Promoting soundness from the ground-up. - Therapeutic Case Studies
Western Maine Horseshoeing and Trimming - Promoting soundness from the ground-up.

Therapeutic hoof care pictured below achieved through balanced trimming and/or shoeing practices.  Many of these horses are still on the road to recovery, and I would like to personally thank their owners for allowing me to post photos so that others may learn from their experience.

Case Study: Chronic Foundered Pony- 2017
Overview:  This 20+yo pony gelding is foundered on all four hooves. He is a companion pony and his condition was managed for about a year with nutrition changes and barefoot trimming. He improved initially, but would periodically decline rapidly to standing discomfort.  In March, 2017, we x-rayed his hooves and applied clog shoes to the fronts.  His comfort level improved visibly after 3 days in this shoeing package. Stay tuned for updates on his condition.

Before Radiograph and Photo:  Right Front, Lateral View    

Farrier changes implemented:
1. Trim: De-rotate P3 by trimming heels.  Lamellar wedge rasped from dorsal hoof wall.
2. Shoeing: Plywood clog fit full in the heels with significantly rolled toe to alleviate stress on the lamina at the toe. Shoe applied with screws.
3. Casting provides "safing" for the screw-heads and the protruding heel, and helps bind together shoeing package.  Casting material on foot side was mounded at the heel to provide a slight wedge, which he will wear down over the next two weeks.  This allows for a graduated de-rotation of P3 to minimize stress on the deep flexor tendon.

Case Study: Foundered Pony- 2016
Overview:  Stormy was purchased from a kill pen in 2014.  He foundered on all four hooves, likely due to a combination of white line disease in his hind hooves and free choice access to a mineral block that contained high concentrations of molasses.  

Stormy was placed in 6 months of rehabilitative board at our farm where his diet, environment (footing) and hoof-care was managed daily.  A combination of barefoot trimming, therapeutic boots and clog shoes were used to effect his recovery.  He returned home sound and happy.

Case Study:Seedy Toe & Chronic Laminitis

Lateral view of Lamellar Wedge                     Solar View of Deep Cracks in White Zone

Treatment:  White Lightning Soak, Trimmed toe back and shoeing with rolled-toe steel shoe and pour pad



Under direction by Daisy Bicking, of Daisy Haven Rehabilitation center, the horse was placed in glue-on composite shoes with a reverse wedge to restore a straight bony column alignment.  Notice the much more linear hoof pastern axis in the lower-most photo.



Case Study: Foundered mini-Donkey
This rescued jenny was sound prior to and following the trim.  Toe was removed with a combination of nippers and hack saw.

Before: Fronts
After  initial trim: Fronts

Post-Trim Radiographs

LF lateral

Radiographs taken post trimming show significant remodeling of the distal border of P3, but good sole depth and reasonable alignment of the pastern bones with P3. Notice how the hoof capsule has rockered itself, allowing the donkey to be amazingly sound considering the degree of damage to the tip of P3.

Right Front, one year after initial trim
Donkey is sound and happy in her forever home.


Case Study: Draft Quarter Crack
Quarter cracks in a Belgian mare.
Treatment:  Hoof trimmed to minimize flare and promote load sharing with generous frog and sole.  

After eight months the crack has sealed well and is growing out.  This mare has been kept on a 6 week barefoot trim schedule.

Horizontal grooving made by previous hoof care provider was ineffective.  To correct this we must address the problem first, which is flared quarter.  

Pre-trim (RHind)

After first trim
2 years later

Case Study: White Line Disease
This quarter horse mare presented with chronic low-grade bi-lateral lameness (short-strided, ouchy) and was shod conventionally for about a year with little improvement.  She is heavily built and overweight with small (size 0) feet, and likely suffers from chronic low grade laminitis.  She improved in full leather pads with impression material support.  During summer, 2016 she developed a localized infection in the medial toe quarter of her laminae.  Efforts to disinfect it by flushing from the caudal surface proved unsuccessful and the hole grew larger and higher up the wall.  By November it was clear the compromised hoof wall needed to be removed, to facilitate de-briding of all infected tissue.  Rocky was schedule for therapeutic board, so that the procedure could take place with optimal hygiene and to provide a hygienic and supportive environment for follow-up care. The goal of this procedure was three-fold. 1. Remove all infected tissue.  2. Support P3 and the bony column to mitigate the risk of rotation due to the compromised laminae. 3. Provide a shoeing solution that allows the debrided area to breathe and keratinize, but which also protects it from the elements.

November, 2016

February, 2017
The debrided wall continues to grow out healthy and with incoming healthy hoof wall we can now begin to more aggressively dress back distortion in the toe, and bring the heels back underneath her.  An attempt to allow her to go barefoot was unsuccessful- she became quite lame within 2 days despite deep snow for support.  Therefore she was re-cast into a therapeutic clog.  

Stay tuned for more photos of the debrided wall and trimmed hoof in April.

APRIL, 2017- Rocky goes barefoot

Case Study: Injury Associated Hoof Crack

This patch was applied to maximize hoof wall support for this very flat soled horse.  This provided support to the hoof-wall, and enabled me to shorten the over-long toe as much as possible during the shoeing process. 

Case Study: Heel Abscess

Heel abscess treated with natural balance frog support pads and magic cushion packing.  Hoof regrew with minimal heel distortion over the course of 3 shoeings and may return to barefoot soon.

Case Study: Hoof Deformity and Neglect

Before and after photos of first trim on this mini.

Photo at time of first trim, day of rescue.                    Photo 8 weeks later.

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