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Full Rocker Aluminum Shoes? (With X-Rays)

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  • Full Rocker Aluminum Shoes? (With X-Rays)

    Below is a link to a picture of a horse that has a common problem with being constantly shod. The top pic is the 'before' shot: note the broken-back hoof axis.
    The bottom pic is of same horse shod with full rocker aluminum shoes. You can see the improved alignment with the proximal and middle phalanxes.

    Before and after X-rays of same hoof.

    I have had these on since September, when my gelding had an abscess blow-out part of his hoof wall. He seems quite happy with them, and you can clearly see the improvement of the wall (pix later.)

    Ric Redden on Full Rocker Motion Shoes.


    Anyone else use these? What do you think of them?

  • #2
    Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
    Below is a link to a picture of a horse that has a common problem with being constantly shod.
    That is simply not true or accurate.
    The top pic is the 'before' shot: note the broken-back hoof axis.
    The bottom pic is of same horse shod with full rocker aluminum shoes. You can see the improved alignment with the proximal and middle phalanxes.
    I would certainly expect that to be the case...
    Anyone else use these? What do you think of them?
    I use them in my custom as need dictates. They are an excellent orthoses but not for every horse or for every situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
      Below is a link to a picture of a horse that has a common problem with being constantly shod.
      Your conclusion presumes evidence that does not exist.

      The top pic is the 'before' shot: note the broken-back hoof axis.
      Note the shoe is set for 75% of its base length as leverage anterior to the distal interphalangeal joint.

      The bottom pic is of same horse shod with full rocker aluminum shoes. You can see the improved alignment with the proximal and middle phalanxes.
      Bet that felt better to the horse.

      Before and after X-rays of same hoof.

      I have had these on since September, when my gelding had an abscess blow-out part of his hoof wall. He seems quite happy with them, and you can clearly see the improvement of the wall (pix later.)
      Hard to believe that the before and after was done by the same farrier.

      Ric Redden on Full Rocker Motion Shoes.

      Anyone else use these? What do you think of them?
      I have used the protocol and a few variations. I think it is something I will keep in my bag of tricks for special occasions.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know but the first top picture shows a really badly trimmed and shod hoof. Long long toes and why is the shoe set so far forward and nothing at the heels?

        In my honest not farrier opinion, I would say that it is the better trim job that changed a lot the angles, not the shoe in itself. The shoe will help the locomotion of the horse but put the same shoe on the first picture and it would still be a disaster.

        How often do you have you horse shod?
        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
        HORSING mobile training app

        Comment


        • #5
          Just out of curiosity I opened this thread, looked at the before picture and then said "Wtf?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Yikes.

            The before X-ray is a disaster of a TRIM JOB. The second X-ray has removed about half the length at the toe and most of the front wall which was leveraging the foot and crushing the heels. A halfway decent flat shoe applied a few times would fix the problem.

            The trim on the horse with the blown out abcess is ATROCIOUS. if a veterinary prescription for a specialty shoe is what it takes to force the owner to get a competent farrier, so be it. (actually, that also reminds me of a farrier who shoes quite decently with written instructions and measurements from a vet, but when left to his own devices and theories is known as "the hoof butcher').

            Jennifer
            Third Charm Event Team

            Comment


            • #7
              One of my event horses that had bad shoeing (at least for his hooves) and as a result high ringbone, used the full rocker shoes for over a year and they helped him grow heel. It was the only shoe that got him sound. I went to many farriers in my area before being willing to try these. He is now in a lot less of a rocker as are all my horses. They do very well in them and I have seen improvement in their hoof growth especially the ones with difficult hooves.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                I don't know but the first top picture shows a really badly trimmed and shod hoof. Long long toes and why is the shoe set so far forward and nothing at the heels?
                Of course, we don't know how long those shoes had been on at the time the rad was taken...
                In my honest not farrier opinion, I would say that it is the better trim job that changed a lot the angles, not the shoe in itself.
                Which is precisely why most non-farriers should not comment on farrier related subjects. While the trim may have helped the phalangeal alignment, the mechanics of the shoe did the majority of the work.
                The shoe will help the locomotion of the horse but put the same shoe on the first picture and it would still be a disaster.
                That is a logical fallacy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cloudy has been wearing the rocker alums on his fores for years. My vet and my farrier decide on what shoes he wears and when he wears them. Standard steel on hind hooves.

                  I like the rocker aluminum shoes. Although he's been shod in steel all around at different times. It all depends on his hooves and what the vet and farrier think is best for the horse.

