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Hoof Trim Critique (picture heavy)

This is a discussion on Hoof Trim Critique (picture heavy) within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Change of hoof after better nutrition
  • Horse hoof real triming images

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    09-22-2011, 12:56 PM
  #21
Weanling
While fronts aren't terrible(tho there are issues still), backs need much more/different.


That is exactly what I thought. Heels seemed low to me but Im not a farrier so I will leave that to you smarter people. ...plus her feet do look like petrified wood...which is likely nutritional more than anything but still wow...
     
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    09-22-2011, 01:07 PM
  #22
Weanling
My favorite for topical hoof moisturizers is Hooflex. Clearly there is also something missing in her nutrition. What is the quality of his/her coat?
     
    09-22-2011, 11:46 PM
  #23
Yearling
To the person who said that the hooves can't grow out too fast if trimmed every 6-8 weeks- that is simply not true. When I fed Whiskey farrier's formula, his hooves grew about 1 inch every 4 weeks. It was hard to get the farrier out that often, and his hooves took a long time to re-grow to strong instead of shelly again. Needless to say, I stopped feeding it.
He is trimmed every 6 weeks on average during summer, 7-8 weeks during winter.
His coat is shiny, mane and tail growing out strong.
I live in a geogaphical 'wet desert,' meaning that there's a lake, but the summer heat and dry conditions mimic a desert (Okanagan Valley). We are (obviously) just coming out of summer, and trust me when I say his hooves were not tis dry 4 weeks ago.
I bought some coconut oil to use on his hooves and tail, and will get some omega 3's in to him and see what difference it makes.
     
    09-23-2011, 09:16 AM
  #24
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspin231    
To the person who said that the hooves can't grow out too fast if trimmed every 6-8 weeks- that is simply not true. When I fed Whiskey farrier's formula, his hooves grew about 1 inch every 4 weeks. It was hard to get the farrier out that often, and his hooves took a long time to re-grow to strong instead of shelly again. Needless to say, I stopped feeding it.
He is trimmed every 6 weeks on average during summer, 7-8 weeks during winter.
His coat is shiny, mane and tail growing out strong.
I live in a geogaphical 'wet desert,' meaning that there's a lake, but the summer heat and dry conditions mimic a desert (Okanagan Valley). We are (obviously) just coming out of summer, and trust me when I say his hooves were not tis dry 4 weeks ago.
I bought some coconut oil to use on his hooves and tail, and will get some omega 3's in to him and see what difference it makes.
Maybe this article will help you.How a Horse's Hoof Grows - eXtension
     
    09-23-2011, 11:03 AM
  #25
Green Broke
I just think they need to be a tad shorter, and still do the strong mustang roll. I have a feeling the barn owner wanted to err on the side of caution and not get them too short, but in this case I would take them nearly to the sole and still do a very strong roll to try to combat the cracking.

I would imagine the cracking is nutritional as everyone else suggests. Another thought I had would be the horse goes frequently from wet to dry conditions (back and forth) and that has dried out the feet. But I am not sure about that theory. It is just a thought.

But dry feet in and of themselves are a good thing (I live in Arizona and in the dry season my horses feet look the BEST- I love dry feet!) but I have never seen feet with so many surface cracks (some look like they are starting to turn into REAL cracks, especially that white foot).

My horses feet are barefoot too and I never get surface cracks. I think my guys get a very good diet though- alfalfa (mostly) and some bermuda hay year round. No supplements at all, fed-through or topical. I really think topical is a waste of money. All you are doing is making them look greasy and pretty with topical hoof dressings.

In your case, I think a nutritional hoof supplement is a good idea, even if it means more frequent trims. And I hate to say it, but you haven't been trimming enough as it is. If this is how they look after a trim, they must have been way worse before. When keeping a horse barefoot, frequent trimming is very important to keep them tight and healthy and keep them from spreading and flaring and deteriorating. Most horses just don't get enough natural exercise to keep their feet short like they should be.

