Part 1: Tabby & Anna
Analysis of Tabby's Hooves
Anna Eichinger instructs the academic art of riding and joined our testing team with her horses in April 2018. In the past, her Trakehner mare Tabby was diagnosed with tearing of the muscle fibers on the suspensory ligaments also known as Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis. Additionally, she suffered from reoccurring thin soles. Here you can read her story.
After enduring her injuries to the suspensory ligaments, Anna noted: ''As soon as we trotted on soft ground, I noticed that Tabby wasn’t exactly level.'' The hooves were examined, revealing that the soles were quite thin again. After many ups and downs, Tabby did well for several weeks, but the good weeks were always followed by bad weeks. We decided to put the hooves under close scrutiny once more. ''The conclusion of the examination in the fall of 2017 showed, through the use of x-ray images, that where the hoof wall was clearly steeper, that the hoof cartilage and the respective hoof bone had virtually rubbed off,'' says Anna, who contacted us in the spring of 2018. Due to the extremely wet and muddy winter, Tabby’s soles were thin, and the veterinarian advised us to shoe the hooves and to fill them with insulation. I didn’t want to shoe Tabby again because of our previous experiences. The last time we had her shod, she quickly developed a synovial cyst, directly under the carpal joint’’. This is when Anna turned to us for help.
ASSEMBLY & MOUNTING
Megasus founder, Charly Forstner, glued the Megasus Run’n’Fun on Tabby’s front hooves for the first time in April 2018. The hooves can regenerate with the protection. Additionally, Charly used a soft filler so that Tabby could walk around comfortably. The added stabilizer also gave Tabby more stability in the heels.
THE FIRST WEEK WITH THE MEGASUS
From the first moment with the Megasus Run’n’Fun, Tabby walked without sensitivity. Anna reported after the first month with the Megasus Run’n’Fun that Tabby was also able to gallop better. In general, Tabby seems to enjoy forward movements. The Megasus Run’n’Fun remained on the hooves for five weeks so that the hooves could recover and regrow. After 5 weeks, it was time to trim the hooves and to remount the Megasus Run’n’Fun. The Megasus were filled again to maximize comfort. This time, after a week, Tabby lost one of her Megasus, but the hooves have regrown a bit in the meantime, so she didn’t have a problem going barehoof for a couple of days. The hooves appeared stable even without hoof protection. With iron horseshoes, this would not have been possible. The soles seem to have recovered slightly (see in the pictures).
Within a few days, the Megasus Run'n'Fun were re-mounted on Tabby's front hooves and she hasn’t lost another shoe since.
THE HORN WALL IS VISIBLY STABLE.
The hooves developed very well with the Megasus Run’n’Fun. With 2-component glue, they were fixed onto the hoof wall by directly filling the Mega-GLUE Side-Clips with 2-C glue, while the soles remain glue-free. Through this selective application of the 2-C glue, the Megasus Run’n’Fun system requires about 50% less glue than conventional systems. To provide more comfort, as we mentioned before, a filling was used for cushioning (see photos). Additionally, the horn wall is visibly stable and shows no negative side-effects from gluing.
NEW MEGASUS FOR TABBY
The soles of Tabby’s new Megasus Horserunners were shortened even further in the back. In the rear area, there is no overhanging material for Tabby to step on. In the top right picture, you can see that due to how the hooves load, that the inner hoof wall is clearly drawn ''hoof inwards'' (pronation). Tabby is imbalanced in general due to a misaligned carpal joint. As shown in the picture, we were able to compensate for this by leaving excess width on the Megasus soles, so that an equally distributed motion pattern is created and the hoof remains symmetrical when contacting the ground.
EXCURSION: PRONATION & SUPINATION
In humans, the pronation in the area of the feet is defined as follows: the elevation of the lateral edge of the foot while at the same time lowering of the medial edge of the foot, therefore the ''buckling'' or bending of the ankle inwards. This can be seen with horses, like in our case with Tabby, who has a pushed-up hoof wall. For the horse’s hoof, the loaded hoof wall is usually the steeper wall. Comparing this with Tabby’s situation, you can recognize that a pronation exists because the inner hoof wall is drawn ''hoof inwards''.
In contrast, supination describes the elevation of the inner edge of the foot while lowering the outer edges at the same time. Often horses have more outer loading, with a steeper outer hoof wall and a flatter inner hoof wall, which suggests a supination.
A good hoof protection should be able to respond to the individual hoof situation - as in the case of Tabby- and be able to compensate for pronation or supination. With the inner excess width of the soles, Charly has tried to balance out the unbalanced hoof wall. That way, stabilization is reached. He wanted to avoid inward tipping, like for example how children with soft and unstable shoes often tip over the shoe with their feet when walking.
THE HOOVES RECOVER LITTLE BY LITTLE
In mid-June, the Megasus Run’n’Fun were re-mounted on Tabby’s front hooves. Meanwhile, the hooves have made a good recovery. In mid-July, the Megasus were removed again and what we saw was that Tabby was ready to go barehoof. The barehoof phase is good for her as it helps strengthen her hooves even further and Tabby now walks easy and relaxed without protection.
TABBY GOES BAREHOOF
After removing the Megasus, Tabby went over hard grounds with ease. Purposely, her hooves were not trimmed directly after removing the Megasus Run’n’Fun. She was, instead, allowed to go barehoof for a short time in order to ride off any excess hoof horn. Her hooves have healed and have grown in nicely. Right after removing the Megasus from Tabby’s hooves, Anna took Tabby out in the arena to train her in all the different gaits. Tabby moves forward with joy. After the barehoof phase, the Megasus Run’n’Fun were mounted on the front hooves in mid-August. Tabby should be able to walk barehoof in the future and as needed, the hooves can be protected in phases with Megasus Run’n’Fun