Horse gets ouchy on gravel soon after a trim?

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Horse gets ouchy on gravel soon after a trim?

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  • Ouchy hooves
  • Horse ouchy gravel

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    04-27-2012, 01:06 AM
Super Moderator
Horse gets ouchy on gravel soon after a trim?

Before a trim, Lacey is 100% fine over every kind of ground you can take her on.
After a trim, she acts ouchy on gravel and mildly timid on asphalt. It's immediate as well, like as soon as the trimmer's done, Lacey is trying to edge her way off the gravel road she usually stands on while I pay the trimmer. Her back feet are fine all the time, it's the fronts that seem to not be happy.

My trimmer doesn't do anything to her soles or her frogs and often times all she has to do is recreate the mustang roll on Lacey's feet. No actual "trimming". The last few times she's had to actually use her nippers but that's unusual.

I do have some pictures, before and after, for you if you'd like to see...


(Holy ground angles Batman! Sorry!!)

Apparently I didn't get an underside shot of that one pre-trim...


(sorry for the slope in the next photo, oops!)

Apparently I just neglect getting pictures of that black hoof because I don't have an "after" sole shot either! Gah.

Anyway, do you guys see anything?
I'm considering getting her measured for some boots because this is becoming such a "thing". I feel terrible riding her in the weeks following a trim because she's mis-stepping all over the place but she needs to be ridden...

Another factor (not sure) is that her hooves do grow super super slowly so maybe the trimmer isn't able to trim them very well becuase there's not a lot of hoof to work with? Currently she's on a vitamin supplement that's been making her hooves grow like crazy so the last few trims have been actual trims, not just raspings...but we've still had the same issue...

We ride over a ton of hilly terrain and I've noticed that Lacey does seem to kinda stab her toe into the hillside before her heel touches the perhaps she's just wearing off enough toe that when the trimmer re-mustang rolls her, that just goes into the toe too much? I know a toe first landing is "bad" but over flat ground she seems to land evenly or even heel first, most of the time...
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    04-27-2012, 06:25 AM
Has your trimmer discussed 'sub clinical' or 'low grade' laminitis with you? Have they discussed trimming more frequently, to keep the hooves in shape rather than allowed to overgrow before 'correcting'(be that done by them or you 'brushing up' in between visits)? Have they discussed the 'toe stabbing' & likelihood of heel sensitivity being the cause?

It looks to me that 'sub clinical laminitis' is likely. That toe wear suggests she's not using her heels - & your comments back that up. If she is tippy toeing, she's definitely not fine on any surface. That she is very flat & very likely thin soled & needs protection. I wouldn't be taking that horse over anything but yielding terrain without boots actually. Be good to see some 'after' shots.
DRichmond likes this.
    04-27-2012, 11:20 AM
Super Moderator
Last trim, I did ask her about the possibility of laminitis with Lacey and she didn't really give me an answer. She said that Lacey might have had something like founder in the past but she didn't see any signs of it so she felt like if something like that happened, it happened long enough ago to have resolved by now... Sub clinical/low grade wasn't brought up. :/

We had discussed me "cleaning up" her hooves between trims a few years ago but nothing ever came of it. I'm hesitant to bring it back up just because Lacey's hooves do grow so slowly. If I were cleaning them up, she would probably be easily going 13/14 weeks between trims (the "before" pictures above are 9 weeks post-trim) and I feel like angles could really get out of whack... Maybe that's not the case, I don't know.

Tippy-toeing, even when it's just on super hilly areas? Like I'm talking hills with only enough slope that you can make it up and survive... I guess I can see that... I guess I can't really fathom a heel-first landing on a hill but I believe you that it's possible! :)

The last 5 pictures are after the trim, if those are the afters you wished for...Maybe you mean after her hooves get all squared away?

I agree that her front feet are very flat, not at all concave like her backs. I don't think she has thin soles, I mean when I try that "press on the sole with your thumb" thing, nothing happens at all...

When I talked to the trimmer about her hooves the last time I never mentioned the toe stabbing, I just mentioned how she was ouchy after the trim. I guess I assumed that she recognized the toe stabbing, since it's obvious that the toes are getting a lot of wear, but I'll mention it next time and ask her about working on getting Lacey really landing heel-first.
And I'll get the trimmer to measure her for boots.

Thank you Loosie! I really appreciate your knowledge. :)
    04-27-2012, 12:16 PM
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
Before a trim, Lacey is 100% fine over every kind of ground you can take her on.
Or maybe Lacey is 100% tolerant of whatever existing pathology is exaggerated post trim.

After a trim, she acts ouchy on gravel and mildly timid on asphalt. It's immediate as well, like as soon as the trimmer's done, Lacey is trying to edge her way off the gravel road she usually stands on while I pay the trimmer. Her back feet are fine all the time, it's the fronts that seem to not be happy.
In my experience, if this happens more than once, the practitioner is usually replaced. Sometimes sooner, especially if the practitioner can offer no reasonable explanation for the problem nor offer an immediate remedy.

