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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff: hoof concavity

    I understand how concavity occurs in a "natural" state, but still unclear as to how it can be achieved "manually."

    Since the weather has turned, my horse has been coming in with this firm mud packed into his hooves and I actually like it, because I wonder if it will help to improve the concavity of his feet. Am I way off here?

    Seems an awful lot of people think concavity can be carved in.

    Am I opening Pandora's Box? Seriously though I want to know what the deal is...
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  2. #2
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    You probably are opening a can of worms here Concavity that is created by cutting sole is not real concavity - It is an optical illusion and can overly thin the horse's sole. It should not be done.

    Concavity is achieved by the health/tightness of the connective tissue in the hoof. If healthy and strong it will suspend the coffin bone well within the hoof capsule. That is what creates sole concavity.

    If the connective tissue is too weak, the CB will actually sink down to varying degrees, depending on the condition that's causing it and that has a flattening efect on the sole.



  3. #3
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    So.... how do you achieve that tightness of the connective tissue when it has been compromised?

    And where/how does sole support fit in?

    Is concavity an indication of a properly trimmed/balanced/healthy foot? Or is a foot healthy because it is concave?

    Obviously there is a point where too much concavity is a bad thing? (contraction?)

    May be a can of worms but really I want to know! Yes I can ask my pros. But... I have two farriers up here, one young guy who is the Cornell recommended farrier, who is textbook smart... but lacks that intuitive sense and doesn't always know WHY he is doing something... one old guy who has been going at this for half a century but it is so second nature he as well does not/cannot articulate what is going on.

    Thus I'm asking COTH.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    So.... how do you achieve that tightness of the connective tissue when it has been compromised?
    By putting on, and continuing to put on, a balanced trim.

    And where/how does sole support fit in?
    Just depends on what the horse needs. If he's flat because of founder, then sole support might be necessary to protect the damage laminar connection.

    Is concavity an indication of a properly trimmed/balanced/healthy foot? Or is a foot healthy because it is concave?
    A foot can be sub-healthy but still have good concavity, at least for now. Good concavity is an indication of at least some pretty decent level of health.

    Obviously there is a point where too much concavity is a bad thing? (contraction?)
    Contraction generally will not lead to any deceptive concacity, and usually leads to less concavity

    May be a can of worms but really I want to know! Yes I can ask my pros. But... I have two farriers up here, one young guy who is the Cornell recommended farrier, who is textbook smart... but lacks that intuitive sense and doesn't always know WHY he is doing something... one old guy who has been going at this for half a century but it is so second nature he as well does not/cannot articulate what is going on.

    Thus I'm asking COTH.
    The highest level of genetic concavity in a foot is from long-term proper trimming and movement.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  5. #5
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    Thanks JB!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    So.... how do you achieve that tightness of the connective tissue when it has been compromised?
    Depends on WHY the connective tissue is compromised. If it is mechanical from peripheral hoofwall loading for example, then yes, correct trimming should take care of it.

    If diet is a factor, as in too much sugar and/or straches, or lack of nutrition for a variety of reasons, then only correcting those will allow the horse to grow in a tighter connection and that can take up to a year or longer, depending on how fast the hoof grows.

    I find that in most cases that lack of sole concavity come from diet issues or coming fresh out of shoes, but often it is a combination of both too.

    And where/how does sole support fit in?
    Sole support in form of packing or padding can make the horse more comfortable and should be used in combination with Equicast or boots.

    Is concavity an indication of a properly trimmed/balanced/healthy foot? Or is a foot healthy because it is concave?
    Natural concavity usually indicates a healthy hoof.

