11/20/2008

Bars


The DOR has been reading about bars, no not the saloon kind, although is she was researching those she might be smiling more. She is reading about the bars on horse hooves-no there is nothing that you would want to drink found there.
There is a bit of disagreement in the horse world how long the bars on of hooves should be and if they are truly weight bearing.
James Welz says: I am very picky about trimming bars. When trimming bar, ONLY the bar should be touched. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to trim sole at the same time as they trim bar. Another mistake they make is to not touch the bars at all, with the idea that the bars will magically take care of themselves. If the walls need trimming, the bars probably need trimming, too. Bars are an extension of the wall—neither the walls nor the bars should bear too much weight. The same signs of peripheral loading that I can now readily recognize in weight-bearing hoof walls, are also becoming apparent in weight-bearing bars. The bar has a distinct function, which I believe is to limit excessive hoof mechanism, and in order to perform their function, they must be shaped properly. Bars should taper with the concavity of the hoof, and should bear weight only in the very rear portion. I trim the bars separately, fairly straight, and flat on top. I have had the best results in hoof health when the bars are trimmed to end at the mid-point of the frog. This corresponds with the location where the bar laminae end. The rear of the bar and heel form a weight bearing platform of support, or “heel purchase” area. I decided to encourage this after I observed that most wild horse hooves demonstrated this characteristic.
Another barefoot trimmer has this to say: A proper ‘Barefoot Trim’, modelled on the wild horse’s hoof, has distinctive characteristics:
~ short toe~ low heels (level with base of frog and base of heel bulbs)~ arch in the quarters~ frog is left thick, wide and weight bearing~ strong curved bars (non-weight bearing when horse is stationary)~ bevel (roll) at the base of the hoof wall (the famous ‘Mustang Roll’) that allows perfect break over at toe and prevents any impacting rocks from creating cracks~ good sole concavity, healthy solar vault~ no flares/ no toe pillars/ no cracks~ dense well connected white line~ thick tough sole callus at toe, protective sole.
So it appears the bars should bear weight when the horse is moving. When weight is put on the hoof the hoof expands and then weight is distributed across the bottom of the hoof. The bars need to be long enough to do this, but not so long that they are in contact with the ground when the horse is at rest. Pete Ramey says: What is "the right" bar length? As discussed at length in the previous article "One Foot For All Seasons?" it varies dramatically with terrain. The bars need enough relief (solar concavity or slope from the heels) that they can descend and the hoof can expand, but more importantly, they need to be in place to "bottom out" to provide vertical support at peak impact loads. On hard, flat terrain, a 1/4 inch taper from the heel buttress to the end of the bar might be perfect. On rocky terrain, much more taper or concavity may be necessary. On soft arena footing the same goals and support ratio may require a bar to be longer than the hoof walls. Severely foundered horses; particularly "sinkers" often love to have all or most of their weight carried by the bars..... I wish it were easier, but honestly listening to the hoof will take you to the right place.
This is a photo of one of Harley's front feet on the day the DOR got him.
Here is a picture of the same hoof after a year. It is better, but not good enough yet, he still has to grow a decent frog and expand his heels. The DOR thinks his bars are a bit too long, Harley has navicular and she thinks he needs to bear more weight on his heels and not be tempted to walk on his toes. She never wants one of us to end having hoof problems and to be able to help Harley get better.
My DOR wishes it was easier too, so much to figure out, so many opinions to muddle through...well it gives her something constructive to do with her "non-horsey" time.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

6 comments:

One Red Horse said...

OK Jack, Are your DOR and my mom eating from the same bucket? Cuz my mom is getting all crazy about bars too. Check this out on the horsecity.com hoof site
http://forums.horsecity.com/index.php?s=7aadff964b3bb1c634e1314c78b3e4cd&showtopic=47014641


Sheesh, she can't stop checking out my bars these days.

Red

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Boy that comment got the DOR busy. She is printing off reams of articles, sorry trees, and plans on doing more reading.

fernvalley01 said...

Hi,Jack
Trainwreck sent me over to see your blog. Looks good!!!
Love the article about hoof care, we always need to continue our horse care education.

Train Wreck said...

Ha ha! I was just comin over to tel you I sent Fernvalley over, and to go check her out! he he she beat me! She has an Appy too! a very pretty one I might add!

One Red Horse said...

Back Again,Mom hung out with me and that baby Lyra until 10:30.  LYRA got a new blanket and Mom is all, oh, poor skinny baby.  Bleeech.  But who walked Mom back across the pasture in the dark and waited for extra carrots?  Me.  THE RED HORSE!  So she just got another peek at Harley's hoofs.  Wonder about those frogs of his.  Mom has been working hard to get rid of my thrush.  Dang sneaky stuff.  I didn't want to weight me heels either until she treated me with White Lightening.  Not that is some good stuff, unless your name is thrush.

Shinade said...

Oh my Jack I am clueless to all of this.

But, it does sound like your DOR is taking good care of you.

And good for you for staying out of those saloons. Oh but a nice cold one sure is good every once in a while.

Of course my hubby and I don't visit saloons. But sometimes we sit out on our front porch and indulge just a wee bit in a couple of drinks before dinner.

Happy week end Jack and give your DOR hugs for me!!:-)

 

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