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Faraon


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#1 dougal

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 03:30 PM

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Sorry about the obsessive photos of Faraon's right hoof. Please can you help as I don't seem to be getting anywhere with these front feet. The right one being the worse. This hoof is so imbalanced I can't even keep a boot on. When I put the renegade boots on the left hoof seems to fit ok but the right one on the medial side does not go all the way back to the heel so this tells me this side is higher? He rides ok on the sand without boots and on the harder ground without a rider he seems ok, but outside his hooves are just not up to the hard ground and the weight of a rider. After almost 10 months barefoot I am at a loss as to what to do and as we can't keep the boot on I have had to abandon my not so sturdy but lovable steed and walk him home. Thank you for any input.

#2 missyclare

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 08:15 PM

The heels need to wait for the toe. Let them grow a little bit and keeping the bevel at the toe maintained in the meantime. You have no heels. You've got high toe quarters looking like butterfly wings, see it? These butterfly wings are lifting the pillars at 10 and 2 and leaving the toe unsupported. See the shape on any profile.
Do you see how the heel walls are shorter than the sole....should be even...too short....must obey the sole. That may be why you are not getting good purchase in the boot.

Don't let yourself get into this quandry. From the outside, I see pretty nice hoof. On the inside, I see not ready for it yet. You need to concentrate more on obeying the sole instead of chasing form. You'll have to let the heels grow. In the meantime, I would add an extra pad on the back half of the foot....go as far forward as the widest part of the hoof, and behind the apex..definitely, for heel support. The frog is also stretched way too long. Even it can press into sole. Put your knife at sole level across the front of the frog and from there, taper to shallow and off on the front 1/3rd of the frog, leaving a surface flat to ground.

Just a tweak now, and only the slivers in blue.
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Try this approach:
Look well before you start. Clean well. Find the edge of the sole and where the wall comes up out of it. Delineate it with your hoofpick. Get that wall down even with it all the way. Close your eyes and do the thumb test all around and keep doing it, until your thumb is satisfied that wall and sole are level. Then know that that trim is right for the horse. Walk away, don't look back and don't worry about it. Wait a week, check the bevel and look to see if the growth is telling you anything. If its too soon, wait another week. Concentrate on the movement that's going to forge that foot for the horse....the homework that goes with the trim. Obey the sole, its the boss. You use it to see the height of the wall, the bars and the heels and do as you're told. Next time something's bugging you, post pictures first. OK? :smilie:

Edited by missyclare, 30 September 2011 - 08:19 PM.


#3 Trinity

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 10:05 PM

Id be temped to even allow more heel height than MC is showing here as I think you have gone even into live sole at the corn there. Its too low even for a healthy foot.


Moreso, You have a pretty serious broken back axis from taking way too much heel down. I would not ride too hard until this is corrected with some heel growth due to the stresses of the tendons and ligamnets above from an improper alignment. JMO.


Look at the angle of the fetlock bone to the angle of the toe of the hoof wall. The toe needs to be the same angle as the fetlock. More heel needed...enough to regain proper alignment of the bones. Just concentrate on the toe. You cant "fix" both toe and heel at the same time. I typically leave about 1/8 inch heel height ABOVE live sole at the seat of the corn.
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#4 dougal

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:36 AM

Thank you ever so much Missy and Trinity! I feel really guilty now :ashamed0002: Do you think he needs padding even when I am not riding him? I won't ride him now until his heels grow don't want to take any chances. I have been obsessively trying to get his heels back instead of growing forwards and have cocked up big time. Guess I just have to move on and learn from my mistakes, try to forgive myself, hope there is no harm done and post more pictures.

#5 OneGrayHorse

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 12:20 PM

Hi Dougal, Yes, I'd pad him as MC mentioned. It looks like your ground there is pretty abrassive and the padding will help him travel correctly. Don't beat yourself up, there are a bunch of us here (including myself)that have made a mistake or two while learning. His heels will grow and you're well on your way to not making the same mistakes twice. Post pics and carry on, your well on your way! If I may, when your rasping the wall, pay careful attention that you keep the rasp flat, not at an angle. After you have rasped the wall from one quarter (in front of the heels) around to the other quarter keeping flat to sole, then add your bevel. beveling only half the wall as you go from quarters to 10 and 2 o'clock. from the toe pillars you'll go a bit further maybe half way into the water line at the toe. My mare will get sore if I take to much off of her toe. I found this out the hard way and seeing your hard, rocky ground I'd go easy at the toe. hope this helps some, I feel your pain... hang in there, you'll be glad you did.