    Obviously there is a point where too much concavity is a bad thing? (contraction?)
    What JB said - contracted hooves usually do not really have healthy concavity



  7. #7
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    Feb. 18, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    Depends on WHY the connective tissue is compromised. If it is mechanical from peripheral hoofwall loading for example, then yes, correct trimming should take care of it.
    There is no evidence that this so called peripheral hoofwall loading causes or contributes to connective tissue compromise or any other thing. The term is utter nonsense, promoted by a veterinarian who should know better, and now picked up by the lunatic fringe contingent of the barefoot movement as justification for a whole host of their rantings on the shoes vs barefoot issue.
    If diet is a factor, as in too much sugar and/or straches, or lack of nutrition for a variety of reasons, then only correcting those will allow the horse to grow in a tighter connection and that can take up to a year or longer, depending on how fast the hoof grows.
    Yawn. The mantra of stupid statements continues unabated.
    I find that in most cases that lack of sole concavity come from diet issues or coming fresh out of shoes, but often it is a combination of both too.
    ROTFLMAO! Do you perhaps moonlight as a cook at the Waffle House?
    Sole support in form of packing or padding can make the horse more comfortable and should be used in combination with Equicast or boots.
    And said sole support can also make a horse damn sore and lame. As with most everything equid, It Depends.
    Natural concavity usually indicates a healthy hoof.
    It Depends. How much concavity must be present to indicate a healthy hoof? Is too much(what ever that might be) bad for the hoof? If so, would that not mean that concavity can indicate an unhealthy hoof?
    What JB said - contracted hooves usually do not really have healthy concavity
    Please define "healthy concavity" and how one quantitatively determines that.



  8. #8
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    Actually if the horse has false sole or overgrown sole it can require trimming to obtain a correct trim, BTR-once again your information is misleading.



  9. #9
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    Feb. 17, 2004
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    And some horses have healthy feet, thick soles and what appears to be minimal concavity.

    I've stopped stressing on "seeing" concavity, I'm going more by sole thickness based on collateral groove and apex of frog depth and if necessary xrays to prove it.

    Boots/pads can help develop better internal structures as can a proper shoeing package.

    Giving a horse a digital cushion and frog support and sole protection can stop inflammation of the corium and allow the horse to develop sole by using the entire bottom of the foot.

    Pat Reilly at New Bolton is on to something, wish he could explain it in layman's terms for the non techies

    Kim Cassidy
    NAF, AHA Member



  10. #10
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    The shape of the coffin bone determines, to a large degree, the amount of concavity a hoof has. Hinds often have more because the bone is more vaulted. Fronts have less as the bones are flatter.

    I find that giving the horse a really good, balanced trim that focuses on keeping the toes back, the heel tubules strong and straight (verses long and bent/run under the foot), keep the frogs healthy and the bars strong and straight, the concavity "just appears." Even on horses that have always been "flat footed, thin soled, and sore." You have to keep the capsule balanced under the center of articulation and no let it run out in front of the boney column.

    Having said that, I do believe some horses are just chronically flat footed, and always will be. If the distal edge of the coffin bone is degenerated enough, then there isn't much you can do. Horses like that might need shoes and/or pads/packing to be in regular work and stay comfortable, or their owner might be able to manage it in boots, depending on the situation. But I don't think people should necessarily just "give up" and assume the horse will always be flat footed until giving it a good try to get the foot back under the horse and let the concavity come back.

    And like LMH said, sometimes false sole makes you think the sole is flat, but it's not. The cup of the foot is just filled in with sole material. On horses like that, I might trim the false sole enough to give them a little ground clearance under the bone, and then leave it alone to come out on its own when the horse is ready. Or I might leave it, it depends.

    I sure would not say I "stress" over concavity, but I definitely do pay attention to it. It gives you clues to the overall health of the whole foot.



  11. #11
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    Thanks guys for the info, much appreciated.

    My issue is, I read a lot of stuff online, but some of it is over my head given my obvious lack of training and still minimal understanding as a whole.... it is like I understand and appreciate specific bits and pieces but still trying to grasp some of the more cohesive concepts.

    Horse's RF was flat as a pancake originally, better now and relatively "normal" looking though he still has a bit of low heel going on. LF is almost clubby. RH is a bit more upright than LH, which is flat and flared as well.

    I do have rads, which I have never posted, as I'm afraid I'd get lost in a mess of contrary opinions and only end up frustrated, not educated!

