I trimmed this cadaver what seems like many moons ago (at the beginning of the year). It was probably the most neglected hoof I trimmed that day; and also a good hoof to illustrate how neglect can make a hoof appear severely pathological; when it actually isn't. Now, I say that lightly; as yes, the foot had pathology but it sure wasn't as bad as what we started out with!
For this one I am going to try and put the before/after's next to one another to allow for easy comparison. Firstly, we have the dorsal view and as you can see at the start it looked incredibly neglected. This horse had clearly been left in a soiled stable for quite some time, I distinctively remember the smell coming off of this hoof. Which is incredibly sad, to think the best hoof care (or care in general) this horse had ever received was when it was deceased. Post-trim the majority of the flaring and cracks had been rectified, and despite my awful tool use (please remember: these are student photos, and are in no way representative of what I trim like today) many improvements have been made in one trim.
Below: Dorsal View
Next, we have the lateral/medial shots and as I don't know if this was a left or a right fore I can only speculate what I think is lateral versus medial. Again you can see significant flaking away of the outer hoof wall, the overall foot is incredibly tall-looking and the direction of the tubules has changed as the foot has become to long. The hoof has attempted to self-trim, with bits breaking off all around allowing openings for bacteria to infiltrate the foot. But again, see from the post-trim photos a lot of the issues have been rectified in one trim, arguably the heels are still too high. But in a real-life scenario whacking off the heels on a horse that has been on stilts its whole life, would probably not be a good idea. You would want to factor in the tendons, and test how comfortable the horse would be if you were to lower them a significant amount. Reducing heel height over a course a few trimming cycles would be a safer option, and allow the horse to adjust gradually to the change. I would however, promptly address medio-lateral balance and put the foot on a flat plane to assist with this transition.
Below: Lateral/Medial Views
Side Shots (Before): To Illustrate the crazily long bar that had grown!
Click the arrow to flick through these photos, the horse had grown and was standing on a bar, that was proud of the hoof wall by 1cm!
I do have solar view photos, but apparently WiX thinks my internet is offline and has decided to stop me from uploading photographs. But believe me when I say there was an okay frog under there, the bars were actually really straight once they had been trimmed. I feel this hoof with the correct environmental, dietary and management practices could have made a full recovery. Neglect and pathology are two different things, but neglect can lead to pathology so it is best to ensure your horse is on a regular trim cycle, to avoid any avoidable discomfort or pain.
Hope you enjoyed this instalment, I will endeavour to write a few blog posts on my recent trims (on live horses!)