                  I've not seen a problem with wearing shoes on any horse I've ever owned. (Despite my 2 farriers in last decade trying to have my horses barefoot. They finally gave up.)

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    First the x-rays are of one (unknown to me) horse, shared by my farrier, who did the corrective shoeing (2nd x-ray pic).

                    The pic of the blown-out wall was my horse last September after he'd been barefoot since April, 2012.


                    Hard to believe that the before and after was done by the same farrier.
                    The "before" x-ray shoeing was NOT done by my farrier; the after picture was.

                    Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
                    ... The trim on the horse with the blown out abcess is ATROCIOUS.
                    Jennifer ...
                    This was not a trim. This was my horse's hoof about 5 weeks after his last trim, and he had been barefoot all summer. My farrier and I had discussed the horizontal cracks (due to gravel & abscess - there is a smaller one on the front of his other hoof, yet to grow out) and what would happen/what to do when it finally grew out. Well, that picture is what happened, and the wide web full rocker is what he did for it.
                    My horse suffered a mild laminitic episode July, 2009. His feet are now starting to look good with this type of corrective shoeing.

                    Here is a not-very-good picture taken (Oct 23, 2012) 4 weeks after the full-rocker shoeing:
                    RF hoof

                    Also:
                    Sport and speed horses are frequently diagnosed with caudal heel pain and long toe, underrun heels. Clinical and radiographic examination reveals that a broken back digital axis is a common finding in horses with crushed heel syndrome. It is common knowledge that horses suffering from the long toe, lower heel syndrome require less breakover to combat the effects of long toe. Backing the toes up has been considered a reliable means for aiding breakover. Unfortunately, pulling the toes back has very limited mechanical advantage. Removing the face of the wall back to the stratum medium gives the illusion that the toe angle has improved, though the PA and heel angle have remained unchanged.
                    by R.F. (Ric) Redden, DVM


                    Here is the full article by Dr Redden: http://www.nanric.com/when_to_use_the_rocker_shoe.asp

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not a farrier either, but this hoof looks like it has some pretty underrun heels.
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rick Burten quote "Which is precisely why most non-farriers should not comment on farrier related subjects." HA HA HA !

                        Now you may think that, but really, do you also actually believe that we all can sit quietly and not be armchair vets, farriers, judges, trainers and breeders? IF that were true these forums would be non-existent!!
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                          I'm not a farrier either, but this hoof looks like it has some pretty underrun heels.
                          It is indeed! That was in October. His heels were underrun even while barefoot. I'll try to get some pictures today. His feet are looking better and better. I'm hoping after all of the horn grown out, his feet will be of good/very good quality, rather than poor (which they have been since I've owned him - from 5 months to 18 years next month.)

                          While the trim may have helped the phalangeal alignment, the mechanics of the shoe did the majority of the work.
                          This is why I started this thread/posted pix. To share with others who might have similar issues.

                          Which is precisely why most non-farriers should not comment on farrier related subjects.
                          I disagree. I am a non-farrier, but not an idiot. If I don't "comment" or discuss issues with my farrier, how will anything get solved?
                          And, anyways, who made you emperor of all farrier issues to decide who should comment or not?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
                            I disagree. I am a non-farrier, but not an idiot. If I don't "comment" or discuss issues with my farrier, how will anything get solved?
                            And, anyways, who made you emperor of all farrier issues to decide who should comment or not?

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I don't know Rick Burten or Tom Bloomer, however, I DO recognize this vet/farrier's expertise and authority in the matter:
                              (Link to the full article and Dr. Redden's x-rays to support his argument)

