If you had told me a year ago that Lilly would now be barefoot and I'd be trimming her hooves, I would have laughed hysterically! Then I would have said something silly like, "she can't go barefoot... duh!" In fact, I probably would have had a similar reaction as Lilly did today when I told her I'd be trimming her hooves this week:
|Um, you can't be serious! You do know I'm a princess, right? Not just anyone can trim my hooves!|
She's had quite a bit of growth since her last trim. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks and she grew more hoof this time than she did in the 7 weeks prior to this trim.
Left Front Hoof:
Right Front Hoof:
When I look at her hooves as a "trimmer", I like to look at each part of the hoof and evaluate it by itself first. I ask myself how each piece looks overall, and then how does it work with the rest of her hoof? What do I need to do with each piece to make this a properly functioning hoof... I usually start with her heels (because I'm obsessed with them and I think they require the most care), then move on from there. She has a fair amount of heel that needs to come off, and I would take them down to where they're slightly lower than her frog. I try to keep in mind that the goal is to encourage her to use the structures on the back of her hoof rather than her toes, so I don't want her to be walking around on hoof wall, but I also don't want her too short because she's still in the process of transitioning and all those structures are still developing. I want to give her a nice heel buttress platform so she's bearing weight on the buttress and the frog. Think heel first, Lilly!
Looking at her bars, I would definitely trim them. From what I understand, the bar corium ends midpoint down the frog, so any bar past that area is considered overgrowth. The bars help make up the nice buttress platform I'm trying to achieve, so they need to be trimmed down to sole level too. I would also clean out the collateral groove a bit, mostly near the back of the hoof.
It's hard to see in the pictures, but she has a pretty good toe callus going on. I wouldn't touch the toe callus, nor would I touch the sole of the hoof except to level off any high spots that could cause pressure points. I wouldn't touch the frog either, unless it was flaking off as it did last time. It looks pretty good to me.
She has some hoof wall separation going on, mostly on the medial side of her left front, so I would definitely do some rasping to remove as much of the flare as possible, and also help shape the hoof. After rounding the toe, I'd call it a day! My trimmer might suggest otherwise, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable backing up her toe. I think her toes are still a bit long, but I'm not sure how much more needs to come off, and I worry about taking off too much.
The hind hooves aren't nearly as complicated. Usually all it takes back there is a rasp here and there, along with some bar trimming, so I only took a couple pictures of those to show.
|Left rear hoof...|
|Right rear hoof...|
Maybe I'm seeing things, but I think the casts distorted her hooves a bit. If you look at the areas I circled on her hooves in these pictures, you can see the "dent" that I think showed up after the casts came off. Perhaps it's just coincidence, but I'm curious about opinions on that as well.
|Left front hoof...|
|Right front hoof...|
And in other news, does it look like she's lost any weight since going on her diet? She's on 24/7 turnout, getting 2 flakes of hay twice per day (about 18 lbs), a vitamin supplement, MSM, and Pro Balance, which is a high potency probiotic supplement. If I'm there during the day I'll sneak her an extra flake of hay too.
|Nom, nom, nom...|
I'm looking forward to any and all comments!!