My trimmer doesn't do anything to her soles or her frogs and often times all she has to do is recreate the mustang roll on Lacey's feet.
Is your horse a wild mustang? There's a lot more to managing the equine distal limb than a rasp, a "mustang roll" and a good story. Lame horses provide inarguable evidence to that point.

No actual "trimming".
On that I would agree, yet you willingly pay good money to repeatedly watch someone reduce your horses condition. That's a head scratcher as interesting as the animals problem.

The last few times she's had to actually use her nippers but that's unusual.
That infrequent occurrence is probably a good thing. If she leaves the horse lame with just a rasp, one can only imagine the damage she is capable of doing with a pair of nippers.

I do have some pictures, before and after, for you if you'd like to see...
Sometimes the domestic horse needs only two things to remain sound and meet their owners performance expectations.

  1. A full service farrier that has real skill and knowledge beyond the tripe of the natural barefoot trim and it's magical mustang roll.
  2. An owner willing to accept that they're being defrauded by charlatans to their horse's detriment and willing to change that situation.
Item two is almost always the most difficult challenge and, in my experience, usually not worth the trouble for most practicing farriers.

DRichmond likes this.
    04-27-2012, 05:42 PM
How 'bout this? Get us video of this horse walking on a level surface. Why guess when we can easily determine if this horse is landing heel first?

Wallaby, if you push on her heels bulbs with your finger, is it gross and squishy, or does your finger bounce back?
    04-27-2012, 06:30 PM
Super Moderator
Horseman, I'm inclined to agree with about most of your points. I definitely can agree that she might well be in pain and just tolerates it well. She's basically the most stoic horse I've ever met so it seems very likely that something else is occurring that's just being exacerbated each time she gets trimmed.
I also agree with you that I shouldn't be paying someone to lame up my horse. I am definitely going to have a talk with my trimmer the next time she comes out and let her know that while I like her, if we can't figure out how to fix this issue, I'm going to have to take my business elsewhere.
On farriers: the only 2 "reputable" farriers in my area said this:

Was an acceptable length for her feet to be "because she's an Arab". They also told me that since her shoes were still on tightly, they didn't need to come off. Needless to say, I'm not very inclined to ask either of those two men to do any work on my mare's feet. I would prefer to stay away from shoes after that ^^^ debacle so I chose a barefoot trimmer solely because I wanted my horse barefoot and it seemed logical to use someone who only does bare feet.
If I had a reputable, knowledgeable farrier available to me, I'd probably at least give him/her a try for Lacey's trims but since the two farriers available to me, when I was looking for a hoof care person, are idiots...well... that's how I came to my conclusion.

I certainly don't think there's anything magical about the mustang roll, I haven't drunk THAT much Kool-Aid!

Excellent idea MyBoyPuck!! I'll do that this afternoon if I can convince my brother to help me. :)
To answer your question about her heel bulbs, they aren't super soft but they do have "give" to them, they aren't hard either. I'm not sure what you mean by the finger bouncing back...
To my eye, they appear larger than I'm used to seeing on horses, but she's also the only horse I know that gets trimmed regularly and when she is trimmed, her hooves aren't just sheared off with nippers like the other horse's hooves I have available to me. So, they might be "normal" and I just don't know.
    04-27-2012, 06:56 PM
I was just wondering about the heel bulbs because, if she is landing toe first, she isn't using her digital cushions properly. The soft and mushy would be the first clue. It's kind of a chicken and egg problem. Without strong cushions, the horse cannot properly use the back part of the foot to support itself, so it lands toe first or flat footed. To build stronger cushions, you have to get the horse to use them. What I have found what works best to get the horse to walk properly (other than a proper trim - duh) is to use hoof boots with thick pads. The shock absorbing property of the pad stimulates the blood flow to all the little capillaries in the digital cushion and gets things going. Once the cushion starts to work better, the back of the foot can support the horse better, horse starts landing heel first, butterflies and tulips pop up everywhere.
Wallaby and Back2Horseback like this.
    04-27-2012, 07:19 PM
So mark your saying she needs shoes, but is there anything different that you would do with the trim to help the horse at all from what you can see?
    04-27-2012, 07:22 PM
My questions from the first set of photos, I agree you're getting bilked: are heels and bars being left a bit too high, and is dead sole being pared out? From the pics, I wouldn't even consider that trim cosmetic. As to the last photo and comments, I hope there will be some alternatives in your area to farriers you have to pick from.

Lacey is a lucky horse to have you.
Back2Horseback likes this.
    04-27-2012, 07:28 PM
You can have your vet do some xrays of her feet and they can determine if she has thin soles. Mine does, and I have shoes and pads put on him. Just another option to explore, but it sounds to me like she has thin soles and is very sensitive after a trim, although if your farrier isn't taking anything off the sole then I'm not sure what's causing it.

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