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Heel Bulb Brain Teaser

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  • Knee bulb brain teaser
  • All The weight beared by heels

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    05-27-2012, 04:45 AM
  #11
Showing
That helped me a lot too, Amazin Caucasian!
     
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    05-27-2012, 12:38 PM
  #12
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian    
Puck, no disrespect, but you're reading too much into this club foot thing.

I usually don't make a get too into these farrier discussions other than to argue a little or make a short post. But you've posted on your horse's feet many times, and that says you care. I comment that.

Please try not to be offended. If you do get offended and don't take advice, maybe somebody else will see it and it'll help their horse.

The subject of club feet comes up a lot here. Most farriers don't have an answer for it. Barefoot trimmers try to get too technical about it. You're probably wasting time reading hoof care articles on the internet and even vet books. Learning about club feet doesn't happen in a labratory or a classroom. It happens in real world shoeing and trimming and watching horses. Paying attention to the whole horse instead of just looking from the knees down.

What makes a horse's foot steep and narrow? Weight distribution. The most fundamental fact every farrier should know is that a horse's hooves change shape due to how they bear weight. So it's very easy for a horse to develop a club foot.

1) They can have an injury that causes them to favor a leg. Over time, that foot will atrophy like a muscle in a broken leg. It becomes narrower and steeper because the weight it's designed to carry isn't being applied. By the time the injury heals, the muscle is stronger on the un-injured side, and the horse uses the strong side more, even resting in a stall.

2) A horse can also become club-footed from grazing. This starts at a young age when their legs are long. They throw one foot out in front so they can reach the ground to graze, and one foot is bearing more weight. Some overcome it, some don't. (This is also why so many gaited horses are toed-out. Long legs, short neck, they wear the insides of their front feet down spreading out like a giraffe to eat. Shorter medial length=splay-footed)

3) Another way a horse can develop a club foot is from a rider working the horse too much in one direction. If the rider feels more comfortable loping to the left, they lope to the left and build that side up stronger. Horse develops a strong left side and over-uses it.

In the majority of cases, a club footed horse will go lame on the strong foot first. When laminitis sets in, the strong side (wider, lower-heeled foot) will have more coffin bone sinking and rotation because there's more weight on it. Same reason a normal horse's front hooves founder worse than the hinds.....there's more weight on em.

Has anyone ever seen a horse founder worse on the back than on the front? I have. How is this possible? Because the front feet were so lame that this horse was supporting most of his body weight on his hindquarters. More weight on the hinds cause more separation and sinking. It's possible because of how a horse bears weight. The shape of hooves and location of flares are because of how weight is distributed. I see horses with hip problems that have a club foot on the back.

Farriers can alter and enhance the shape of each hoof as an individual........But fixing the whole horse is up to the owner. When I run in to a horse that has an overall balance problem like a club foot, I explain to them what needs to be done. They don't want to hear it. Their response is, "Don't tell me, just fix it, you're the farrier"!!!

Well, I don't fix it, you do. I understand people pay farriers to fix things. But they also pay us to know what needs to be done. In this day and age, people want fast, convenient service. They want things done for them. But the reality is, sometimes you have to put forth a little effort.

To fix a club-footed horse, you have to get him to USE THAT CLUB FOOT. If he's clubbed on the left front, lope him primarily to the left. Using it will spread it out, equal out the heels and overall angles, and eliminate the dish. Not only will using the weak (club) foot cause the feet to match, it will cause the horse to become balanced in his movements. It won't happen tomorrow or next week, but it'll happen.

So why is Puck's hoof clubbed? Because he's not bearing as much weight on it as he should. Could be because he had an injury and favored that foot, could be structural imbalance, could be man-made. But you can fix it

If yall don't believe me, look at a club footed horse from the back. Get him squared up and stand on a chair and look down his back up to his withers. Look at the difference in muscle mass on each side of his withers. Ride a club footed horse and lope to the weak side (club-footed side) See if that horse counter-canters because he can't pick up his leads to the weak side. Ride a club-footed horse in a straight line and see if you're saddle doasn't sit over to one side.

It's not his foot that needs work, it's his overall balance. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is recognize the obvious
Sorry OP....didn't want to hack into this thread but....

That is very interesting. My old mare QH is retired and lame from a possible past knee injury where she has bone calcification growing on her knee making her lame and have very limited range of motion in that knee. Funny thing is that I've noticed her actually limping on her opposite knee. So, I'm thinking that since she is bearing more weight on her non-injured leg....it is causing discomfort in the opposite one. Her farrier mentioned a little bit of club foot in the past. I've just let her be a pasture pet. Should I exercise her a little to help her? Or should I just let her be?



