Meet Holly,

Meet Holly: the little pony with a bright Christmas ahead.

Santa and his helpers have found their way to a little white pony named Holly.

You may remember our fancy 3D printed titanium shoe that was produced for the Spring Racing Carnival. Well, since the horseshoes made headlines, we’ve been asked to design a new shoe with a difference. This time, for Holly, a tiny ten year old mare.

For the last three Christmases, Holly has struggled to walk without severe pain in her front feet. Like thousands of other horses in Australia, she suffers from chronic laminitis. Laminitis affects the attachment between the hoof and bone, causing pain and inflammation. It can be debilitating if left untreated, and sadly there is no cure.

Our team of 3D scanners (or Santa’s helpers as Holly might neigh) were feeling festive when they heard her story and headed straight to the stables to lend a helping hoof.

They scanned Holly’s feet to find out exactly where her problems were. Then they customised and 3D printed a unique ‘horse-thotic’ to support her foot and encourage it to heal. This made Holly instantly comfortable again and allowed her to take her first pain free steps.

Transcript available here.

The shoes will help to redistribute Holly’s weight away from the painful areas of her feet, giving her a better chance to recover. In fact, she should be walking normally and without pain in just a few weeks.

Holly’s new kicks could be the key to stomping out foot disease and lameness in horses for good. They demonstrate the range of applications that 3D printing technology can be used for, from biomedical implants to automotive and aerospace parts.

Learn more about our work in titanium technologies.