Frustrating Hooves!

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Frustrating Hooves!

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    03-09-2012, 10:51 PM
Frustrating Hooves!

Long story short, Cerra has seen three different farriers in the two years that I have had her. The first was a local guy who did all the horses at the stable. Second one was when she was moved onto the family farm (dismissed for various reasons, none of them really appropriate in polite company) and the third has been with us for about a year. They just had a baby and travel two provinces over on a 6-8 week schedule. Well... You may also feel as upset/frustrated as I do after this thread.

The barn burnt down in November, leaving the pastured horses freaking out. (Our pig and dogs were inside at the time... ) He came out shortly after and trimmed the horses by the cement foundation, which they did not like. After a bit of a nervous struggle, she ended up kicking him with a hind foot. (Has no history of kicking/threatening to kick.) So this puts us at about early December. He was supposed to be out in early January/February, but rescheduled for his pregnant wife. Okay. I get that. Life happens. HOWEVER. I feel that Cerra's feet are consistently ugly... Be it dramatic chipping around the edges to what she has right now -- a nice big ------- hangnail. It's about an inch long on her (extremely cringe worthy, trust me) front left hoof. I have no doubt that she's in a lot of pain.

He was supposed to come out tomorrow. This is what I have been impatiently waiting for. This happened earlier in the week, maybe Sunday/Monday. Knowing that the farrier was coming out within the seven days, I figured that, okay, it's bad but soon it will be over. Until today. Another reschedule. This time, someone else cancelled their 12+ horses so it doesn't profit them to come out this way. They'll be out in another 3 weeks or so. Can you imagine my reaction? Yep. Hell opened up around me and flames burst up. However, anger isn't going to get you anywhere in the end... Going to get a different farrier in ASAP if possible, and for preventative measure, what can I do or feed her to strengthen the hoof wall? Also, Bailey's critique -- she's cute and all. (3 Y/O Appaloosa Filly) However, she didn't seem toed-out when I bought her. Could this be faulty farrier work at some point in her life?

Sorry. Overall, I'm just so **** disappointed in everything right now, myself included for her hoof.
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    03-09-2012, 11:12 PM
I don't think that there is anything more fustrating then a bad farrier/looking for a new one.

I will add my rant to yours... hehehe

So, I have a National Show Horse (half arab, half saddlebred). We have had trouble with farriers his whole life. Amost every farrier I have talked to under the age of 60 takes one look at his spots, and thinks Paint horse. They then look at his front feet and tell me his is club footed and needs his heals knocked down... if they don't listen to me when I tell them I won't pay them if they knock off his heals and take them off anyway, he is lame within 24 hours - and stays that way for four to six weeks. Joy.

Every once in a while, I find an ol' timer who looks at him and says saddlebred and trims him like a saddlebred. At that point I suddenly have a gaited horse who is so comfortable he is becide himself with joy!!! Then the old geezer either dies or we wind up moving stables, sigh.

Now, my boy also has the worse balance EVER and if you pull his feet to the side, he will FALL on you. Convincing a farrier that they have to keep his feet under him while they work is a fight I am so tired of fighting I can't see straight.

Most of the local farriers around here are used to trimming your basic stock horse - which is kewl, but I don't have the basic stock horse. I have found that one local farrier school teaches a method that gives a bit better results - but they do it in an eight week course and the farriers do not have the indepth knowledge that they really need - but at least they don't lame my horse the first time they come out!

What they do, is tend to do small errors that compound over time. I have yet to find one that can do my horse for a year straight and still provide me with decent looking feet. The last guy did my horse for 18 months. At the 8 month mark he developed a quarter crack so we put him in front shoes... a year later spent in front shoes and the crack has reached the cornet band so it is not a permanent addition to my horse's foot.

Enter a new farrier. He comes out to the stable to do a different horse and I take my boy out to meet him. He looks at his feet and even though he is only in his 40s, says saddlebred, and why is he at QH angles?? So I let him do my horse... but he hurts his back two days before and brings an idiot out with him. I flat told that man if he touched my horse again, I would deck him.

The farrier called me the next day and spent 30 minutes appologizing to my husband and asking for another chance. We are two sets of front shoes in and so far so good... he even mananged to trim my wild filly.

Wednesday he came out again, but due to my schedule the stable owner had to hold my horses - which is somethign I hate to do, but the man does drive 150 miles one way to come to our barn. He now does 12 of the 15 horses.