                              January 2010 by R.F. (Ric) Redden, DVM
                              Many speed and sport horses are plagued with quarter cracks, crushed heels and soft tissue injuries that are all too often chalked up as bad luck and seldom receive the respect they deserve. But what many people do not realize is that quarter cracks and similar foot injuries are the end result of a series of cascading events that occur inside the foot long before the actual injury occurs. By the time these external changes happen, internal damage has already occurred. Most farriers treat and repair these commonly occurring problems to the best of their ability, however any treatment performed without regard to what is happening within the foot often does not address the underlying cause. Therefore these cases often get caught up in a vicious cycle that plagues them throughout their career and sometimes the rest of their lives.
                              The first sign of digital cushion and heel tubule demise is a decreasing palmar angle (PA). While the PA is easily influenced with a rasp, other factors can also cause a decrease in PA. It is often thought that a lower PA is caused by farriers removing too much heel, but this is not so in most cases as the heel can also come off from within the foot, not just from the outside. As crushing begins to collapse the digital cushion, the heel tubules are subjected to excessive load. They begin to fray, then fold inward and forward. Once the cycle has started it can proceed very quickly, especially when horses are training at top speeds. Therefore using the PA as an overall health monitor of the foot helps trainers, vets and farriers have a quantitative means of tracking equilibrium and balance and offers a means of setting a benchmark that reflects optimum health of the foot. By identifying the PA and its relationship to other key parameters such as sole depth and medial/lateral balance, we can develop shoeing protocols that can enhance the health of the foot and maintain the mass, toughness and balance required for intense training programs. Developing our knowledge of the internal mechanics of the foot and how they function allow us not only to manage problems that already exist, but also develop foot care programs that can prevent or minimize their occurrence in the first place.
                              Measuring the Palmar Angle
                              The PA is measured by drawing a line along the palmar rim and connecting it with a line along the ground surface. This angle can vary greatly in healthy feet, depending on age, breed, use, etc. Therefore there is no standard written in stone that can be referred to as a normal PA. A zero PA occurs when the palmar rim is parallel to the ground surface. The negative PA occurs when the wings are lower than the apex. This is also referred to as caudal rotation.
                              When shod with a flat shoe, the PA with the ground surface is the same as it would be if the horse were barefoot. However, when a shoe and/or pad alters the angle of the PA with the ground surface the PA can be referred to as the shod PA. Wedge shoes, wedge pads, rocker shoes and heel elevation shoes create a different PA than what we find in the bare foot. Using the barefoot PA and the very flexible shod PA we can develop a large range of shoes that meet the mechanical requirements of many pathological syndromes.
                              Characteristics of the Negative PA
                              External Characteristics
                              The crushed heel front foot is normally found opposite a club foot. The club foot does not have to be a high grade, as a horse with a low grade 2 club can have a very noticeable low heel on the opposite foot with a thin digital cushion and zero to negative PA. The rear foot that is directly behind the club foot will also have a shallower digital cushion and often a moderate to excessively low PA that can be as much as 10-12 °s negative. The hind foot that is diagonal to the club will be the strongest foot of the four, and is invariably the easiest to maintain with a healthy sole depth of 15+mm and a positive PA.
                              The foot has a very characteristic appearance when in the negative plane, though quick assessment is easier in hind feet than in front feet. The hind foot will have a slight bulge along the dorsal face and the growth ring pattern will be much wider at the toe than at the heel. When a horse with a healthy toe-heel growth ratio is standing with the hind cannon bone perpendicular to the ground, a line drawn along the coronary band slope will strike the front leg at the knee or below. In the negative PA foot, this line will strike the abdomen or flank.
                              Internal Characteristics
                              Having reviewed literally thousands of images before and after shoeing, it is obvious to me that many of our thoughts and concepts of how the bone relates to what we see on the outside of the foot are often contrary to radiographic evidence. Radiographic information is vital to managing horses with crushed digital cushions and a negative PA. To develop an eye for what is happening inside the foot we must study the radiographic image and develop a working knowledge of how it correlates with external landmarks to offer key information concerning imbalance and the cascading series of events that occur as the heel goes into the crushed mode. Therefore farriers need to develop a base for reading and interpreting the relationship of the bone to the hoof and hoof to ground surface. To do this it is important to review farrier friendly radiographs (lateral, low beam with opaque wall marker) on as many horses as possible before and after shoeing and/or trimming. I find this is the only way we can continue developing an eye for the little details that describe the state of health of the foot and the only way we can fine tune our mechanical protocol.
                              Sole Depth
                              Evidence from venograms of healthy shod feet suggests that most horses require a minimum sole depth of 15-18mm to adequately protect the sensitive structures of the foot. This measurement and its relationship to PA are very important and demand great respect from farriers and vets who are focused on pathological shoeing solutions. When in harmony, this relationship provides adequate sole depth and healthy equilibrium between DDF tension, apex compression and lamellar stress. When equilibrium has been lost, a series of cascading events takes place that can quickly put the foot in jeopardy.
                              Many horses and vets disagree with my recommended sole depth dimension as they see a lot of top horses with very thin soles. I would have felt the same way before obtaining information from venograms. Shod feet with a consistent growth pattern heel to toe and medial to lateral that maintain 7-10mm of new horn growth every 30-45 days will have a cupped sole of 15+mm in depth and a slightly positive PA. Venograms of these feet will consistently reveal a full 10mm of vascular supply distal to the palmar rim and remarkable solar papillae that will be in the same plane as the dorsal hoof wall. This benchmark is consistently confirmed with venograms performed with proper technique. Other horses that are highly competitive with 10mm or less sole do not have a healthy vascular supply. Venograms reveal severe compression of the circumflex vessels and solar papillae. Solar papillae, if present, are very short relative to the foot with 15+mm of sole, and the medial quarter will usually have stark loss of solar perfusion in the palmar zone. These horses may appear sound, but they are training with a major vascular deficit. These feet can bruise easily, often develop quarter cracks on the deficient quarter and heal slowly.
