Friday, September 4, 2009

Linus's New Package!

Shoeing package, of course! Absolutely no pun intended... Ok, maybe a little, but it's late and I'm functioning on an overwhelming lack of sleep. Moving on...

As we all know, Linus is a Thoroughbred. Anyone who is familiar with horses knows that this breed is certainly not known for the quality of their hooves. They are bred to run, and the physical quality of the animal nearly always takes a backseat to their speed on the track. Thoroughbreds today are typically thin-soled, have a poor quality of hoof wall, and are prone to abscesses, stone bruises and other hoof-related soundness issues. This has occurred after years of breeding plans that had little to no concern regarding the long term health of the animal.

After months of evaluations and researching his history, it was determined that since Linus is going to be used for arena and trail work, he would benefit from shoes and pads. Besides the obvious protection that the shoes will give him, pads were deemed necessary to help protect his soles, and an angle increase via a wedge pad to balance his hoof/pastern angle.

Brad Erickson and I have the same goals: we want to allow Linus to continue out his many remaining years as healthy as possible. Linus is nearly done with his rehabilitation and we want to do everything possible to keep him comfortable, happy and sound. Brad showed up yesterday and the pictures below tell the story of his hoof makeover!

This is what we started with... (And by "we" I mean Brad. I had absolutely nothing to do with this amazing transformation besides asking 1,000,000 questions, all of which Brad graciously and thoroughly answered.)

Brad begins to work on Linus's hooves. He had an under run, slightly contracted heel to deal with, as well as a few blemishes from past injuries and his neglect. Overall for a Thoroughbred, Brad was impressed with the depth of his soles and his hoof walls.

Front left hoof, before the trim...

And after the trim!

The right front hoof before the trim...

And after the trim!

Brad used a 3-degree wedge pad to increase Linus's angles. His heels were under run and we needed to increase his hoof angle to better match his pasterns. These pads are also perforated to allow for a pour-in pad that will help support the frog while helping to reduce the likelihood of thrush.

Pouring in the Equi-Pad CS...

A view of the pad as it dries...

Finishing up the right front pour-in pad... (Notice how shiny Linus's coat is!)

Just as a reminder, this is what this hoof looked like before...

...and this is the final product! (That's the same hoof, I swear!) The hoof is now well balanced and well supported, and there is a huge improvement in the hoof and pastern angles.

Brad, thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to our animals! We all appreciate everything you have done for Faith and Linus. Neither of these horses would have made such amazing recoveries without your knowledgeable and dedicated service!



  1. Did Linus do a jig when he was done? I would with new shoes like that. :-)

    It looks like there's a change in the angle of his hoof wall about half an inch down from the coronet band. (Maybe further than that, it's hard to judge scale in the pictures.) The upper (new) growth is a steeper angle and looks a slightly different color and texture than the old growth, and to my untrained eyes looks healthier. Does this mark when you got him and started giving him better nutrition? How much of it is genetics, and how much was from neglect?

  2. Very nice shoeing job. I noticed the change in the upper portion of the hoof also.

  3. The top inch of his hoof is definitely new growth since he's been here. It's amazing what proper nutrition does, huh?!

    I sent Brad an email with his thoughts - I'll let everyone know what he says, or he may just post right here.

  4. And if you draw a line along that new growth you can tell how much of a front flare there is. Within a year, Brad will probably be able to leave off the shoes and do a good barefoot trim. I see much improvement...GREAT job.

  5. Great job!
    The improvement in the hoof wall shows that there was much flare and that the coffin bone was probably very unstable in the hoof capsule, probably causing his soles to flatten (since the hoof wasn't held high in the capsule and pressing against the sole). I also see a bit of contracted heels and they are still a little bit underrun. From what I can see, the heels could go back another half to full inch to support the heel bulbs (at the same time, it would help spread the heels appart more). I am a barefoot trimmer and I must say that I have seen some bad hooves, thin, foundered, cracked and EVERYTHING can be rehabilitated and every horse can be barefoot. It takes a lot of time and patience but things rebalance themselves slowly and the horse will become increasingly sound. Good luck with everything!