Hoof problems have become the domestic horses’ Achilles heel!

Early in the degenerative process hoof problems are sub-clinical such as hoof deformity or loss of structure and integrity in the hoof capsule. Further down the track they progress to chronic lameness.

Solving these problems is the forte` of barefooting.

Barefoot trimming can help to rehabilitate horses feet with such problems by returning the correct form and function to deformed and disfunctional feet. Simple but effective.

It is highly successful at returning chronically lame horses back to usable soundness, often after all other avenues of treatment have been unable to do so.

Mayfield Bare-Hoof-Care Centre has been established in Yarck (Central Victoria) by Andrew and Nicole Bowe to help restore horses with chronic and /or acute lameness back to soundness, using barefoot rehabilitation.

At Mayfield we look at the big picture; it’s not just about the trim. We mostly need to revisit our patient’s diets, especially the sugar content. We lean towards using more natural feeds and feeding regimes.

Laminitis is probably the biggest single cause of equine lameness and loss of equine performance.

Laminitis is disruption and inflammation in the laminar attachment. It can range from mild (sub-clinical, no noticeable lameness) to life threatening and ultimately fatal if it’s not treated.

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Navicular lameness has long been the curse of performance horses. It seems that the higher the level of competition achieved, the more likely a horse will succumb to the insidious ravages of navicular.

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Ringbone is a vague term for any new bone formation between the coronary band and the fetlock.

In layman’s terms it is basically a result of either damage to the cartilage covered joint surfaces or trauma to the ligaments that surround the lower leg joints. (i.e. ligaments that have been partially torn from the bone surface.)

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The primary function of the hoof capsule is protection. It is a hard outer shell of thickened skin that covers soft inner structures that surround the bones.

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“Forge” – Grey Thoroughbred gelding off the track arrived with flat, cracked, overgrown and shod feet. Generally he was in a bad way and not moving comfortably.

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In most texts canker is described as a chronic disease, more commonly found in draught type breeds and usually in the hind legs.

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Hoof Deformities
Hoof contraction is a highly visible deformity of the equine hoof that indicates loss of hoof function and loss of equine athletic performance, leading ultimately to navicular and flexor tendon based chronic lameness.

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Underrun heels occur when the angle of the heel wall is less than that of the toe wall.  This is one of the most prevalent deformities found in the feet of domestic horses, particularly thoroughbreds that have been raced – which accounts for most of the pleasure horse industry! This scenario sets up a fundamental weakness that affects the integrity of the entire hoof capsule.

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