IS there any reason a farrier would want to contract a horses heels?!?!
 
 

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IS there any reason a farrier would want to contract a horses heels?!?!

This is a discussion on IS there any reason a farrier would want to contract a horses heels?!?! within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How can farrier improve contracted heels
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    03-11-2012, 07:21 PM
  #1
Started
IS there any reason a farrier would want to contract a horses heels?!?!

A few weeks ago Lexie(she is on here) and I were talking about hoof care and about how I don't care for the farrier who does the horses at the barn (including the horse that she leases). He trimmed Bella(my barefoot TB) once shortly after I moved her there since my normal farrier wouldn't go that far for just one trim. After he trimmed her she was tender footed on rocks for about 4 months(found a barefoot trimmer and got her boots for riding) previously she had been 100% sound on any surface I took her over. Anyway, Lexie mentioned that the farrier was trying to contract Alibi's heels with the shoes There was something else she told me he was doing that sounded wrong but I can't remember. I have always through and heard that contracted heels were a very bad thing and you should try to widen the heel. I don't think Lexie is going to have shoes put back on Alibi since she only had them for one season and she really doesn't need them since she has strong feet. Bella's boots fit her so I told her if she was ever tender at all she could use Bella's boots.
     
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    03-11-2012, 07:57 PM
  #2
Yearling
I've never heard of wanting to contract the heels. That's a new one on me. We've always worked to undo contracted heels. Haven't ever had the problem with my horses being unshod, but I've gotten horses that were shod before they became mine that had some contraction undo. In those cases I've had to pull the heels back some.
     
    03-11-2012, 08:04 PM
  #3
Trained
So the farrier trimmed your horse once at it was sore for 4 months ?!
     
    03-11-2012, 08:30 PM
  #4
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
I've never heard of wanting to contract the heels. That's a new one on me. We've always worked to undo contracted heels. Haven't ever had the problem with my horses being unshod, but I've gotten horses that were shod before they became mine that had some contraction undo. In those cases I've had to pull the heels back some.
That's what I always thought to, you wants the heels to be wide.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
so the farrier trimmed your horse once at it was sore for 4 months ?!
Yep, no idea what he did because I wasn't there, but anytime she would walk on rocks after he trimmed her she was sore. I honestly think that he made her sore on purpose in hopes I would put shoes on here so he would get more money I REALLY dislike this guy.
     
    03-11-2012, 08:36 PM
  #5
Trained
Was it muddy or something ? It seems really odd to me that her feet wouldnt grow out enough/ toughen up in 4 whole months !
     
    03-11-2012, 08:47 PM
  #6
Weanling
That is a MAJOR red flag to me, although unfortunately I am not a farrier. (If I ever have the spare $, I would love to go to a school though.) Isn't a contracted heel normally indicative of a long toe? Unless there is some kind of conformational issue that needs to be corrected, I would say leave my baby's heels alone!
     
    03-11-2012, 08:49 PM
  #7
Yearling
It's not unheard of for a shod horse find it painful going unshod for awhile, but with time and proper trimming to get their feet in the right shape (if needed) they get over. I can't imagine what it must feel like having better blood flow starting from going unshod after being shod. I guess walking after your foot's "gone to sleep" would be close. But your horse was already unshod, so I can't account for why it would hurt. It would be horrible if the trim was deliberately done bad. Shoe trimming is not the same as unshod natural trim, but I wouldn't think the difference would cause pain in an obviously sound horse. Having never done a shoe trim I'm not qualified to make the comparison.
Did you look her feet over when she was having problems after the trim? Just wondered if there was something different you might have noticed in how her feet looked after the trim?
     
    03-11-2012, 08:58 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoosHuman    
That is a MAJOR red flag to me, although unfortunately I am not a farrier. (If I ever have the spare $, I would love to go to a school though.) Isn't a contracted heel normally indicative of a long toe? Unless there is some kind of conformational issue that needs to be corrected, I would say leave my baby's heels alone!
You can have long toes without a constricted heel and a constricted heel without a long toe, but you can certainly have both together too. Long toes will impact the angle of the hoof and if bad enough can have some white line separation. Constricted heels impact the heels shock absorbtion and thus it's effect on improving blood flow (and probably some other things as well).
I've usually found long toes quicker to fix than contricted heels. Depending of course on how long vs how contricted.
     