I am not appalled at the trim job (it just wasn't aggressive enough). I think the barn owner was being conservative and took a "do no harm" approach. But the health of the hooves could use a lot of improvement. And that needs to come from the inside out, and a good frequent trims to keep what you do have from deteriorating.
     
    09-23-2011, 11:41 AM
  #26
Weanling
While there has been some discussion regarding supplements and the dietary effect of intake on hoof wall quality, I would take exception with most of those recommendations.

The appearence of the hooves as presented is likely more subject a lack of proper hoofcare and environment than diet.

The top 3/4" to 1" of wall, as it appears from the coronary down, is relatively healthy and crack free. Beyond the distal point of the periople, the wall is composed entirely of keratinized, dead protein cells.

The key word in that last sentence is.... dead.

You can try to feed dead; you can massage it; you can paint it, moisturize it, oil it, seal it, heck you can even sing sweet love songs to it. When all is said and done, it's still dead. Not mostly dead... all dead.

While hoof feed supplements can certainly effect the rate of growth originating at the coronary corium, short of a protein deficiency I can see little that demonstrates real return on the investment.

A decent quality hay and feed is typically all most horses need... along with quality hoofcare.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, those feet would probably clean up nicely with a single visit. A repetitive exposure of wet/dry/wet/dry conditions can be causal in the cracked/dry appearence seen in those photos. This is a common occurrence in areas where the night grass is dew covered (wet feet), then dries out again when the sun rises (dry feet).

A routine of dressing the walls during hoofcare maintenance is very effective at minimizing crack causing capsule distortion and the surface cracks that may appear.

In example.... a horse presenting similar, albeit a less severe, dry/cracked appearance.





You can see the beginning of those same surface cracks and the dry texture of the hoof wall.

An hour later the same feet look like this...





No hoof supplements, no special dietary considerations... just basic hoofcare maintenance.

Cheers,
Mark
natisha likes this.
     
    09-23-2011, 08:39 PM
  #27
Trained
Now I've actually read replies...

Quote:
To the person who said that the hooves can't grow out too fast if trimmed every 6-8 weeks- that is simply not true. When I fed Whiskey farrier's formula, his hooves grew about 1 inch every 4 weeks.
I suspect there was something else going on there, because so far as I'm aware, even the healthiest bare endurance horses don't tend to grow that fast. Perhaps like shedding soles, which made hoof walls look extra long all of a sudden. Also, studies have shown that it would typically take 6-9 months before any real changes from supps *start* to occur, so interested to know how long you fed it?

Yes, certain conditions & supplements can indeed make hooves grow quicker, but I think what Natisha may have meant is that it's not 'too fast' or rather, it's not a bad thing that they grow fast. That they grew fast but shelly is another thing, that could have been due to nutrition, diet(as opposed to nutrition), management, etc.

Studies have shown that regardless of well balanced nutrition or other changes in care, biotin can make hooves grow quicker, but it doesn't necessarily effect how healthy they are. However, you need all the ingredients in the right amounts to make a good cake. Biotin is but one of many, which may or may not be deficient in a horse's diet. Many commercial supps that I've looked at(with the help of FeedXL.com, because I've found lables also often don't tell all) are not well balanced, for an average pasture/hay fed horse. It also depends what's in the feed as to what extra they need. Some commonly deficient ones that relate to the feet are copper, zinc, magnesium, iodine, methionine, omega 3s.

The outer layer of the(healthy) hoof wall is made of tightly packed, dead, dry tubules. As they are so tight and also (assuming diet/nutrition provides) they are coated in fats/wax naturally. This makes the outer horn pretty impervious to water & some topicals and keeps the moisture of the inner wall from escaping. This layer can however be damaged, esp. By astringent type chemicals (essential oils, paints, acetone, etc, etc) and then it can allow the hooves to dry out & crack. That is one reason I'd quit using cornescrine & wouldn't bother with other topical gunk. They are great at claims of 'miraculous hoof growth', 'healing cracks' etc, but IME & from studies I've read, all they're really good for is helping the hooves look a little prettier... when they don't make them look worse by stripping the protective layer & drying them out. Check out this link; The Horse | Hoof Dressings: What Studies Show

Assuming your horse's hooves weren't longer than they are in the 'after' pics & that's average growth, it looks like 6 weeks is too long for them to go between trimming, at least if he works on hard, flattish surfaces. I'd see how he goes with 4 weekly during summer & 6 max when growth slows & ground is more yielding in winter.
     
