I went to look at an 11 year old Shire/Morgan the other day. I'm currently looking for a reasonably quiet trail horse for my boyfriend to ride and this guy fit the bill perfectly.. Except for one thing. The first thing I noticed when I looked at him was an ugly crack in his hoof that extended all the way down from his coronet band to the tip of the hoof. It looks like it started as an injury to the coronet band, perhaps? The owner said that he'd never been lame on that foot and that he's had that crack since she bought him as a 4 year old and that its never given him any trouble. She also gave me her farrier's number, who I've called, but is going to call me back after he's finished this morning yet. He is a barefoot farrier. She said that he also said its really just ugly to look at, but won't cause any trouble and that he thinks it would go away with some intensive work.
When I rode this gelding, he didn't appear lame at all, not even on the gravel. Of course there's always the question of bute or another painkiller having been administered, but I did show up an hour early unannounced.
I was just wondering if anyone had experienced anything like this crack and what can I expect to put into having it fixed or controlled. If I do seriously consider this horse, of course I intend to have my own farrier and a vet out to see him, but I just want to get a ballpark of what to expect before I run ahead with all of that. If this crack is something that might easily be controlled or even fixed, I don't want to rule him out.
It looks bad in the front pictures but then when you look in the hoof, it doesn't seem to have traveled that far. I would assume as you did and say he had an injury in the coronet that just stayed. But I would definitely have my own vet and farrier look, just to be safe..
The second photo its looks to have quite the gap from the bottom to the middle but the third photo you wouldnt even know there was a crack . I would ask a farrier to come with you or ask a farrier to look at these photos and they can determine if its fixable or not . It doesnt look that bad I have seen one way worse and it took no time to fix it . Having the farrier out would be well worth your time and money or else you may get this horse and the horse could be useless and youd need to put even more money into getting the hoof fixed.
Thank you all for your input. I definitely plan to have my own farrier look into it if I were to buy him.. Would getting x-rays done be overkill? I talked to a girl who leased him for a month and she said he was never lame or anything on that foot (she didn't really care for the horse's owner, so I'm sure she wasn't speaking in her favor), but that she never really looked into going any further with fixing it. I'm looking at spending $800 on him, but I don't want to kill myself fixing this.
Speed Racer, did you ever try to correct the ridge in that 4 year old horses hoof or did you let it go since it wasn't causing any problems?
Actually, I've just emailed the pictures to him, so hopefully he will be getting back to me in short order. I also had my grandpa look at them. He is a cattle hoof trimmer, so although it isn't horses, he still has extensive experience with hooves. He said that he believes that gravel entered the hoof and caused an infection that burst out at the coronet band which is what caused the crack. He said that it should probably be well-controlled by regular trimming, but that he didn't think it would ever completely go away.
Thanks for the additional input. Yes, I'll certainly have my farrier and vet out to look at him. I've spoken with his current farrier and he said its really just like any blemish related to an injury, and that regular trimming and keeping the toe rounded (like it is) will prevent any problems. My farrier said essentially the same thing after looking at the pictures. And as a conventional farrier, he also recommended shoes with clips.