     
    05-27-2012, 02:10 PM
  #13
Yearling
Yeah sounds like she's wearing out the good side from compensating.

No you can only fix em if the horse will hold up to work and use. Permanent injuries and defects like bone spurs, ringbone, sidebone, arthritis, bowed tendons, navicular, etc. are irreversible and sadly will likely just be a pasture pet
     
    05-27-2012, 04:45 PM
  #14
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian    
Yeah sounds like she's wearing out the good side from compensating.

No you can only fix em if the horse will hold up to work and use. Permanent injuries and defects like bone spurs, ringbone, sidebone, arthritis, bowed tendons, navicular, etc. are irreversible and sadly will likely just be a pasture pet
K....thanks though.
     
    05-27-2012, 07:09 PM
  #15
Weanling
Myboypuck, I just wanted to say that I had messaged amazin caucasian a few months back about my mares clubbed foot. He gave me the same advice about getting my mare to USE that left foot and I have already seen dramatic improvement. Her heel is starting to expand and she is no longer reluctant to pick up that left lead what so ever.

I know it will still take quite some time for her to really use her clubbed foot the same as her "good" foot but ac's advice is definitely worth taking! I've seen it through my own experience!
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    05-27-2012, 09:18 PM
  #16
Trained
Good post AC, well explained I reckon. To elaborate further on the 'can you fix a club foot' it depends on the cause - eg. If one leg is actually longer than the other, there has been an irrepairable injury or such, it may be impossible & undesirable to even try. I also think that - emphasising your point AC - if it's left solely to farriery, it may also be undesirable to even try, because it is generally a holistic type situation - you can't just 'fix' the foot without consideration & correct management of the whole horse & the underlying cause. Eg. Feeding horses from 1' or so off the ground may be the best method of 'fixing' a club foot due to grazing stance of a long legged, relatively short necked animal. Eg. Just trimming down high heels without consideration to comfort isn't likely to work well, because regardless how 'ideally' the horse may be trimmed, he's still going to land toe first on that foot due to weak heels.

I'm interested in your idea AC that the 'strong' foot tends to be more likely to have rotation though, as IME that is not the case. I wouldn't call it the strong foot either though - just low heeled - as I've definitely found that foot is also often weak, flat soled & stretched laminae/flared walls. Due to the high heel & more pressure on the toe however, I've found that while the back half of a club foot is 'concave', the front often isn't and there is also usually a fair degree of stretching of the toe. Assuming appropriate and frequent enough hoofcare though, regardless of whether or not the high foot is lowered, the stretching/flaring in both feet should be manageable/avoidable.

Back to Puck... I'd pretty much ignore butt cheek size with regard to heel balance. I'd basically trim the heels to be well balanced in relation to the sole plane. I'd be using frog support wedges to give the frog comfortable stimulation - & ability to get stronger - on the high foot.

Quote:
No you can only fix em if the horse will hold up to work and use. Permanent injuries and defects like bone spurs, ringbone, sidebone, arthritis, bowed tendons, navicular, etc. are irreversible and sadly will likely just be a pasture pet
I agree that it *may often* be impossible, in many particular circumstances, but I don't believe that's all *necessarily* irreversible, as bone remodelling/calcification responds to how the bones/joints are used. I have had personal (anecdotal, no rads, sorry) evidence of ringbone and osteoarthritic knees improving greatly & calcified areas reducing when mechanics were changed. With regard to 'navicular disease', while there is no evidence to my knowledge to suggest bone remodelling there can change back to a healthy state, there is plenty to suggest that with appropriate care, the bony changes can be irrelevant to the horse's comfort & use. ***Not at all trying to say everything is cureable in the least, or even that it is easy or even always desirable or worth the effort, just that it is not impossible IME.
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    05-27-2012, 09:43 PM
  #17
Started
I agree that it *may often* be impossible, in many particular circumstances, but I don't believe that's all *necessarily* irreversible, as bone remodelling/calcification responds to how the bones/joints are used. I have had personal (anecdotal, no rads, sorry) evidence of ringbone and osteoarthritic knees improving greatly & calcified areas reducing when mechanics were changed. With regard to 'navicular disease', while there is no evidence to my knowledge to suggest bone remodelling there can change back to a healthy state, there is plenty to suggest that with appropriate care, the bony changes can be irrelevant to the horse's comfort & use. ***Not at all trying to say everything is cureable in the least, or even that it is easy or even always desirable or worth the effort, just that it is not impossible IME.[/QUOTE]

I was wondering if her knee seems to be fusing now....even though she will have limited range of motion....would it maybe be possible that she will be less lame once fused? I am sure it is a wait and see thing and a very small chance. And if it did get a little better....she would still be a pasture pet.
     
