Join me as I share with you a video recorded after trimming a 22 year old retired Irish Sport Horse mare called Layla as she walks over very challenging ground demonstrating what "rock crunching" hooves really are!
At the time of recording this video (winter 2022) Layla was living out 24/7 in pretty natural (rough!) conditions in Scotland, after snow and ice. Previously she was trimmed for many years in a manner which resulted in a low palmar and plantar P3 angle.
This trim style, common throughout the UK includes trimming the heels back and down to the widest part of the frog and removing wall distortions (flare) thus weakening the capsule and leading to pathological hoof morphology, which means the morphology (form and function) of the hoof capsule is associated with the development of pathology (disease). Pathological hoof morphology is also associated with the development of pathological posture (and visa versa).
In this short video you will observe how the trim method used, combined with the stimulus from her environment and care has helped create a natural arch to the sole and wall. This depicts a healthy internal arch apparatus and has not been carved in, as is a common practice seen in the industry. Over trimming any part of the hoof will negate the development of healthy and ideal morphology (form and function). Knowing what to take, and what to leave, plus how nature will shape the hoof in domestication, can help you restore optimum hoof and body health in domestic horses. You will how easy it is for Layla to navigate the stony ground to and from the dry lot area where she was trimmed, with ease and grace. THIS is a "rock crunching" horse.
Layla scored a decent 5/10 in this video and has hoof morphology well above average for horses we typically see in the UK. Most horses we meet, some in regular ridden work, score around 2 or 3/10 before rehab.
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Additional resources and assistance
We take an integrative and holistic approach to whole horse hoof and body health. We appreciate the relationship between body, limb and hoof and seek to address imbalances while positively influencing appropriate static and dynamic hoof balance and biomechanics.
Check out our self study online courses including PRO-Active hoof mapping - how to recognise healthy hooves as well as how to assess and track changes using modern hoof mapping tool HoofmApp
We also recommend you learn how to document horses hooves and body using this FREE self study online course, whether you trim your own, your clients horses, are an equine professional (in any capacity/field) or simply want to track and monitor progress of your horses hooves and the impact their hoof care has on their posture.
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Beccy Smith BSc ADAEP EBW
Diploma in Advanced Applied Equine Podiatry and now an Independent Integrative Equine Podiatrist, Consultant and Therapist. Certified Lazaris Nerve Release TM Practitioner
CEO and Founder of 100% Non-Profit Community Interest Company Holistic Reflections CIC
Holistic Reflections CIC – a 100% non-profit organisation promoting wellbeing and resilience in people, horses and the environment - for the benefit of all.