Horse Hoof Question?
 
 

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Horse Hoof Question?

This is a discussion on Horse Hoof Question? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How to cool a horse hoof
  • Can the farrier help a flat splayed hoof

 
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    07-04-2011, 04:38 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Horse Hoof Question?

I feel a bit stupid asking this but should a horses frog be warm or cold? I haven't ever really thought about it but I kind of thought all parts of a horses hoof should be cool not warm. This afternoon I was checking Apaches fixed shoe and I felt his frog and it was quite warm. I checked the rest of his feet which were the same. I then checked Sammy who I know isn't and hasn't been lame recently and his weren't as warm but they were more warm then cold. Thanks for any help. I also want to put some pictures up tomorrow to ask some outside opinions on my horses feet.
     
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    07-05-2011, 12:35 AM
  #2
Trained
Hi,

No, a *healthy horse with good circulation* should NOT be cold below the knees, despite common belief. However it is common for horses, particularly when shod, to have poor circulation & therefore no heat in their forelegs & feet. If however, the horse's feet are more than luke warm in cool weather/ground, &/or there is an obvious digital pulse &/or other 'symptoms', this may indicate infection, inflammation, etc.
     
    07-05-2011, 12:46 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Oh cool that makes me feel better knowing that.
     
    07-05-2011, 05:48 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Ok here are the pictures of my horses hooves. I just wanted some opinions on how they look. My old instructor told me about this farrier and I have used him ever since. I thought he was good but I have heard some people questioning how good a job he has been doing. In particular my new instructor when Sammy was lame the day after a farrier visit. I don't now if these pictures are exactly what is needed for people to judge but I can try to get better ones tomorrow. This dirt patch was the clearest spot I could find at the time to get a relatively clear photo of their hooves. The first lot is Apache he has shoes on his front hooves to help with his tripping because of the design. Also I would have to double check on my calender but I think their feet were last done about 3 weeks ago. Except a few days ago Apache had to get a new shoe when he lost one.
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    07-05-2011, 05:58 AM
  #5
Green Broke
This next lot are Sammy who is barefoot. I didn't get to get any of Pepper though. The first two photos are his front feet and the second two are his back feet. Also in the first picture he has chipped a little bit off his hoof.
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    07-05-2011, 08:50 AM
  #6
Trained
Look an OK job to me, from what I can gather. Pics while standing on hard, flat surface would be better, so they're not sinking in/obscured by dirt. Maybe they could have their toes backed up/rolled a little more. Take a look at the info on e-hoofcare.com to understand anterior-posterior balance better. Perhaps 'scooping' the quarters a bit on Apache's fronts, as it looks have been done on the bare feet. They look a bit 'stretched', including frog. Perhaps frogs may have been pared a bit more than necessary IMO, but only a guess without seeing what they were before & newly trimmed. Bit contracted heels on him, but likewise, maybe nothing to do with farrier's job. Looks like there is a little flaring on the outside(? Left side of pic) of the sole pic, which maybe could do with stronger scoop/roll. Possibly stronger rolling all round? Impossible to really tell from straight-on sole pics, but they appear rather flat soled?

Has the farrier helped prevent tripping? If so, could it be he was even more stretched forward in the toes? If so, perhaps it's the backing up rather than shoes that have helped.
     
    07-05-2011, 05:33 PM
  #7
Green Broke
I got a bit confused as to who you were talking about half way through.

The flat soled thing is what my instructor commented on when sammy came up lame. Though it has never caused a problem before. Yes the farrier has helped prevent the tripping. I'm pretty sure he said they are natural balance shoes. I think (if I remember correctly) my farrier said because of there being weight at the front or something, it makes the horse pick there feet up better. For the life of me I can not remember how he explained it. Since getting the shoes Apache has tripped so much less (he still does occasionally on really rough ground).

He also has just about no heel especially on his front hooves. He has been like this since I first got him. We had him barefoot on all hooves before he came back into work. Within a couple of weeks just the front right hoof in particular but both front hooves his toes would start looking really long(this is what I think you mean by stretched correct me if I'm wrong). His right front looking kind of splayed. So he would start going back on his heels and so he ended up with just about no heel. We don't know if his hooves were bad to begin with but when my farrier first saw him he said it looked like another farrier had actually been encouraging his hooves to grow like this.

