The Spectrum of Usability (SoU) is an essential tool. It is the responsible way to protect the horse when shoes are removed and provides the guidelines to allow us to correct the structures without exceeding the ability of the hoof. It is an on-going reference and set of records.
It has ratings from one to ten, ten being the Perfect Hoof. Each structure of the hoof is marked accordingly enabling an overall assessment to be made, the level of work that can be undertaken and to formulate a conditioning programme including any environmental changes that may be required.
A Spectrum of Usability will also take into account the environment that the horse is kept in and that may influence the overall score regarding the potential within that environment for the hoof to be rehabilitated/conditioned. Age and weight of horse and rider and fitness level of the horse are another example of how the score may be influenced.
If Zoopharmacognosy session is included, ingredients selected will be included in the Evaluation and will follow on as the horse progresses back to full health
The Spectrum of Usability provides a benchmark and it is important that the rating given to the horse is not exceeded as this can result in trauma leading to abscesses, flare and the over development of compensating structures.
As a guide :-
RATING 1-2 : Given when a structure is very weak and structures may be deteriorated to the point of being missing.
RATING 3-4 : Given when structures are all visible but in poor or weak condition.
RATING 5-6 : Given when there are correct structure without any major imbalances.
RATING 7 + : Is not that common but does indicate that the hoof is in very good to excellent condition.
Based on the above information and score an appropriate rehabilitation/conditioning programme will be recommended