This is Albin's left front hooves. Albin is an Icelandic pony and his owner didn't really believe in barefoot rehabilitation but when everything else failed it was the only hope left. The veterinary clinic couldn't do anything more and neither could the traditional farrier.

This picture series starts when I met Albin the first time. Albin foundered 11 months ago and was de shoed by a famous Swedish farrier two weeks before these first pictures were taken. All pictures are taken before trimming so what you see is how the hoof responded to the last trimming.
When the rehabilitation is ready you will see how far from natural this hoof really is.

When the above pictures were taken Albin couldn't get out of the box without great pain and difficulties.

Right after the first trim he walked across the stable and pushed at the gate to get out to his buddies who were on the outside.

The next couple of pictures are taken just before trim number 2 that took place 10 days later. The missing part of the front wall was removed by the earlier farrier.

A couple of days after the second trim Albin took his first race in the paddock, kicking and bucking.

The next couple of pictures are taken 19 days after trim number 2 and 29 days after trim number 1.
The blue line indicates the angle of the new growth.

Directly after trim number 3 (29 days after trim number 1) Albin and his owner went for a half hour fast walk on grass and asphalt.

These coming pictures are taken 22 days after the third trim. That is 51 days after my first trim.
Yes, it looks terrible but what you see on this picture is not important. It is only the "fender". The important stuff (the inside) is in much better shape than it was 52 days ago.

 

72 days have passed and Albin is walked and ridden regularly in the forest and in an arena. Now the Swedish magazine for Icelandic Ponies published an article about Albin's "remarkable" rehabilitation. Lots of Swedes still believe laminitis is incurable and will make the horse unrideable for the rest of its life.
To be completely honest, this is not remarkable at all. Just what usually happens when the horse owner dares to get the horse going again directly after the first real trim.
The difference between a real trim and a regular trim is about as great as the difference between day and night (or in this case life or death).

What you can see on this picture is how extremely wrong the hoof shape was when we started this little project. It looks like if the toe wall has been bent out but that is not the case. The only thing that has happend is that Albin has lowered his heels to get the coffin bone in its natural angle to the ground (which is the only interesting angle). What you can see at the topp of the toe wall is the hoof wall trying to find the angle of the coffin bone. The difference in angles between the topp part and the bottom part of the hoof wall is how much "coffin bone rotation" this hoof had on the first picture at the topp of this page.
Here you can see how the horse is gradually changing the angle of growth to shorten the toe and readjust the hoof wall back to the coffin bone.
I just had to place the 72 day picture next to the first picture for comparison.


Now 99 days have passed from the first trim and today we fitted boots on the front hooves to make stony gravel roads a possible choice for riding. Now it is time to really start rebuilding muscles.

This is clearly the picture of a working hoof.

 

Day number 126.
Now we can clearly see how the hoof will look when the hoof wall has been able to choose its own natural angle. Remember that the topp part of the hoof wall is the sound part and the lower part is history.

Still extremely deformed and under developed heelbulbs.

 

Not many "sound horses" has this well balanced hooves and still we are not ready here yet. The toes will be shorter when the new toe wall has reached the ground and the heels will hopefully be lower which togethet will bring the supporting survace further back to finally end up centered around the anathomical center of gravity (which is marked by the black line). I will discuss the details of "natural balance" and how you can see where the anathomical center of gravity is on our clinics so come and listen.
Please, take a good look at the bars and compare this last pictures with the ones higher up on the page. You can clearly see how they are getting shorter and shorter. They have now reached their natural length but they are still too high.

Day #144

The next three pictures are from day #168
These last three pictures were taken on day 204 and Albin was trimed by his owner for the first time a couple of days earlier.
This is what I call a happy ending. The horse is functionally recovered and the owner is trained to do the maintenance trimming. Over the next couple of months the hoof will take care of the last small details to get into complete balance. It looks like the toe is going to be a little shorter and the heels will probably lower them selves a little more now when the frog is free from thrush again. The owner will now do the maintenance trimming and I will check back in a couple of months, just before we leave the country.

I'm so happy and I wish Albin and his owner the best of luck and many fantastic rides in the forest.

Since the last pictures got kind of blurry I stop by Albins stable when I passed by yesterday (day 321).

Now trimmed by his owner Kristel Masseck.

I'm so proud.
Ove Lind
Swedish Hoof School Inc.
www.EasyHoofCare.com