Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Notable Changes in the Hooves

You all were looking forward to Milo's new tootsies werent you? Well I managed to get some photos of the trimmed feet Monday evening. I had mentioned in Tuesday's post that I felt that Milo was working very well. I couldnt credit his new trim entirely for it, but I think it is important to document what changes I did notice.

Three days post trim, I immediently noticed change in my horse. I really liked the way my horse carried himself. He seemed to naturally hold his back a bit "higher", or at least in a better frame. He walked steady and smooth when I led him, and his hoof angles just generally appeared better. While he always looks better after a trim, this was the first time that he truely looked "correct" after a trim. Not a lot of toeing in noticable, and he seemed to be bearing weight evenly. Below are some photos to compare visually.

Front hooves pre-trim

Front Hooves, post-trim

I am very pleased with what the new farrier did. Not only do his feet look much more symmetrical, but they both look balanced. Where before, the right (white) hoof looks like his weight is on the heel, and the black (left) looks to be on the toe, the after photo shows that they appear to bear weight evenly. He didnt chop off much toe, or try and take away that they toe in (cause you cant change that conformationally) but he certainly did rebalance them beautifully.

And call me crazy, but I feel my horse hasnt been standing as close together on the front. While these photos do suggest that, of course a photo is only a moment in time. In general, I noticed slight changes in where he placed his feet - directly beneath himself. Cool.

Hind hooves, pre-trim

Hind hooves, post-trim

There isnt much visually to compare with Milo's hind hooves, which is anticipated because new farrier didnt do any "dramatic" changes. He trimmed more off of the inside rather than the outside as the previous farrier did. Some flaring is still evident, but I believe should be more noticable how the flaring changes something only time will show. Overall though, I do like the relative angles of the hooves in relation to the pastern angles, they seem to mirror each other much better.

Now, aside from visual changes, I noted some physical changes in Milo as well. I had mentioned that Milo felt taller when I rode in the outdoor arena. Whether this is due to Milo feeling better in the outdoor, maybe the "lifting" factors of the DM Lifter Bit are coming into play, maybe I was positioned better, Im not sure. But the rebalance of his hooves could definitely be a factor. I should mention also that with balanced hooves, Milo could be holding his ribs in place now. I adjusted him on Friday after the trim and ride, so he could have kept them in place throughout the weekend. I did notice that he wasnt as aggressive about the adjustment Tuesday as he normally is. By this I mean, normally Milo really throws himself into the adjustment, pushing his weight down into my hands and trying to push his ribs back into place. Tuesday, Milo still turned his head and pushed into my hands, but it was in far less of an aggressive manner then ever before. This could be a good sign.

Not only did Milo feel "taller" but he also seemd to have to re-learn how to walk in a straight line. Milo is still not perfect traveling straight between my hands, seat, and legs. He didnt feel off by any means, but he seemed to have to concentrate on his coordination. Which would make sense if his balance had been altered.

I am eager to have Sarah look at him again, and evaluate his ribs too (as is she she let me know). Lesson tomorrow!


in2paints said...

They definitely look more balanced than before. I'd say all the changes you're seeing in him are most likely realted to the new trim... it's amazing what something so small can do!

So you're happy with the new farrier it sounds like! That's great, especially since you were a little worried about switching to him. How often are you having him come out to trim?

paint_horse_milo said...

Well we scheduled 7 weeks, but he told me to not be afraid of contacting him sooner if needed, or if there are any concerns.

So far so good, it will be interesting if Sarah sees anything different with his ribs.

Rising Rainbow said...

I will be interested to hear what Sarah says. For now, it does seem like you've changed more than one thing so you can have more than one contributing factor. Makes it hard to really know. Whatever it is, it all seems good, that's the most imortant part.