Hoof Questions
 
 

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Hoof Questions

This is a discussion on Hoof Questions within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • I have a four old gelding whoes hooves grow slowly causing him to get sore
  • Horse hoof question and answers

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  • 1 Post By loosie
  • 1 Post By Honeysuga

 
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    03-13-2013, 06:00 PM
  #1
Yearling
Hoof Questions

How long should it take for a good farrier to back up long and under run heels, and long flared toes? Generally speaking, I understand that it would vary between horses.

Landing hard, toe first. I am guessing this isn't good considering it's making my mare very sore. What are the causes, and what kind of damage is happening?

Hoof shape, do horses hooves have to grow in a uniform and even shape to work the best? Spice's legs turn out and every time he takes off part of the flare on her back hoofs she gets sore until it regrows. It isn't pretty but it seems to be working for her, and at 14 should I expect that to change?

Hole in the frog, a chunk of Spices frog is gone, I keep it clean and it is no longer sore to touch. Not sure what caused it. How long would it take to regrow?

Is there anything as a owner I could do to help her long toed, under run heels, holey frog hooves? Her hooves are very hard, despite wet ground right now.

Where is a good source of information on hooves? Seems like there is so much out there but what is true, and relavent is tricky to find.

How do you talk to a farrier when you're not even sure what you're talking about? I don't know what the goal to have Spice's hooves look like so I'm not sure if we're making progress too it. When I am nervous I stutter making it hard to be clear and get out the thought, so knowing what I should bring up ahead of time helps.

Thanks ahead of time.
     
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    03-14-2013, 06:19 AM
  #2
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser    
How long should it take for a good farrier to back up long and under run heels, and long flared toes?
Depends on many factors IME, but will generally take at least a few trims, very often substantially more.

Quote:
Landing hard, toe first. I am guessing this isn't good considering it's making my mare very sore. What are the causes, and what kind of damage is happening?
Shock & concussion to the tip of P3 - and corium, laminae, etc. Shock & concussion all up the legs, because it isn't dispersed. Concussion & damage to the extensor process of P3 and the coffin joint, leading to low articular ringbone. Strain & torque on the navicular region & lower DDFT, causing 'navicular syndrome' & eventually associated bony changes.

Quote:
Hoof shape, do horses hooves have to grow in a uniform and even shape to work the best?
Yes, generally. But it's not good to cut a 'uniform' shape hoof on a skewed limb or such.

Quote:
Spice's legs turn out and every time he takes off part of the flare on her back hoofs she gets sore until it regrows. It isn't pretty but it seems to be working for her, and at 14 should I expect that to change?
Only speculating of course, but if your farrier is making your horse sore each trim trying to 'correct' something, I think he is possibly doing the wrong thing. I would guess that perhaps rather than just dressing the flare & ensuring good hoof balance(for that particular hoof/horse), he is changing the balance - shortening the hoof on one side from underneath or such - and while there have been studies that show bone remodelling can happen at any age, there are so many other factors- such as joint health, chronic pain leading to osteo arthritis, etc, that it's generally accepted that 'conformational faults' shouldn't be attempted to be changed past about a year max(depends on which bits), let alone 14yo.

Quote:
Hole in the frog, a chunk of Spices frog is gone, I keep it clean and it is no longer sore to touch. Not sure what caused it. How long would it take to regrow?
Could be thrush, could have been an abscess that's blown. Shouldn't take too long to resolve & regrow. Disinfecting the frog to kill thrush(but it's important not to over do that either) and keeping the horse in a dry environment is helpful. How long it takes will also depend on state of hooves & how well they function.

Quote:
Is there anything as a owner I could do to help her long toed, under run heels, holey frog hooves?
Frequent & correct trimming, often enough to prevent overgrowth. Feeding a healthy diet & well balanced nutrition. No shoes, at least until the long toes & heels have been corrected. Good dry, firm environment, treat thrush. Provide hoof protection wherever necessary, in the form of boots or such, pref with frog support pads if the frogs are receded/weak, to allow the horse to comfortably start landing heel first.

Quote:
Where is a good source of information on hooves? Seems like there is so much out there but what is true, and relavent is tricky to find.
Hmm, & it depends who you ask too. The thread link in my signature below is a start.

Quote:
How do you talk to a farrier when you're not even sure what you're talking about? I don't know what the goal to have Spice's hooves look like so I'm not sure if we're making progress too it.
Progress should be relatively clear - the horse should be looking & moving better after each trim than before. As to discussing this with the farrier if you're uneducated about it, that can be tricky - I can only suggest you get yourself educated about hoof health & function ASAP. Asking the guy lots of questions about what & why he does things will help you understand his ideas better, but may not give you an idea whether he's good, bad or indifferent.
     
