Managing the Thoroughbred Foot as an Asset

Managing the Thoroughbred Foot as an Asset

Written & Presented by Declan Cronin at the BEVA Conference 2017

Owner Investment = Asset Management

Horse’s Performance = Athletic Career & Welfare

We set the bar high, aiming for the elimination of hoof pathologies and an increase in hoof function while competing at the highest levels of international racing.

Study

  • Structures of the hoof capsule and the internal foot
  • Their roles in shock absorption, dissipation and enhancing the spring mechanism
  • How tissues maybe compromised, leading to pathology

Top photo represents a healthy, well developed hoof. Bottom photo represents P3 decent, lack of digital cushion and negative palmar angle of P3.

Identify & Record

  • Hooves that are structurally strong and those that are structurally weak
  • Procedures that will predispose the hoof architecture to failure
  • Terrain that will predispose the hoof to sensitivity
  • Nutrition and the hoof

This is a 3D printed depiction of a health digital cushion.

Measure and Record

All changes performed to the hoof before and after prescription.

This system is used to record speed, stride length and recover in elite thoroughbred athletes.

Establish a management plan and scoring system (Debra Taylor) for further cross reference

Our management protocols are largely based on the real world application of clinical research with tried and tested methods.

Footprint of a healthy hoof

Our Target

This represents a healthy well developed hoof capsule of the performance equine athlete.

Trimming Interval

This represents a healthy hoof pastern axis.

Ability to Address Growth & Distortion

Grant Moon

Well balanced hoof capsule.

Little & often or to Prescription

Dr Simon Curtis

Healthy hoof growth of the working equine athlete with conservative trimming program.

Flat Tyre

The below video link represents poor development of the caudal shock absorbing structures in the equine hoof.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dsm35Sd9vxo?feature=oembed

It’s Only Flat At The Bottom!!!

The below video link represents the effects peripheral loading on the already compromised hoof capsule.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/iOUUFUZzg8c?feature=oembed

The Effects of the Mechanoreceptors on a Horse's Gait

There are 4 different sensory nerves in the hoof

  • Thermal
  • Pain
  • Touch
  • Vibration

This represents the different nerve receptors in the equine foot, focusing on the vibration receptors at the back of the hoof capsule.

Pacinian Corpuscles

  • The nerve that has most effect on a horse’s gait is the Pacinian Corpuscles
  • They are large onion shaped receptors, sensitive to vibrations in the Palmar Dermis

Pacinian corpuscles nerve.

  • The nerve that has most effect on a horse’s gait is the Pacinian Corpuscles
  • They are large onion shaped receptors, sensitive to vibrations in the Palmar Dermis

Full extension and heel strike.

The Central Program Generator or Cpg

  • The CPG produces the automatic or rhythmic oscillation of the movement-related cells in the spinal cord, enabling flexor and extensor muscles of the limbs and back to function in unison and reciprocally in a reflex manner.
  • The CPG of a horse performs this complicated switching process from flexor to extensor muscles with little effort and without conscious thought.
  • A reflex response that may not be influenced by the rider.

Effects of Compromised Hoof Architecture & Displacement of Internal Structures

This photo represents the lack of structure in the caudal part of the equine hoof.

Horses with low Palmar angles, compressed digital cushions and lateral cartilage will have greater vibration and deep pressure feedback via the Pacinian Corpuscles located in the bottom of the digital cushion to the CPG.

This x-ray represents a negative 5 palmar angle.

This means the CPG will automatically reduce the length of the stride to protect the limbs of the animal.

Architecture

This is the internal dissection of a under developed hoof capsule. Notice internal bruising and trauma of the soft tissue structure.

This is the internal dissection of a well developed hoof capsule. You can notice the depth internal structures.

Side by side view of the above capsules. The left side shows the well developed concavity in the sole arch.

Is there a correlation?

This picture represents the path of the digital nerve under the coffin bone, and over the sole arch.

FormaHoof creates integrity and support in the caudal part of the equine hoof.

This photo represents the lack of structure in the caudal part of the equine hoof. Represented by the low heel angle of 26 degrees, toe to heel bulb angle of 7 degrees, and dorsal hoof wall angle of 41 degrees.

This photo represents the application of FormaHoof and reforming the angles of a healthy hoof capsule. Represented by the high heel angle of 46 degrees, toe to heel bulb angle of 16 degrees, and dorsal hoof wall angle of 47 degrees.

This image represents the sole view of the entire reformed hoof capsule, including sole concavity, frog function and bulb protection of the equine hoof.

The effects of a whole full moulded shoe on dispersing weight over the surface of the foot, to reduce the direct concussion onto the Pacinian Corpuscles nerve area, allowing greater stride length.

Realigning the Palmar Angle of P3

This x-ray displays the realigned palmar angle of positive 6 and hoof pastern axis.

  • By raising the PA, the pressure is greatly reduced on the Pacinian Corpuscles located at the bottom of the digital cushion.
  • This should reduce the amount of vibration and pressure being transmitted to the CPG and allow the CPG to extend the stride.
  • The original nervous system work and its effect on the gait was done by Dr Robert Bowker, a human spine specialist in the US.

Biomechanics & Posture in Relationship to Hoof Conformation & Health

This image represents shortened stride length and raised head carriage of a working equine athlete prior to the application of FormaHoof.

Record and note the differences – posture, facial expressions, Sue Dyson.

This image represents lengthened stride and improved head carriage of a working equine athlete after to the application of FormaHoof. Photo taken 1 day after above image.

FormaHoof application applied on the 09/08/17. Training resumed on the 10/08/17 in FormaHoof.

Ongoing Study

  • Protocols that include trimming and mechanical application, management and exercise recommendations.
  • Teamwork – grooms, riders, vets, physiotherapists, farriers, owners.
  • Monitoring and Recording Evaluation.
  • Asset Management.

This represents a healthy well developed hoof capsule of the performance equine athlete.

Negative Plantar Angle in the Hind Feet

This image represents a common issue in the hind feet of equine athletes with low plantar angles.

Many Thorobreds suffer from negative plantar angle in their hind feet. Realignment of the negative angle is essential for the performance.

Realigning the plantar angles.

X-Rays

This x-ray represents a negative plantar angle.

Many Thorobreds suffer from negative plantar angle in their hind feet. Realignment of the negative angle is essential for the performance.

This x-ray displays post FormaHoof application of the hind foot to realign plantar angles from negative 9 to positive 6.

This is a healthy hoof capsule with well developed shock absorbing structures and sole depth.

This extract displays the attachments of both the flexor and extensor process in the equine leg.

A venogram of healthy blood flow in the equine foot.

A venogram of healthy blood flow in the equine foot.

Thank you for reading

For more information, please email [email protected]

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