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Hoof Care

Plastic Shoes: Better than barefoot?

March 2019

It’s an iconic sound alright; a metal shod horse travelling on hard ground. Some would say it’s music to a horseman’s ears. But what you’re hearing is high frequency vibration; the tiny portion of vibrating energy that escapes the impact zone and disperses through the air. Most of the vibration, however, travels into the hoof. So what’s the big deal about a little bit of vibration?

Hoof Infections

December 2018

The foot abscess is a common cause of lameness and a circumstance that many horse owners will encounter at some point in time. In this article, veterinary podiatrist Luke Wells-Smith describes how they happen, the clinical signs, different types of foot infections and areas they can affect, as well as detailing the current treatment and management strategies. What is a foot abscess? A foot abscess is the accumulation of inflammatory fluid and cells within the structures of the foot. There are two types of abscess - sterile and septic.

Laminitis Research: A New Age of Understanding

December 2018

Laminitis... A condition that strikes fear into every horse owner. Long recognised as a cause of lameness, laminitis can have debilitating long-term effects on horses and ponies. It often becomes an insidious, chronic issue that requires careful management, including a constant evaluation of the diet and specialised hoof care.

Laminitis: Learn to Recognise the Early Signs

December 2018

The changes to the hoof capsule that happen after full-on laminitic event are well-known and easier to recognise. Lameness, in some cases severe and the angle changes to the pedal bone that you see in X-rays and depicted in the images on the left, are clear signs of laminitis.  But did you miss the very first signs? Read the latest research review on laminitis here.

Management Tips for the Laminitic Horse or Pony

March 2018

Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae - the finger-like structures connecting the hoof wall to the pedal bone within the hoof capsule. In many areas of Australia, laminitis is typically associated with a diet that is too high in sugars, or non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs). 

A Different Perspective on Navicular

March 2018

This article was written following a fascinating presentation Prof. Robert Bowker gave at the 2015 Bowker Lectures in Victoria that was titled ‘The Good Foot: The formation of chambers and micro vessels and the effects of vibration’. Using navicular syndrome as a backdrop, Prof. Bowker presented his research findings and practical applications for providing the foot with the environment needed to develop and maintain a sound, functional structure. 

Laminitis Rehabilitation: A Case Study

December 2017

“Horses and ponies with serious laminitis are routinely euthanased because the disease has traditionally been considered incurable. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Laminitic horses can be healed.” This is a statement from the book ‘The Pony That Did Not Die: Healing Laminitis with Barehoof Rehab’ by Nicky and Andrew Bowe of Mayfield Barehoof Rehabilitation Centre. 

Little Hooves... Big Trouble

September 2017

Regular readers of our articles would know we often base our stories around real life case studies; horses that have navigated the labyrinth of hoof issues about which we write. Case studies breathe life into what can often be a grinding subject. 

Riding Out the Monsoon

August 2017

As orange as her own hair and with the same bright personality, the striking and elegant Monsoon stormed into Aukje van Vark’s life to prove that with horses - as in life - it never rains, it pours.   Originally from the Netherlands, Aukje moved to Australia with her husband and three daughters in search of opportunities to reconnect with nature; in the way others born in this astounding continent take for granted. Space, lifestyle and better weather to enjoy them were top of their list.  

Grounded Hoofcare

July 2017

It is just past two o’clock when I speak to Maja Stocker from her Queensland home. It is an average day for the barefoot trimmer, who has already trimmed nine “and a half” horses, and is now relaxing in the shade on her leafy veranda. “It was pretty good, a good effort,” she tells me.


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