Horse hooves in bad shape?
 
 

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Horse hooves in bad shape?

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  • What to do for bad horse hoofs
  • Horse hooves in bad shape

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    02-04-2013, 11:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Horse hooves in bad shape?

Okay so I bought a retired 3 1/2 year old standardbred a little over a month ago. She retired from racing 4 months ago, so I assume she had shoes then. But when I got her she was barefoot and her hooves were very long and in bad condition over all. We got them trimmed by a good farrier and they looked great after that honestly. She was not broke to ride before I got her, but I've been training her. We do a w/t for 30 mins about 4 times a week more or less in an indoor arena with good footing. She is outside weather permitting (we have lots of snow), and in at night. She's fed a scoop of high fat high fiber twice a day with as much hay as she can eat (usually 7-8 flakes per night, and free choice during the day). She is very skinny, so we are working on that, tips on that would be good if you have any, but she just started this diet, so hopefully it'll start working! Anyway so I am out to the barn everyday, and I always pick out her feet and look at then carefully, I've noticed almost everyday she has more and more chips and small chunks missing. It doesn't seem to bother her, she still works well under saddle and walks normally. No lameness what so ever. But it worries me. My instuctor recommended shoes, but I'd love if that were a last resort, as they just aren't healthy for the horse. But I will get shoes if she needs them! What do you guys think? She just got her feet trimmed 2-3 weeks ago and they went from nice the day of trimming to I'd say bad condition again. I'll try to get pics tomorrow but I don't know if I'll be able to. Thanks
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    02-05-2013, 01:50 AM
  #2
Yearling
Chips usually mean the foot is trying to self trim and the horse needs another, and perhaps a better, trim. Rolling and beveling the wall will help stop chipping in between trims. If the farrier is leaving the wall flat to the ground without beveling the outer half, he is setting the horse up to chip and self trim as they wear the wall into a natural more rounded edge. If the horse is sound in work, I would not shoe her over some superficial chipping.


Show us pictures.
     
    02-05-2013, 02:47 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevylover96    
hooves were very long and in bad condition over all. We got them trimmed by a good ferrier
If you would like any specific opinions/advice on her feet, post pics - check out link below for tips.

Quote:
She was not broke to ride before I got her, but I've been training her. We do a w/t for 30 mins about 4 times a week
Please consider that she is still physically immature & has already had a lot of undue stress on her lower spine, pelvis & hips especially, through racing. I would generally be giving her a year or so off before riding & then taking it easy for a couple of years after that before any hard mounted work. If you would like more info on developmental stages of horses, look up Dr Deb Bennett.

Quote:
She is outside weather permitting (we have lots of snow), and in at night.
Quote:
She is very skinny, so we are working on that, tips on that would be good
Sounds reasonable what she's getting, depending how much 'a scoop' is(best weighed) & what exactly the high fat/fibre feed is. Little & often feeding is best, so if you can possibly give her more 'hard feed' meals daily that would help. May or may not want to increase the quantity or change/add different feed. Need more info to say. She would however, benefit from appropriate nutritional supplementation to balance her diet. Omega 3 rich oil or oilseed such as flax/linseed is helpful for weight gain as well as overall health & hoof/skin/coat health. Google 'Magnesium For Horses' & consider that she may benefit from extra Mg in the diet too.

Being a racehorse, she is likely to have spent substantial time stabled, fed 'high octane' meals & not enough roughage(can't have racehorses with hay bellies!). This commonly causes acidosis, colic, ulcers, etc & resulting 'low grade' laminitis. Therefore in addition to getting her onto healthy diet & management, I'd be treating her for ulcers & adding a probiotic to her feed, in the short term at least.

Quote:
I've noticed almost everyday she has more and more chips and small chunks missing.
As Trinity said, if they're chipping/chunking off, it's likely because they're due for a trim. Considering where they were a few weeks back, the farrier may not have been able to make all the 'corrections' needed in a single trim, and they were likely compromised/weakened to some degree apart from the overgrowth. Therefore, until they're strong, 2-3 weekly trims may be in order for her, for a few cycles at least.

Quote:
My instuctor recommended shoes, but I'd love if that were a last resort, as they just aren't healthy for the horse. But I will get shoes if she needs them!
I would not put shoes on an immature foot - the caudal hoof, in ideal circumstances, doesn't *begin* to develop strength until around 5-6 years old. I also would not (generally) advise conventional rims on weak/compromised hooves, but would at least wait until they're strong before considering. Hoof boots are one good alternative if the horse doesn't cope comfortably with everything you ask of her.
     