    05-27-2012, 10:27 PM
  #18
Trained
Amazin, thanks for the info. I'm not at all offended. I post a lot because my job is soooooo boring this time of year. I sat there for 16 hours yesterday in a room with no windows and the phone rang twice. There is nothing to do but surf and try to find things to occupy my mind. I know the only place I'm going to gain real knowledge is on my horse's feet. That doesn't stop me from considering every possible angle on how to address them. I'm an info junkie, can't you tell??

Below is the reason for my question. See on the day 1 one picture that the right side heel bulb is much smaller and the whole foot is slid off to one side? I was just curious how to address that with trimming. The other pic is from today, so it has worked itself out for the most part.

I actually do know that Puck was not born this way. I have a pic of him racing at age 2 with two very normal looking feet. His was either a shoulder injury or just a grazing thing. Either way, he has been using his club foot more since his shoes were pulled. I'm very encouraged.

And better yet... his low pancake foot is no more!! It's got a little heel now, isn't splat on the ground anymore, and has a little heel to support it. Below are pics of that foot too. We're definitely getting there.

Glad folks could learn more about club feet!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg right-heel-1-19-12.jpg (35.0 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg right-heel-5-27-12.jpg (45.0 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg left-heel-1-19-12.jpg (31.1 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg left-heel-5-27-12.jpg (41.1 KB, 84 views)
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    05-27-2012, 11:08 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhorselady    
I was wondering if her knee seems to be fusing now....even though she will have limited range of motion....would it maybe be possible that she will be less lame once fused? I am sure it is a wait and see thing and a very small chance. And if it did get a little better....she would still be a pasture pet.
That is often the way it seems to go with articular arthritis, eg. Ringbone, that it is painful for the horse until the joint seizes completely, at which time they can become 'sound' albeit with no movement in that joint.
     
    06-03-2012, 09:14 PM
  #20
Yearling
[QUOTE=loosie;1519701]

I'm interested in your idea AC that the 'strong' foot tends to be more likely to have rotation though, as IME that is not the case. I wouldn't call it the strong foot either though - just low heeled - as I've definitely found that foot is also often weak, flat soled & stretched laminae/flared walls. Due to the high heel & more pressure on the toe however, I've found that while the back half of a club foot is 'concave', the front often isn't and there is also usually a fair degree of stretching of the toe. Assuming appropriate and frequent enough hoofcare though, regardless of whether or not the high foot is lowered, the stretching/flaring in both feet should be manageable/avoidable.

QUOTE]

Strong side. Meaning the muscle development on the non-club-foot side is more pronounced. Forearm, bicep, shoulder, and chest is stronger. Possibly differences in neck development also. In the case of laminitis on a club-foot horse, the same thing happens to all feet...constricted blood flow. So laminae weaken and strength of connecting tissue from the coffin bone to the wall are comprimised. Equally on all feet.However, the majority of weight is beared on the wide, lower-heeled hoof of the strong side. If it wasn't, the hoof wouldn't have crushed heels and flared walls. The devastating damage from laminitis isn't caused by weakened laminae alone. It's caused by the weight of a horse pushing p3 down while it's suspended by rotting connecting tissue. The hoof that bears more weight will be damaged more; and which hoof is bearing more weight? The wide one.
Yes, I agree the club foot of a non-laminitic horse often has stretching and separation, and the wide foot doesn't. But what I'm referring to is a horse that already has a club-foot getting hot-footed. I suppose some horses coulda developed a weak side from this. Example: A horse is clubbed on the left. He founders and this causes the stong side (right side) to be damaged more. It's sore for a while, so it atrophies into a club foot, and the left side widens. Basically they switch. I never seen it happen, but theoretically I think it could. I've probably only scratched the surface on causes for club-footedness. Sure there are dozens of things I've never imagined.

As far as farrier management, I personally don't do much altering. Now if a horse has 1 or 2 degrees difference in the front feet, I'll match them up nice. But if one is 44 degrees, and the other is 62, and this horse is noticably left or right-handed, it's time for the owner to do some work. You can't really add length with a thick pad and make the horse use it either. Tried that. I've probably tried everything you can try to corrective-shoe horses out of a club foot. I can't say it never works, but it never has for me.
I did have an interesting case on a stallion involving club feet. BOTH fronts were steep, p3 rotated, and stretched white line. In short, this horse's bones grew longer than his tendons. Deep flexor was pulling coffin bone (p3) down and both heels were very high. Cutting heels down caused mild soreness, but leaving them likely would result in p3 and p2 fusing. So we chose the lesser of 2 evils and kept them at natural looking angles. Horse likely developed navicular syndrome over time. Not a good choice for a stallion, but it wasn't my horse and it wasn't my call.
     

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