The iron free hoof Part 2
|December 4, 2009||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
So today, as I was evaluating her feet and touching them up with the rasp, it really sunk in that her hooves are these adapting, ever changing structures that react to the environment and the work put upon them.
I mean, I knew that. But I didn’t know that.
Watching her hinds develop cute little cupped soles was literally a miracle to me. I’ve always assumed that horses hind feet were flat.
Her fronts have lots of dead sole still, but I can see subtle changes – the white line has gotten tighter, her quarters are no longer chipping. It’s a simple thing to clean up her feet and give her a nice strong mustang roll.
When I watched her walk after the trim, her LF is breaking over cleanly, right in the middle. The RF seems to be break over slightly to side. Or is it my imagination? Or the dirt? I stop, pick up the RF and evaluate the shape of the foot. What clues do I see that might hint at the cause? Is there a flare? a bulge? and uneven toe? I found none of the above, but it doesn’t worry me (much) because I know if I’m patient and I wait 2 weeks, I’ll be able to evaluate the growth and wear and I’ll hopefully be able to see something – if there’s something to see.
How does a horse’s hoof change and adapt in an iron shoe? I’m still not opposed to shoeing if it comes to that this season, but I’m going to try my best to keep her barefoot. Every time I gaze at her feet and notice the little changes I’m more convinced of the “correctness” of barefoot. If I do shoe, it will be for as little time as possible.
Hooves don’t lie. I’m still trying to totally convince myself of that. I’m rasping to the landmarks of her foot – the white line, the water line, the live sole. It’s a different philosophy – instead of shaping the foot to conform to a certain “image” or angle, I’m instead helping the foot to maintain certain characteristics and letting it do the work of shedding the sole. I’m blessed with a horse with strong feet, bars that don’t lay over, and a healthy frog. Hopefully this makes up for my shortcomings?
I’m sure one of you will come up with some concise, beautifully worded statement that expresses everything this wordy post does. If you do, I’ll feature your comment on my sidebar!