                              A close observation of a thin-soled foot will reveal a thin and often shelly wall. Medial quarter growth rings are often stacked up very tightly together, which means the quarter is dormant with no growth. The wall will have 2-4 sets of nail holes as the farrier has run out of places to nail. That is when composites are used to hold the shoe on. When the shoe is removed, the foot side will have deep creases in the heel area in the same place that folded heel tubules sit on the shoe. This high friction area triggers a vicious cycle, as the wall rolls under the foot. The horse actually walks on the outside of his wall instead of the end horn tubules, further crushing the tissue in the heel area. The frog starts to protrude lower than the heel tubules that are constantly being crushed. This foot, commonly found in many training stables, is headed for trouble. This is why I maintain that 15+mm of sole and a positive PA are required for a foot to stay healthy. This is the depth that the horse should have immediately post shoeing, not 4-6 weeks post shoeing. Heavier breeds such as warm blood crosses, etc. require several millimeters more sole depth to provide adequate protection to the sensitive structures. This may not be easy to achieve, but it should be our goal.
                              Medial/Lateral Balance
                              When in medial/lateral balance, the PA of the medial and lateral wing of PIII will be identical. However, when one wing lists out of balance this wing will have a different PA. Medial wing listing can be found in a large majority of horses. While it has been generally thought to be abnormal, I am not so certain this is correct, as it appears to be influenced by conformation and development. The majority of feet that have remarkable imbalance also have stark differences in the shape of the medial wing (observed on the low beam DP radiographic view) relative to the lateral wing. This could be due to remodeling along the lines of stress and/or a genetic linkage. The significance of this finding is relative to the incidence of medial quarter bruising, heel pain, slower than normal horn growth and subsequent quarter cracks that often plague speed and sport horses. The horse that has significant medial listing seldom has adequate foot mass and most often has a crushed digital cushion that produces a negative PA that can be quite severe. This is often the precursor for quarter cracks. It is common to find a negative 6-10° PA in front as well as in hind feet in training stables worldwide.
                              Treating the Low PA Foot
                              Feet are not born equal by any means and do not respond the same to a set standard of shoeing and trimming. Some are destined to be stronger than others within a certain breed and among different breeds. There are numerous ways to aid mass production and mass maintenance, all the while striving to improve balance. We should be more focused on mass than balance as it must come first in order to re-establish a healthier foot. Creating the illusion of balance without accelerating mass often results in a vicious cycle, as the foot becomes weaker rather than stronger. Growth centers must be stimulated in one fashion or another if we want the weak foot to become strong. Simply making it look more appealing to the eye is not conducive to a progressive foot program. Unfortunately, farriers are often expected to fix the weak foot by taking away everything that makes it look weak and sanding or polishing what is leftover. If we want stronger feet we must be focused on mass rather than balance.
                              Much like the club foot we do not have means to cure the low heel, crushed cushion foot, but we do have options that can greatly enhance the health of the foot and help prevent the ill effects that cause all sorts of lameness issues in sport and speed horses. Genetics and conformation play a role in the demise of the heel, otherwise it would be quite easy to fix these cases and keep them fixed. Since this is not the case, we must enhance the mass and then the balance of feet that are programmed to fall apart under the stress of training.
                              The Rocker Motion Shoe
                              Depending on the degree and chronicity of the crushed damage, several options are available for the horse that is out of training. Horses with low scale crushing respond nicely to a 4 point trim, hot sear and a few days protection before going barefoot. For more severe cases, the rock 'n roll concept is a great way to quickly enhance mass. Using the rocker motion shoe to enhance blood flow to the deprived solar corium aids quick recovery of all but non-functional solar papillae, subsequently accelerating sole proliferation. However, the degree of mechanics, how quickly we need the mass and the state of training and/or other ability that is expected of the horse must always be taken into consideration. I prefer to pull a horse out of training for 2-3 shoeing periods in order to gain optimum foot mass over the shortest period of time. Simply eliminating daily concussion to the heavily compromised heel and buttresses starts the natural healing process.
                              The higher the mechanical score of the shoe (1 point for every two degrees it raises the PA), the greater the response. Therefore, if a horse can back out of fast work for a few weeks and use a higher mechanical shoe, a 12-15° PA rocker rail would be my choice. It is not unusual to double or triple sole depth in the first 4-6 weeks following application of the shoe. Many speed horses typically have 5-8mm of total sole depth with zero to negative PA and little or no signs of new growth month after month. The mechanics of this degree of rocker shoe can produce 12-15mm of sole in one shoeing period on this type of foot. Once the growth centers are stimulated the foot starts to quickly reconstruct itself.
                              When healthy foot mass has been re-established, most horses can go back into slow work wearing the rocker rail. However, the new growth is immature and needs conditioning time to become strong and durable. The foot may require mechanical aids to enhance perfusion for several months depending on the response, chronicity and age of the horse. This is the difficult part of foot reconstruction. As soon as sole is 15+mm, PA has improved and the horse is moving great, most trainers and owners want to go back to the flat shoe. But as soon as the DDF is solidly engaged by the action of the flat shoe, sole growth stops and within 30 days the 15mm of sole can be reduced by several millimeters from within. This sounds impossible, but that is the reality. I have witnessed this sudden loss of sole mass many times. Many think that the only way to lose sole is from wear or the rasp, but simply shutting down solar papillae can deteriorate existing sole very rapidly.
                              Weaning the mechanics off of the foot as it heals works well for many cases. I like to drop the self-adjusting PA 3-5° between shoeings until I can use the full rocker shoe, which normally increases the PA 3-5° from the barefoot static image. The next step down is a flat shoe with rocker. This is not a rocker toe shoe; the belly is a smooth radius from toe to heel with the peak of the belly slightly behind the widest point of the foot on the low heel and slightly in front of the widest point on the club or steeper foot. Many horses can wear this style of shoe for many months and compete at any level. This can make everyone happy as it looks more like a regular shoe. However, I have many cases that slowly return to a state of no growth and thin sole when everyone thinks the foot is back to normal and will hold forever. Once the digital cushion has been crushed and the heel tubules have folded under the heel there will always be a tendency for the foot to revert to this state given good reason. Therefore, we must seek to maintain this condition rather than cure it