    03-14-2013, 06:20 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser    
How long should it take for a good farrier to back up long and under run heels, and long flared toes?
Depends on many factors IME, but will generally take at least a few trims, very often substantially more.

Quote:
Landing hard, toe first. I am guessing this isn't good considering it's making my mare very sore. What are the causes, and what kind of damage is happening?
Shock & concussion to the tip of P3 - and corium, laminae, etc. Shock & concussion all up the legs, because it isn't dispersed. Concussion & damage to the extensor process of P3 and the coffin joint, leading to low articular ringbone. Strain & torque on the navicular region & lower DDFT, causing 'navicular syndrome' & eventually associated bony changes.

Quote:
Hoof shape, do horses hooves have to grow in a uniform and even shape to work the best?
Yes, generally. But it's not good to cut a 'uniform' shape hoof on a skewed limb or such.

Quote:
Spice's legs turn out and every time he takes off part of the flare on her back hoofs she gets sore until it regrows. It isn't pretty but it seems to be working for her, and at 14 should I expect that to change?
Only speculating of course, but if your farrier is making your horse sore each trim trying to 'correct' something, I think he is possibly doing the wrong thing. I would guess that perhaps rather than just dressing the flare & ensuring good hoof balance(for that particular hoof/horse), he is changing the balance - shortening the hoof on one side from underneath or such - and while there have been studies that show bone remodelling can happen at any age, there are so many other factors- such as joint health, chronic pain leading to osteo arthritis, etc, that it's generally accepted that 'conformational faults' shouldn't be attempted to be changed past about a year max(depends on which bits), let alone 14yo.

Quote:
Hole in the frog, a chunk of Spices frog is gone, I keep it clean and it is no longer sore to touch. Not sure what caused it. How long would it take to regrow?
Could be thrush, could have been an abscess that's blown. Shouldn't take too long to resolve & regrow. Disinfecting the frog to kill thrush(but it's important not to over do that either) and keeping the horse in a dry environment is helpful. How long it takes will also depend on state of hooves & how well they function.

Quote:
Is there anything as a owner I could do to help her long toed, under run heels, holey frog hooves?
Frequent & correct trimming, often enough to prevent overgrowth. Feeding a healthy diet & well balanced nutrition. No shoes, at least until the long toes & heels have been corrected. Good dry, firm environment, treat thrush. Provide hoof protection wherever necessary, in the form of boots or such, pref with frog support pads if the frogs are receded/weak, to allow the horse to comfortably start landing heel first.

Quote:
Where is a good source of information on hooves? Seems like there is so much out there but what is true, and relavent is tricky to find.
Hmm, & it depends who you ask too. The thread link in my signature below is a start.

Quote:
How do you talk to a farrier when you're not even sure what you're talking about? I don't know what the goal to have Spice's hooves look like so I'm not sure if we're making progress too it.
Progress should be relatively clear - the horse should be looking & moving better after each trim than before. As to discussing this with the farrier if you're uneducated about it, that can be tricky - I can only suggest you get yourself educated about hoof health & function ASAP. Asking the guy lots of questions about what & why he does things will help you understand his ideas better(you've asked some pertinent questions here), but may not give you an idea whether he's good, bad or indifferent.
     
    03-20-2013, 09:42 PM
  #4
Trained
The heels can be lowered and dragged back each trimming cycle and provide some degree of immediate relief. There is some disagreement on the long toe part. Some say the laminar wedge that is caused by the long toe separating from the hoof wall is needed for support until a healthier tighter hoof grows in. Others say to back the toe up the white line on day one and keep trimming according to the white line.

Landing toe first might just be due to the long toes, but could also be heels being left too high. Most farriers who have a new high heeled horse client, tend to bring the heels down slowly over time so as to not cause any damage. Either way, the soreness if probably due to the concussion that your horse feels with each step. The less hard ground exposure the better until more good hoof has grown in.

My take on the uniform hoof growth thing is, if it keeps growing back, it's doing so for a reason. My horse also flares on the outside of both hinds. It seems quite normal for horses to have more outside than inside growth on hinds, so I'd think it might make sense to just leave it alone. If nothing else, the flares on the hinds are currently making up for something that's off in the fronts. Once the fronts are fixed, maybe the flares won't be as prominent.

Assuming you keep it clean and dry, a new frog should grow in within a few months. If you do nothing else, become a frog freak. Clean healthy frogs seem to be so important to a horse being comfortable. When you get into those mud everyday weeks, scrub them with a little Dawn dish washing liquid every few days with a hoof brush so no bacteria can start rebuilding in there.

As for what you can do, just wait for the new hoof capsule to grow in. If your farrier is trimming correctly, you should see a tighter, more upright angle of growth coming in.

