Founder Case "Cody"
"Cody" Welsh/Arab cross
This x-ray shows how much the hoof has sunk down into the hoof capsule. In a healthy hoof, you should see the extensor process at or above the level of the hairline. This one had dropped down as much as a half to 3/4 inch. This horse foundered when shod, but had been successfully barefoot for some time...until he unfortunately was put on grass fertilized with liquid nitrogen. Horses are not cows!
Its hard to get the heels low enough in a sinker. And bars must be trimmed completely out to keep any heel pain from compromising a heel-first landing. Bars are relative! if the coffin bone is not well-suspended, even short bars can feel like high ones. The coffin bone needs to be ground parallel and remain that way especially while waiting for good connection to grow in from the top. It took me several months to get this horse's coffin bone attachment to grow in. His original founder was due to repeated laminitis when he was shod with orthopedic shoes and pads. horses with shoes will have subclinical laminitis that is from the lack of shock absorption and compression of tissue within the hoof capsule due to the nailed on shoe.
And this photo shows the same "sinker" now with a capsule that has new attachment which has grown down about 2 inches and lifted the coffin bone back up. The old stretched hoof wall has been rasped back to be even with the new attachment. This is still a fragile attachment and you wouldn't want to jump this horse or go for an extreme ride but he's good to go for some light riding with a light rider. Cody was eventually was sound enough for most uses of light riding. He developed a tumor in his esophagus which led to pulmonary embolism and he was humanely destroyed in 2009. I harvested his feet and kept the bones and hoof capsules.
This coffin bone shows the amount of loss of bone on the dorsal and solar surfaces, and the addition of bone at the attachment process for the lateral cartilage (sidebone).
Cody taught me a lot! I made mistakes with his trimming as I learned and tried different things. But the fact that he was sound and happy when his coffin bones looked this bad is a testament to the fact that he did have some good attachment.