    09-23-2011, 09:05 PM
  #28
Weanling
Just some help, because his feet are tremendously dry, what I do especially since i'm in texas where it's drier than I don't know what is put vasaline right on the dry spot where the hoof meets the fur, so that it can get moisture in those hooves!
     
    09-23-2011, 09:36 PM
  #29
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichliebepferde    
just some help, because his feet are tremendously dry, what I do especially since i'm in texas where it's drier than I don't know what is put vasaline right on the dry spot where the hoof meets the fur, so that it can get moisture in those hooves!
See above post & link.
     
    09-23-2011, 10:27 PM
  #30
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
While there has been some discussion regarding supplements and the dietary effect of intake on hoof wall quality, I would take exception with most of those recommendations.

The appearence of the hooves as presented is likely more subject a lack of proper hoofcare and environment than diet.

The top 3/4" to 1" of wall, as it appears from the coronary down, is relatively healthy and crack free. Beyond the distal point of the periople, the wall is composed entirely of keratinized, dead protein cells.

The key word in that last sentence is.... dead.

You can try to feed dead; you can massage it; you can paint it, moisturize it, oil it, seal it, heck you can even sing sweet love songs to it. When all is said and done, it's still dead. Not mostly dead... all dead.

While hoof feed supplements can certainly effect the rate of growth originating at the coronary corium, short of a protein deficiency I can see little that demonstrates real return on the investment.

A decent quality hay and feed is typically all most horses need... along with quality hoofcare.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, those feet would probably clean up nicely with a single visit. A repetitive exposure of wet/dry/wet/dry conditions can be causal in the cracked/dry appearence seen in those photos. This is a common occurrence in areas where the night grass is dew covered (wet feet), then dries out again when the sun rises (dry feet).

A routine of dressing the walls during hoofcare maintenance is very effective at minimizing crack causing capsule distortion and the surface cracks that may appear.

In example.... a horse presenting similar, albeit a less severe, dry/cracked appearance.





You can see the beginning of those same surface cracks and the dry texture of the hoof wall.

An hour later the same feet look like this...





No hoof supplements, no special dietary considerations... just basic hoofcare maintenance.

Cheers,
Mark
Hi Mark!

I have utmost respect for you and you obviously have tons of experience (I assume you are a professional farrier). So I hope you don't mind me remarking on your above post. I love discussing feet!

I would argue that the hoof supplements /better nutrition/ what have you, is for the future hoof growth. It may take a year, but it should have positive effects on hoof quality. Obviously nothing fed now will effect the cracks that are already there.

I agree the horse needs more frequent trims to keep the hoof quality from deteriorating while the (hopefully) stronger hoof wall grows down, and that is the main factor in improving these feet.

I think the point you were trying to make is that proper hoof care alone should correct these hooves, and that it likely isn't a nutritional problem, correct?

That is a lovely, lovely shoe and trim job by the way. If I had access to a quality farrier like you I would likely not be doing barefoot!

You know what I have always wondered and it is probably the subject for a separate post, but does high protein hay (such as alfalfa) promote better quality hooves? I am thinking it does. I have only owned a few horses, but out here in Arizona we feed mainly alfalfa, and all the alfalfa fed horses have strong feet. That doesn't mean they are always perfectly healthy feet, they can still have issues, but in general cracking and breaking up isn't one of them. In other words, the horn quality is very tough. (I have never seen hooves that look like the OP's). Do you think alfalfa promotes hoof quality? Or do you have an experience with it?
     

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