My mare's Heel height
   

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My mare's Heel height

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  • Hoof heel height
  • Heel height for horses

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    11-05-2012, 01:20 AM
  #1
Trained
My mare's Heel height

My mare's heels seem high to me when I compare them w "other's" in "ideal" pictures. Her sole is the hardest part of her hoof, bar none. I have tried to remove sole from her bar area to determine where the live sole is relative to her hoof wall. I can only get paper thin scrapings off the sole (bar area "seat of corn") even after it is soaked for an hour.

And, her central sulcus seems deep. I over treat it w "50/50" ointment, in-as-much as it is also rock hard and there is no sign of anything. I just feel the center should be more "filled in".

The pics are of the left front. Info: Her fronts are ordinarily booted when ridden. She can travel w ease over rocky terrain. She has always been barefoot, and lives in a dry climate. Currently, I trim her.
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    11-05-2012, 02:20 AM
  #2
Trained
Hi,

Re the bar trimming, yes, looks like they could do with a bit & sounds like you need to sharpen your knives! Yes, hooves can get very hard in the dry, but after a soak or rain, if your knife won't cut...assuming you're not a real weakling your knife's not likely very good.

IMO understand what lies beneath & the principles that make a certain hoof form more or less 'ideal', but remember that this 'ideal' is an average & that all horses are individuals & there are always ifs, buts, maybes.

Your horse's heels/frogs look weak & contracted(they don't need to 'fill in' but open up), and considering this, while I can't see hoof pastern angle or anything else to help gauge(which are also necessary factors), her heels may be about ideal for her right now. If/when her caudal foot becomes stronger, the heel height may drop because she's using them more, not 'tippy toeing'. I'd be inclined to use dome or frog support pads in the boots with this horse, to prevent peripheral loading of such a concave looking hoof, and to provide *comfortable* stimulation to the frog/DC.

How old is she again? If she's quite mature & always had contracted heels, it may not change much if any.
     
    11-05-2012, 03:03 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Hi,

Re the bar trimming, yes, looks like they could do with a bit & sounds like you need to sharpen your knives! Yes, hooves can get very hard in the dry, but after a soak or rain, if your knife won't cut...assuming you're not a real weakling your knife's not likely very good.

IMO understand what lies beneath & the principles that make a certain hoof form more or less 'ideal', but remember that this 'ideal' is an average & that all horses are individuals & there are always ifs, buts, maybes.

Your horse's heels/frogs look weak & contracted(they don't need to 'fill in' but open up), and considering this, while I can't see hoof pastern angle or anything else to help gauge(which are also necessary factors), her heels may be about ideal for her right now. If/when her caudal foot becomes stronger, the heel height may drop because she's using them more, not 'tippy toeing'. I'd be inclined to use dome or frog support pads in the boots with this horse, to prevent peripheral loading of such a concave looking hoof, and to provide *comfortable* stimulation to the frog/DC.

How old is she again? If she's quite mature & always had contracted heels, it may not change much if any.
Thanks for your reply, she is 7, 8 in April.

I purchased my knife a ways back...after getting one that wouldn't cut butter. The one I currently have will, for example, cut the hoof wall - no problem. She has always had "puny" frogs. You mentioned pads. Her pen is deep sand (brought in), do you think that stimulates them in lieu of pads? Oh, and ...if it matters at all w respect to heel contraction, she is small (13.2 hh).

Oh, and did you mean I need to trim the bars more?
     
    11-05-2012, 03:16 AM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy May    
Thanks for your reply, she is 7, 8 in April.
So IME age is not in her way to developing a good caudal foot. Ideally the digital cushion only starts developing around 4yo.

Quote:
I purchased my knife a ways back...after getting one that wouldn't cut butter. The one I currently have will, for example, cut the hoof wall
Hmm, perhaps the prob is in technique then, or angle or such. Is it a hook knife that you need muscles for, or a loop that you can use with leverage, so get more 'bang for your buck'? Yes, I would trim the bars a bit.

Quote:
She has always had "puny" frogs. You mentioned pads. Her pen is deep sand (brought in), do you think that stimulates them in lieu of pads?
If she lives in a pen, so gets little exercise, I think this is a big part of the issue - if you don't use it, you lose it(or don't develop it). I think it depends a bit on the sand - eg hard packed or loose? Super course or fine? But esp if she gets little exercise, something that will provide more support, such as river pebbles or 'pea gravel' would be better.
     
    11-05-2012, 03:54 AM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
So IME age is not in her way to developing a good caudal foot. Ideally the digital cushion only starts developing around 4yo.



Hmm, perhaps the prob is in technique then, or angle or such. Is it a hook knife that you need muscles for, or a loop that you can use with leverage, so get more 'bang for your buck'? Yes, I would trim the bars a bit.

Its a hook knife. I don't doubt my technique isn't the best. I actually run out after it rains to see if it is any easier - it never really is, for me. I will look for a loop. And, I will trim the bars a bit, thanks.

If she lives in a pen, so gets little exercise, I think this is a big part of the issue - if you don't use it, you lose it(or don't develop it).

It is not a tiny pen, she can and does easily run in it and I ride her (booted) at least 3 times a week..in good weather. And, she has also been pastured on large pastures on and off since I got her (as a 2 yo). I would not at all doubt she got little chance to run and play and 'develope" well as a baby.

I think it depends a bit on the sand - eg hard packed or loose? Super course or fine? But esp if she gets little exercise, something that will provide more support, such as river pebbles or 'pea gravel' would be better.
The sand is the same mesh one would see on a sandy beach - leaning toward coarse mason type sand. Her feeding station is a separate, small pen w no sand. I could put gravel there - she gets fed 3 times a day so it would be "something". Thanks for the ideas.
     
    11-05-2012, 10:13 AM
  #6
Yearling
Since not all horses are perfect, I would worry more about ending up with negative angle than how far you are "supposed" to get her heels back. It may come in time.

It looks like your heels may be uneven. Measure from the hair line on the back of the bulb to the bottom of the heel and make sure that measurement is the same. Look from the side at her pastern angle. Does the hoof line up with her hoof angle?

My knife got really dull. I was told it was just to the point that there was nothing left to sharpen. I bought a new knife and keep it sharp. I also find that if I use my thumb to lelp , I can better "peel" the sole where I need to. I found something that softens her hooves. It's that stuff that is like black and comes with a brush on top. I coat that on every night and after a week I'm able to trim.
Missy May likes this.
     
    11-05-2012, 11:34 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by princessfluffybritches    
Since not all horses are perfect, I would worry more about ending up with negative angle than how far you are "supposed" to get her heels back. It may come in time.

It looks like your heels may be uneven. Measure from the hair line on the back of the bulb to the bottom of the heel and make sure that measurement is the same. Look from the side at her pastern angle. Does the hoof line up with her hoof angle?

My knife got really dull. I was told it was just to the point that there was nothing left to sharpen. I bought a new knife and keep it sharp. I also find that if I use my thumb to lelp , I can better "peel" the sole where I need to. I found something that softens her hooves. It's that stuff that is like black and comes with a brush on top. I coat that on every night and after a week I'm able to trim.
I will try the thumb trick. Currently, I am obsessing over her frogs from what loosie said.
I do measure - yet another obsession. I am very slow about doing anything, b/c I don't have that "do this, bam" confidence...so I measure, think, do, repeat.
Black stuff? Is that what its intended use is (softening sole)? Just asking so I can zero in on what it is.

Finding a loop like loosie suggested isn't going to be as easy as I thought. Those that I can find aren't constructed well - judging from the reviews. The search goes on.
     
    11-05-2012, 02:32 PM
  #8
Yearling
Her frogs will improve when you trim the wall of bar back to where it belongs. It is creating a "wall" around the frog that isn't allowing it to function as well. Also, when you live in a dry environment, the hoof can become quite inflexible due to lack of moisture. This will also ****** the frogs ability to function. It does certainly need moisture, but not from most hoof conditioners which can actually break down the wall. I found the best way is to hose the horse off and let him stand tied in the puddle as he drys till his legs are almost dry. About 45 min to an hour during the dryest times. Id do it daily in really dry places till you find that balance and regain flexibility and frog function and get those bars peeled back to normal heights.

I think that is a great looking foot otherwise however. One of the 30 dollar loop knives from a farrier supply place would be what I would start with. Get a chainsaw file to keep it sharp. Such as this

The Billy Loop Knife | PTBLK
     
    11-05-2012, 03:56 PM
  #9
Weanling
Trinity--how did you know I was looking for a loop knife? I've been on a million sites and couldn't make up my mind. Thanks!
     
    11-05-2012, 05:23 PM
  #10
Trained
Thank you trinity for your advice...and for the loop link, that certianly shortened my search!
     

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