his feet are super-hard and not interested in exfoliating). Removing this flaky stuff seems more cosmetic than necessary?
  • He has a deep central sulcuus groove which needs thrush treatment (although it isn't thrushy - just a deep groove). Hopefully treating that would help him grow more heel.
  • I like how the bar around the left heel is shaping up (compared to August). The right side is still somewhat overlaid, though.
  • It looks like I was even more aggressive with his toe length in August (see below). 
  • The flare/separation at 2-3 o'clock isn't as bad as it looks on the photo
  • He's currently wearing size 2 Gloves, but has been in size 1.5s at times (when his toes were much shorter)
Left front on 16 August, six weeks ago

I don't love the side view of this left front foot. This is his "backwards foot" - ie. the one he places back when grazing - which is what is going on in both of these pics - he was eating off the ground and placing this foot back.

Looks like the back quarters are pushing up into the coronet band, but yet there's nothing to be trimmed from that area - it's already very flush. His heels look high, but they aren't.
And the toe is pulled forward.

I'm wondering if the overlaid bar from the past caused the back part of his foot to impact and that's why it looks like everything's jammed in that area? But the right front foot had more overlaid bar, and it looks much better than the left:

Right front–admittedly placed forwards while eating–but a better profile.
Crapola photo of right front, but pretty similar to the left.
Bars were originally more overlaid, but improving.

But back to my main concern - what to pare away and what to concentrate on. Here's my thoughts:

  • How far towards the toe should bar material be present? I'm thinking only about half way along the frog? Currently the bar material extends all the way to the tip of his frog on the right side and most of the way on the left side (turquoise lines). 
  • Should I continue to pare away slithers from this area? How deep can I go? 
  • The bar alongside his frogs (turquoise lines) is shallower than at the collateral grooves. Does this mean I can pare more away? 
  • The red line shows where the bar is still overlaid. Again, how deep can I pare down to remove this excess? The sole underneath needs room to grow in, but I don't want to thin the sole too much (even if it is made up of mostly bar material) and cause him to get sore.

* * *

And lastly, totally unrelated, but I noticed this "hang nail" area on his right front foot in his coronet band back in August. It is now growing down his foot. It isn't a crack per se, more like where the hoof has peeled away vertically from the top to the bottom about 1/8".

What would cause this and is there anything I should do to treat it? Or just pretend I never saw it?

Caveat: All the above was written when I wasn't 100%, so if something makes no sense, let me know and I'll try to rewrite.

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