Whole Horse Hoof Care

DEP Equine Podiatry



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October 2020 - Somerset - Trim 2 & Stage 2 Exam - Day 5 - AKA Exam Day

After a fantastic 4 days for the Trim 2 module I am extremely pleased to announce that I passed my stage 2 exam today, meaning that I am now cleared for trimming non pathological cases.
Thank you to Sally Bell (Dare to go Bare rehabilitation and barefoot livery) for providing the stunning Oly as my willing 'assistant'.

October 2020 - Somerset - Trim 2 & Stage 2 Exam - Day 4

We began the day at the Barton Inn again to learn more about the specifics of trimming donkeys and mules as our destination today has 2 donkeys, Ernie and Benny and Penny the mule.
Little Benny (the chocolate donkey) has had a very tough background of abuse and felt a little unsure of all the activity and so we only worked with Ernie but stayed close by his friend. Ernie had lovely feet and a good example to see the differences to a horses hoof.
Mules hooves also differ to horses but it can vary anywhere between predominantly donkey to predominantly horse. Penny's hooves were quite a good 50/50 split with the heels and frog of a donkey but the sole and wall more like a horse. She's a very quick, smart girl and it was especially important to make friends with her (as it is with any donkey or mule) before starting any trimming.
We also practiced more gait analysis, usability scoring and mock consultations in preparation for our exam tomorrow

October 2020 - Somerset - Trim 2 & Stage 2 Exam - Day 3

Day three started out learning about how the mentored case studies work.
Once we pass the stage 2 exam we will need to complete four standard case studies (and later, 4 pathologies but thats a little later in the course).
These case studies will need to be worked on for a 6 mth period and our mentors will be there to support us throughout plus will attend with us on the first and last visits as a minimum requirement.
We drove back to the yard we were at yesterday and once again met by security (aka cat).
The horses today ranged from the tiniest minis through a mother and daughter and a big old feathered cob. We had a few challenges which tested our handling and distraction techniques as the mother was anxious when her daughter moved out of sight and the old feathered cob had previously had feather mites and was sensitive around his fetlocks because of this.
We finished the day with an 18mth old mini shetland who had some fancy ideas on the best way to reach his front feet for trimming.

October 2020 - Somerset - Trim 2 & Stage 2 Exam - Day 2

We started day two with detailed information on how the Stage 2 exam will actually work.
There will be 3 times slots throughout the day and 3 horses with examiners for each so we decided between us all that it made sense for those that have furthest to travel go first as we will all be able to make our way home once its done.
As I live relatively close compared to other students, I have the latest slot at 2.30pm, along with Jenni as we're travelling together.
The exam follows the format of a full consultation including a discussion with the handler on the history and current regime of the horse (including diet, exercise and environment), pre & post assessments and gait analysis, the trim and recommendations to the owner.
We then drove back to Denise's yard to finish the hinds on those we had started yesterday, although this morning we switched horses so I was now working on Major, a beautifully marked coloured with a dislike for drips of rain on his back (I can't say I blame him) and a love for the ladies
He was a very good lad to be trimmed and Josie and I worked together to keep his attention from the ladies and achieve a nice pair of trimmed hinds.
After lunch Vic, Ettie, Jenni and myself made our way with Denise to one of her Clients yards who had very generously agreed we could work on the horses and ponies there, under the mindful eye of the yard cats and dog lol.
Jenni and I were paired up to work with Squiffy, who was a nervous lad having been feral for a large portion of his life and so called because of his 'Squiffy' right hind.
We maintained a calm approach with him throughout and a slightly modified approach to trimming his right hind to ensure he stayed comfortable so that by the time we had finished, he too had a nice set of freshly trimmed feet.
Tomorrow we will all be spending the entire day here so should hopefully start to get a good routine and rhythm going and continue to build confidence

October 2020 - Somerset - Trim 2 & Stage 2 Exam - Day 1

We arrived in Barton St David and the cute and quirky Barton Inn on Wednesday morning, ready to start Trim 2 which will finish on Sunday with our stage 2 exam and clearance to start our std case studies.
The day began with a recap of the stages of the trim and practice trimming on cadavers. As is often the way with cadaver legs, its very hard to find straight forward, non pathological feet, which mine demonstrated nicely with excessive flare and atrophied frog.
After this, we all moved on to Denise Powell's yard, 5 minutes down the road to practice farrier holds. Denise had a mix of horses for us, including the delightful little Paddington. Needless to say you cannot put a mini shetland into a full farrier hold - it would be verging on rugby tackling the poor things
After lunch we made a start on actually trimming live horses (other than our own) for the first time. I was paired with Naomi and our horse was Heidi - a rescue pony who suffers with sweet itch, which was very appropriate as we both have sweet itch ponies at home.
We took it in turn to trim a front whilst the other acted as handler, either standing by or holding as needed.
Once we had all trimmed the fronts all round (we are coming back here tomorrow to do their hinds), we watched them walking and where appropriate, trotting up to do some gait analysis. Thankfully all horses were still just as they were prior to us trimming them with no changes to gait, so I think that must count as a successful first day

September 2020 - Shadowing Yr2 Day 2 - Debs Crosoer

Hot on the heels of my first yr2 shadowing day, today I'm out with Debs.

