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JulietMacie
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2015 04:16 am
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closer to heel-first landing than before? compare to earlier photos I posted in the "toe-first landing thread"

Attachment: trot_left_mar2015.jpg (Downloaded 403 times)

Last edited on Mon Mar 23rd, 2015 04:24 am by JulietMacie

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2015 09:55 am
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Hey hey hey, Juliet -- time to go get the bottle of champagne, for you deserve congratulations.

I went over to the original thread and pulled your very first photo. Then I did something you should learn how to do -- scrupulously level the image. This means, you run the photo up into Photoshop and you rotate it, either clockwise or counterclockwise, until any structural vertical (i.e. a post or paneling or doorframe that would normally be installed plumb) is vertical. Use the pull-out guidelines to assure yourself of this, and/or right-click on the eyedropper tool and select the "measurement tool" alternative. If you use the measurement tool to run a line down the edge of whatever structural vertical, you can look above on the Photoshop screen and verify that the simultaneous angle measurement is 90 degrees.

Nobody should EVER look at an image of a horse, whether it's a conformation photo or a movement shot, without the photo first being leveled. Anything else is deceptive, and sometimes deliberately so (i.e. often in advertising photos, or I had a good laugh the other day while idly flipping through an issue of "California Horseman", a cheap magazine that runs non-paid articles by "experts" who prepare such articles just so that they can appear in print: this is how the well self-advertised guru builds a following, because lies repeated often enough become truths, as the saying goes. So, in this infomercial-article the "expert clinician" is praising one of his clinic attendees for having "good hands and a good seat," when in fact what the reader is seeing is a photo tilted more than 30 degrees, so that the fenceline behind the horse appears to go "uphill", and thus the horse appears to be "light on the forehand". When this photo is leveled, it becomes evident that the rider is hanging on the reins, her seat sucks, her legs are totally in the wrong place and not properly applied, the horse's nose is rolled under so that the face is far behind the vertical, and the animal is heavily on the forehand).

We want the truth a lot more than this "expert", so I've leveled both photos. The first photo, which you posted in July of 2013, needed to be rotated 1.6 degrees clockwise to bring it to level, i.e. the way you presented it makes your mare appear to move more "downhill" or more "on the forehand" than she actually did.

The second photo, which you posted today, needed to be rotated 6.1 degrees counterclockwise, in other words the way you presented it makes your mare appear to move more "uphill" or less "on the forehand" than she really does.

These corrections in our ability to perceive what is truly going on having been made, as I said, I have only praise:

1. Overall, the mare's muscling is much improved. She's lost the lumpy, "segmental" look to the neck muscles and she carries the base of the neck higher. There is more muscle on her back -- which as you now know, you get by NOT trying by any direct means to "develop" her back -- and there is better muscling on her butt, too, particularly gluteal and femoral biceps.

2. The mare's carriage is much better, meaning, she carries more arch throughout her spine, from poll to dock, than originally; the raising of the base of the neck is one part of this, but so is noticeably better loin-coiling and, more subtly, a higher back.

3. Now I would teach you more about how to "read" a horse's gait from a still photo. As became evident from our "what do you want for Christmas" thread, a lot of folks think that they would prefer video, but as a teacher, I would lead them straight to stills, from which they would get much more if indeed they only knew how. So, the first thing to realize is that the two photos are not comparable in terms of the phase of the trot that the photos catch the horse in. In the original photo, the mare's left hind and right fore are grounded, with the other diagonal in flight; today's photo catches her in suspension phase, with no foot in contact with the ground. It is the very last instant of suspension, a mere flicker away from left hind and right fore grounding, but they have not grounded. This is important.

Having realized this much, we can then safely make comparisons because we will know what we are comparing.

Notice that in the original photo, the grounded feet are not equally grounded: while right fore is planted good and heavy, the heels of left hind have already begun to lift up. What this tells you is that the horse is bearing more weight upon its forelimb than upon its hindlimb, and because of this, breakover of the right fore will be later than breakover of left hind. This in turn will mean that while the mare is still standing on its right forelimb, both hind feet will be in the air. This is the very definition of "on the forehand".

In today's photo, we look at left fore and right hind and see that the forelimb has actually broken over BEFORE the hind limb. Yay!!

