LONG HEELS, BROKEN BACK HOOF/PASTERN AXIS
Jay is a 14.2hh showjumper who found himself in the sale ring at Beeston market. He was being sold as he had “gone sour” and refused to jump. In the before photos it is clear that the heels are very long, but this pony has not been neglected, we can tell that he is not overdue for shoeing as the clenches are not risen. He was shod like this on purpose. I suspect that the farrier was allowing the heels to get longer in an attempt to correct the broken back hoof/pastern axis. Look at the angle of growth just below the coronary band. If you continue this growth down it follows the pastern axis correctly.
Below I have superimposed a line following the correct angle of growth (pink line) and the approximate position of the pedal bone (blue outline). The long heels have tilted the pedal bone up so that the tip is pressing into the sole. This will cause pain, especially when landing from a jump.
The photos below were taken after 8 months of natural hoof care, before a maintenance trim. Note the improved hoof pastern axis, the smoothness of the hoof wall and the stronger, wider heels.
Jay had been jumping happily for several months when these photos were taken. He proved to be a perfect school master.