Saturday, October 17, 2009

Heel Bevel Seems to be Helping Contracted Hoofs

Copied from my post on Horse City Hoof Forum

For the last 8 weeks I have been using the trim described in Pete Ramey's "Under the Horse" Disk Three. I'm on about a 1 1/2 week trim cycle rotating a toe rocker one trim with a "hoof bevel" the next trim as described by Ramey on his DVD. For the first time I feel like I'm actually seeing significant progress with his badly contracted heels. Previously, efforts to bring the heel back and down seemed to trigger more rapidly growing heel. Treating wildly for thrush seemed to help a little and the contraction would open a teency bit, then slam shut again.

I am hesitantly excited. His heels are opening and this seems to be a steady, consistent trend. His heels are staying down and not springing back up over night. I am also using a much, much stronger bevel all the way around the hoof and I think I am starting to manage an actual bit of quarter relief.

Here are my notes from "Under the Horse" where Ramey talks about the heel bevel, or "floating the heel":

Most horses that aren't all they should be in the back of the foot go to a toe first landing, ripping the toe wall. They don't have the structures to dissipate energy. You can't fix the situation without getting them heel first. You can't start to get the heel down without thinning the sole. This cycle is why so many horses are locked into pathology. A trick to break the pattern is to trim the heel parallel to the internal structures. Create a landing zone in the back of the heel that the horse can land on.

If the heels are overgrown, what plane to cut on? The plane that floats over the collateral groove parallel to the coffin bone. Hold the rasp and trim parallel to the collateral groove, parallel to internal structures. This will set up a better landing zone. People worry that quarter will be longer than the heel but think of the hoof in motion, greatest impact is parallel to the internal structures. It will not land on a sharp corner that will underrun the heel.

I (Ramey) always float rasp 3/4 of an inch above the bottom of the collateral groove. Allows landing platform more parallel to internal structures. This is a self-erasing method. If not adequate sole, it looks like a bevel. If adequate sole, sill seem like no bevel.

Right Heel 9-08

Right Heel 10-17-09

Right Half-Moon 9-08

Right Half-Moon 10-17-09

Right Solar Right 9-08

Right Solar Right 10-17-09

Right Oblique 9-08

Right Oblique 10-17-09

Red hoofs are very different, showing "high/low" syndrome. His left hoof is the "low hoof" and the walls, especially the medial wall, have been significantly inside the vertical. This shape really serves to hold contraction in and keeps the hoof mechanism from fully engaging. Still, the left heel contraction is also opening slowly yet surely.

Left Heel 9-08

Left Heel 10-09

Left Half-Moon 9-08

Left Heel Half-Moon 10-09

Left Solar 9-08

Left Solar 10-09

Left Oblique 9-08

Left Oblique 10-09

Red - sick of my crazed, obsessive photo taking. Did I mention how much I love my new camera?

Red back in 9-08.

Where we started - Red's last farrier's pasture trim about 1-07. This was when I started trimming myself.

RF heel on ground 5-08

RF heel on ground 10-09

LF heel on ground 10-09