Opinions on where to start trimming these feet!! - Page 2

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Opinions on where to start trimming these feet!!

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  • When to get colts feet trimmed
  • When to start trimming a foals feet

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    01-07-2012, 11:00 PM
Originally Posted by New_image    
"Above poster to much time on hands" that is also called reading between the lines.
That's funny considering you average more posts per day than I.

I do remember wishing you and your horse luck.
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    01-08-2012, 12:30 AM
By "willing to deal" I meant by taking the time to trim his hooves slowly... only has the patience to do about two and a half hooves at a time. ... but if a farrier cannot work with that then they should find a new career.
Now this is going off on a tangent & don't mean to get hung up or make it an argument, but I want to tell you that I find that attitude quite unreasonable.

As I said, I personally let people know if a horse isn't up to it, I'm happy to spend the time to help/train. BUT that's assuming I have the time, or the owner reschedules for another time, and my time is valuable, so it's not something I generally give away for nothing. If I were to just turn up at a job without the prior arrangement that I had budgetted extra time, etc, no, I generally wouldn't be prepared to just trim slowly, potter at 2 feet at a time with breaks in the middle, etc. The usual small fee for a trim doesn't make that worthwhile. If someone's paying for a trim, THAT is all they're paying for. And I'm perfectly happy with my career thankyou. If people don't like that arrangement, I think they're expecting too much from my 'career'. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure the horse is ready & comfortable about trimming, or to explain & arrange alternatives.

Some farriers wouldn't even want to have to train a horse, others may not be good at it anyway. If you're employing a farrier to do a job, he's got to be able to do that job reasonably efficiently & without undue risk & if that's not the case, it's entirely reasonable IMO that he doesn't want to do it. ....Not that I reckon making up excuses about why not is a respectful way of dealing with it. Both farriers & owners are good at beating around the bush, making excuses, ignorring issues. I like to personally tell it like I see it & I think there would be much less miscommunication if everyone did.

...Now I'll get back in my box!
    01-08-2012, 03:36 AM
If you want something done right, do it yourself. Then you can trim whenever, do only the fronts or hinds, keep the sessions short...easier on you and the horse. It would cost plenty for a farrier to come out and do the same. I would rather see one hoof done well, than 4 crazy trims and a horse doing battle.
Little by little is also a good approach, as it give the horse time to adjust. Talking about tendons coaxed to stretch. I can see that he's right handed. The right side on both fronts\ and hind are flared forward, the left side upright. This is proof of how he's been weighting them. The right side moreso, splatting it and the left side not weighted and allowed to grow straight up. So you've got two different pathologies on each side to deal with. No matter, just need to learn what those pathologies are and deal with them accordingly. In other words, the upright feet have grown club. If he was born club, it wouldn't be fixable, you'd lame him when you lower the heels. Without xrays, which should be paramount for clubs, lowering the heel in small increments and checking his comfort are important. If he doesn't like his new heel height, stop right there on lowering the heels. If any xrays can be done, I'd get the LF Lateral to see where the bone is. Once you know where the bone is, you know exactly what you can and cannot to with the trim.
The most important thing is that the bone must be protected from the ground. That means there must be enough hoof length to keep it off the ground, or will cause damage that won't repair. From the bottom of the groove beside the apex, to the top of the wall height, there should be 3/4" distance. (lay a rasp across the hoof at the apex and measure down to the groove bottom. IF you get 1/2", he needs boots for protection and you shouldn't trim the walls at all. You should also have 3/4" from the bottom of the groove to the top of the heel platforms as well. As long as you maintain that distance when trimming, the bone will always be safe and you won't have gotten too short.
There's the DDFT tendon in the back and the extensor tendon in the front and the two work together like a pulley system. When you lower the heel, it asks the DDFT to stretch to allow that new heel platform to be in on the ground. If you lower the heel too fast, the tendon can't get there and the heel won't touch the ground. So, little by little and coax it all, is good.
Looks to me like the interior of the foot needs the most work. There is no sole, its all excessive bar growth. So, with sharp knife and soft hoof, so you can sliver with precision, instead of hacking, and working to reduce the interior, will ensure that it won't be sticking up higher than the wall and acting like huge stones in his foot. This is how abscesses are born. Bar material is harder than sole and won't slough out like sole. You have to reduce it manually....again, slowly, sliver by sliver every few days. Its all got to come down together.
I'm so sorry for this guy, being in a stall so long. Thank goodness he is young. Definitely have faith. Any normal horse this age out there romping around still doesn't have enough movement to create the development like a wild horse would have and this guy has been made to completely miss the boat on that one. So, its a long road ahead, but he will bounce back.
I'd put him outside 24/7 for the movement and to consistent movement, not the movement that comes from being pent up in a stall. Me? I'd probably never put him in a stall again, but if he's going to bed in the barn with "family" and that's the routine, ok. Does he have any strange stall habits or attitudes from being caged so long?
If you can post some better pictures, I can can draw lines and help you along. I'm only as good as your pictures, though.
If you are interested, these are the ones I need: one of each for every hoof....

Solar Shot: pick up hoof, bend it up to face you. Center the camera right on the halfway point of the frog. Aim camera directly above the bottom of the hoof. Stay 2' away and don't worry about the background.

Heel Shot: pick up hoof and let hang by one hand cupping the front of the pastern. Lean forward so you can see well all the way to the toe, heels, pastern and part of cannon. This shot I can help you the most with.

Solar/side shot: pick up hoof, get to the side facing the horse and above level plane, so that I can see the depth of the groove at the apex.

Side shot: Camera literally on the ground, centered at the side between toe and heel.

Front Shot: Camera on the ground, 4' out front and both feet caught in the picture and up to and including the knees. Only need 1.

Need clean feet/hard, clean surface. Can't see a foot buried in snow or grass, so even a small piece of plywood that he can stand on for a minute will do. Keep the camera 2' away from the hoof. Easier to position and ensures that focus will be fixable.

I've been doing line work on hooves for years....for free. Let's just say that I love him just as much as you do, lol. So, if you want some input, I'm here....
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    01-08-2012, 03:45 AM
NewImage -- hopefully by you working on his feet, he will develop more patience so a farrier will be willing to work with your horse. I have to agree that asking a farrier to spend what sounds like 4 times as long as usual on one horse is unreasonable. That said, maybe you could offer to pay extra for the extra time involved?

Also, you asked about the heel bulbs being uneven -- as you implied, first the hoof itself needs to have proper shape before the frog will develop proper shape. You may have some thrush in there as well, which can affect the shape of the frog so be aware of that.

Loosie, as usual, gave good advice. For your next round of pics, it would be good if the feet were cleaner and also on flat, solid ground. Cement is perfect if you have it available.
    01-08-2012, 05:19 AM
Missy, not meaning to pick, just give some different ways of looking at some of your points, as food for thought...

Originally Posted by missyclare    
Without xrays, which should be paramount for clubs, lowering the heel in small increments and checking his comfort are important. If he doesn't like his new heel height, stop right there on lowering the heels.
I think that gradual changes & comfort are always important, regardless of xrays. Agree too that if the horse is more uncomfortable after removing heel, it can mean he should be left with a bit more than seems 'ideal' for the moment. If his heels are/get left higher than the frog, frog support pads can be important, for him to get adequate heel stimulation in comfort.

The most important thing is that the bone must be protected from the ground. ...IF you get 1/2", he needs boots for protection and you shouldn't trim the walls at all.
Agree that the bone needs to be protected *and supported* from the ground. I disagree totally that that means walls should be left long though. I think that can be one contributor/cause of 'sinking' and thin soles. I think walls should *generally* be kept quite short and not allowed to overgrow, regardless of the state of the soles, but if soles are very thin, the horse does indeed need protection, to be kept on yielding ground & wearing boots with pads when working. As for precise measurements & angles, they're nice to understand how they've come about as a guide, but still, all horses & hooves are individuals.

When you lower the heel, it asks the DDFT to stretch to allow that new heel platform to be in on the ground. If you lower the heel too fast, the tendon can't get there and the heel won't touch the ground.
Well I suppose with very severe changes & tight muscles perhaps the heels may not touch the ground for a little while, but never experienced anything remotely of the sort, so that's only hypothetical to me. It isn't really the tendons that stretch/contract, but the muscles they're attached to. Massage can help them stretch quicker, but I don't think that's the only(or major) reason not to change angles too suddenly. If the back of the foot is too sensitive from lack of function, dropping it to 'ideal' height may just make the horse MORE inclined to land toe-first due to discomfort. If the horse is laminitic or otherwise has weakness/disconnection, lowering the heels & the ensuing stronger pull from the DDFT can potentially worsen the 'rotation'. If hooves have been maintained in a particular form for a long time, the inner structures, including the bone can remodel. Eg. The sensitive frog & corium can be a lot lower in relation to the capsule on a long-term high heeled horse, so taking too much can get you in the red, in more ways than one.

My general guide is to take heels, as with the walls on the rest of the foot, down to, or within a few mm(say about 6 tops) from the sole plane, never rasping or paring into live sole. Tend to treat the bars pretty much the same as the rest of the wall material. This tends to allow 'club' feet to take themselves into account too.
    01-08-2012, 11:19 AM
LOL! I agree with everything I said, and I agree with everything you said. We are definitely in the same boat! That's nice.
    01-08-2012, 12:50 PM
One thing though, the tendon does stretch and stores energy like an elastic band.

Dissected proof: warning, graphic.
    01-08-2012, 04:18 PM
I have to agree that asking a farrier to spend what sounds like 4 times as long as usual on one horse is unreasonable.

Now this is going off on a tangent & don't mean to get hung up or make it an argument, but I want to tell you that I find that attitude quite unreasonable.

This is just continuing the unhelpful and completely beside the point argument but I do not see how everyone is getting the impression that a farrier is being asked to train the colt and/or spend "four times as long as usual" on him. Read carefully now. The colt stands fine. Half way threw the third foot he is ready for a break. Since he has been out of a stall for a total of eight days now in the history of his existence IF he is willing to stand stock still for two feet, asks for a break and then will stand stock still for the remaining two feet - he has earned this! Arguing this is pointless since none of you have met the colt, I am not asking you to trim him yourself and I have not had a farrier turn down trimming him in any way related to his temperament nor "my horrible history". In addition, I did not ask anyone to comment on whether or not they'd trim such a prick of a colt, I asked "where to start trimming these hooves" until I find a farrier that I know will do a good job getting his feet on track BEFORE he is much closer to two years old. Further more I have NOT implied that I would like a farrier to spend all afternoon catching a wild mustang, being yanked around by un-handelable feet and then take fifteen breaks while we walk him around in between feet. I HAVE implied that the colt stands for two feet, the farrier can then trim the horse standing right next to the colt giving him a minute (note: the farrier will be busy with other horse feet). When the second horse is finished the colts remaining two feet could be finished without so much as a tail swish. The idea that it should take anyone four times as long to trim this colt is ridiculous. So I respectfully disagree with your opinion on my unreasonable attitude. Again, if a farrier cannnot understand that the colt needs to be trimmed soon and we can do this right now with NO argument from him if we trim two feet, walk literally twenty feet away and trim another horse, then return to do the colts last two feet... then you are in the wrong business by dealing with any animal. This is not unreasonable to ask and the only time longer it would take is the less than one minute to walk to the next horse and the less than one minute to walk back to the colt. So sure, if the hypothetical farrier in question here would like to be paid extra by the step I guess I can arrange that.
Loosie, your other advice was very helpful. Thanks.
I understand that ideally the horse should be still for a farrier to do the job and I have never implied otherwise. I have never expected a farrier to "train my horses" as I expect that my horses will give no reason for the farrier to have to correct them!

Thank-you for your very helpful post Missy! If any of these photos are good enough, I would greatly appreciate the help. It is to dark in the barn with the cement for pictures & the colt did not want to stand two feet on the board at the same time. He would however keep one foot there. So I understand if these do not work perfect for you either but I gave it a go....


Left Front Hoof

    01-08-2012, 04:21 PM
Back feet

Left Hind Hoof

Right Hind Hoof

    01-08-2012, 04:23 PM
Right Front Hoof

I am going to need to color code his feet to help keep track of these pictures

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