In fact, breakover of the forefoot is so early that the mare actually is not moving crooked. She does not, in other words, have to offset her hindquarter to either left or right in order to avoid the hind foot in flight coming forward and stepping on the heels of the left fore -- because, of course, left fore has broken over long before the left hind will arrive. And yet you also notice that the mare is moving MORE vigorously in today's photo than in the one from two years ago! If "impulsion" ever meant anything -- THIS is what it means; this is a picture of it.

Now I would also direct your attention to the right hind foot in today's photo as contrasted with the left (contacting) hind foot in the original photo. In the original, notice how far behind the body the contacting hind limb has come, and yet it has not broken over. This is what it means for a horse to "move out behind itself" or "not 'use' itself." In today's photo, the right hindlimb has broken over BEFORE it passed under the arch in the dock of the tail.

This has one meaning, and one only: your mare has learned that what you want her to do, and what you're setting her up to do every time you work with her, is that whenever it comes time for her to plant a particular hind foot, she is to well and truly PLANT it and push DOWN NOT BACK.

Further: In the original photo, the mare is pushing back not only with the contacting hindlimb, but even more so with the contacting forelimb -- this must be so, since there is more weight upon the forelimb as we already saw; and where there is greater weight, there is always, in the same proportion, greater effort. In today's photo, the mare has borne comparatively much less weight upon the forelimb than upon the hindlimb, and we can tell this even though the time for her to be standing on those two limbs has already passed, so that she is in suspension phase.

4. As a result of all of the above, the mare's expression is much better: more attentive, more workmanlike, more relaxed, and I would say -- happier or more content. You might say "more comfortable."

Now, Juliet, all this good progress is the result of two things: your consult with your vet and farrier, in quest of speeding up the breakover; but breakover is equally affected by the manner in which you ride the horse. No longer do we have the woman who rides like I showed you by making a tracing of your original under-saddle shot: you're learning how to coordinate your hands and legs, what the flaws in your seat and balance were, and also learning more about what the true goals of High School training actually are. They especially have nothing to do with "going more forward." Happily today's photo shows that your mare is no longer going nearly as much "forward" as in the original photo! She has instead begun to learn to go "UP"; to place her contacting hind foot under the haunch rather than behind it, and to push DOWN NOT BACK. Meanwhile, your better balance, the fact that you no longer tilt forward from the waist, that you ride with your hands at the level of your navel, that you are aware that your hands are SEPARATE and that each hand has a different job than the other one at all moments -- this is what teaches the mare to raise the base of the neck.

You will remember that the day you came out to ride Ollie we had a little talk in the car about what sort of a horse your mare is, in terms of conformation, and I said "there is nothing to be said about her", by which I meant, neither bad nor good. But now we are beginning to see where you, Juliet, might have the ability to make her beautiful. Then there WILL be something to be said about her; for all horses have the potential to be made more beautiful, but only by good riding and good management.

Keep us posted, for there is still much to do: but you are well on the road, and greatly do I wish that there were more students like you, who can stand having the facts told to them, who endeavor to obey directions, who go to see Buck and/or Harry when I tell 'em to, and who will hang in there in the belief that it WILL all work out, for the better if not indeed for the best. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

 

Attachment: Juliet Macie Mare Progress 2013 to 2015.jpg (Downloaded 396 times)

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2015 05:21 pm
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Hi Dr. Deb!

pop! glug, glug. clink! here's to you! This never could have happened without your knowledge, generosity and patience, for which I'm extremely grateful. I know Macie and I just setting out, but it feels pretty great to be confident we're on the right path!

I wanted to upload another hoof pic that show's her foot cleaned by the snow so the red line is more visible.

thanks again!
Juliet

Attachment: right_fore_mar2015.jpg (Downloaded 391 times)

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Tue Mar 24th, 2015 02:29 am
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Hi Juliet
The subtle changes you have observed in Macie after only 3 weeks of diet change is precisely what most owners initially report, so I think we can take this as a positive indication that Macie is benefitting from her new diet.

As we discussed previously, the redness in the white line results from damage to the lamina, and was quite extensive. This should progressively disappear over several months, most likely shrinking in from the quarters towards the toe before finally disappearing altogether. It will be important to remain vigilant about maintaining her new diet to ensure there is no new lamina stress, and for your farrier to continue keeping the heels back as far as possible.

