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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

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    07-06-2011, 05:31 AM
Green Broke
Ok I tried to get some front on pictures though they were difficult to get short of literaly laying on the ground at my horses feet. This post is Apache. It is virtually impossible to find level ground at my house so I did my best. I tried to get a few angles of Apache's front hooves because he kept standing in holes.
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    07-06-2011, 05:41 AM
Green Broke
Now Sammy
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    07-06-2011, 06:35 AM
Originally Posted by apachewhitesox    
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)
It's probably his thin/flat soles &/or weak heels. Unfortunately, while NB shoes may be a degree better, covering a little more of the sole, metal rims do nothing much to protect weak soles & frogs, only, IMO, reduce feeling, so the horse is less bothered by any damage. If you want to also protect him, he needs pads/boots.

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.
Odd feet. The left appeared slightly more upright. Re the running forward, I suspect that if they appeared to change so much in 2 weeks, perhaps not enough was removed in the first place and there may have been a dietary prob contributing too. For eg. Foundered hooves can seem to grow 'fast forward'.
    07-06-2011, 08:54 AM
Green Broke
Ok I'll look into pads/boots. It could contribute but I am pretty sure he takes a lot off every time they have a farrier visit. I don't think he could take more off without ruining their hooves. When you say dietary problem do you mean he could be getting too much of something or not enough?

Also if a horse has foundered before can you tell? If so how? I know he hasn't foundered with me but I don't really know anything about his past. I don't know why but is front right hoof always reminded me of a hoof that was foundering. That one hood has always just seemed off.
    07-06-2011, 11:36 PM
Dietary probs do look likely, considering all the cracks on Apache's, although interestingly there seems to be none on the left fore. Yes, getting too much/too rich etc, can cause laminitis. Yes, lacking or imbalanced nutrition can cause 'shelly' feet.

Laminitis is not necessarily obvious to the untrained eye and early or 'sub clinical' or 'low grade' - whatever you want to call it - may be difficult or impossible to see even for knowledgeable people. It is quite simply inflammation of the laminae, which causes damage, leading to weakness or complete breakdown of the connection between wall & P3. It is generally, but not always, diet related. It doesn't only effect fat ponies(tho those are generally higher risk) - any type or build can be at risk. It doesn't always come on with obvious lameness, and the 'stance' is generally only seen in acute or chronic cases. It doesn't necessarily mean P3 is 'rotated' in relation to the hoof walls, or that P3 has 'dropped' lower in the hoof capsule, causing flat, thin soles, although those 'symptoms' are what is commonly referred to as 'founder'... although some don't even call it founder without a significant degree of 'rotation'.

So... you can't necessarily tell, at least until the 'disease' becomes more chronic or acute, when a vet exam/xrays can show the degree of damage. Once the weakened laminae have grown down to the ground level, you may see evidence in the white line. Flaring & stretching can be a result of lami. So... it's far better to just always manage a horse in order to avoid or minimise the risk of lami, rather than waiting for any 'symptoms'.

Didn't get a chance to look at/comment on pics before. There is a fair amount of flaring all round, esp the outsides of Apache's. It *appears* that there is also some m/l imbalance here & there - hairlines wavy & uneven, etc. This could be just the pics/angle/way the horse is standing tho or may be a long term thing that may not be due to current farriery. What's with the horizontal crack on Sammy's off rear? Is it an abscess fault that burst on the coronet or is it one of those cuts that some farriers make in the attempt to head off a grass crack? If latter, I wouldn't personally allow my farrier to do this, but rather address the imbalances & flares more effectively, so any cracks will just grow out.

As mentioned, take my comments only as food for thought, as aside from it being just my opinion, I can't give you anything like accurate ideas based on the info I have. There are just so many factors too. Eg. I don't know how old the horses, how long you've had them, how they're fed/managed, etc, how these feet looked before the current farrier, how long you've used him, immediately before & after trim pics, even how they look standing square on a firm level surface or from underneath, bar those 2 pics, etc. With regard to pics, did I mention Good Hoof Photos - How to take Good Hoof Photos ? Giving as much info as possible will get you more accurate critiques, but even with the best info & pics, remember it's still beyond the realm of a remote, forum based 'consult' to be accurate.... which is one reason why I don't like people charging for it!
    07-07-2011, 12:01 AM
Green Broke
Ok well it will be alot but I can try to get some good photos of all their hooves tomorrow. I have found a level concrete surface that they wil stand quietly on. The horizontal crac is from the farrier.

SO am going with the cracks being from lacking nutrients or something. I know they shouldn't be just dried out because they have a dam they go down to everyday.

Their feed has changed around a bit lately. This isn't necessarilly going to stick but their current diet is.

Apache - 24/7 access to grass (this is very short half dead due to winter frost etc), once a day he gets half a bucket of alfalfa chaff (can't think of size, just average bucket), 500g speedi-beet, a little bit of copra(sp?) and garlic extra (name could be wrong)

Sammy - 24/7 access to grass, half bucket chaff, copra, garlic extra

I have only just added the garlic stuff, I am trying it out. The boys would normally only get lucerne hay but due to my situation I don't have hay, I am trying to get it though. Sammy easily picks up and keeps weight, Apache not so much.
    07-07-2011, 12:28 AM
Diet sounds OK, but I'd add a good quality supp, so nutrition is also better. ....Pics combined with the word 'lucerne'... what area of Aus are you in? Looks nice & dry there, for a change!<GG> You're right, cracking etc is not due to dry feet - dry is their healthy state/environ.
    07-07-2011, 12:30 AM
Green Broke
I am in south east queensland. Yeah I have been planning on adding a supplement. I have just been trying to decide what one to use. I am hoping to get to horseland in the next few days or maybe to a feed store soon and decide on something.
    07-07-2011, 01:18 AM
Equilibrium is a great all round vitamin/mineral supplement - and is reasonably priced too. Many people who have used it say their horses hooves improved!

For help with weight gain, you could look into feeding the 'slimmer' horses weightlifter. I have had several OTTB on it over the last few years, and they all improved condition in less than 3 months. It also made their coats absolutely gleam!
    07-07-2011, 01:20 AM
Green Broke
Thanks heaps. I have heard of Equilibrium before I will look into that.

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