Thanks I will look at the website. Sorry if I missed something
     
    07-06-2011, 12:52 AM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by apachewhitesox    
I got a bit confused as to who you were talking about half way through.
Whoops - Looks like there is a little flaring on the outside(? Left side of pic) of the sole pic, which maybe could do with stronger scoop/roll. Possibly stronger rolling all round? - was about Sammy/bare feet if others all look like that sole pic of his. As said tho, from one straight on pic & other pics in dirt, take it as no more than an educated guess.... not to mention just another opinion!

Quote:
The flat soled thing is what my instructor commented on when sammy came up lame.
Both horse's sole pics appear flat soled. *assuming* the farrier doesn't pare/rasp into the sole, this & lameness that may be due to it is probably not due to his job IMO. Shoes &/or otherwise peripheral loading(entire load forced to be born on walls, no support for sole/frog) is a common cause, IMO, but not at all the only one tho. The NB shoes are a wider web and also covering a fair amount of toe sole area, they should provide a little support & protection to the base of the foot tho. If the horse does have flat/thin soles, I do believe they generally need protecting, at least on hard/rough ground, to prevent stone bruises, abscesses... and also discomfort which causes incorrect movement & function. If the horse is shod, this means that pads or Sole Guard or such may need be applied. Barefoot horses can of course wear boots if/when needed.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure he said they are natural balance shoes. I think (if I remember correctly) my farrier said because of there being weight at the front or something, it makes the horse pick there feet up better.
Yes, they are Natural Balance shoes, or equivalent. I don't really agree with the idea of weighting a foot to change action, as that's not the only effects it has, but of course, this is just my opinion & you will have to do you4r homework & weight up the pros & cons on those sorts of choices. Again, you may find that it's really just the change of breakover/balance that has helped the horse, nothing to do with weight or shoes.

Quote:
He also has just about no heel especially on his front hooves. He has been like this since I first got him. We had him barefoot on all hooves before he came back into work. Within a couple of weeks just the front right hoof in particular but both front hooves his toes would start looking really long(this is what I think you mean by stretched correct me if I'm wrong).
Yes, that is what I mean by 'stretched'. I did notice that the left fore looks a little more upright, the right a bit more run forward, but didn't want to comment, as the pics make it a bit unclear. Is he a tad clubby on the left? Of course, based only on what info I have, again, this is more like an educated guess, but it looks to me like he has quite a bit of heel on those fronts(esp left one - is the frog on/near ground level?), but they're 'crushed' forward, so he's walking on the backs of them? This is common when toes are also stretched and IME difficult to address while shoes are keeping the pressure on those heel walls.

Anyway, yet again, just my opinion, based on but a little info, so take as food for thought only. Check out the thread in my signature & attached links for more info if you haven't already. The more you learn, the more objective the decisions you can make.
     
    07-06-2011, 02:29 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Thanks a lot a had a bit of a look at those links and plan to look at them further. I will see if I can get a couple more pictures today.

Apache also has shoes on his front hooves protect them a bit. His front hooves seem to get more tender etc quickly (I'm bad at trying to explain things), so we thought he should have shoes when in work especially since he gets ridden on hard surfaces (e.g roads, rocks) fairly often. Sammy on the other hand has quite hard feet and he doesn't need shoes. He only came up lame that once and the only explanation we could think of for it was the farrier visit the day before. He was over it the next day.

He told me about what the NB shoes do. I think I will do a bit more research on them though.

I'm not really sure about the clubby foot. How do you tell? I can only tell if its blatently obvious. I think his frog is level. Yes you described his heels well. His front hooves are really kind of annoying. Before he got the shoes within a couple of weeks his front hooves would have gone bad again, particularly the right one. They would start flaring, it would only be his front hooves though.
     
    07-06-2011, 02:33 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Here is a picture before he got shoes. It's the best I could find. The ground isn't exactly level and he was due for a farrier visit but I think it was still pretty bad.
Attached Images
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