Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
I'm a bit confused on the heel comments though...this person told me to put venice turpentine on her heels to toughen them up and make them grow a bit more...but some are saying they need to be shortened?
Is anyone on here a farrier? I'm just curious to get some opinions from one...I know there are farriers in this forum, hiding from me! ;)
I'm a hoof care practitioner. But of course don't take any of our words for it here. Use our advice as food for thought & go learn the principles for yourself, to make an informed decision. As even among good hoof care professionals, there are differences of opinion and alternatives abound. There is new research giving grounds for new opinions cropping up everywhere too.....
My opinion of her heels & above comment... I think they're pretty reasonable. The back one shown is great, the front one a little long, but given that she was due for a trim, not bad at all. *As a rule*(there are so many exceptions...) I use the sole plane as a guide for trimming the walls and will keep them back to *within* 1/8" of the sole plane, maximum. One of the exceptions is if I've trimmed her back to near sole plane level, but next visit she looks like she does in front. This would tell me she has sensitive heels and *may* benefit from a *little* extra length in the short term, to allow her to comfortably use them until her digital cushions become stronger.
Regarding putting turpentine on her frogs, I don't advise this. They need to *grow* strong & thick, not just have a bit of a crust on them. Turps also won't encourage growth. The biggest thing that promotes growth is lots of good hoof function. That is, the more exercise the better, **with the hooves working correctly**. So for eg. if the above theory of sensitive heels were the case, I would be considering boots or such on hard ground(if the tad extra heel height didn't have the effect) to allow the horse to *comfortably* and therefore correctly use her feet, make heel first impacts and thereby develop those digital cushions/lateral cartilages to a point where she had strong, sound feet.
Upon looking again at the pics, I'm more inclined to think there is indeed a bit of separation there, so I would be particular about *keeping* the walls well rolled to keep any leverage forces acting against the laminae and I'd be careful with her diet. I await the next pics.
Best angles for pics are directly front- & side-on from near ground level and a range of angles of the sole, including sighting directly from heel to toe, to show height, balance & depth.