#6 dougal

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:26 PM

Thank you OneGreyHorse for your kind words and helpful advice. I am so grateful for everyone's help. Your tips about using the rasp are great. This hoof trimming is just not easy. I started being too conservative and now I am afraid I went the other way. I think I am beginning to understand more what people mean when they say listen to the horse and read the hoof. Faraon was telling me all the time there was something wrong when I come to think of it but I wasn't listening.

#7 Trinity

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 04:07 PM

Dont feel bad Dougal...I think we ALL did this very same thing in the beginning. Too conservative and then too much until we found the happy place we were trying to get to. Its all about developing the eye and knowledge and mistakes are just bound to be made. The horse will forgive you and grow more foot soon ;)


the bast plan is....If in doubt, Stop trimming, post pictures and regroup your game plan. You can ALWAYS take more tomorrow, but you have to wait for growth to gain it back if you overdo it.
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#8 missyclare

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:59 PM

Actually, that heel is perfect height if the toe was ready. The toe is ready...to come back, but when that happpens, the weight gets thrown back on the heels. I think you'll find that despite the too short heels at this time, it will boost the health of the foot, widen them and get them growing straighter. I would let them grow just enough so that they are comfortable and confident, then post all new pics of all the feet.

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See? You can see where the work needs to be done to create the perfect hoof. The toe needs to come back big time and the heel a little bit more, but nothing is shorter with my hoof...all heights are fine. The toe isn't jacked up, it just needs to come back. We just have to wait for heel confidence, then pull it all together. It won't be long. Too much trim registers as wear, and its the one sure fired way to accelerate growth. :happy0203:
If you have boots and heel confidence in them, I'd post pics now.

The lower heels is also going to start the development of the frogs at the back as well...right where you want it to build. Stay diligent with the thrush care, so it can bloom, instead of crushing.

You've lowered these heels by Strausser methodology...heels first, but then they take the toe back at the same time, so we may as well follow through. Normally, I'd leave the heels and get the toe back first, then bring the heels down. Will arrive anyway....all is good. :smilie:

Edited by missyclare, 04 October 2011 - 08:06 PM.


#9 Trinity

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:46 PM

I respectfully disagree MC ;) But carry on! Just keep him confident on his heels no matter what you do or you will not progress.
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#10 dougal

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hi Missy not sure if you want the photos now but I have posted them anyway. Taken today. I do think his heels have grown, or maybe I am wishful thinking! I did the bits you recommended from your post. I was going to ask you about the coronet band from the front of the foot and the fact it dips in the middle but I realize now it is because of the "butterfly wings" at the toe quarters. So I also took the toe back as much as I dared and some from the top.

I wanted to ask you a few things:-

1. After 10 months why is his toe still growing forward?
2. Which is worse for the horse a higher under-run contracted heel or a too short but pulled back heel?

If I may also ask Trinity. I would like your views on what you would do.

Thank you both for all your help.

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#11 dougal

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:28 PM

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First 3 photos are the right front then left front, right rear and left rear think I doubled up on one of the photos.

#12 dougal

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:39 PM

Hi sorry! I don't really understand photo bucket but anyway you will have to look at the pics as listed here and flick through the photo bucket ones as they are all mixed up and about 70 really exciting pics of hooves!

#13 missyclare

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:15 PM

Well, I hate to disagree, Trinity, but I must............we are agreeing. :smilie: We both want to see more heel grown and confident before doing anything. The difference between us in the length of heel that needs to be grown, I'd like to try to explain.
It's good that the heels are this short, see how the heel base is narrower than the band, frog with...this is bad contraction not just going in at the heels, but contraction all the way up to the band. This will promote them to open up, put the frog to work and start developing the back of the hoof. Right? Just protect to avoid abscesses/treat thrush and boots to build the frog in the meantime. As long as this toe is so forward of proper breakover, it will continue to pull those heels right forward again. You'll be right back to same toe and pulled forward heels again...right back to square one. It would be like a failed Strausser trim, but not Strausser's fault. Now when those heels get confident, then is the time to bring the toe back and stop the pull. So, yes, confident heels definitely, then put the proper balance and mechanism together. As long as that breakover is long, the tension on the DDFT to pull down on P3's nose is still engaged and dominant and knowing this, when you get back to square one, things could be worse yet....hence my slight greater degree of impatience.