As for good sources of info, I found a book that gave me just enough info to start to ask informed questions of my farrier. I wish I could remember the name, but I'm at work and it escapes me. Unfortunately there are as many different farrier opinions on how to trim a hoof as there are farriers, so my suggestion is to read everything you can find on the internet and try to get an overall picture of what you're looking for in a healthy hoof. Hopefully your farrier is bringing your horse in the right direction.
     
    03-21-2013, 04:01 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Great post loosie. If your horse is sore after every trim you shohld discuss the trimming with your farrier or seek the opinion of another experienced farrier. Diligencde is the key to reforming icky feet. Keep them clean, keep them dry, and make sure she is being trimmed properly and they should build back up nicely. If you are looking for info you can always do a little research around the forum, look up old threads about barefoot hoof care and hoof illnesses.
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    03-22-2013, 05:44 PM
  #6
Yearling
Thanks for the advice. Spice was only sore when he tried to correct the flare on her back feet, he's back off and just keeps it to a minimal trim on them to keep from spreading.

Her frog is regrowing really well now, since I changed thrush treatment, scrubbing with plain water first.

My problem now is that my farrier wants to leave her heels a little higher (he's bring them back from being under run too) but I see it as too high, her fronts don't seem right? Not sore or lame but I don't have the word for it I just see it off. He doesn't see it though. We have really rocky terrain he said the heel was to protect the sole. But her sole is really concaved (think that's the right word) and only really sharp rocks hurt her feet (she'll canter up and down our dirt drive without a wrong step).

He said he would lower her heel a little more if I really want him too, but I don't know enough about hoofs to make that call. I want to trust he's opinion but I've been burned by horse "professionals" more than once and making me really nervous. Her toe needs to come in more because she drags it and trips.

It seems like there is a ton of information out there on hoofs, but its hard to know what's right for my horse, and my situation.She isn't a wild horse so should I really be comparing her hoofs to one? I also have a really hard time with new words, I don't remember them well have a difficult time saying them so sometimes its hard for me to communicate what I mean.

Thanks
     
    03-22-2013, 08:02 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser    
(he's bring them back from being under run too) but I see it as too high, her fronts don't seem right?
While I'm inclined to think you can't afford to leave extra height when treating under run hooves, respectfully, you admit you don't understand much about hooves, so where do you get the idea you know better than the farrier & should be dictating to him? Not saying you're necessarily wrong, but who's to say you're right either?? Without even pictures to go on, we can't have much of an idea either **Although remember that even with pics, we won't necessarily have an accurate idea & there are different opinions too, so you shouldn't take anything you get as gospel either.

Quote:
We have really rocky terrain he said the heel was to protect the sole. But her sole is really concaved (think that's the right word) and only really sharp rocks hurt her feet (she'll canter up and down our dirt drive without a wrong step).
Do keep in mind though that horses are very stoic animals & it's entirely possible she's cantering on your drive because you told her to, without being comfortable about it. As a rule, the harder/rougher the terrain the horse lives on, the shorter the hoof walls should be. It may be that she has nice thick, strong soles, but if she has thrushy, weak frogs, I wouldn't be trotting or cantering on gravel/rocks for now, as it will be too uncomfortable.

Quote:
It seems like there is a ton of information out there on hoofs, but its hard to know what's right for my horse, and my situation.She isn't a wild horse so should I really be comparing her hoofs to one? I also have a really hard time with new words,
Yes, valid points - although on the topic of new terms, we all have that problem - you just need to practice using them. So how do you sift through the rubble to find the 'gems'? I suggest you learn all you can about anatomy & function... Bowker's a great resource, but you'll be jumping in at the deepest end with him regarding new terms!

Regarding your horse not being wild, yes, I think it's absolutely invaluable to learn about wild hooves/horses & what's the difference(they're not all the epitome of sound & perfect either). Not that that's to say it may be best to just emulate what you learn there with your horse. In learning about how the hoof - & it's different parts - function, you'll better understand how the different factors of diet, environment & management affect the hooves.

So, if you would like any specific opinions(remember they're still just opinions) on your horse's hooves, pics & more info about diet, management, environment would help. See the link in my signature below for tips on what's needed for good critique pix.
     
    03-23-2013, 08:51 AM
  #8
Yearling
Thanks. I think the reason why I thought her heels were long was because I asked if they should be shorter and he couldn't give me an answer so it made me question everything, again. Sadly he's the last farrier around, at least he hasn't made her lame like two others.

The only time she's ever cantered and trotted on our dirt (not gravel) drive way was when she broke than jumped the fence and decided to race up and down it for 10 minutes even after she calmed down. I only have ridden on our grass/dirt arena, she's been off work due to health issues due to lung worms.

Off to learn more about hoofs (or is it hooves?).
     

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