    03-11-2012, 11:36 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
was it muddy or something ? It seems really odd to me that her feet wouldnt grow out enough/ toughen up in 4 whole months !
It was nearly a year ago(I think it was in may) so I don't remember if it was particularly muddy or not, but how would it being muddy have anything to do with her being sore? If you are getting at thrush, she did not have thrush, I had the trimmer i'm using out 2 weeks after that farrier did her feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
It's not unheard of for a shod horse find it painful going unshod for awhile, but with time and proper trimming to get their feet in the right shape (if needed) they get over. I can't imagine what it must feel like having better blood flow starting from going unshod after being shod. I guess walking after your foot's "gone to sleep" would be close. But your horse was already unshod, so I can't account for why it would hurt. It would be horrible if the trim was deliberately done bad. Shoe trimming is not the same as unshod natural trim, but I wouldn't think the difference would cause pain in an obviously sound horse. Having never done a shoe trim I'm not qualified to make the comparison.
Did you look her feet over when she was having problems after the trim? Just wondered if there was something different you might have noticed in how her feet looked after the trim?
She had been barefoot for just over a year before he trimmed her. I did look at her feet and the only thing I noticed was that the bars(I think) were trimmed really short so she no longer had much of a crevice next to her frog when previously it was pretty deep. I did take some pictures 2 weeks after he trimmed her and you can see they are already looking over grown Bellas hooves pictures by Rachel1786 - Photobucket With my old farrier she was going 8 weeks between trims, and I think she was at 8 or 9 weeks when the other farrier trimmed her. The pics are not great because I forgot my camera and had to use my touch screen phone which wasn't easy lol....I'd love to take pics of some of the horses hooves at the barn, some of them are cringe worthy!
     
    03-12-2012, 03:31 AM
  #10
Trained
Hi,

Yes, I agree it sounds wrong *IF* the farrier is trying to contract feet, but with respect, you're relating 3rd hand info, which may have been misunderstood, so I wouldn't jump to judge the farrier based just on that. As for your horse being sore for months after this farrier's visit, yes, it could definitely be due to bad trimming(possibly in conjunction with other issues if it went on so long), be that a general bad practice of his or an 'accidental' kind of one, but there are other reasons the horse could have been sore & considering your info, I wouldn't rush to automatically blame the farrier. Some possible reasons why...

It could have been pure coincidence that your horse became lame after the trim. If your horse was suffering from very mild(subclinical or 'low grade') laminitis, he could be more sensitive post trim, regardless of how good a trim may have been done. If your horse was left without regular enough trimming - it depends but 8-9 weeks IME is generally at least a few weeks overdue - horses can become sensitive post-trim due to being allowed to overgrow before being 'corrected', rather than just kept maintained. This seems especially true of 'low grade' laminitis cases, who if trimmed regularly enough for maintenance are fine, but are sore post trim if feet are neglected for any length of time.

Your pics show that your horse is rather shallow soled, with stretched & possibly separated(can't tell cos mud) walls all round. Given that hoof form, it appears possible she was suffering 'LGL', which may have been part of the cause. It seems that the frogs, while not looking terrible, are a bit thrushy & fronts at least a bit contracted, indicating that they aren't being used well/enough &/or the environment may be causing problems.

It appears possible(hard to tell from those angles) that the hooves may not be well balanced. Only 2 weeks out from a trim, I'd be inclined to suspect the trimmer if that is the case, but it does depend on what the horse has been doing, how she moves etc, as well as how she is conformed - that could possibly also be the right balance for her. Looks like the horse is also about due for a trim there, at least to roll the outer walls. With regard to bars being trimmed short but already long again in these pics, for a start I wouldn't say they're overlong there, but if they were previously & had been left for 8 weeks, it's possible that his relieving them allowed them to kind of 'let down' quickly after that.
     

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