Foot soreness and frustration!

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Foot soreness and frustration!

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  • Foot soreness in horses
  • Sore feet or something else horse

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    06-30-2012, 08:32 PM
Foot soreness and frustration!

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos..

I bought my mare, 4yo ottb, around mid-march and willingly admit to having a huge lapse in judgment and common sense. I saw her only briefly and saw her move on very soft footing and she moved quite well. After a long correspondence with her former owner, I sent someone to get her without ever really having taken a good long hard look at her feet, or vet check for that matter.

She came off the track as a 3 year old and the former owner immediately pulled her shoes and then turned her out for 9 months with little to no proper hoof care. Obviously, a horrible idea.

When I got her, her hooves had been trimmed but were in awful shape. Very, very short with a pretty good flare on one and NO heels. Very typical tb feet with super thin walls and soles. As to be expected she moved pretty hesitantly and was very ouch if she stepped on anything rocky.

I immediatelynhad my farrier out and for his first two visits he put a light racing plate on her because he didn't think he could get anything else on her. She immediately was moving better but not great and still had very sensitive soles.

We graduated to a thicker, heavier shoe 12 weeks ago to get her heel up off the ground a little more, it's not a wedge however. Since then her movement and soundness has deteriorated.

She moves even more choppy and short strided with no reach at all even at the walk. She's developed. Lot of knee action and her canter just looks painful and heavy. She started looking sore behind also and was almost stabbing with her left hind. She also drops her head and tucks it in when it seems she is really sore, which is pretty constant now.

I called the vet out and she diagnosed her with a good deal of toe and heel pain and recommended bar shoes, pads and hind shoes.

Yesterday I had the farrier out. He didn't think he could get back shoes on her because she still didn't have enough hoof behind. No big deal, the vet was far more concerned with her fronts anyways and the back shoes were an after thought.

He didn't want to do bar shoes either. He thought she would pull them and any questions I raised or mention I made of what the vet said he just disregarded.

He said shed grown a decent amount of foot and said several times he wasn't
Sure how she could be foot sore.

So he put the same shoes she's had back on her and did a pour in pad (equi pak). So basically he would only do 1 of 3 things the vet said to do and found no reason for her to be foot sore.

Today I stuck her on a lunge line because I was curious as to how she's moving now (I hadn't done so since the vet was out a week and a half prior). Well..she was moving as bad as ever with possibly even a little more knee now.

Should I give her sometime to adjust to the new pads before jumping to any conclusions? I really would have loved to have gotten bar shoes on her but there was really no arguing with the farrier. I had talked to him several times before he came out and he was dead set against it.

There was bruising on her heels when the vet looked at her, but should I be concerned that something else is going on? Should I insist on the bar shoes? I'm notnsure where to go from her if she doesn't improve.

It's just frustrating I've had her for four months now and have barely been able to do anything with her. She's a very cute and well put together really kicking myself for not taking a better look at her feet!
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    06-30-2012, 08:42 PM
If this horse isn't in work, I'd be inclined to just leave the shoes off for a few months and let some more foot grow in. Does she have a paddock or pasture that with footing that would allow her to go barefoot for awhile before revisiting shoes? It sounds like there's a lot going on in there that just needs to work itself out. At least at 4 years old, her feet are not yet fully developed so there's hope there.
    06-30-2012, 08:43 PM
Oh duh. I just read the part where you said she's already grown a lot of new hoof, so that's out. I'd say fork over a few bucks and get xrays. No reason to keep guessing.
    06-30-2012, 08:49 PM
The first time my farrier saw her he was supposed to just look at her ( she was barefoot) but he was so concerned with how little foot she had he put a shoe on her right then. He said the shoe would help her grow a better foot and now that she has different shoes he's always said getting a good burn on her foot helps also.

I have a lot of horse experience but sore feet like this is new territory to me! I feel like I have no option but to trust what he says?
    06-30-2012, 08:49 PM
Green Broke
I would change farriers. 1) I really don't like when my farrier doesn't listen to me and 2) doesn't follow what my vet wants. Your vet knows more than your farrier, has gone to school longer than your farrier, and has probably treated more OTTB's with foot problems than your farrier.

I know a good farrier is hard to find. And I'm not saying a vet is GOD by any means, but it sounds like your farrier flat out disrespects you and what your vet has to say about the situation.

If it were me, I would call up my vet and ask if they have any suggestions for local farriers. Some farriers and vets work hand in hand (my vet and farrier do). If your vet isn't help, ask around... other horse people may have other suggestions as well.

It's like this... other athletes, pro ballet dancers, etc... have to be meticulously fitted for their shoes in order to keep their feet and legs a farrier does for horses. But athletes, dancers wouldn't have their shoe fitter tell them what to do when they have soreness in their feet that won't go away with simple shoe changes, they go to a DOCTOR.
    06-30-2012, 08:52 PM
My plan is to give her a week and see how she does and either way give the vet a call. I just know she's going to be disappointed he didn't do what she wanted. When the vet was out she mentioned my farrier kind of has a history of ignoring outside advice
    06-30-2012, 08:55 PM
Originally Posted by sehrlieb    
When the vet was out she mentioned my farrier kind of has a history of ignoring outside advice

Unfortunately those types of farriers are a dime a dozen. Definitely find a better one who can follow instructions.
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    06-30-2012, 08:59 PM
I've been on the fence with him for awhile now but I just feel obligated since I've used him for my horses since I was a kid and he has always done good work with my horses. We do have a couple other farriers that come out to the barn, one who is very good but is my current farriers best friend. Another who we use at the farm I work at also ( which is not where I board) and I don't love his work but he's easy to deal with. I don't know, I suppose I should talk to the vet first.
    06-30-2012, 09:09 PM
Green Broke
I know what you mean about obligation but you have to think about your horse. What is more important, feeling obligated to use someone, or your horse's foot health? You are PAYING your farrier to keep your horse's feet healthy and free of soreness as well as follow any vet orders. If your farrier isn't doing this, they need to be replaced with one who will.

Also, in many states horse owners are liable for anything done to their horses, even when in somebody else's care. So if one of it's care givers isn't up to par, and somebody reports possible neglect YOU are the one in trouble for allowing it to happen. I'm not saying that is the point your horse is at, but it's always something to think about. Your horse's comfort is ultimately YOUR responsibility and allowing someone like a farrier that won't follow vets orders is ultimately on you when your horse's feet are still hurting.
    06-30-2012, 09:15 PM
Yeah, I also wouldn't worry about loyalty. Farriers understand that it's just business. It's not like you have to tell him he sucks because he can't follow directions. Just tell him you want to try someone else for a few shoeings to see if it helps your horse. Quite frankly, if he takes it personally, he wasn't a good farrier to begin with.
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