Changes in sole/toe? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-18-2012, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
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Changes in sole/toe?

I've had my horse about 10 months, and he's been fed well and trimmed regularly since I got him. I had shoes put on his front feet four weeks ago as he was (and has always been) hesitant over gravel. He seems even worse now. I am not sure if I need to try shoes all around or go back to barefoot... I will discuss this with my farrier.

My question, for my own education is this: I have also noticed that since his last trim, the sole/toe callus on his rear feet has gotten much more pronounced. He has also stopped chipping entirely, which was an issue we had. Could it be that he's finally finished growing out his 'old hoof' from when he wasn't on the best diet? The changes appears so suddenly and the chipping stopped simultaneously. I am not sure what to make of it. Ideas?

I would be pleased because it seems like these changes would be a good thing, but for his ongoing soreness over gravel. There is flaring that actually created a noticiable difference in hoof wall angle that has been growing down since I got him, the bend/angle should actually finally trim off in the next cycle.

He is unlikely to be laminitic. Aside from his grass-hay and ration balancer only diet, he doesn't show any indications of IR or cushings issues, or lameness any time other than over gravel. I have not put hoof testers to him though. I can get pictures tomorrow, but curiosity got the better of me this evening.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-19-2012, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,523
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Firstly, do need more info & pics to have a good idea what you're talking about/what's going on.

Re getting him shod because he's tender on gravel, yes, many(most) horses may have a problem with gravel & such, if they don't live on that sort of terrain so are 'conditioned' to it. It can also be due to them having thin/weak soles &/or weak frogs/heels. Conventional rims do lift the sole a little higher off the ground and otherwise tend to make a difference palliatively, by effecting the way the horse feels. However, where protection/support is needed, I prefer hoof boots, which provide good protection to the entire base of the foot without reducing support or effecting circulation/feeling.

Re him being more tender after shoes, I am guessing that perhaps the farrier pared his sole, that may already have been too thin, thereby further reducing the 'armour plating' that protects his sensitive foot from rocks. Or the horse is indeed suffering a 'low grade' or 'sub clinical' laminitis. The 'more pronounced' toe callous also doesn't sound right, but then could be I've got the wrong idea of what you mean.
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