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clips to help a cracked hoof

This is a discussion on clips to help a cracked hoof within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    04-20-2013, 05:36 AM
OK, considering you said it started out hairline, like the other cracks, and there are multiple horizontal rings, I would suspect a nutritional problem is likely. Then mechanical stress/imbalance &/or infection getting in has exacerbated it. It appears it's not that bad yet. So what I'd do is...

1. Look at diet & nutrition & ensure your horse is getting a healthy, balanced diet. *Consider magnesium especially, especially in light of his 'soft soles'.
2. Open it up, as little as possible but as much as necessary, to clean out & treat any infection. It will probably require ongoing treatment. *Not seal it up for cosmetics with epoxy or anything else unless you're absolutely 1000% positive you've got rid of any infection and have sealed it fully against any further spores or bacteria.
3. Relieve the walls at the ground surface around the area of the crack and remedy any imbalance/pressure elsewhere which will cause more pressure/leverage on the wall. IMO this is much more difficult if shoes are used. Putting clips on or otherwise holding the very bottom of the crack together is contraindicative IME & will put the stress further up. Especially as it is the entire length of the wall, clipping or otherwise bracing across the face of the crack may be a good move to stabilise it, at least until it's grown out to about half way down.

As you've said the new farrier is, well, new, don't blame him for it. It's obvious the strain on the hoof walls, from whatever causes, has been going on long term without being addressed adequately & this is just the end result. So saying, he won't be able to 'fix' the problem by removing the flares, especially if you want to keep the horse shod.

If the horse has 'soft' soles, IMO there's another reason to get the shoes off, for now at least, until they can be improved(& I don't believe genetics is the problem), but rim shoes won't prevent abscesses any more than stone bruising, so it sounds like the horse definitely needs protection for the bottom of his feet, whether that's pads under shoes or boots, casts, whatever.
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    04-20-2013, 12:43 PM
I didn't mean to blame the farrier. The crack was there before the new farrier came. I believe it was made worse by not having a good trim and by my lack of knowing and riding him on it without realizing exactly the kind of problem I had. This farrier is new to me but also very new to his profession (graduated from a farrier school in Texas 2 years ago). This is why I called him and talked to him about working with me to get a good trim rather than trash talking him to people and moving onto the next guy.

Thank you for the insight into some things I can do for Comic. I will look into magnesium for him. I'll do some research myself and also contact my local vet to see if it is something that might be needed in my area.

With the epoxy I wasn't worried about making it look pretty. I was wondering if that would help hold it together and help it grow out. I had planned on cleaning it out first. However, I will forgo the epoxy and try treating for fungus first. What products do you guys like?

I may try riding him in boots again (I'm taking a hoof care and trimming course at our college this spring) this summer if I can get his feet in a condition that I think they can handle it. Just don't want to spent over $300 in boots just to have them sit on a shelf.

Thanks for everyone's help. I'm learning a ton from this thread. Keep the advice coming and I'll update as we go along. The farrier is coming back out to pull the front shoes and balance Comic's feet better. I'm out of town but my Father in Law is going down to help direct the farrier. He'll let me know if they decide to put the shoes back on or not. I trust his judgment when it comes to horses. I'll post pics and an update when I get back into town (or if he sends me photos before then).
    04-20-2013, 01:46 PM
My trainer has a horse that something happened to his one hoof. I can't remember, and they weren't able to ride him for 2 years and his hoof still looks bad but they are able to ride him lightly now.

She learned in college that Hoof Supplements don't take a full effect for about 6 months. Meaning you aren't going to see a change in a month.

Our pasture is always dry, and we ride a lot in arenas. I got a thing from Absorbine called Hoof Liniment. I put it on everytime before I ride in an arena for practice, and at home. My one mare's feet were trimmed uneven for years so she constantly tripped and cracked her hooves, and the ground was super dry. Putting hoof liniment on helped a TON! I was at a show once and a few of my friend's horse's hooves were getting really dry so I let them put some on their hooves. I would highly recommend it!
    04-20-2013, 04:33 PM
I have an excellent farrier. I am not quite sure what good a vet would do. This is her foot from today. This is about 2 months from the last pic I took I believe. It rained yesterday so I didn't get to it.
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    04-20-2013, 05:55 PM
I was going to talk to the vet about a magnesium supplement. Not about the crack. Just wondering what his thoughts would be on that particular addition to his diet. I don't like to supplement my horse without checking into it first.

Glad you've got a great farrier. They are sometimes hard to find.
    04-20-2013, 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by krazygirl    
I have an excellent farrier. I am not quite sure what good a vet would do. This is her foot from today. This is about 2 months from the last pic I took I believe. It rained yesterday so I didn't get to it.
From the looks of that shoe job it doesn't look like he's that great.

