Today I am going to share with you what your trimmer is doing in some detail although this is not meant to be a scientific account or for pathological cases, just a basic understanding of the principles used to ensure that your horses meet their full potential barefoot.
If you need to read part 1 here is the link, https://www.horseleads.co.uk/single-post/2017/05/06/Part-13-Barefoot-Trimming-Up-Close-and-Beautiful
So here we are with Kali and Twig and owner Beth and Equine Podiatrist Tracey Pettipher of http://equine-podiatry.co.uk/
Its good to know that your equine podiatrist is doing this job for the love and welfare of horses full stop! Its hard work, rewarding and addictive subject that has no boundaries as I am sure you can all relate to.
There are many trimming methods but the goal of each is about achieving balance and "Do no harm", get this wrong and the cumulative effects of imbalance will undoubtedly cause lameness issues and discomfort of some sort.
So whats in the heavy bag your trimmer carries, tools and pots, typically a rasp, hoof knife, nippers, hoof pick, wire brush and hoof stand. There will be lots of other stuff as one needs different things throughout the seasons
Time to clean up the hooves, pick out, brush off and exfoliate the sole, a build up of sole that is crumbly and comes off easily is generally all that is needed to observe and apply correct balance.
Trim the frog and only what is required, so that means flappy bits that can harbour bacteria and the sides to ensure that the collateral grooves are open and the frog has not grown over.
Your trimmer will determine correct medial/lateral balance at the widest part of the foot followed by toe height which generally will be just above the sole plane and finally the heel height, this takes in to consideration the weight of the horse so that under pressure the frog makes contact with the ground and springs back up slightly on elevation, a bit like a pump, finding that balance is important, no contact with ground loses stimulation, too much and you risk a sore horse.
So now that balance has been determined a flat plane can be completed with nice smooth strokes of the rasp.
Beautiful is it not!
Well there's nothing like a bit of action... enjoy and stayed tuned for Part 3 where we can complete our whistle stop tour of Equine Podiatry with Tracey, Beth, Kali and Twig