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Hoof Care

When a Horse Needs Shoes: Part 5

April 2014

Until recent times, metal was the only practical option for horse shoes but, as this series has highlighted, the convenience comes at the expense of long-term soundness. The development of new materials and designs are making plastic shoes a much more viable option but, as Andrew Bowe explains in this final part of the series, “sometimes the only way to find out the real value of something new is to try it for yourself”.

When a Horse Needs Shoes: Part 4

March 2014

Previous articles in this series have discussed how shoeing affects the physiological functioning of equine hooves. Despite the obvious convenience, shoeing is something that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. Whilst it is easy to get a horse ‘going’ in the short term, right now, keeping a horse fully sound through its latter teens and beyond is a great challenge.  

Can 3D Printed Shoes help win the Melbourne Cup?

November 2013

CSIRO scientists in Australia have custom made and 3D printed a set of purple titanium shoes for one Melbourne racehorse – in a first for the sport. The horse, dubbed by researchers as ‘Titanium Prints’, had its hooves scanned with a handheld 3D scanner this week. Using 3D modelling software, the scan was used to design the perfect fitting, lightweight racing shoe and four customised shoes were printed within only a few hours.

Hoof Wall Cracks: Part 2

April 2013

All cracks in the hoof wall have the potential to progress to catastrophic breakdown of the entire capsule, which is why they should be dealt with as soon as they appear. Andrew Bowe from Mayfield Barehoof Care Centre continues his discussion on hoof wall cracks in Part Two of this new series. ‘Bottom-up’ cracks  

Hoof Wall Cracks: Part 1

April 2013

All cracks in the hoof wall have the potential to progress to catastrophic breakdown of the entire capsule, which is why they should be dealt with as soon as they appear. Andrew Bowe from Mayfield Barehoof Care Centre discusses hoof wall cracks in Part One of this new series. Strength for the equine hoof comes through unity; not only with a very tight lamellar bond between the wall and sole, but also unity in the wall itself which is, in effect, an arch - one of the architecturally strongest forms known to man.

Healthy Hooves from the inside out, brought to you by Stance Equine

October 2012

Without sound hooves and legs, horses cannot enjoy healthy lives. Simply put...no hoof, no horse!  Dr Tim Kempton, Stance Equine. Hoof Structure The hoof is understandably a complicated structure that must bear the entire weight of the horse. The hoof comprises three types of tissues, 1. the hard outer hoof, the frog and the sole (keratin) 2. the soft tissue tendons, cartilage blood vessels and nerves 3. the coffin (pedal), navicular and short pastern bones.

The Trouble with Pony Hooves

July 2012

Ponies should have the best hooves around!  Ponies are the compact SUV's of the horse world with a great power to weight ration to match. They are cheap to fuel and run on a sniff of tufty grass. However, the life that most ponies live in Australia is the exact opposite of their heritage and this results in a raft of hoof problems.

Feeding and Conditioning a Laminitic horse

July 2012

Laminitis should not spell the end of the a horse or pony's usefulness. Careful management of their diet, health, hooves and environment can ensure that they will continue to perform in their discipline for many years. Assuming whether an animal has foundered or not while continuing the same feeding and management practices is quite neglectful. If you suspect any symptoms of this disorder, consult your equine veterinarian so they can examine your horse and assess the severity of the condition and advise on the appropriate management plan.

Laminitis - Barehoof Rehabilitation Options

May 2012

Laminitis is probably the biggest single cause of equine lameness and loss of equine performance. Since the principles of barefoot rehabilitation have been developed, laminitis is no longer a death sentence for horses. Serious cases that were once considered hopeless and euthanased without delay or question are now being routinely salvaged.  A disruption and inflammation in the laminar attachment, laminitis can range from mild (sub-clinical with no noticeable lameness) to life threatening and ultimately fatal if it’s not treated.

Chronic Laminitis

May 2012

Chronic laminitis can be frustrating and a challenging condition to treat.  No horse is the same and in fact no foot is the same.  It will be the combined effort of vet and farrier in order to restore health and function to these feet.   When we discussed acute laminitis, we spoke about the damage that can occur to the lamellae (or bonds) between pedal bone and hoof capsule.  In many cases early intervention and removal of the inciting cause can result in complete recovery of the horse.  Other horses may enter into what is described as chronic laminitis.  

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