    02-05-2013, 07:40 AM
  #4
Foal
The farrier did round the edges, they looked really good for about a week. You guys think a trim will do it? I can't really control when she eats as she's at a boarding barn, and I'm at school all day. But I do chores 3-4 times weekly. She just moved to this barn so she had to adjust to the feed, she started with a half a scoop, then went to 3/4, she just went up to a full one. I'm not sure how big it is, or what kind, I just know its high fat, high fiber. Would ground flax help with her hooves? I'll try to get pictures today when I see her, if I remember, I have lots of chores to do today.
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    02-05-2013, 07:45 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
If you would like any specific opinions/advice on her feet, post pics - check out link below for tips.
Although she is not completely physically mature, I think 3 1/2 is a good age to start a horse lightly. At the barn I used to be at (I was there for a month, but I hated it) they started horses before they were 2!!! I was disgusted by that honestly, they still looked like babies. Even though she isn't totally physically mature, she's definitely mentally mature, she picks up on things great, and seems to love working. In my opinion 4 days a week for 30 minutes gives her lots of breaks, and isn't too strenuous, especially since its about 15 minutes walking (bending and such) and 15 minutes trotting or less. She is starting very slow. Thanks


Please consider that she is still physically immature & has already had a lot of undue stress on her lower spine, pelvis & hips especially, through racing. I would generally be giving her a year or so off before riding & then taking it easy for a couple of years after that before any hard mounted work. If you would like more info on developmental stages of horses, look up Dr Deb Bennett.





Sounds reasonable what she's getting, depending how much 'a scoop' is(best weighed) & what exactly the high fat/fibre feed is. Little & often feeding is best, so if you can possibly give her more 'hard feed' meals daily that would help. May or may not want to increase the quantity or change/add different feed. Need more info to say. She would however, benefit from appropriate nutritional supplementation to balance her diet. Omega 3 rich oil or oilseed such as flax/linseed is helpful for weight gain as well as overall health & hoof/skin/coat health. Google 'Magnesium For Horses' & consider that she may benefit from extra Mg in the diet too.

Being a racehorse, she is likely to have spent substantial time stabled, fed 'high octane' meals & not enough roughage(can't have racehorses with hay bellies!). This commonly causes acidosis, colic, ulcers, etc & resulting 'low grade' laminitis. Therefore in addition to getting her onto healthy diet & management, I'd be treating her for ulcers & adding a probiotic to her feed, in the short term at least.



As Trinity said, if they're chipping/chunking off, it's likely because they're due for a trim. Considering where they were a few weeks back, the farrier may not have been able to make all the 'corrections' needed in a single trim, and they were likely compromised/weakened to some degree apart from the overgrowth. Therefore, until they're strong, 2-3 weekly trims may be in order for her, for a few cycles at least.



I would not put shoes on an immature foot - the caudal hoof, in ideal circumstances, doesn't *begin* to develop strength until around 5-6 years old. I also would not (generally) advise conventional rims on weak/compromised hooves, but would at least wait until they're strong before considering. Hoof boots are one good alternative if the horse doesn't cope comfortably with everything you ask of her.
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    02-05-2013, 07:47 AM
  #6
Foal
Also she only raced a very short time, less than 10 races, she was just too slow, didnt have the heart for it.
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    02-05-2013, 08:01 AM
  #7
Showing
She may have raced only 10 times but she was in hard training long before she entered her first race. Feeding whole oats is beneficial because of it's effect on the entire digestive system. The chaff also provides a small amount of fiber. Has she been scoped for ulcers? If the horse is going to gain weight you should see noticeable improvement by six weeks. If she is skinny I wonder why you are riding her. If she's lacking muscle tone in her back the saddle will be uncomfortable.
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    02-05-2013, 08:36 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
She may have raced only 10 times but she was in hard training long before she entered her first race. Feeding whole oats is beneficial because of it's effect on the entire digestive system. The chaff also provides a small amount of fiber. Has she been scoped for ulcers? If the horse is going to gain weight you should see noticeable improvement by six weeks. If she is skinny I wonder why you are riding her. If she's lacking muscle tone in her back the saddle will be uncomfortable.
She is skinny, but she is in no way too skinny. She could use extra weight, but it isn't urgent.
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    02-05-2013, 04:12 PM
  #9
Yearling
A trim? No...Not just one. You will probably need to trim her at about 4 week intervals or so as this old hoof wall grows out. All this poor hoof wall will need to grow out. We need pictures to really tell you more. Before the trim and after would be best. http://www.all-natural-horse-care.co...of-photos.html

I missed than she is only 3.5 also. I would never shoe a baby that young if I could help it. Especially considering she was probably shod since she was a long yearling and starting race training. She isnt done growing and developing and neither are her feet. Not for a couple more years.
     
    02-05-2013, 05:27 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
A trim? No...Not just one. You will probably need to trim her at about 4 week intervals or so as this old hoof wall grows out. All this poor hoof wall will need to grow out. We need pictures to really tell you more. Before the trim and after would be best. Good Hoof Photos - How to take Good Hoof Photos

I missed than she is only 3.5 also. I would never shoe a baby that young if I could help it. Especially considering she was probably shod since she was a long yearling and starting race training. She isnt done growing and developing and neither are her feet. Not for a couple more years.
If I can help it I'd never shoe her, I hate seeing shoes on horses if they don't absolutely require them. By just a trim I mean, no shoes. I know we'll need to get lots of trims, quite frequently for a while. I'll try to get pictures tonight. Unfortunately I'm not sure when I'll be able to get her trimmed, our farrier just moved away, so we are in between right now, looking for a new one. I'll ask my instructor tonight (she runs the barn) to see when we'll be able to get one. What do you think of ground flax as a supplement to eventually make her feet stronger? I've heard it works wonders, but not sure about it yet. Thanks!
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