Case Studies


This horse has been a long term project. She presented with thin soles, contracted heels, no appreciable walls and her feet were packed solid with overlaid bar and lumpy sole material. She also had a negative palmer angle behind of 5 and 6 degrees. Her foot problems were mostly blamed on her being a Thoroughbred, but she is growing in a high quality new foot with thick walls and good sole depth.

We started by pulling her shoes and trimming out as much of the impacted bar as possible. She was on stall rest in a deeply bedded stall during this part of the process and rapidly grew sounder while we revisited her trim every week. Each week her feet changed dramatically as they decontracted. We did not get pictures of this stage unfortunately. When they stopped changing dramatically we cast her with Equipack, one front foot at at time, to see how she would handle frog support. She did well and we were able to do her second foot a few weeks later. Then she was able to start getting hand walked.

Fast forwarding to this trim and shoeing cycle, she is back to work and sound but her rehabilitation is far from over. Now that her foot has grown about half way down it’s time to start looking at how her upper body and joints were affected by being out of balance for so long. We will update this case study as it proceeds.

Very grateful to good clients, barn management and training for doing their part in getting this nice horse sound again for her young rider.

Not perfect but so much closer!
We check for balance from all angles. At this point, we are very happy to see this foot much better balanced laterally and the heels beginning to decontract.
Mike wasn’t thrilled with this clip set up but Gayle snapped the photo anyway so she could get out of his way.. to show off that this horses dorsal (toe) wall is finally straight. You can see the line about half way down where her new foot is growing in at an entirely different angle from the old and that her heel is pushing out and relaxing. We get asked a lot why the toe is over the shoe.. it’s because the shoe is set back to the correct position to support the bony column. This puts her breakover at a better place and stimulates the correct part of her foot. She is in steel with a leather pad and pink (soft) Equipack under, carefully poured from the point of frog to the back of the foot.
Case Studies

correct trimming matters

This foot shows what happens when bars are allowed to overlay sole.. the black spots are where bruising has created abscessing. The lateral flare has been caused by the bar material that was pushing the wall outward. You can see that the bar is curved out more than it should be and will require a few trim cycles to no longer cause issues. This horse was sound as soon as the bar material was removed from the sole.

Case Studies

shoes to barefoot to shoes again

This mare was perimeter shod and her feet were pushing out in front of her bony column. She was so uncomfortable she did not want to stand still. we pulled her shoes off, gave her a good trim, let her feet settle for a cycle and then reshod her. A good example of what people often call “thoroughbred feet”. Her foot is actually not a problem at all, but she does require her heels to be brought back under her body in order to align her bones correctly. A great example of why heel placement comes first, and then toes can come back.

Perimeter fit shoes pulled. Quarters are jammed up and entire foot is pushed forward. Heel is too long and under run.
Barefoot for a cycle, note LF trimmed, RF not in this photo. Lateral cartilages are jammed up on the RF but have already relaxed on the trimmed LF.
Back into shoes. Note placement of heel now and relief of pressure in the quarters.
Case Studies

hoof resection

This horse presented with an inch wide crack at the top of his coronary band and green pus oozing out of it. It was determined that he had somehow injured the very top of the coronary band and the tissue below it had necrotized. It created a pocked of infection that required resection and debridement. It was recommended that a metal band be screwed across the wound to hold the foot together. We decided a cast would be more appropriate and couldn’t be happier with the results. A wound and subsequent destabilization of the entire foot can be catastrophic. This horse is sound and back to work now, only six months later.

Hoof presented with an injury to the coronary band. Veterinarian resected from the top the bottom as shown.
Hoof was properly disinfected and cast, keeping the material off the wound. Horse was immediately sound.
The resection began to grow down quickly.
Gluing and casting over the hole made the wound instantly waterproof. Now the horse could be turned out.. very important as movement creates blood flow which enhances healing and hoof growth.
Hoof in between castings, redebrided and trimmed.
At this point the toe wall had crumpled enough that the fetlock was beginning to push forward and we decided we could create toe support by using a shoe. Initially we used steel for extra support.
The final product.. just a tiny surface crack left. We moved this hoof into aluminum and copper nails to allow a bit of give and less weight for the walls to carry. Total rehabilitation time was less than six months and the horse was sound after the first cast.