Guess great means something diffrent to everyone better do some learning about hoofs.
My horses feet looked like that farrier would be history.
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    04-20-2013, 07:23 PM
You are seeing one foot that was abscessed and cracked. The improvement in her foot over the last two months was all I needed to see. She isn't shod. He created that shoe to push her hoof together so it would start to grow out. The shoe did what it was intended to do. Who cares what the shoe looks like. We tried different options before and they did not work.
Seeing the improvement finally, yes I am happy with his work. Considering what we were dealing with he did an excellent job.
Its easy for your to sit in your seat and be judgmental. You didn't see the good feet. You didn't see her pain and try to work around it. And you sure didn't offer to come help me get her hoof fixed. She was 9 months pregnant. Dealing with the extra weight she was carrying was not helping. And every time he tried to put a nail in, it was hurting her. But we could not leave it as it was.
    04-20-2013, 07:32 PM
I apologize BoldComic. I somewhat hijacked your thread. I was just trying to show you what we did with my mare's cracked hoof. My comments were not aimed at you.
From experience I learned if you don't deal with it from the start, you end up with a much bigger mess. My old farrier was young and clueless. My new farrier is excellent.
I was just trying to share what I had went through. We debated clips but my mare was in pain. If yours isn't hurting that might be the way to go. But unless you do something, these don't tend to go away. But that is my experience and may not necessarily be someone else's.
    04-20-2013, 08:32 PM
Respectfully Krazy, you showed us a pretty bad eg. Above with some alarming looking problems. You said it was from today(tho then you say the horse is unshod), 2 months after the last pics, which while can't tell much from that angle, look better than the 'today' one in a number of ways. But of course, Spirit, don't forget we're only getting a very small part of the whole picture & IME there could still be a number of factors that mean it may not be the farrier's fault the hooves have got into that state.

...Now back to OP.

I will look into magnesium for him. I'll do some research myself and also contact my local vet to see if it is something that might be needed in my area.
Good move. I don't believe it's a good idea to give supps without good reason, just because someone(or some lable, advertisement...) said. Your vet may or may not know much about nutrition & specific studies into Mg though, so don't just stop there. Look up 'magnesium for horses' for a start. There are also a lot of human studies that have been done lately, which have been the basis of horse case studies into it.

However, I will forgo the epoxy and try treating for fungus first. What products do you guys like?
Yeah, epoxy won't help aside from looks & you don't want to plug it up with anything unless you can guarrantee keeping the bugs out, because that will just create a nicer environment for them. 'WLD' can be fungal or bacterial, so a broad spectrum treatment is the best. If it's only in the wall, virtually anything antiseptic - I tend to use a weak peroxide wash first, then a t-tree & salt & copper mix, heavier chems if that doesn't cut it - but if it goes deep into the laminae or worse, I'd be careful not to overuse anything too harsh, as you don't want to damage the live tissue with heavy chemicals. In that case, believe it or not, raw honey(particularly types such as Manuka) is a really good but non-damaging antiseptic.

I may try riding him in boots again (I'm taking a hoof care and trimming course at our college this spring) this summer if I can get his feet in a condition that I think they can handle it. Just don't want to spent over $300 in boots just to have them sit on a shelf.
There are many online lists, registers, forums, etc for second hand boots these days & esp if your horse is a common sort of hoof size, you'll probably find what you want for secondhand prices. Particularly as your horse has a lot of flaring, so the boots that fit him now will be too big down the track when they become healthy.

His feet should 'handle' riding in boots much better than being shod IME. But how is he bare in the paddock? If he suffers bare just on what he lives on, his feet sound very unhealthy & in need of TLC. While some boots can be used full time for rehab, they're often not the best choice if the horse requires that sort of intensive care & cost is one of the prohibitive factors - if a horse is that bad, they usually also need pads & most riding boots aren't suitable, meaning different boots(RX Therapies for eg) are needed for rehab as for riding. In that case, hoof casting may be a better 'do it yourself' option, but Trinity is the one with experience in that - I'm still learning(tho Trinity, I have been casting my own horses recently, in different ways, with & without padding, etc.)

My main concern with casting is that as with sealing up cracks, the risk of infections getting worse because of the sealed environment it creates. Unlike boots it can be impractical to remove/redo the casting daily to effectively treat/clean/dry the hooves, but I have been experimenting with removing the casting & reusing same, just duct taping it back on around the top. Seems this may be the way around the impracticality of the single use.
    04-20-2013, 09:16 PM
6 months 2 months and yesterday. I just assumed people saw the other pictures. She has a shoe on not shoes. Just 1 foot. So now after 3 pictures does it not look better?

Sorry op, I won't hijack you again. But I would love to see how he is doing. So would you keep me updated?


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