Landing Heel-First - Page 2

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Landing Heel-First

This is a discussion on Landing Heel-First within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    08-12-2013, 02:59 PM

My previous farrier always clued me in to what he was doing to my horses' feet while he trimmed. He told me that a horse should strike slightly toe first at the walk, midfoot at the trot/running walk, and slightly heel first at the canter or higher gait. He was a nationally renowned farrier- he was flown all over the country to dressage barns for grand pre horses twice a year. =o

He was also showing me how a TWH should be trimmed. I don't know if it's different for a non-gaited breed, but it seems like it should be the same.
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    08-13-2013, 03:16 PM
I once became obsessed with trying to determine w my naked eye if my mare's foot fall was "correct". It is not as easy as it may seem. It seemed like the more I concentrated on her feet, the more "iffy" it became in my head. So, I filmed it across concrete and hard ground (which helps b/c you get little "puffs" of dirt being disturbed) and played it back at a very slow frames per second rate and I could then say with surety - her foot fall is fine. But I am not sure one would necessarily be able to "see" a toe first landing w/o the aid of video unless it is pronounced .
    08-13-2013, 06:42 PM
TWH should indeed be trimmed like any other horse according to their conformation. I hate this trend of long toes and crap to accentuate their gait or make them look flashier. All mine have short natural toes and a wide healthy round foot with big fat frogs.
    08-14-2013, 12:53 AM
My horse lands very slightly toe first. If she walks faster, it's more flat. She's had high angles, low angles, shoes, rocker toe shoes, all the same thing. I sometimes think that the toe-first landing thing is taken out of context. Like if your horse suddenly starts doing it, it would be a problem. I'm sure that some horses have conformational reasons for the way they land. Not bad reasons. I think mine has to do with the angles on all 4 feet.
    08-14-2013, 01:27 AM
I wonder if my geldings toe first landing along with under run heels over the last 3 or so years is cause of current problem. His front shoes alway split in half at toe and toes squared off. We ride them hard six days a week on hard packed dirt rocks.

Maybe poor farrier work has caught up to him now.
    08-14-2013, 02:48 PM
When you lead a horse out on flat ground at a decent forward walk, he should land slightly heel first or at least flat. Slowly walking around a pasture doesnt count. Definitely at a forward trot, you want to see a slightly heel first landing and you may indeed need a video to see it.

Toe first landings often means heel pain/improper or unhealthy hoof form and it causes tendon damage where it runs over the navicular bone. Toe first landings mean reversed limb mechanism. It snaps the tendon on impact instead of an already tight tendon ready to receive impact as the horses leg is designed. This causes inflammation to the tendon and over a period of time, navicular issues and bone degradation. Research is available out there on this topic. I believe Gene Ovenik has done some and Dr Bowker maybe? Im sure my spelling is off there but you can google " toe first landings and navicular" for tons of articles on this matter.
    08-14-2013, 03:51 PM
Thanks trinity iv been researching toe first landing. My daughter took a video of him walking briskly on a flat surface and trotting on same suface. We watched it in slow motion its clear he landing toe first.

Plus iv been reading on the barefoot horse site iam currently trimming my own horses trying to fix these issues farriers have left. Plus all the other sites that have been posted on here. Plus now he's laminatic on top of every thing else. He doesn't know which hurts worse heels or toes he's a pretty sorry sight right now. Been unridable since may.
    08-16-2013, 09:21 AM
Yes, depends on terrain - eg uphill horses go toe first - but if heels are healthy, they should generally go heel first at all gaits. And haired horses should absolutely be trimmed to be well balanced & healthy hooved, unless maybe winning shows is more important than the horse's soundness.

Good explanation Trinity & yes, Dr Bowker is definitely one to look into, who's done lots of studies on this.
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    08-16-2013, 12:44 PM
If toe keeps splitting, there's a balance problem some where. It is pulling the toe . You may want to try relieving the quarters a bit, or look for something that is causing this type of pressure on the toe.
    08-16-2013, 01:08 PM
Originally Posted by princessfluffybritches    
If toe keeps splitting, there's a balance problem some where. It is pulling the toe . You may want to try relieving the quarters a bit, or look for something that is causing this type of pressure on the toe.

Nothing I can do right now he's unable to hold up feet long enough to do much trimming. Haven't been able to ride him for months so toe squaring and split shoes aren't an issue right now. My guess I will be lucky if I can ride him next year sure don't see it happening this year.

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