Belgian Horse Hoof Reconstruction
A few weeks ago I got called in to do a 19.2 Belgian horse that has a few chronic problems. He’s got a some ringbone and is recovering from what is suspected to be a mechanically created case of Laminitis for well over a year now. When I first met him he had super thin soles was barely able to walk and his previous owners had been contemplating putting him down. A protective shoeing package was applied and his current owners claim it saved his life. Sometime later he’s had on and off problems but has regained a very good amount of sole depth, yet his dorsal hoof wall is still distorted. Most recently he had gone over his shoeing schedule and pulled a shoe. By the time I got to him a lot of hoof wall was missing and his toe had been distorted quite a bit. It was a mess.He was standing completely on his sole and was a clearly sore. The goal was to get his foot off the ground, get a shoe on his foot without causing sole pressure and make him comfortable.
The hoof was trimmed to bring it as close to balanced as it could practically get. Any loose hoof material was removed and the excess toe was removed.
After trimming the hoof, 1/2 inch foam was used to lift his sole off the ground during hoof reconstruction.
First he was made to bear weight on the piece of foam. Leaving an impression of his sole in the foam.
Its clear where he is bearing weight. The outline was used to cut the foam out to cover only his sole. That foam piece was then temporarily glued to the bottom of his foot.His foot was then placed on a piece of non stick plastic and vettec superfast was applied to rebuild the hoofwall under his foot where it was missing so the sensitive areas of his foot could be off the ground. The repair was rasped to shape and the shoe was shaped and applied to the foot. Regular head 9′s were used and were able to be clinched into solid hoof wall.
While this is a far cry from a fantastic looking shoeing job, the horse has responded very well to it. He is currently comfortable wearing this package while being used in a driving course at Umass.