Sunday, November 10, 2013

Self-Trimming hooves

Because we have another boarder's horse rehabbing from a soft tissue injury in the indoor round pen and the outdoor one lacks lights, I opted to just take Griffin on a walk on abrasive surfaces the other evening.

We wound our way up the gravel drive, past Dee's house, and onto the blacktop for 100 feet or so to the gravel church drive. We mosied up this, turned, and backtracked. When measured in ArcMap off aerial imagery, its about 0.6 miles. Not very far.

Despite the short distance, look what I discovered upon our return to the barn when I picked up Griffin's feet:

Left hind
Left fore

Self trimming! I hadn't TOUCHED this foot with a rasp and yet you see the wear. In all the areas that need it.

This is both interesting and comforting.

Interesting in an exciting way because I've read so much from Rockley over the past few years about how important having a farm setup that promotes movement over varied surfaces is for hoof and horse health. Additionally, you hear all the time about how movement is best for hooves and hooves will trim themselves to proper form for the function of the horse. It was very cool to observe this first hand.

I can only hope that I'll have the ability to provide a living setting one day to allow my horses to self trim. Most likely though, I'll be in a situation where riding bare and often will help achieve the same end.

It's also interesting from the standpoint of hoof protection because you can see how abrasive surfaces like gravel/blacktop can be to the hoof. It helps one to better recognize the importance of hoof protection for extended work on surfaces like these!

Finally, it was comforting for me to observe the areas that had self-trimmed in our short walk. They were exactly the areas that I always focus on trimming. The areas I was about to trim down when I discovered the self-trimming from our walk. Areas his movement wanted to naturally fix are what I focus on each time I give him a maintenance trim. VERY COOL.

I hope to get his feet to a better place by summer. I think more movement on varied surfaces (i.e., NOT the field) is going to do it all coupled with maintenance trims. Gotta get this guy out on the trails in a few months!

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