And Dougal, don't you go jumping the gun, now. You don't want to sore him. Give it a week, then post some pics. Included, I need to see a front shot of both front and hinds. Camera 4' out front and on the ground, catching up past the knees. With your heel shots, don't hold onto anything, just cradle the front of the fetlock joint, let the hoof hang and lean forward for the heel shot, catching all the hoof from heel to toe and back to include the cannon bone. Do all your feet this way for the heels shots....always. These ones are important. I won't draw lines until I see them. And I won't draw lines until I hear from you that he can move without a care in the world, no mincing, no limping, no flicking the ears, no stumbling, straight leg/knee delivery....confidence. :smilie:

When you get your pics uploaded to Photobucket, hold the cursor over the pic you want and a list will pop down. Go to the bottom of that list and click on the last one...automatically copied....then go the forum and right click and paste on the forum. :smilie:

#14 Trinity

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:24 AM

Heel length is much misunderstood and even more difficult for a less experianced eye to find on a foot like this. Sometimes in practice, what is actually needed isnt what it first seems. I modify my trim according to how the horse is moving and how his foot responds to each trim...

IME from trimming many clients horses with very similar feet, A longer heel cut at an angle that encourages a straighter capsule for 6 to 8 months is best. You just cant "work on" the toe and the heel at the same time. Get the toe in line first and simply maintain the heel 1/8 above the live seat of the corn cut similar to the angle I show here.

I am two years in with an older QH mare with similar feet but we are still making progress each trim with hoof shape and frog width. Her worst foot is just now pretty close to normal and she had higher heels than i would like for a year before the toe got more in proper line and it keeps lowering each trim till this time, it was close to normal and her frog is more normal. It can really take time and patience. As a trimmer, your goal is to set the foot up to succeed and grow properly, not force it into what you want before its ready. Always remember that.

My first goal is simply encouraging complete confidence in the heel and withered frog so the horse is walking properly with toe flicks as much as possible.

Were this my horse, Id probably let the feet grow for a month or longer just touching up the toes and allow the heels to regrow and then trim more along the lines of my diagram with a longer hoof capsule. You need to find where the foot wants the heels right now and honor that height for now. 1/8 inch above the live seat of the corn. Work on the toes for now and wait on the heels to respond. BE patient..that is most important. It will respond in due time. It wont be overnight or even in a few months...change comes slowly. Once the toe is back in line and the boney angles are right, it will all just come together like a song.

This is a tad exaggerated but this is what id do. The ever so slightly tipped coffin bone allows for flat bottoming out at high speeds along with the slight arch and will help pull the capsule back in line.

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Edited by Trinity, 07 October 2011 - 12:34 AM.

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#15 dougal

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:11 AM

Thank you Trinity and MissyClare. It sure is complicated! I have been looking back at photos from when I first pulled the shoes and there doesn't seem to be much improvement with regards to the contraction. The heels have come down obviously and I have been pulling them back all the time. I think that is where I have gone wrong as I pulled the heels back to the widest point of the frog and then made them flat to the ground they were too short. They are growing again quickly but in the shape of a can of coke. You are both giving the same advise about the toe and my vet did mention once that the toe has to be kept back to help with his tendons. So we all agree. I just don't think his heel will grow flat and back as in your diagram Trinity. Anyway will post some more pics in a week. Thanks again for all your time.

#16 Trinity

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:11 PM

Its not about how it grows really dougal, its about the trim above the sole plane at the heel allowing for comfort and a heel first landing 100% of the time. One plane for the toe and quarters and a slightly new plane for the heel that the other plane "swoops" into and forces the heel to load first. Ill see if I can take pictures sometime and show you on a good example horse but it might take a few weeks.


Trimming the heel on that slightly different plane allows the foot to open up at the back and gain concavity more than Any other way. It allows for that slight "credit card slot" that is much misunderstood naturally and not "trimmed for" It takes a keen eye to understand and see it but it 100% works and allows for expansion of the heel. Doing it any other way just beats the frog flat on feet like this and they just never open up properly and gain the concavity you seek to allow the heels to widen.




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#17 Trinity

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:25 AM

I found something that might explain the heel angle better than anything....this is a picture of an ideal trim from Pete Rameys new book...Its explaining something else, but look at the line of the foot...See how the heel is at a slightly different angle than the sole and allows that credit card slot? THIS is what I am talking about...


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#18 dougal

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

Just sending a video of Faraon. This is the first time he has been riden since I trimmed the heels too short. Just on the sand. He was only ridden for a few minutes as I didn't want to push him too much. I can see that the toes are too long on the rears. Losing a bit of confidence after my last mistake. Do you think he looks ok? Thank you.



