Originally Posted by Horsecrazy4ever
What is a club foot? We are going to get a farrier our here soon, but in the meantime, do you know of anything that I can do to help it? Thank you! =)
It is a club and probably a grade 3.
Definitions of a club foot vary but there is general concensus that a club foot presents a dorsal wall angle, with respect to ground horizontal, that is equal to or in excess of 60 degrees. The "dishy" (distortion) wall of this horse makes measuring specific angles difficult and frankly, unimportant. The first 3/4" of growth from the hairline tells the story.
The most important thing you can do is acquire a set of quality radiographs. Your farrier will use those radiographs to identify the correct mechanics for this horse.
Be prepared to see distinct remodeling of the coffin bone on this horse. There will almost certainly be "lipping" of the solar margin of the coffin bone and probably very little sole depth in the anterior region of the foot. Whatever remodeling (damage) has already been done to the coffin bone is permanent and cannot be corrected. It becomes a matter of management at this point.
Horses like this are high risk for solar bruising and sub-solar abscesses. Longer term problems include articular arthritis of the distal interphalangeal joint and continued demineralization of the coffin bone. Such horses are generally very poor candidates for a barefoot protocol.
The cracking appears to be a combination of things. Probably an old abscess which created the horizontal crack with hoof capsule distortion contributing to the vertical crack. A correctly fitted set of shoes will help to stabilize the hoof while that crack grows out. Expect 6 to 10 months before all of the wall damage grows out, dependent upon growth rates. Your farrier will want to monitor for any bacterial/fungal intrusion at the area of the crack to avoid potential whiteline disease.
Correct management of this kind of foot is not for the average "backyard shoer". You need a competent farrier who understands how to manage the mechanics of a club footed horse.
Be prepared to spend a bit more than average for managing this horses hoofcare needs. His problem is genetic and will require a "special" shoeing protocol for the rest of his life.