Caritas’ New Feet


These are Caritas' feet while he was still at the track. I'm assuming the bandages were covering where he'd been pin fired. He's still got the scars.

These Are Caritas' feet right after he came to live with us. He's still got a shoe on the bottom of this hoof although it was so loose it wasn't doing much good.

These are Caritas' feet after about a month of shoe removal and natural hoof care principals being applied. You can clearly see the line of healthier new growth coming out at the coronary band.

This is a closeup of what was causing a lot of the hoof problems in this horse. His feet were loaded with necrotic, diseased tissue, laminae, etc. There was no connection between hoof wall and the coffin bone inside the hoof. There were billions of bacteria eating away inside the hoof and even in the sole.

This was about 3 months into rehab. Still got a lot of toe. I ended up taking most of it off and booting him to get proper hoof mechanics going on. Without his boots he was very sore on the rocky divoted pasture he was in at the time.

This is Caritas' foot today. It looks a lot better, but it's not a healed hoof. He's still got thin soles, and that is causing some bruising inside the hoof capsule, which has led to the formation of another absess...first one since the winter, thank goodness. A lot better hoof, but still a ways to go before it's "gravel crunching" sound.

Hoof sole today. He's got great frogs! There is still some heel contraction in this hoof although you can't see it in this picture. His heel is still a bit high, and hoof wall is sparse. He's got a sore spot at the end of the frog, which I am assuming is a brewing absess. I trimmed the lumps and bumps away and filled the collateral grooves in with some anti-thrush sole packing and then applied casts to the lower portion of his hoof for comfort.

This is Caritas' casted hoof. It all goes below the hair line and below the soft portion of the heel bulbs. They should provide a bit of comfort, but the real reason for using them is so I can get more practice with them. There are a lot of little steps with the glue and hoof packing that make it more complex than it seems. I alway end up covered with the stuff. And nope I can't take pictures of the process unless I had a helper. I'd end up glueing my camera to my nose or something!

And finally, here's the big guy himself, modeling his new "shoes" for me. I'm hoping the casts will increase sole depth. They have to be removed and reaplied every two weeks. They are very expensive too. About $15 bucks a wrap...luckily, I got both hooves done with one wrap. I also used 4 mixing tips for the sole pack and glue. Those are expensive too, but I can't remember how much.

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5 thoughts on “Caritas’ New Feet

  1. You can see a big change in his hooves! I know he’s still got a way to go, but he has to be feeling so much better! Do you find his diet plays a big role at this point or is it still too early to tell with so many other changes going on?

    On a side note, I’ve been riding Huck in the Gloves the past few days and when I put him on the lunge line, I can definitely see a difference in how he strides with the boots, versus without. Without the boots I definitely think he’s hitting toe first, but WITH the boots I think he’s almost going heel-first. I really need to record a video and watch it in slow motion!

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  2. I am not sure about the diet part. I was more careful in the beginning, and that didn’t seem to matter. Right now he’s on grass, hay, alfalfa cubes/pellets and strategy plus farriers formula. I asked the vet about testing him for insulin resistance, but she didn’t think that was his problem. Still…testing would have been nice to at least rule it out. But he really doesn’t fit the profile..but one never knows. I’m not ruling it out completely just yet. I found out that at the track the horses get 20 pounds of grain daily plus all the alfalfa they can eat, plus drug and more drugs. And they trim/shoe for a long toe, long heel, so I’m thinking that all those things together made him have crazy feet.

    Great news about huck and the boots. I think they really do make a difference in a lot of horses. More heel first landings = a faster spreading of the heels…at least that’s what Pete says!

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  3. Pingback: Foot Problems 101

  4. Pingback: Caritas Gets EVA Shoes | Shantara Acres Farm

  5. Pingback: Caritas Loses a Shoe | Shantara Acres Farm

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