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#19 dougal

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:21 AM

Sorry that didn't work! Maybe this will.



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#20 LassieLu

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:01 AM

Your horse is being forced to set his head past the vertical in 90% of the video. Everytime he puts his head in the correct placement he is forced to bring it back beyond the vertical. His poll should be the highest point, not 4-6 inches further back on the neck. He looks slightly hesitant, and is not stepping through. Give him a little more rein, allow him to move forward and bring his head up to the vertical, I think you will have a more comfortable horse. Try some long and low work with him, I think he would really like to be able to stretch his back more and step into the bridle...he just isn't being allowed to. Watch the video again, and see his poll, face and mouth.
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#21 dougal

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:59 AM

I feel I must explain although I didn't really want a critique about riding. Anyway, he always does this even if he is being ridden in a bitless bridle. I think it is something to do with the Andalusian breed. If you look
closely you will see that there is no force and he is not being held in this position. When he is fitter and his feet are ok then he can be ridden with more impulsion. The main thing at the moment is that he is soft in the body and stays calm and of course his feet get better. If you could have seen him 12 months ago you would realise how much better he looks.

#22 Southerngurl01

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:16 AM

Dougal since riding does have to do with the feet, it's going to be brought up. It's not personal, just observation. And it's not about the bit, but the hands. He needs a little more slack and he will be much happier. If he does that naturally, then he should do it with a big ole loop in the reins. I very much doubt he will. He is also mouthy and opening his mouth a lot.
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#23 dougal

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:45 PM

When I first got Faraon he was a nightmare in a bit. Believe me it didn't matter who rode him he would fling his head up and almost break your nose. He would try and put his tongue over the bit and shake his head, turn his head to the side. He was just afraid or in pain. I of course had his teeth checked and I even bought a treeless saddle. I used the softest bit recommended and then tried a martingale and something to stop him from opening his mouth. I didn't want to ride him this way so I decided to take everything away and ride him with a bitless bridle. I have been riding him for 8 years without a bit. We have been everywhere in the bitless bridle even on the race track and out with stallions. But from time to time I would try a new and different bit, as I would honestly prefer to use a bit, as I think the bitless bridle can be a bit unfair on the horse if you are riding in the picadero and trying to teach your horse new things as it puts a lot of pressure on the horses face. Anyway a bit never worked and we just got more and more frustrated and upset. After taking off his shoes I recently tried out the bit he is wearing in the video and I couldn't believe the difference. I know he comes well behind the bit but for him believe me this is good. The part in the video where he opens his mouth and appears to stumble was when he coughed and sneezed. Thank you for your comments but you don't know my horse and all the mountains we have climbed.

#24 LassieLu

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:49 PM

:huggy: Dougal, no harm meant, he is a lovely horse!!! It wasn't meant as a riding critique - movement affects things.
Just as Southern stated, see what he does with a loose rein, it looks like he really wants to stretch his head and neck down at times but can't (a few times you can see the riders hands come out to the sides, lower and see-saw and his head goes back down to behind the vertical again). If he is tight in his neck and back, that will affect the way he moves....a bigger step with a relaxed body may help the changes to progress a little faster in his feet if he is moving correctly, and landing correctly.

I found this great site, really has a lot of helpful information.
http://www.ridingart.com/balance.htm

I am not looking for impulsion and being "worked", just a free flowing loose walk :grin: . I just think he looks a little stiff, and with a looser rein and allowed to stretch out and down, will take a bigger more relaxed step, therefore promoting a better heel first landing. No harm meant sweetie! I have had years of my mare not moving correctly.....do NOT want you going through what we have! :surrender:
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#25 missyclare

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:22 PM

Need some more time for heel growth and thrush care yet. Tenderness shows up more in the beginning of the video. The frog has some fast homework to do, to catch up with the new heel height. Its the frog's strength together with the heel height that will start to provide confidence to the back of the foot. You can't build the frog if thrush is eating it away, so go after it. I think you will find that the frog will start to look alive and respond. If the frog is laying dead and full of disease, not only will there be soreness, but it won't respond to the heels, just crush instead.
I not going to critique the riding...you should see me ride! (and to think I used to show, lol!) It would have been better, however, if he was given full rein because of the same reason that I ask for a confo shot, only let the horse stand the way he wants to, this sort of falls in the same category....will move the way he wants to.
Stay in touch, Dougal. We just need some more time and then we'll move forward. :smilie: