Opinions on a hoof question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on a hoof question

Let me give you a little background first......
When I first started riding my Quarter Horse gelding even before I leased him. he had front shoes on, one winter and summer he had shoes on all four feet. Then went back to just the front shoes. About 2 years ago, I moved him closer to home and had to switch farriers, he decided that Barney could go without shoes, the front shoes were pulled and he's fine, not ouchies, lameness or anything.
What I'm needed opinion on is this, keep in mind that the farrier leaves the toe a bit long and he's done about every 8 weeks. I notice that just after 2 weeks of being trimmed, his feet start getting chippy. Should I not worry about it, have them trimmed every 4-6 weeks, or try a supplement to toughen the hooves up, the farrier and the barn manager tell me not to worry about it. The farrier also told me to just put conditioner on them here and there depending on how dry it is out during the summer time and not worry about it in the winter.
Sorry so long but figured I'd give you guys as much info as possible, any thoughts, ideas, opinions? I don't want to put shoes back on him unless it's absolutely necessary.

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post #2 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 01:45 PM
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Either or. Conditioner is good.
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 01:49 PM
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Hi luvs2jump,
I just read an article on hoof care yesterday that my friend posted to her blog. It was very informative and I printed it out to keep in my horses file. You can read it at Western Trail Riding. Hope this will help you keep your horse's feet in tip top shape.
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, anyone else? sue, great blog, do you know the title that the article is under? I couldn't seem to find it on the website?

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post #5 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 02:51 PM
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I found my horses used to chip when they were getting more of a 'farrier' trim as opposed to a 'barefoot' trim.

The key to no chipping is the roll. The outer wall is actually not designed to bear weight - When it does, movement forces it to seperate from the inner wall/sole and either flare or chip.

The roll rasps away the surface of the outer wall that would touch the ground, leaving the inner wall to do it's job and support weight, and takes away the mechanical forces that cause chips and flares.

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post #6 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 03:49 PM
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Since the horse had shoes on, the hoof walls do soften up, as well as the soles and frog becuase the shoe provides protection. A hoof supplement to stregthen the walls is always a good idea.

Why is he leaving the toes long? On back feet, it's natural for the horse's hooves to be more pointy, but on the front feet they are rounder. I don't know why he wouldn't round it off, but to me a long toe is just begging to be broken off or chipped. Hoof dressings also help to keep the hoof moist enough to be more flexible and not crack. Basically, you want a strong, supple hoof wall. =)

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back. -- Unkown
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 04:21 PM
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In my opinion, small chips are much to do about nothing. I have been maintaining my own horses barefoot for about 5 years now. I have never had a small chip cause a problem.

I agree with wild_spot, it is probably a sign that your horses need a good rasping around the edges of their feet.

If you have big chips or chunks coming off, then the feet are too long. But if you are having a farrier trim them regularly, then that shouldn't be a problem.

If you are comfortable doing it, I would just buy a regular rasp and rasp them between trims. If you are not comfortable doing it, just have the farrier roll the edges more aggressively when he comes out, and don't worry about the small chips in between times.
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 04:24 PM
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PS. I don't use hoof supplements. My guys have really good feet. I suspect it is because I feed alfalfa, which has a lot of protein. But if your horse doesn't have good feet for some reason, I would be looking at the quality of your hay and/or pasture, not buying hoof supplements. I don't think they would hurt, it's just that they are expensive and a healthy horse really shouldn't need them if they have a good diet otherwise. Just my opinion, I'm not an expert in nutrition or anything.

PSS. Hard feet are your friend. I never use anything to soften them up or keep them soft either. External hoof dressing, while making the foot look good, I don't think actually does anything for the hoof quality. I would say invest in a cheap rasp and just rasp between trims. If you are not taking off length from the hoof bottom, but just rasping the chipped edges from the top, you really can't do much wrong. But I don't know your age or horse experience, so only do that if you are comfortable working with their feet.

Last edited by trailhorserider; 10-23-2010 at 04:29 PM.
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-23-2010, 06:08 PM
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chipping is the horse's way of self trimming I would be checking the balance of the trim.. I have one here on super hard ground that had her shoes pulled 5 weeks ago with no chips or cracks in site...

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-24-2010, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Wild-That makes total sense, thanks!
Chevy-the reason why he's leaving the toes long mainly in the front is from what I gather from the barn manager is that he's afraid if he trims the toes too short that the horses are going to end lame. At around 4 weeks, you can see the toes flare out and there are some major chips.
Trail and Peggy-I'll keep that in mind
You guys have given me a lot to think about.

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