    All four feet have come a long way in the 7 months I've had the horse but we're at the point where some are saying "good enough" though I'm not quite satisfied.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    Actually if the horse has false sole or overgrown sole it can require trimming to obtain a correct trim, BTR-once again your information is misleading.
    I was not misleading - unlike you I disagree removing false sole unless the horse is ready to let it go. I will only trim high areas that could potentially cause excess pressure.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    I was not misleading - unlike you I disagree removing false sole unless the horse is ready to let it go. I will only trim high areas that could potentially cause excess pressure.
    If you had more experience you would realize sometimes leaving it causes issues.

    Not always. Sometimes.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    If you had more experience you would realize sometimes leaving it causes issues.

    Not always. Sometimes.
    I have had several horses I trim that have false/retained sole. None of them ever had issues because of it and the retained sole resolved on its own over time. What kind of issues are you talking about?
    Last edited by BornToRide; May. 17, 2009 at 02:43 PM.



  15. #15
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    Overgrown sole can cause bruising.

    You need to leave what needs to be left, remove what needs to be removed-whether wall, frog, bars or SOLE....it just depends.

    I don't carve away in the name of concavity BUT I have selectively removed sole and it has immediately created better posture and what appeared to be better comfort.

    There is no always and never (as I once thought) there is sometimes and it depends.

    Welcome to the world of more experience that teaches you these things.

    Also you need to revisit your photos-if you think horses you trim are not having issues, you are sorely mistaken.

    The hooves in your care (in the photos you have posted) are in worse condition in your care than before.

    Sadly, you are unable to recognize obvious issues.

    A shame really-someone with your passion could likely do very well by horses if you were still open to learn something.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    I have several horses I trim that have false/retained sole. None of them ever had issues because of it. What kind of issues are you talking about?
    Several! Well there you go LMH, who needs more of a sample than that!



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post

    Also you need to revisit your photos-if you think horses you trim are not having issues, you are sorely mistaken.

    The hooves in your care (in the photos you have posted) are in worse condition in your care than before.

    Sadly, you are unable to recognize obvious issues.

    A shame really-someone with your passion could likely do very well by horses if you were still open to learn something.
    Yes, it is really a shame that you are making so many assumpions about another person's work without ever having even seen the hooves up close.

    I have no intention of lying to myself. That neither does me any good, and least of all the horses in my care. If they do not consistently improve, you bet I will find out why and take the necessary steps to correct that.

    Believe what you like, but the horses in the case studies are consistently improving and have so from the first day I trimmed them.



  18. #18
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    Sweetie I don't have to believe anything. The proof is in the photos.

    There is healthy hoof structures and there is lack of healthy hoof structures.

    Your photos show hooves losing hoof health.

    You don't even know what you don't know-that is what makes you downright dangerous-especially on public forums.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    Sweetie I don't have to believe anything. The proof is in the photos.

    There is healthy hoof structures and there is lack of healthy hoof structures.

    Your photos show hooves losing hoof health.

    You don't even know what you don't know-that is what makes you downright dangerous-especially on public forums.
    In which case it shows me that you have no real understanding that it takes time for hooves to change. Change should be supported as best as possible and not be forced and risking possible lameness because of it.

    The hooves in the photos are decontracting as needed and growing in a tighter hoofwall connection, which they should have. The horses are now sounder than they have ever been in the past.

    If you cannot see that, then I am really starting to doubt your HCP abilities. Is that why you do not show any case studies on your website??! Don't have the guts to show your work??



  20. #20
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    good one.

    I share my work to those that ask. There are few folks here that have just received recent photos of my trims....JB, Vickey, Yvonne doesn't post here but has lots of my photos...and a few others.

    JD has actually seen my horses live, in person though he didn't really go over my hooves in details.

    There are also 2 vets that have been over every square inch of my horses hooves and like what they see....that always makes me happy when vets like what is going on. One is actually very knowledgeable on hooves so it is really nice to have someone like that to watch my back and make sure I am paying attention to detail.

    I have an open door policy as well-anyone can come by my farm anytime and see my horses-but they need to see the ENTIRE picture including how i keep them-big part of the package.


    But no I don't put up case studies on my website. Never have, never will. The liability actually scares the hell out of me-I wouldn't want someone to try to copy something like a hoof photo and end up hurting a horse because they did not have the experience to do what they were trying.



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