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Festus the Mule 

Festus the Mule

       Festus is a teenage mule (in 2011). He is going to be used as a trail mule by his new owner. In this series of shots, he just had his first "barefoot" trim. He wasn't shod before, but had a more traditional style trim and his heels are a tad high and there is a little bit of wall separation at the toe, subtle but there. Mule and donkey feet have interesting heels in that the walls bend inward at the quarters, then spread  back out, and the frog/heel bulbs sets more behind the heel walls.  It is a myth that they really need taller heels than horses. They like the same short heels and pastern/dorsal wall alignment. I think it's the way the walls bend in and the placement of the frog that can be confusing.
  Festus here, was sound as he was. He wasn't shod and has a thick, calloused sole. He had recently been trimmed but lacked any mustang roll. I addressed the heels, lowering them slightly. Then I simply added a mustang roll to the rest of his foot. I didn't change wall height at all, he was already more or less on his sole at the toe, and the wall was pulling forward slightly. I also decided to show his "funky" foot. His left front is quite normal, this one in the photos has a pointy toe which may be a congenital coffin bone shape. It doesn't bother him. It may change with the trims if it's not the bone, though. We will see. For now, I assume it' s a bone thing and won't worry about changing it, other than making the weight bearing and breakover portion of his foot more "normal". If it's due to previous trimming, the point will grow out.

RIGHT FRONT HOOF
Festus' right front hoof
Mule foot, solar view
Lateral View of mule foot