Barrel Horses with Club Foot - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-11-2012, 10:19 PM
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As I think Loosie was hinting at, a club foot doesn't affect the body, it's the body causing the club foot. Any imbalance that causes a horse to bear weight on one side more will cause a club, (or atrophied) hoof. It's narrower because weight's not spreading it out. Remember a horse's feet change shape according to how they bear weight.

Now if a horse had a dished foot with a high heel, without difference in width, I may believe it was a tendon-related problem. I'd say in my experience, that's only the case in maybe 10% of the horses. That's just my experience around here. When I see a club foot, it's usually on the front, and you can often figure out why it's happening if you look and ask questions. Could be grazing posture, injury that caused them to favor one side, rider's tendency to work one way more than they should, etc. Look hard at these modern-day barrel horses. Many are tall with short necks. Watch them graze and they'll tell you what's happening. Not hard to fix if that's the case. Remember too that many barrel horses are ridden to the left more. One turn to the right, two to the left. If they get stronger to the left, they'll even rest on that side more standing in a stall. It's more comfortable.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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He does graze with his left foot forward. One of the reasons for posting this forum is to learn more about it, because from what I have read, the articles have said that a horse will favor his other foot and graze with it forward, etc, when they have a club foot on the other. So what you are saying makes sense, as I think it will probably make it worse the more he favors the other foot.

In response to AmazinCaucasian--thank you for your input. I understand what you are saying and totally agree. The only reason I was still going along the lines of something inside (coffin joint deformity) causing the initial club foot is because this horse is 3---and I noticed it when he just over a year old; he had not and still has not sustained any injuries and he hadn't been worked really at all when we started to notice this. I think now it is important to pay attention to the club foot and do everything we can to prevent other things worsening it.
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-02-2012, 10:37 AM
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My 13 year old 14'1 Arabian also has a club foot on his RF. It's a pretty steep club, but I've had him for 8 months with no problems or lameness. He was a barrel racer before I got him, and I do show jumping with him now with no problems. He doesn't like to pick up his right lead and well as his left lead, but a lot of horses are left handed like that; he also does carry his club a little differently but it's not lame at all. I know his previous owners never polo wrapped him, but I do his front legs just to give his tendons that extra support (the club foot affects the tendons). The worst thing you can do for a club foot is try to fix it. I don't shoe my pony, and we just trim his feet so his knees are even. Hope this helps =]
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-02-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sarbare View Post
The only reason I was still going along the lines of something inside (coffin joint deformity) causing the initial club foot is because this horse is 3---and I noticed it when he just over a year old; .... I think now it is important to pay attention to the club foot and do everything we can to prevent other things worsening it.
Yep, as with people being left or right handed, he may have come out of his mum with that preference & the 'back' foot has become clubbed purely from habitual less pressure/wear on that heel.

While (without a good bodyworker at least) it's probably not 'correctable', managing to minimise the problem & prevent it getting worse is good. Maintaining the feet well to avoid excess growth, bevelling the toe to prevent leverage, along with carrot stretches or such exercises to get him stretching that foot forward so the muscle doesn't stay tight & 'short' are good steps.
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