Equine Podiatry is a holistic approach to hoof health and care. An EP takes into account all the different factors that affect your horse's feet (such as diet, exercise, terrain, environment, biomechanics, and of course the trim) and manipulates these factors where necessary to help your horse to grow the best hoof possible.
The aim of an EP is to help you to help your horse grow hooves that are healthy enough to withstand any amount of exercise on any terrain. Where this is not possible, we can advise you on the use of hoof boots and will measure your horse's feet to help you find the right size.
Being an EP isn't just about healthy hooves sadly. Very often we come across some very poorly feet. Over the years, I have worked with navicular, severe laminitis with sinker, a severe abscess that blew off about 30% of the sole, coronet injuries, horses that are scared of the trimmer, horses that have never been trimmed, over-expanded heels, and some generally weird feet! I have also had the pleasure of working with a mule. So, don't worry - between me and my colleagues, we have probably seen whatever your horse has and worse!
What to expect:
The first visit usually takes a little longer (it can be up to two hours) as I will need to take a history of any hoof problems, lameness, medical conditions, feed, exercise, turn out, etc. This may seem a little fussy, but it's surprising what a difference these things make to your horses' feet! I also take photos of the feet before and after the first trim, as well as doing a pre and post trim trot up/gait evaluation. At the end of the visit you will be given a copy of my visit notes, outlining any recommendations and giving you an idea of the health of the individual structures of your horses' feet.
Subsequent visits generally take up to an hour, and will include pre and post trim trot ups and post trim photos. A visit report will be given each time.
I find the photos and visit reports are very useful in providing a history and timeline of how the horses' feet are developing. They are especially invaluable in remedial cases. Where the vet/farrier is also involved, they will be copied in too.