Help for thin walls? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By poppy1356
  • 2 Post By Trinity3205
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-17-2012, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western ND
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Help for thin walls?

My three year old has otherwise healthy feet, however, we are constantly fighting flairs/breakage at the heel. My farrier is excellent. He's been around forever. He show shoes, corrective shoes/trims and so on. His opinion is that Mana has very thin hoof walls. Otherwise healthy, but thin. I tried to put him on a hoof supplement, however he would not eat it for anything. Bye bye $30 for nothing. And he isn't a picky eater at all, so I can only imagine how bad it tasted.

He gets trimmed every seven weeks or so, and my mare has great hooves, so I can only assume it is unlucky genetics at play with my poor boy (since his mama has great hooves, had to be from daddy... *Le Sigh*...).

So, what can I do to improve the strength of his hoof walls? Anyone have suggestions for supplements that he'll actually eat? Or am I doomed to have to keep him shod to stop his heel breaking off?

Proud owner of ~Mana: 6yo Arabian gelding~Pearl 13yo Arabian~Danzer 14yo Arabian mare~ Tiny mini filly
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-17-2012, 12:55 PM
Green Broke
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Why not get him trimmed before it flares?
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-17-2012, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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It flares/cracks before there is even enough hoof to take off and only in his heels, particularly his rears. Unless I start rasping every few days, which isn't going to be an option due to how often I get to the barn, seven week trims are the soonest that my farrier and I are comfortable doing for him.

Proud owner of ~Mana: 6yo Arabian gelding~Pearl 13yo Arabian~Danzer 14yo Arabian mare~ Tiny mini filly
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-17-2012, 01:01 PM
Green Broke
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So is this a case of wearing faster than growing? From my understanding short of supplementing with high doses of biotin there's not much you can do about the thickness of the walls.

My farrier loves my mare's feet but she must be shod, she simply wears faster than it grows.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-17-2012, 07:56 PM
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My understanding is if they are flaring the farrier isnt doing something right shouldnt have flares if hoofs are properly trimmed. I have the same problem with flaring on all three of my horses. Plus a lot of other issues due to poor farrier work i thought i had a good farrier but iam finding out diffrent. Biotin is supposed to be good most horses will eat it too.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-17-2012, 10:16 PM
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If the hoof is flaring, its already been left too long and is preparing to self trim by breaking off. Im sorry, your farrier is not correct if he said that he had nothing to trim. The growth is going OUT in the flare instead of down. Still needs to be removed. 3 to 4 weeks s optimal and some horses need a couple touch ups even closer, maybe 2 weeks as things get under control and depending on how fast the hoof is really growing.

Without pictures I cant say much specifically but I would guess this farrier is not very skilled at corrective barefoot trimming. Flare and breakage and 7 week trim intervals tell me alot about how he addresses this.

The other thing that can be a problem is diet and housing but I will only vaguely hit this till we know more. What is he eating? How does he spend his days and what is the terrain like? Young horses need LOADS of turnout over varied terrain that includes hard stuff to develop juvenile feet into a strong healthy adult foot. Soft pasture is very bad if it is all they ever walk over. A juvenile hoof will not be mature until the horses body stops growing at about 5 or 6 and even then, they can be stunted from improper stimulation and use as a young developing horse.

Bottom line. Trim more often. Remove flares and allow them to grow out tightly connected. Review diet and living conditions. Thats about all I can say till we know more and see some pictures.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-25-2012, 03:46 AM
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I have to agree with Trinity. Unless your horses are moving a lot over abrasive surfaces, 7 weeks is usually too long between trims. The breaking heels are likely trying to exfoliate themselves because they 'need' to go.

A healthy, barefoot horse usually has much shorter hooves than what people are used to seeing. Longer walls do not equal more/better protection for the feet.

Actually, if you want to get technical, the hoof (wall) protects the hoof from things it encounters when it is moving forward. It is not meant to be a rim bearing your horse's weight, with the sole and frog suspended above the ground. The walls break and flare because they are trying to get out of the way so that the sole and frog can get to the ground.

BTW, my qpony mare had extremely thin walls as long as we kept her shod (her first 20 years). The farriers were always complaining about her paper-thin hooves, flared quarters, and short heels.

I've been barefoot trimming her for 5 years. Obviously, no more farrier complaints! But her hoof walls are now normal thickness, her flares are almost nonexistent, and she is barefoot sound on all surfaces, even right after a trim.

Barefoot trimming is only part of barefoot soundness. With the right nutrition, environment and conditioning, the hoof can come to a point of self-maintaining 100% soundness with no trimming needed. Imagine that!
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-04-2013, 01:18 AM
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sorry silly format - silly new computer doesnt like horseforum!
nutrition n other factors also very important
if its deficient u do need appropriate supplementing and you can get more palatable types if horse is fussy n not hardfed.

also agree w trinity. trimmed insufficiently n probably imbalanced. if you cant get hi, good farrier more than 7 weekly yes you may need to learn yourself. just dont skimp on learning theory, anatomy etc not just hands on(if at all poss) practical lessons.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 12:19 AM
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On top of all the good advice ^^, I would just add, take pictures. I try to snap pics when I think of it to keep a running visual log. Instead of "thinking" they are "fill in the blank" over time, you can review the pics and remove all doubt.
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