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                                Rick Burten quote "Which is precisely why most non-farriers should not comment on farrier related subjects." HA HA HA !

                                Now you may think that, but really, do you also actually believe that we all can sit quietly and not be armchair vets, farriers, judges, trainers and breeders? IF that were true these forums would be non-existent!!
                                NO, I don't believe that a bunch of dilettantes can sit quietly. And, I don't care what you do on subjects not related to the hoof/hoof care. But you(the collective) really do need to sit on your hands more often. Now, you need to, rhetorically, ask me, if as a result of the dilettantes keeping their mouths shut, these forums ceased to exist, my reply would be 'no me importa."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
                                  I disagree. I am a non-farrier, but not an idiot. If I don't "comment" or discuss issues with my farrier, how will anything get solved?
                                  And, anyways, who made you emperor of all farrier issues to decide who should comment or not?
                                  Its one thing to discuss issues with your farrier, its a far different thing to come up on a public forum and "shoot from the lip(sic)" . A quick perusal of most any hoof/lameness related thread by anyone who actually knows what they are talking about, is sufficient 'evidence' to support my position. Worst of all, generally speaking, its a nameless few who do the most damage by giving bad advice, misinformation and other assorted piles of mushroom fertilizer.
                                  Last edited by Rick Burten; Mar. 25, 2013, 11:42 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
                                    I don't know Rick Burten or Tom Bloomer, however, I DO recognize this vet/farrier's expertise and authority in the . . .
                                    Rick and I also recognize Dr. Rick Redden as a fellow Guild Registered Journeyman Farrier. He is the only veterinarian to earn that designation and as such he commands respect and is celebrated as a skilled expert in both professions. He is remarkably capable in the forge. There's a standing joke among farriers - that we all admire Dr. Redden, though none to the extent he admires himself.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      That's a good one, Tom!

                                      But, hey: For reals ~ If you've got, flaunt it, right?

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
                                        That's a good one, Tom!

                                        But, hey: For reals ~ If you've got, flaunt it, right?
                                        As a clinician, Dr. Redden puts on quite a show.

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