Hoof rehab project horse, BIG

BIG is a 17.3 hand registered appaloosa quarter horse. BIG was originally trained as a dressage horse. He pulled a hamstring and could no longer compete. He then was used as a barrel racer until he foundered as result of hot shoeing burning through his hoof sole, which is how Mark came to know BIG. 

BIG's future was bleak as he was in constant pain due to foundering. His owner relinquished ownership to Mark hoping he could help give BIG a second chance. Mark told his family, "When you look into this big guy's eyes you can tell he hasn't given up yet, there's plenty of life left in him." Mark brought BIG home in September of 2012.  

Mark began a series of steps to rehab BIG's hooves including regular trimming, six months of hoof casting, and finally transitioning to barefoot in hoof boots. Hoof boots became problematic because they needed to be left on all the time in order to keep him sound. Hoof boots didn't allow for airflow, causing thrush. However, his sole continued to be sensitive and susceptible to getting abscesses when his hoof was left unprotected with hoof boots. As a solution to this problem, Mark decided to modify his hoof boots allowing for long term wear AND airflow.

In July 2013 Mark re-homed BIG. He found his forever home!  

BEFORE REHAB

BEFORE REHAB

FIRST TRIM

FIRST TRIM

CASTING HOOVES  

SUPPORTING HOOF BEARING WEIGHT WITH PADDING WHILE CASTING OPPOSITE HOOF  

WAITING FOR CASTING MATERIAL TO SET  

AFTER CASTING IS COMPLETE EPONA SHOES ARE GLUED ON 

MODIFIED HOOF BOOTS

MODIFIED HOOF BOOTS GLUED ON

Hoof rehab project horse, Silky

Silky is a 15 hand registered quarter horse mare. Silky was originally trained as a western pleasure horse. Silky sustained a traumatic shoulder injury, resulting in founder.  

Her owner relinquished ownership to Mark in June of 2012 hoping he could help give Silky a second chance. Mark surprised his wife and daughter who were out of town with Silky's arrival. Upon meeting Silky, Jenny & Abby fell in love with her sweet disposition and solid mind. Silky found her forever home!   

Upon casting Silky, she was sound to ride. Casting provided support for the hoof wall and sole. After five months of casting, Mark attempted to transition her to barefoot but found she was still too tender-footed and susceptible to getting abscesses. Hoof boots became problematic because they needed to be left on all the time in order to keep her sound. Hoof boots didn't allow for airflow, causing thrush. As a solution to this problem, Mark decided to modify her hoof boots allowing for long term wear AND airflow.  

MODIFYING HOOF BOOTS

MODIFIED BOOTS

TRIM WITH POWER TOOLS

LEFT HOOF 

APPLYING GLUE ON MODIFIED BOOT TO LEFT HOOF

RIGHT HOOF  

FINISHING TOUCHES- SMOOTHING EDGES OF MODIFIED BOOTS WITH RASP 

COMPLETED MODIFIED HOOF BOOT PROJECT