Thought 4the day: Doing whats best for your friend. This can be anything from adjusting a rug to tweaking their feed to changing or flocking a saddle. Our friends need so much care and keeping an eye on so that rugs don't rub, saddles don't pinch and bridles don't cause sores if the bit is too small. When your checking without realising its second nature and you always have in the back of your min...d how and what your friend needs. But then flip that coin you have the inexperianced owners who believe they are doing all that is right and sometimes things just don't fit but unfortuately they cannot see it thats where perhaps for the horses sake you can step up and in a nice way perhaps guide them. Some will except all that help offered a few may not but isn't it worth a try to help the horse out? Have you experianed this and if so what was the reception like?
Fact4 the day: The hoof mechanism
Bare hooves imprints on the snow. Left, a front print, right, a hind print; note the different shape and contact area with the ground
The horse hoof is not at all a rigid structure. It is elastic and flexible. Just squeezing the heels by hand will demonstrate that. When loaded, the hoof physiologically changes its shape. In part, this is a result of solar conca...vity, which has a variable depth, in the region of 1–1.5 cm. In part, it is a result of the arched shape of the lateral lower profile of the walls and sole, so that when an unloaded hoof touches a firm ground surface, there is only contact at toe and heels (active contact). A loaded hoof has a much greater area of ground contact (passive contact), covering the lower wall edge, most of the sole, bars and frog. Active contact areas can be seen as slightly protruding spots in the walls and in the callused sole.
The shape changes in a loaded hoof are complex. The plantar arch flattens, the solar concavity decreases in depth and heels spread. The hoof diameter increases to a 'dilated' configuration and P3 drops marginally into the hoof capsule. There is some recent evidence that a depression takes place in this phase, with blood pooling ('diastolic phase') mainly into the wall corium. When unloaded, the hoof restores its 'contracted' configuration, the pressure rises and the blood is squeezed out ('systolic phase'). There is a secondary pumping action, with the flexion of the foot, as it is raised.
The hoof mechanism ensures an effective blood circulation into the hoof, and it aids general circulation, too.
Quote 4the day: In the quiet light of the stable, you hear a muffled snort, a stamp of a hoof, a friendly nicker. Gentle eyes inquire “How are you old friend?” and suddenly, all your troubles fade away.