Best wishes - Pauline

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Tue Mar 24th, 2015 10:22 pm
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Thank you Pauline, for all your help. I'll stay the course and look forward to the disappearance of the red line!
--Juliet

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Mar 25th, 2015 06:57 am
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....and by the way, anyone else reading here would be welcome to ask a question about the photo analysis/analysis of Juliet's horse's trot presented above. In particular, I want you all to be able to see that, while the extended forelimb of the horse is in approximately the same position in both photos -- the hind limbs are in VERY different positions. I want you to understand why this is, or what goes into creating the change. If you do not quite see this....please go right ahead and start a new thread with that query as the thread title.

The ability to correctly analyze still photos is the whole basis for being able to correctly analyze either video footage or film footage! -- Dr. Deb

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Sun Apr 5th, 2015 12:30 am
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Hello Pauline and Dr Deb,
the farrier came today to trim (4 weeks from last trim) and here are pics. Her feet look somewhat better to me in terms of their shape: in her fore feet, the heels seem to be widening a little and are less under-run and the farrier has less to do to bring them back, also the sulcuses are less deep. However the dreaded red line is now in her back feet as well! On a brighter note, the red line in her fore feet seems to less intense and shrinking a little. Would you agree? Why would the line show up in her hind feet now for the first time?

oi,
Juliet

Attachment: 4Apr15_all.jpg (Downloaded 287 times)

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Tue Apr 7th, 2015 03:44 am
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Hi Juliet
If you look closely at the photos of 2 February, especially the right hind, I think you will see the tiniest specks of red in the white line.

Damage to the laminar connection from metabolic causes, eg. chronic intake of excess dietary sugars/starches, tends to affect the entire laminar surface as the problem is at a basic cellular level. The resulting blood and exudate seen in the white line is therefore seeping down from an extensive area, possibly from all around the coronet right down to the lower edge of the coffin bone, and will be visible in the white line almost the whole way around.

In contrast, simple laminar tearing from the mechanical leverage of a long toe may only affect the lower regions of the toe laminar surface, so the area of damage is much smaller with much less volume of blood and exudate seeping down to the visible white line. There may only be an inch or two of 'red' at the toe.

If the metabolic challenge is mild and the horse has basically good, strong feet (like Macie), the damage is minimised as there is sufficient substance in the back-of-the-foot, i.e. thick digital cushion and strong, wide lateral cartilages, and thick, strong sole, to give support to the coffin bone - the bone cannot rotate so lamellar tearing is minimal. The horse may be only mildly footsore and/or short-striding, or not lame at all. The same mild metabolic challenge in a weak-footed horse may result in severe laminitis or even full founder with downwards rotation of the bone and massive tearing of the lamina.

As most horses are carrying the greater proportion of their weight on their front feet for most of each day, the front feet are more likely to show evidence of lamellar damage than the back feet. The volume of blood seepage may be greater in the front feet, and therefore more visible and seen earlier than in the back feet. I suspect that the new emergence of visible blood in Macie's back feet is simply that a smaller volume of blood has been slowly seeping down from wherever the original damage took place and is therefore less visible and less extensive. It's likely the red lines on Macie's back feet will disappear before those on her front feet, but will still take many months to eliminate totally.

Provided the primary cause of the damage has been removed, the new lamellar growth will be tightly connected. In another month or so you may see a slightly straighter profile to the hoof wall emerging from below the coronet.

Pauline

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Tue Apr 7th, 2015 10:49 pm
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Hello Pauline,
thank you for this clear and thorough explanation. You've cleared up a couple of questions that have been confusing me for awhile about how to interpret the visible blood in her feet. Armed with this more detailed knowledge, I will patiently wait and watch and continue enjoying the toasty aroma of copra mixed with warm water!

cheers! Juliet

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Wed Apr 15th, 2015 11:07 pm
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Hello Pauline,

I'm writing to try and clarify the amount of Chromium Yeast to feed. I'm confused by the fact that different Chromium Yeast products contain varying amounts of elemental chromium. The product I'm using is by HorseTech and there are no feeding instructions or suggested amounts on the packaging. I just called and spoke to a knowledgeable man from that company and he explained that this product contains 2mg of elemental chromium per 1g of chromium yeast complex (or in other words its potency is 0.2%).

