Foal Feet Case Study

The Foals


A Thoroughbred colt born May 24, 2014. Oz was orphaned on day two and was adopted by my mustang mare, Roxanna. He had to be bucket fed and was on formula until he was 8 weeks, at which time he was gradually switched to Foal Foundation by Tribute Feeds.  Foal Foundation is a milk-based pellet for foals, which can be offered free choice.  Oz and Roxanna live out 24/7 in herd with 10 other horses, so in order for Oz to be able to eat his own food, I built a stall-sized corral with temporary posts and hot wire tape (it's not hot).  The opening is narrow, but I have one horse who still managed to squeeze herself in, so I put another post that sort of blocks the entrance.  Oz has to squeeze through and actually brushes the posts, but everyone else now stays out.  And it's good training too!

Below is a photo of where the herd lives.  Everything on the left side of the road, and more that can't be seen, is open to the horses.  The road runs around to the right and up the hill and the photo was actually taken from it. In addition, the horses are also allowed to graze in the large field to the right of the road.

The ground is hard clay, terrain is varied, and there are three ponds.

Oz's environment


A Breeding Stock Paint colt born May 31, 2014. He is raised by his dam. They live in a 50 x 50 paddock, and his owner takes the mare and foal out daily for a several mile ride. Below is Keeper, during his daily exercise, and the type of terrain is clearly fairly harsh.

Keeper eats free choice grass hay, in slow feed bags on the ground. He gets either teff or bermuda, depending on what is available. He also gets soaked alfalfa/bermuda pellets which he shares with his mom, along with a scoop of Horse Tech minerals. He also has a Himalayan salt block. He doesn't get any grain and neither does his mom.

Below left is a photo of Oz a few days before he turned 9 weeks.  As you can see, he is a very different type than Keeper. Below right is Oz at three days old, with the herd.  Roxanna is the bay roan moving toward him.
Oz July 31, 2014   Oz with Roxanna and the herd, May 26

Hoof Photos

For details on early hoof photos, view the article Foal Feet.
Oz RF sole Day 7   Keeper RF sole Day 2
Above: Oz right front 5/31/14 (1 week)   Above: Keeper right front 5/31/14 (1 day)
Oz LF lateral 8-1-14   Oz LF lateral post trim 8-2-14

Above left is Oz's left front foot on 8-1-14, pre-trim.  To the right is the same foot after trimming on 8-2-14.  Notice the difference in hoof/pastern angle.  This was accomplished, NOT by trimming the heels, but by just beveling the foot from 8 to 4 (heel quarter to heel quarter).  Also notice that in exactly 10 weeks, the foot has grown out almost an entire new hoof capsule.

Below is a comparison of the left front sole between 7-19-14 and 8-2-14. Notice the growth of the frog in just 2 weeks. Also the bars are lower and sole smoother with less built up sole.

Oz LF sole 7-19-14   Oz LF sole 8-2-14
Below is a comparison of Keeper's RF sole.  Far left June 3, center June 11, right July 20.
Keeper sole camparison
Keeper LF lateral 5-31-14   Keeper LF lateral 7-20-14
Above are Keeper's left front lateral views. On the left from May 31 and on the right, from July 20. You can see that he had grown out virtually an entire hoof capsule by July 20th.

His pastern angle is very different from Oz's, and has improved since he was born, no doubt because his heels have come down.  It will interesting to see how the feet develop with such different pasterns.

Oz LF sole 8-14-14   To the left is Oz's LF sole, post trim, August 14, 2014.  The foot is a more symmetrical shape than previously, and the sole is again thick.  I believe this to be due to the fact that it has been very dry here.  It has rained the past few days, and I will take a photo when I get a chance, to see if the rain made any difference.  I believe the feet change according to conditions, and perhaps foal feet change very quickly.


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