Saving “The Mighty” Quinn – Day 2

Day 2 – Oct 5, 2012

Quinn’s Hoof Assessment and First Trim

Follow along as Canadian Cowboy Country chronicles the long saga of the restorative hoof trimming on Quinn, a six-year-old gelding. All the hoof work done on this horse is by renowned “barefoot” trimmer and farrier, Lane Moore of Caroline, Alta.

Note: Radical restoration of the hoof angle should not be done in one or two sessions – especially if the restoration calls for LOWERING the heels. In Quinn’s case, his heels were left alone and the first trim began the balancing of his hoof; the exceptionally long toes were trimmed back and the hoof angle was adjusted (see photo) relieving the immense strain on his bones and joints.


X-ray of Quinn’s right front hoof. X-ray by Heidi Veterinary Services, Red Deer
X-ray by Heide Veterinary Services, Red Deer

X-ray of Quinn’s right front hoof:

Line 1 – At the top (coronet band) the exterior hoof wall is growing parallel to the coffin bone until the mid-point range.

Line 1a – Beginning at about Line 1a the hoof wall begins its distortion out into a long toe.

Line 2 – This line indicates approximately where the toe of the hoof should end. As you can see in the x-ray the toe is grossly extended.

Line 3 – The line indicates where the back of the heels should be. As you can see there is no support underneath the heels.


Quinn’s right front hoof – bottom. X-ray by Heide Veterinary Services, Red Deer, Alta.
X-ray by Heide Veterinary Services, Red Deer, Alta.

Quinn’s right front hoof – bottom. Just below the rough red outline you can see the divot missing from the toe of Quinn’s coffin bone. Once bone is gone it doesn’t regenerate unless you remove the pressure that caused the damage in the first place. A balanced trim must be maintained to prevent coffin bone rotation and continuing bone loss. What stands in Quinn’s favour of bone regeneration is his new hoof maintenance program and his young age — plus ongoing good nutrition and supplements.


Photo courtesy Marjorie Smith / www.barefoothorse.com
Photo courtesy Marjorie Smith / www.barefoothorse.com

This photo is of a forensic comparison of a divot missing from the toe of a coffin bone (left) and a normally developed coffin bone (right). Note; there are other issues with the damaged coffin bone as well; the sides of the hoof at the back (palmer) are almost straight. This hoof was distorted from improper shoeing which forced the hoof into this pinched, abnormal shape.


Quinn’s virtually non-existent frog (right front). Photo by Margie Moore
Photo by Margie Moore

Quinn’s virtually non-existent frog (right front).


For comparison; the healthy frog of Woody’s right front hoof. (Editor’s gelding.) Photo by Terri Mason
Photo by Terri Mason

For comparison; the healthy frog of Woody’s right front hoof. (Editor’s gelding.)


Quinn’s right front hoof after his first trim. Photo by Margie Moore
Photo by Margie Moore

Quinn’s right front hoof after his first trim. Notice the wave in his coronet band (immediately below the line of hair growth at the top of his hoof) and see how the growth rings on either side of the massive crack don’t “line up” – also an indication of the hoof’s laminae letting go.


Another angle of the same hoof. Photo by Margie Moore
Photo by Margie Moore

Another angle of the same hoof; notice the inconsistent growth rings. The red vertical lines indicate the old holes from the horseshoe nails. As you can tell from the nail holes, the excess hoof on the toe was trimmed, increasing the toe angle.


Quinn after his first trim.
Photo by Terri Mason

Quinn after his first trim. Both front hooves are cast and his back hooves are slathered up with pine tar, a topical application favoured by Lane Moore and many other farriers and veterinarians.

Next month: Removing Quinn’s cast; will there be progress or a setback?

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