Well, last week I discovered just how important the heels are - on a human. Due to an unfortunate accident with a little pony hoof, I had the back of my heel partially avulsed. Yeah, that's a BIG ow! While I can't make an analogy between the back of a human heel to the heel buttress on a horse's hoof, it got me to thinking, again, about the value of the horse's heels. In my own situation this meant that I can put no weight on the foot as with each step the wound would open further.
So, I am on crutches with strips to hold my heel together and wrapped firmly for stability.
Can't do that sort of stuff with a horse. They don't work too well on crutches.
Boots can help, of course, but does not 'fix' an issue that is caused with over-trimming of the heels.
However, thinking of the unfathomable amount of heels on horses that are trimmed away, all in the name of a 30* hairline or getting the frog of the hoof in contact with the ground, even with the best of intentions, I've been acutely reminded of the pain these horses must go through.
It is truly disheartening.
I spend alot of time researching and some of my research involves watching various videos on 'How to Trim a Horse's Hoof' or some such title. I am almost obsessional about keeping up with new 'findings' about the Equine Digit.
So I see alot.
This past week, with so much time on my hands due to being totally 'grounded', (and now, researching on a borrowed laptop or my phone because my PC bit the dust today) one video came to my attention that explains, in EXCELLENT terms, about the value of the horse's heels.
Please take the time to watch this video in its entirety. It contains invaluable information. Doesn't matter if you are a horse owner of a pasture companion or of an income-producing performance horse. This information is pertinent to ALL HORSES. A huge thank you to Linda Harris for this information!!!
After watching this please go take a look at YOUR horse's heels. If you have a horse that is 'ouchy' or downright lame, check out the heels. See what's there. If you find that your horse has less than what you feel, after watching this video, ample heel, go back to my blog post here: WHY THE HEELS ARE SO IMPORTANT
Can you clearly see and identify the heel buttress in this photo above after watching the video? Nice!
If, after watching the video and then reading the blog post, you have ANY questions or comments, please feel free to post in the comments below! Or, you may also contact me privately for an assessment of YOUR horses' hooves.
Featured image Pete Ramey.
Gwenyth Browning Jones Santagate is the best-selling author of 10 Secrets to Healthy Hooves as well as a noted author for various international equine publications includingThe Horses Hoof, Equine Wellness, Natural Horse Planet as well as a contributing author for the 2001 United States Federal Mounted Border Patrol Training Manual. For the last 37+ years, she has maintained healthy hooves with natural trimming on thousands of horses and specialized in pathological rehabilitation hoofcare for the last 18 years. She and her husband John keep a small herd of their own equine in SW Florida and continue to offer consults for horses in need. For further information please click here: www.thepenzancehorse.com/2012/RESUME.pdf