I was asked to look at this 5 year old gelding as his owners dressage trainer was concerned about his hoof angles and the effect these were having on his movement. He had only been shod a few times. I assume that for his feet to deteriorate so quickly he was probably left far too long between shoeings. The photos on the left were taken on 28.8.10 before his shoes were removed. The photos on the right were taken 2 months later on 21.10.10.
Below left: I have highlighted the angle that the toe wall and heels are growing in. These angles are much too low and where affecting the way he stood and moved. The middle red line follows the horn tubules which were bending under the forces of deformation. The yellow line highlights the farriers efforts to control the problem by rasping the toe back (sometimes refered to as "dumping the toe"). This problem isn't caused by poor farriery, it is caused by the unnatural effects that shoes have on hooves. Below right: With the unnatural forces exerted by the shoe removed the heels have "sprung" back up.
Below: On this photo I have extended the new growth down to the ground. This growth is tightly attached to the pedal bone will give a further improvement.
His owner was delighted with the difference she felt riding him, commenting that he was back to the way he used to feel before he was shod.
I find it frustrating that this problem is so common; causes so many problems from mild to severe performance and ridden issues, temperament and personality changes, back problems, ligament damage; isn't recognised as the cause of these problems by vets and farriers; is so easy to resolve by removing the shoes and applying a natural trim.
If you would like to understand more about this particular hoof problem read my thoughts on it HERE.