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Cooter died June 2009. Fortunately it was quick. One minute he was Mr. Sexy, and 3 minutes later, gone. The vet suspects an aneurysm.

Cooter's feet were far from perfect at the time of his death. However, I am proud to say, he was comfortable enough for 15 solid minutes of non-stop, mosh pit high acrobatics, after his first spring bath. I saw courbettes, caprioles, levades, rear-buck combos and a bunch of athletic stuff I don't have names for - stuff I'd never seen out of this horse before. He was always above average athletic, but this was a step above his shod, fit, self. It seems, at the time of his death, his feet were not only providing him with comfort, but also improved performance.

I also saw improved straightness. When comparing a 2002 video to a 2009 video, I saw medial hind discomfort in the 2002 video. Which means, he was showing medial hind discomfort, even when shod. His hocks would skew outward when loaded, kinematics, I now recognize, as a possible indicator of medial hoof discomfort. In 2009, once the medial hind hoof was more comfortable, the hinds loaded almost perfectly straight, no more skewing hocks.

I have posted Cooter's freeze dryed feet so we can all learn. All the feet are educational in an of themselves, but when all four feet are considered together, the realizations are stunning.

Cooter's transition started Nov 07, with minimal "top down" trimming only - managing only flare. There was some pain in the beginning for him, but all went unremarkably well through the first winter. However, in Apr 08, feeling like I wasn't "doing enough", I started trimming to Strasser methods. I now know, my success would have continued, and much pain would have been avoided, had I continued "top down" trimming. But that's not what happened.

Just a week after his first Strasser-type trimming, I came home to find the horse leaning against the wall to support himself, not wanting to weight his RH foot. I suspect he just stepped on something. But with not enough foot left after the "Strasser" trimming, he badly bruised his foot. This was the beginning of the struggle. Pictures start May 08.

After that, figuring out which experts to listen to took a while. Two stood out, Pete Ramey was one, Cooter was the other.
23 Jun 09:

In this photo the concavity of the foot is poor, and we need more sole depth. But this foot is better than the other front foot. This foot took most of the abuse as he tried to relieve his discomfort in the RH. As he attempted to relieve his discomfort, he exaggerated the toe-ing in of both front feet, but this one was worse.

Below, pay close attention to what my trimming of the heels did - especially in the last several rounds of photos. I should have left the heels untouched. Often, you will see trimming on a heel where the bar is clearly attempting to grow. I should have left things alone, as the bar indicated. Usually, my trimming was only a swipe or two to adjust the angle of the bearing surface, to minimize toe-ing in. But the results were dramatic, didn't help toeing in enough and sometimes made it worse. Learn from my mistakes - be patient, let the horse fix it.

Arrows: Not a bone break, this is normal blood supply for the foot.
After trim 30 Aug 08:
Before trim 30 Aug 08:
After trim 22 Aug 08:
After trim 17 Aug 08:
Before trim 17 Aug 08:
After trim 9 Aug 08:
Before trim 9 Aug 08:
After trim 26 Jul 08:
Before trim 26 Jul 08:
After trim 19 Jul 08:
Before trim 19 Jul 08:
Touch-up trim 16 Jul 08:
After trim 12 Jul 08:
Before trim 12 Jul 08: