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23 Year Old QH with Navicular Changes

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Quarter Horse with Navicular

September 26, 2005

This horse, Scout, is an 23 year old QH who had his shoes removed on 9/16, and he was trimmed on 9/26 to attempt to get his toes back and make him comfortable. His owner has been struggling with his painful feet for years and has finally turned to removing his shoes to try and get control of his extremely long toes.

He is in a large paddock with another horse. The owner had the paddock bedded several inches deep in wood chips to ease his transition, and while he is lame on rock, he moves comfortably around the paddock bossing his companion.

When I trimmed Scout, I attempted to move his heel buttress back to a good location under his body by skimming thin layers off of his VERY folded under heel. I didn't have much wall length to work with, but managed to get them back almost 1/8 inch because they were so extremely under run.

I brought the toe back 1/4 inch as well, leaving him with a steep bevel on the front of his toes. I'll ask for input on using a rocker toe to help ease his movement.

When we turned him out in his cushy paddock, he began pushing his companion gelding around, and was very active.

His owner realizes that the soft wood chips are not ideal, but the area she boards these horses gets extremely muddy (clay) in the winter, and the only material that helps keep the horses out of the mud is deep wood chips. She will be relocating shortly to an area where she can design an ideal home and footing for her horses.

The long term plan for Scout is to work on a weekly basis moving his heel back very slightly with each trim. He's moving a lot but lands toe first at this point.

Similar to many of the other unshod horses in this test case series, Scouts long toe - as long as it is - is effectively longer than it appears because the wall was rasped to make it appear shorter. In Scouts case, the weakened wall is so long that the pressure of his weigh causes a noticeable bulging in the wall.Note the "swirl" at the heel showing how the heel folds under. The growth rings in the toe drop forward.

Post shoes and pre trim



After the setup trim
Solar bruising is very visible in the foot to the left.

Retrim November 7, 2005

The lighting was horrible light but I trimmed and got some hard-to-read pictures.

When I look at the hoof wall and read the location of the nail holes and growth rings, I can see that the hoof wall has grown a LOT!! The top nail holes are at the bottom breaking out; that's almost 1/2 inch of growth (measured along the tubule) in a month!!!

But the frustration is that we rarely get to trim that length off. Why? Because the wall had been thinned excessively by prior farrier's so it wears off faster than I can get to it.

His heels aren't curling under any more (reading the coronet band at the back of the foot) but until the wall at the quarters and toe has more integrity, not much will change. His toe isn't ballooning out any more... I'm going out again next week and may take the rocker deeper. .

Where's the fast-forward button? I want to see what he looks like next month....

Any suggestions on Scout, folks? I need to photograph his x-rays and get them up on the site too.

Retrim November 15th, 2005


Scouts got Attitude!

I went by to recheck Scout and trim his rear feet... our prior trim was done in the dark and I wanted to see how he had responded. Scout's been working hard on growing good feet for about two months now, and his hard work is ***FINALLY** paying off!

His front left is looking great!!! That silly bulboud dead toe has finally a thing of the past, and HE'S GOT SOLE!! Yep, after a trail ride last week his sole stardted shedding and there is actually concavity starting to show up!!

his heels on that foot are now in a MUCH better place, his frog looks great... his coronet band has smoothed out... this boy's getting ready for an early spring roundup!

The left front is still a work in process, but its getting ready to shed a huge gob of sole and heelbuttress, and when that comes off? His heels on will be ready for the next stage of remodelong.

Scout still has lots of work to do, and maybe that's why he has the attitude. He's making all of these changes happen... we are just trying to follow the instructions he gives us on his feet. He's still weak in his rear foot on all 4 feet, but he's getting there. He isn't sound by any definition of the word and still stands with his toes pointed, but he canters and trots and his movement is slowly improving.

This damage took years to happen... it isn't going away overnight... but we are making great progress. Congradulations Vicki & Scout!

Linda Cowles Hoof Care
Serving the greater SF Bay Area & Northern California
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