Rehabilitation facilities
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Equine lameness rehabilitation and barefoot

The objective of rehabilitation is to improve hoof health, medio-lateral balance and biomechanics, allowing the horse to load its feet evenly and move correctly.

Hooves are incredibly dynamic and given the right environment can change surprisingly quickly. These photos of the same foot were taken just over 8 weeks apart and show a significant improvement.

Its noticeable that the biggest changes are in the palmar (caudal) area of the hoof. This horse's lameness blocked to this area and as it has strengthened he has become sounder.

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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.

As soon as horses are capable, we introduce in hand work and typically build up to ridden work over a period of several weeks.

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Of course, where horses are concerned its never possible to give guarantees but most of the horses who come here return to at least the same level of work as before they went lame.

However, rehabilitation often has as many downs as ups, and keeping a horse barefoot is a huge ongoing commitment for the owner so its far from a quick or easy option although it can be tremendously rewarding.

If you are an owner and are interested in sending your horse here for rehab livery, please email Nic about prices and availability. We know it can be worrying sending your horse away and will be happy to answer your queries and put you in touch with other owners as well.

We only take horses under veterinary supervision but are happy to discuss with you and your vet whether rehabilitation might be suitable.

Normally horses stay at Rockley for about 12 weeks. We send horses home with full details of an appropriate feed and exercise programme and we encourage owners to contact us not only if they have any setbacks or queries but also so that we can follow up horses on a regular basis once they are back home.