Sunday I get to see how that crack is doing...
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    03-09-2012, 11:37 PM
Find a new farrier. There is nothing better than having a consistent. Reliable farrier who does a good job.
    03-10-2012, 10:32 PM
Chips in and of themselves are just a sign the feet are too long (the horse is self trimming). Even if a big chunk came out I doubt it would cause pain. Of course I can't see your horse's feet, but just going by what you've posted, I would try to borrow some nippers and trim off the "hangnail." It might prevent a bigger chunk from coming off. But I wouldn't panic about it. I doubt she is in pain from even a large chunk of hoof coming off. But it really sounds like she needs a good trim. I would be more worried about stress on the tendons if the feet are long than chips and chunks breaking off.
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    03-10-2012, 10:50 PM
Thanks for the reply posts!

I had a farrier e-mail me a tip for dealing with a vertical crack in the hoof, and they said that it would help act as a band-aid until the next appointment. It broke off somewhere in the last two days and there's a chunk of the spongy foot showing, but you're right -- she's not in any pain.

Does anyone have experience in bare-foot trimming? Also, Bailey's front feet aren't even. The insides are about 1/3' shorter than the outside (on heel). Could this be from her style of walking? It concerns me because of the whole 'beginning to toe out' in front.

Thanks again!!
    03-10-2012, 11:09 PM
When I was a teenager, I had a herd of seven horses. When I brought home the fifth one (I usually got them free or close enough to free to just bring them home), she took me to the feed store and bought me the tools to do my own trims. Once a year she would have a 'real' farrier come out to do all of them and make sure I was doing it right.

Picking up a rasp and doing some research on how to smooth out the edges sounds like it would help your horse quite a bit. Unless you have a horse with special needs, it is just not that hard to do a barefoot trim.

I don't do my own anymore only because I can afford to have someone else do it... Well, that's about half of it. My gelding needs shoes and that is beyond my scope of expertise. (That and a crushed spine)

I would suggest that you watch closely any and all farriers when they are doing a barefoot trim. Ask questions. You can run a simple rasp over toes to keep the chips away every week or so and I think you will be much happier.
ButterfliEterna and SkyeDawn like this.
    03-11-2012, 01:57 PM
I'll join in the farrier rant!

I have a thoroughbred mare that has always had good feet. When we were at a barn with good/soft footing she was barefoot all the time, and kept her good feet. I moved her back to our old barn and the farrier is completely unreliable. But I'm not close enough to do anything other than complain. Her feet have gotten terrible, cracks to the coronet bands on both fronts and chips and usually overlong. I will be moving her in the fall down to where I am at school once her board at the other place runs out. I cannot wait to have her where I can know she is safe, healthy and happy.

The world really could use more good farriers :/

ETA: it's definitely a process but finding a good farrier is worth it in the end... after all "no hoof, no horse"
ButterfliEterna likes this.
    03-11-2012, 09:21 PM

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I could not make it out to watch the farrier do my horses on Wed. I had told the stable owner, who I trust absolutly with my horses, that I was wanting for my gelding to go barefoot, but not sure that The Crack woudl allow it.

Long story short. He just got a trim, farrier said the crack woudl be fine... One hour under saddle and the surface crack is now back to a fully seperated problem about 1/4 inch long... sigh. He is now out of comission until farrier can get back out - but as he comes 150 miles each way, it might be a week or longer. Saddness...

Oh, and my filly kicked him... sigh. Bad filly.
    03-11-2012, 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by yadlim    

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I could not make it out to watch the farrier do my horses on Wed. I had told the stable owner, who I trust absolutly with my horses, that I was wanting for my gelding to go barefoot, but not sure that The Crack woudl allow it.

Long story short. He just got a trim, farrier said the crack woudl be fine... One hour under saddle and the surface crack is now back to a fully seperated problem about 1/4 inch long... sigh. He is now out of comission until farrier can get back out - but as he comes 150 miles each way, it might be a week or longer. Saddness...

Oh, and my filly kicked him... sigh. Bad filly.
That is beyond frustrating when you request something and it's thrown out the window. :(

LOL, yes, bad filly. Maybe the farrier was just being an ignorant knob that day and she was telling him to snap out of it. LOL!
    03-11-2012, 10:28 PM
I think 'Farrier's Disease' as I call it, seems to be a common & universal ailment - not returning calls, not coming when scheduled, keeping people waiting without reasonable explanation & a courtesy call.... etc, etc seems to for some reason go with the territory of the majority of them.

So what can you do? I think whether or not you have a good farrier, horse owners educating themselves on hoof health & maintenance is a very good idea. For one, there are a LOT more factors that go into healthy hooves than a trim every 4-6 weeks. For 2, you can better appreciate what's happening, what needs to happen, be that directly with your horses feet, or with diet, with environment, etc. Thirdly, whether or not you plan to learn to do the job yourself or not, in case of emergency or disappearing farriers, you'll be capable of at least some 'first aid' treatment.

Hopefully the forum link in my signature will help you get started in learning more of the principles & factors that you need to consider.

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