On the Gravel Proof Hoof website you say:

Chromium could potentially be toxic if overdosed so 5 grams (1 tsp) of chromium yeast is considered to be maximum dosage per day for a 550kg horse. Reduce this amount if chromium is included in any vitamin/mineral mix that is also being fed. As an approximate guide, note that one level 5ml teaspoon holds 4g of chromium yeast. One rounded 5ml teaspoon holds 6g of chromium yeast.

So given the potency of HorseTech's product, 4 grams of Chromium Yeast contains 8 mg of elemental chromium. Is this the amount you'd recommend? The man from HorseTech thought that sounded high and said an amount in the range of .6 to 1.6mg of chromium sounded more appropriate.

thanks for your help with this!
Juliet

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Thu Apr 16th, 2015 10:09 am
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Good question, Juliet, as the elemental chromium content of chromium yeast will vary with manufacturer. The supplier of the product I use consulted an equine nutritionist here in Australia to determine appropriate feeding rates, and found the industry standard is for a maximum of 5mg of elemental chromium per day for a 550kg (1210lb) horse, from all sources. My own horses have received this amount consistently since early 2009.

The yeast I use has an elemental chromium content of 1 milligram per 1 gram of yeast, hence the recommendation for a maximum of 5 grams of chromium yeast. If your source has 2mg/g then you will need to feed 2.5 grams of yeast per day, or 5 grams on alternate days if that is easier to measure. If Macie weighs less than 1210lbs then you will need to factor in that calculation.

Pauline

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Thu Apr 16th, 2015 05:41 pm
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Thanks Pauline. I'm relieved to hear I've been feeding a reasonable amount--4 mg per day (she's about 1000 lbs.)
cheers--Juliet

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2015 08:41 pm
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Hello Pauline and Dr. Deb,

here’s a photo from a few days ago and I’d say things are progressing just as you predicted! I’m happy to see that the red line in the rear hoofs has cleared and it’s much reduced in the front hoofs. I’m pleased and grateful.

In a few weeks I’m going to move Macie from the barn she’s been boarded at for the past few years back to my home. This means there’s going to be a significant increase in her access to grass and I’m looking for some guidance about this change to her diet. Since I haven’t had any horses at home for the past three years, even the dry paddock has grown up in grass. To try and prepare for this transition, I’ve been letting her hand graze to try and acclimate her to grass. However once she’s back home at the end of this month, it’ll be difficult to control her grazing access at least until the dry paddock is barren again. When she used to live here the grass was never a problem and her feet were great. What do you advise?

thank you, Juliet

Attachment: 1May2015_allfeet.jpg (Downloaded 147 times)

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Sun May 10th, 2015 10:28 am
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Hi Juliet
Good progress!

You are right to be concerned about the impending change to her diet that will be unavoidable; having come this far forward we really don't want to see her deteriorating. There is no guarantee that the extra grass will not adversely affect her, even though she was fine previously. She is 3 years older so her metabolism may have changed, and the sugar content of the grass may also have changed in that time.

It's a good idea to increase her current grazing time as much as you can in a controlled way; I would suggest you also increase the amount of magnesium you give her, monitoring her manure for signs of any undue softening that could indicate excess magnesium intake.

If Macie will tolerate it, you could use a grazing muzzle for part of the day when she arrives back home with you - maybe for the first few weeks, then slowly reducing. If this stresses her, then don't do it as the stress will cause her liver to release glucose so she won't be any better off than if consuming grass sugar.

Could you organise the move so that you are home with her for the first few days? I'm thinking that it might help if you could give her a tiny feed (just a handful of hay pellets or whatever) with some extra magnesium, every couple of hours through the day. That way her total intake of magnesium for the day will be higher than if just split over the usual one or two feeds, but will be easier for her gut to tolerate. This may give her some extra protection while she is adjusting to her new surroundings. If that's not possible due to work commitments etc, then whatever you can manage will still be better than nothing, e.g. two small feeds in the early morning, more small feeds & magnesium through the evening.

Hope all goes well.

Pauline

DarlingLil
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 Posted: Mon May 11th, 2015 12:52 am
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Maybe a track pasture? I'm about to do one myself.


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