Equine rehabilitation and barefoot performance on Exmoor
Injuries we can help with
The majority of the horses who come to us have a diagnosis of DDFT, collateral or impar ligament or navicular bone damage. Some also have related damage to other parts of the foot, secondary hind limb lameness or back issues. Most horses have had an MRI but this is not essential.
We only take horses under veterinary supervision but are happy to discuss with you and your vet whether rehabilitation might be suitable.
How rehabilitation works
Horses tend to come with weak feet and poor biomechanics, often landing toe first and with medio-lateral imbalances. This perpetuates stress on injured tendons and ligaments leading to ongoing lameness.
The objective of rehabilitation is to improve hoof health and enable better foot balance, allowing the horse to load the feet evenly and move correctly. This allows soft tissue to heal and promotes long term soundness.
Tracks and surfaces
Hooves are incredibly dynamic and given the right environment can change surprisingly quickly. Movement is essential and the best way of encouraging horses to move is to make it comfortable for them.
We initially turn horses out on our tracks, which have conformable surfaces, so they can move freely and in their own time. They always have companions and access to forage and the surfaces on the tracks are invaluable in providing stimulus and support to weak feet.
In hand and ridden work
Normally horses stay at Rockley for 12 weeks. We work horses both in hand and under saddle and aim for them to return home in consistent work, being ridden on all surfaces (including roads) at least 4 times per week.
We send horses home with full details of an appropriate feed and exercise programme and we encourage owners to keep in touch, not only if they have any queries but also so that we can follow up horses on a regular basis once they are back home.