On Tuesday, I went back to trim the Navicular and Splat feet which I trimmed back in June. Before starting to write this, I went back and found my blog entry for that day, and I realize I should have read it before going up to trim this time.
First of all, I would have read that the navicular horse had had a weird "flick" in the fetlock joint when walking, and therefore I would have seen that this time, he did not have this flicking action. I would have seen that last time, he stood with his forelegs parked out in front a bit - and this time he didn't. I would have read that, after the last trim, he noticeably avoided landing heel-first on his RF (the worst foot), whereas this time after the trim, he was landing either heel-first or at least flat-footed. It would have been nice to know that last time, pre-trim, the ratio of back to front of the hoof was worse than 20/80, and about 50-50 post-trim. Knowing that, this time, I would have bothered to actually measure the ratios - I know it was a lot better than 20/80 pre-trim.
The splat-footed horse was way better than last time. Again, if I'd remembered I had these extensive notes in my blog, I could've checked and reminded myself that last time the extreme flare started a couple of inches below the hairline, whereas this time there was straight growth to within about an inch of the ground. I would have remembered the interesting fact the there was a prominent sole callous growing all the way in a complete arch around the frog. This time, I noticed a bump of sole callous to one side of the frog in a couple of the feet. Other than that, there was a discernible, if still very shallow, concavity and nothing left of the arch callous, except these last couple of bumps. Post-trim, there was no flare left except at the sides.
I keep very minimal notes in a logbook after trimming, but I can see how valuable it would be to have more extensive notes - and with my poor handwriting, that's not going to happen in a logbook! I should probably keep some notes on the computer, as rummaging around in the blog to find where I put things is too haphazard.
My trimming friend is on a mission to have all her clients have their horses' hoofs trimmed every four weeks. She has got religion about this, and I know for some horses frequent trimming can make all the difference. But ain't nobody want to pay the hoof trimmer that often. These two horses both had significantly bad feet, and when I saw them this week, it had been almost four months since their last trim. Yet both of them had continued to improve without intervention. This is probably largely because they belong to a herd of six horses who roam 24/7 on 19 acres of varied terrain, including rock.
The other four horses (two of whom I trimmed last time, and two of whom I have never trimmed) seem to be getting by fine without any help from me or anyone.
And speaking of the other horses, this herd is very friendly. The owner is a nice combination of kind and disciplined. So the other horses crowd around while you're trimming and chew your hair and things, but you know there'll be no trouble, cos they're all well-behaved. They also like to empty the tool bucket. So I'm thinking I should bring a toy bucket with me. Of course they'd probably still prefer the tools. Just like a toddler who, no matter what fancy age-appropriate toys are on offer, still prefers to empty your handbag.