PLEASE NOTE: The pictures on this page weren’t chosen to show good or bad trim…or feet.They are purely to show you how to take useful pictures!!! You will see these hooves under the Case Studies tab and realize where they were during the rehab process at the time these pictures were taken.
Taking pictures is essential to good hoof management. How else will you be able to tell when things change for better or worse?
However, it is important that we take the pictures from the right angles to show what we need to see to analyze our progress or changes of the hoof.
Even if you’re not planning on trimming your horse yourself, it is still a good practice so you have a record of how feed, exercise or trimming has changed your horse’s hooves.
Ok, first off, with today’s cell phones, you almost do not need a camera but the problem with those pictures is that they are grainy when enlarged. This is often required in order to see something specific or “mark up the pictures” … a term for drawing lines etc on pictures through the use of computer programs. If you do use a cellphone, tap the screen with your finger where you want the picture to focus before taking the picture. That will ensure you’re not getting blur. If you have a horse that’s fidgety, please take your time and get the focus right.
I do love my Fuji Digital though as it is light, has a nice one hand grip (so I can hold a hoof in one hand and take the picture with the other) and the all important “MACRO” setting which allows you close-ups with wonderful detail. All the pictures of hooves on our site were shot like that.
Following are pictures from different angles which is the way I would like you record them. Above each picture is the reason for the picture to be taken like that.
At the bottom of this page you’ll see how we keep track of our pictures. However you decide to do it, please keep a record of your pictures as this is very inspiring to have a visual reminder of where you came from with your horses feet down the line.
This picture is from the front also called the dorsal view. You have to get right down to ground level or put the camera on the ground or put the foot on a raised block. Through this picture you want to note any flaring in the quarters primarily but you’ll be surprised how often you’ll see a crack in the picture that you could swear wasn’t there when you looked at the foot. This is not uncommon as our eyes only see what we’re looking at while thinking about something and we can easily miss something that the camera won’t!
The picture below is from the side, but since it’s a lateral picture, it’s from the outside as opposed to a medial picture which would be from the middle of the horse (between the legs) to the outside. You want to look for Toe Flare and Quarter Cracks. Also heel height and notice the direction of the horn tubules, which in this picture indicates under-run heels. The horn tubules should be almost upright.
The heel view shows us the height of the heels, their lateral medial balance and also the depth of the Central Sulcus, which often extends into a crack which is riddled with thrush and can easily cause a horse to toe strike even when all else is well balanced. You would also want to see if one heel is higher than the other (a common problem, especially with backfeet, for some reason).
10° ANGLE SOLE VIEW
The 10° angle shows us the concavity as well as the height of hoof walls and where the frog and bars are in relation to the heels.
From the solar view we can see things like if there is stretched whiteline, or worse … lamillar wedge, where the widest part of the foot is or how contracted the heels are. We can also measure the toe/heel balance from this picture and see how far the frog has moved forward. Make sure your picture is flat…even this one was a bit tipped down in front.
I like to see this picture and compare the arch of the toe (where it meets the ground) to the arch of the coronet, since the growth from the coronet is true in most cases.
There you have it…6 pictures to take on each foot…thank goodness for digital cameras!
Here’s how I keep the pictures in order:
1. Make a folder with the horse’s name
2. Make four folders naming them LF / LH (left hind) or RF / RH (right hind). Most horses problem feet are their front feet, so you might only have to keep track of two folders.
3. In each folder make a folder for the date you are doing the picture on and every time you take new pictures, just add a folder for that date.
4. File each picture respectively. This way you won’t get mixed up with dates, sides or feet….never mind horses of you’re doing more than one!
Enjoy! I know this sounds like a lot of “work” but it is so worthwhile in the end, as you will realize once I start showing you the case studies.