Performance Hoof Care - Tim C Mockford, Equine Podiatrist
Case Studies
Annie, a 6 year old Exmoor was rescued from the local sales. The off fore shows early signs of Deformed Hoof Syndrome or DHS (note the irregularity in the growth rings and the metabolic flaring of the lateral wall)
With one trim we were able to remove the distorted growth and place the foot back in true balance
On the off hind, there is not only a medial / lateral imbalance but also considerable flare on the medial side. There is also some significant damage to the toe with lost outer wall and a loss of integrity between outer and inner wall
Again, after only one trim the difference is fairly profound ! Annie was immediately more comfortable and her gate improved dramatically. She is now making excellent progress and enjoying being pampered by her new owners 
Zac, a 12 year old Arab. Zac's owner contacted me as she was concerned with the change in the shape of his feet. You can see how severely the toe has been 'dumped' or 'cut back' on the near fore - these shoes are far to small for his feet
Within 2 months, all of the lost structure has been replaced and Zac has grown out all of the old nail holes. At this rate of growth he will replace the whole hoof capsule in less than 6 months !
As with the near fore, the near hind has had the toe severely 'dumped' or 'cut back'. The wall has also been badly compromised in order to accommodate the quarter clip. The grey shading around the nail holes is indicative of a bacterial infection
Again, less than 2 months later and all lost structure has been replaced and there is no evidence of the infection. The rate of growth is even more impressive than the fores - Less than 6 months later, Zac completed his first 30k endurance ride without shoes or boots !
Josie, a 10 year old Arab, was rescued by one of my clients after being abandoned in a field and left to fend for herself. This is one of the worse cases of neglect that I have seen, I was amazed that she could walk as well as she was with such distortion
Working closely with the Vet and a full set of X-Rays, we were able to be fairly aggressive in the re-balancing of her feet. This second shot is the same foot less than 3 months later ! Josepha is now moving superbly and is looking forward to her first show
Trojan, an 8 year old Irish Sports Horse, had been taken out of work due to Navicular 'Syndrome' (undiagnosed caudal heel pain). Hardly surprising when you look at the collapsed heels and the 'broken back' axis of the pastern compared to the dorsal wall angle
This is the same foot after just one trim ! The excessive toe height has now been removed (in the second picture there is no evidence of where the quarter clip had been) After the trim, Trojan trotted up sound for the first time in 6 months !
Oliver, a 9 year old TBX, was taken out of shoes as the owner was concerned about the deterioration in the condition of his feet and his inability to hold shoes ! There is considerable medial and lateral flare and a loss of integrity between the inner and outer wall
The same foot 4 weeks later ! The flare has been removed, the foot balanced correctly across 4 dimensions. We can see a huge improvement in the overall health of the foot, especially in the integrity of the horn. Oliver was happily hacking out after just 8 weeks without boots
Wellie, a 14 year old TB, his owner called me in because she was concerned with how his feet seemed to be 'migrating' forward and that his heels appeared to be collapsing (unfortunately, both fairly common pathologies in shod horses)
6 Weeks later and a world of difference. Placing the foot in balance (functional equilibrium) has provided the stimulus for accelerated growth. All of the damaged horn and both sets of nail holes have also grown out. The heel angle has also improved
William, 4 year old TB, had been under the care of a farrier and the owner called me in due to her concerns that her feet were 'collapsing'. She was told that she could not remain 'shoeless' as she had typical TB feet i.e. flat and weak !
The same foot, after just two trims. The medial and lateral flare has been removed , the excess toe height taken down on plane with the heels and we can now begin to see Will's true foot (have a look at the 'Performance Pics' page to see how well he is doing now
Scarlet, a 6 year old Hafflinger, was imported from the continent by her new owner who had only seen 'body shots' and had no idea as to how bad her feet were. The 'serpentine' growth rings are a clear indication
of a laminitic event
4 weeks later and a different hoof. Still a long way go but Scarlet is making fantastic progress. Not only is she now a lot more comfortable but she is hacking out over all terrains and proving to be a real 'pro' in the dressage arena !
Euwie, a 6 year old Friesian had only been in shoes for a few years so his feet were not in a really bad condition. The major problem was the excessive flare on the medial and lateral quarters. You can see where the quarters have been lost after the first trim
The reason I have included Euwie is to show what incredible hoof growth can be achieved in a relatively short period of time. Euwie's Owners were incredible committed and followed his conditioning routine to the letter. The result, this is the same foot 29 days later !
Promise, a Welsh Section D. I was asked to do a consultation on Promise as the owner was unhappy with the shape of her feet, she was unaware that the horse had had a major laminitic episode resulting in rotation of the pedal bone !
In the first picture you can clearly see the serpentine growth rings and below them the lamina wedge in the dorsal wall. Removal of this distorted hoof was required so in order to provide additional support in this situation we applied Perfect Hoof Ware
The Perfect Hoof Ware was left on for 4 weeks. Not only did it provide vital support, the resistance it provided, stimulated accelerated hoof growth. This is the same foot after only weeks once the PHW was removed and the trim applied !
'The horse has the innate ability to heal itself, providing that the environment is conducive to healing'
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