One of my fellow students, Charlene is also coming out shadowing today, plus I know Debs from a few years back as she was the first EP to trim my own two ponies when I initially decided to go back to using an Equine Podiatrist, so it should prove to be a fun and informative day.

We saw 6 horses today, from an 18mth youngster still learning her balance and her arthritic companion, whos timely move from a boggy pasture to a more suitable environment was evident to see from the strong event line, to a lovely Connie who was recovering from laminitis and currently on a three week trim cycle.

Oh and the cutest little grey cat.

September 2020 - Shadowing Yr2 Day 1 - Jayne Hunt

Having completed my first two shadowing days in yr1, I now have an additional four to book if for yr2 and today I went out again with our tutor, Jayne Hunt.

We had a busy day, visiting five for routine trimming and then back to Jaynes yard to take a look at the couple of laminitics Jayne had been looking after on my previous visit. It was great to see that both had improved enormously and no longer required padding for support and comfort but were happily moving about quite readily.

And of course, I couldn't leave without saying hello to the delightful Moonin and a quick trip to Wadswick Country Store.

May 2020 - Trim 1 Assignment

In all the excitement of covid lockdown and finally being able to get going again with the course I've noticed that I hadn't done a post on my Trim1 Assignment.

I found this one quite challenging as we had to compare various other trimming methods and the literature on some is definitely not so easy to follow as the teaching we are receiving from EPT but I'm pleased to say I passed (after revisiting a couple of questions).

September 2020 - Anglesey - Laminitis - Day 2-3

Day 2 of the laminitis module saw us once again visiting Richards yard and a demonstration on how to apply a trim to a horse who has previously had laminitis and is currently growing out the damage caused at that time. This felt familiar as the same landmarks were used as I've seen applied for my little Teddy ponies trim.

Following this, we spent an hour or so out in the paddocks with Richards wife Clare, recognising key grasses and plants which are commonly found in our pastures. Clare also presented on grassland management, including the best way to manage pastures and the differences between old natural pasture and the modern requirement in farming for high yield pasture such as rye grass.

On our last day we discussed various causes and laminitis models which not only delved into those causes we commonly associate with laminitis such as carbohydrate overload, insulin resistance and fructans, but also lesser known models such as vasoconstriction/dilation, AVA shunt, oedema and enzymatic mmp activation.

There are certainly common predisposing factors which are often seen or noted with laminitis but its clear that laminitis is not just a single condition and an open mind is needed for each and every case.

September 2020 - Anglesey - Laminitis - Day 1

I've been looking forward to the laminitis module as I have a little lami prone pony myself and have always known that his trim had to differ slightly to Sallys and now I was going to start understand why in more detail (the EP I had been using has always been great for explaining things as she went but there's so much more to learn which could never be covered in an hours appointment).

We started the day with a definition of Laminitis- inflammation of the laminar corium. This in itself makes it sound like it should be so simple to understand, diagnose and treat and yet it is amongst the most complex conditions that a horse can develop.

To start with there's the developmental stage, followed by acute and chronic cases. With a chronic case, there are always signs or evidence of previous (sometimes very small) acute attacks, whether these are obviously visible, within the horses history or both. The chronic cases can sometimes be mistaken for the horse being lazy or a bit naughty, always pulling to the grass or reluctant to pick up feet.

We also learnt to recognise the signs of both acute and chronic rotation and sinker. All laminitis attacks must be diagnosed by a vet but as an Equine Podiatrist we can help provide immediate support and comfort by way of boots and pads and during discussions with the vet can agree on a treatment plan that includes ongoing management, feeding and trimming.

Finally today we also looked at the stance of a laminitic horse. Did you know that the classic position of front feet right out in front and rocked right back on the heels relieves pain from the toes of the front feet but if the horse is suffering laminitis in the hind feet, then the hind legs will be far forward and with chronic low grade laminitis in the hind feet, the signs may be much subtler, with just the appearance of being camped under behind.

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