Tag Archives: horse podiatry

Simply horses find out about farriery in Italy

How the Italians do it!

As an Italian vet working in the UK there are many similarities with how farriery works.  In Italy a farrier is called a Maniscalco (which is derived from the words ‘mare’ as in horse and ‘shall’ meaning duty/responsibility).  Incidentially, the English word ‘marshal’ derives from the German words ‘marah’ (horse) and schalh (servant) – meaning who is responsible for taking care of horses.

In Italy farriers can train at local level or train via military farrier colleges which are now open to the public rather than just military.  It takes 2-3 years of both theory and practical work (apprenticeship) before an Italian farrier is qualified to European standards.    However, there are other shorter courses for farriers in Italy but these do not give qualifications for working outside Italy.  Unfortunately, there are also people who call themselves farriers, who have learnt the ‘skills’ from their fathers, ie family businesses carried down.  Whilst they may have experience they have no recognised qualification.

 

Recently, in Italy barefoot farriery has become popular resulting in the craft of farriery gaining new impetus.  Obviously, barefoot farriery requires learning new techniques and farriers have had to adapt and learn these new techniques.

 

 


As in the UK Italian farriers work closely with owners (who know the type of work the horse is required to do) and vets (who, for example, will ensure the appropriate measures are undertaken when a horse has joint problems, etc).

 

At equestrian sporting events in Italy a farrier would be present, along with vets and first aid personnel for people.

As Any Lady Will Say The Holy Grail Of Equine Podiatry, GOOD HEELS

The evidence suggests that the principle function of the rear part of the foot (the heels) is to dissipate energy during the impact phase of the stride. It would be hard to single out one structure but we know the soft tissue structures, interposed articulations and the digital venous plexuses play a major role in absorbing the energy of impact. The major reason for maintaining healthy heels in the foot.

NO heels no effective foot, no foot no horse!!!!

An Ideal foot

Equine Podiatry At SimplyHorses Vet Clinic

Welcome to our blog, this is the first of a number of posts regarding the setting up of our new Hoof Maintenance Program at SimplyHorses. Below is an image of the ideal foot 😉 how does your horse compare.

Go on take a look, carefully from the side and with the cannon supported in your hand, interesting!

Remember no foot no horse 😉

A Perfect Hoof ? Simplyhorses vet clinic golden rules

Horse Podiatry: Where Do we start on a Hoof Care Program.

One of the most common questions I get asked by both farriers and clients at the Podiatry Clinic is how can I improve my horses feet. So I offer some basic guidelines below and I will expand on this over time. This whole process has been made easier with the purchase and use of mobile digital x-ray equipment.
Remember the most important factor in this is a good relationship between the vet and farrier. austin cloud The farrier must be fully involved and committed remember the breakfast of bacon and eggs, the chicken was involved but the pig was committed 😉
It is difficult to give general guidelines as each horse is different but when I asses any horse these basics go through my mind:

I try to  move the start of break over back to approximately under the tip of P3 or ideally in practice @ 6 mm in front; the point here is to make it easier for P3 to rotate around the end of P2; without radiographs to go by, in the average foot I halve the distance between the apex of the frog and outer surface of the hoof wall at the toe or also go @ 1 to 2 cm in front of the point of the frog as a guide, and either start a gentle roll at that halfway point (barefoot horse) or choose and place the shoe so that the start of break over is located about there (shod horse), ideally using natural balance shoes. Again the devil is in the detail so be careful.

It is important to  trim/shoe so that the bulk of the load is borne on the rear two-thirds of the foot (generally, from the apex of the frog back, this is found by trimming carefully at the point of the frog so you get the true apex);  this involves trimming so that the bearing surface extends as far back under the heel bulbs as is possible with that foot on that day (“to the widest part of the frog” is a good general guide, although it’s not always possible to get there in one trimming, as each horses foot differs)

In my hands accurate lateral radiographs are very useful in these cases and in an ideal world I would x-ray a clients horse front feet at lease once per year to monitor, more if we have any problems. However the x-rays must be accurate and taken carefully.  You do not shoe the radio-graphs you shoe the horse, but they can be very useful guidance aids for your foot care professionals.

I also include a general assessment of the horse’s posture and movement patterns, his occupation, his fitness programme, his past history and his owner’s expectations for him / her , etc.

Over time (usually just a couple of months if it’s done correctly), these feet start to develop more robust heels and generally better digital mechanics. However this is an ongoing process.

Paul

The picture below shows the new digital processor at the Podiatry Clinic enabling high quality radiographs to be obtained at the clients stables.

Computed Equine Radiography

Computed Equine Radiography