Thin wall and sole... What do I do?

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Thin wall and sole... What do I do?

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  • Hocks knox gelatin horse
  • How to take care of horses with thin soles

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    10-30-2013, 05:56 PM
Thin wall and sole... What do I do?

I just picked up an 18 year old gelding that has been on the road to recovery threw his past 2 owners. He was rescued back in June and then was bought buy a lady in which I just got him from. He has really bad feet right now. When he was rescued his hooves had parialy grown over the shoes that he had on for who knows how long. He had his feet trimed a few times sence June and now I have him. He currently has to have shoes on year round I am told otherwise he will go lame due to him haveing a thin wall and sole. He also went to the vet just before I picked him up and the vet had dug at a few sore spots and found a stone bruise with a blood pocket right near the surface. He was seen by a farrier right after that and I am not sure it it was trimed of or not. This is a National Reserve Champion Western Pleasure Double Registered APHA horse and he has fully recovered everywere but his feet. I would like to show him eventually due to he remembers EVERYTHING but I am trying to take it easy tell I get his hooves fixed. Any advise on what direction I could go in getting his feet back to happy and health would be awsome! My other 2 horses have such amazing and healthy feet that I only have to have them trimmed once a year!
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    10-30-2013, 06:35 PM
Once a year?????
Chickenoverlord likes this.
    10-30-2013, 07:08 PM
Green Broke
Thin sole is usually indicative of a stretched toe, or all around flared feet. The sole has to thin out to cover more area. This also leads to flat footed horse, which paired with thin soles can definitely make them ouchy. If you back up the toe where it should be and remove all the flares, the hoof will gain some concavity and the sole should start to get thicker.

I would advise using Durasole during this recovery time to help harden his frogs and help him keep his exfoliating sole as a cushion while he grows true sole. Do NOT let the farrier touch his sole or frog.

Can you post pictures of his feet?
    10-30-2013, 09:57 PM
Some horses just have genetically really bad feet. Pictures would help see if there are trimming or shoeing issues contributing to it.

I have known a LOT of high dollar show paints and quarter horses (world class) who simply never had good feet and never will. It got bred right out of them,and in some cases, they were ruined when the horses were still young due to the conditions under which they were raised for the show pen. (I won't go into that rant right now)

With his history I would suspect a high probability of some permanent damage inside the feet. Therefore if your vet has not yet recommended X-rays, I would ask for some to evaluate the condition of the coffin bones. As a farrier I would be looking to see how much sole there really is under there, look for signs of old laminitis/founder/pedal osteitis and so on . That will help see if shoes really are going to be a lifelong requirement. If the bones are healthy and there is adequate sole depth then he MIGHT be able to build a foot eventually capable of barefoot with proper shoeing designed to stimulate growth in the right direction, but at his age don't count on miracles.
    10-30-2013, 10:33 PM
I agree with the xray. You need to know what's inside.
The only way I know to combat thin soles and walls is nutrition. You may not see improvement for months but it will be well worth it. There's no other way.
    10-31-2013, 03:40 AM
Hi & welcome,

I think while genetics do occasionally play a part - there are certain lines of badly bred show horses - most domestic horses have thin soles and weak heels to some degree or other(just saw 3 new horses on the one property today with soles that yielded to my pinky pressure!) and this is due to environmental factors - diet, management, environment, etc. - It will depend on these factors & your ability to change what is unhelpful, as well as the state of his feet at that age as to how much you're able to help him grow thick, strong hoof capsules. Diet & nutrition are a huge factor.

I do not believe keeping shoes on him will help him grow stronger feet, but it will help him be more comfortable & if padded, protect his feet somewhat from further injury, and allow you to ride him on whatever without further effort. I think it depends what you want/are able to put in, to a large degree, as rehab will take effort & time. I would personally choose to at least try rehabbing him rather than just managing as long as you're able.

If he is so bad that he is even sore when bare on soft ground, in his paddock etc, then his feet are severely compromised & he will need protection in this environment too. Pads &/or boots or hoof casting are some good options there. While it depends on the state of his feet & how long they've been like that, as well as lifestyle & nutrition, as to whether he can become really strong footed/thick soled, it is rare that they can't be made a lot better at least. You may always need to protect his feet on rough surfaces though.

He also went to the vet just before I picked him up and the vet had dug at a few sore spots and found a stone bruise with a blood pocket right near the surface.
While I'm not a vet & obviously haven't seen your horse, and cutting open abscesses is a common practice & sometimes may be appropriate, I'm skeptical about this for a number of reasons. Firstly, opening abscesses is different to digging at 'sore spots' & bruising. If the horse is so thin soled, of course he'll have many 'sore spots' when direct pressure is applied with hoof testers or such. Of course if he's not protected & made to go on hard/rough ground he'll likely have bruises & possibly worse. Of course if he's that thin soled, live tissue/blood will be very close to the surface. Digging into an already very thin sole will obviously remove even more protection. It will open the live hoof to the environment, making serious infection more likely, and using strong antiseptics can ****** the growth of the solar horn. As this was done, he would need bandaging, cleanliness & wound care as well as just padding, until the wounds have healed.

My other 2 horses have such amazing and healthy feet that I only have to have them trimmed once a year!
That's pretty unusual. We're discussing 'self trimming' on another thread here. Most domestics don't have such a productive environment to do away with trimming. Your horses must do a lot of miles on varied, abrasive terrain. Is the once a year after your annual holiday by any chance??
    10-31-2013, 07:45 AM
Hey maya21,
I am a female farrier in MS and have worked on many rescue horses as well as horses with extremely thin walls and soles. Without taking a look I am just giving this recommendation based on my experiences.
What you can do and what your farrier can do are different. What you can do got him is give him a supplement in his feed such as b-12 and I also recommend a packet of plain ole Knox gelatin once a day with feed. These 2 products promote healthy hoof tubule growth from the coronary band. Also ask your farrier to put some hoof testers to him and check for sore spots. Horses as young as five can develop leg and hoof problems depending on the amount of work they have done. Also if your farrier or vet can find nothing wrong with the hoof, consider that the problem could lie in his hock/knee, shoulder or even back. Good luck
    10-31-2013, 07:48 AM
Also unless you have a very experienced farrier coming out every 6 weeks thin walled/soled horses do not hold steel shoes well and usually end up ripping them off. A package that works extremely well for me is aluminum racing plates and a vettec equipak cs pad to offer cushion and promotion of sole depth.
    10-31-2013, 10:58 AM
Also unless you have a very experienced farrier coming out every 6 weeks thin walled/soled horses do not hold steel shoes well and usually end up ripping them off. A package that works extremely well for me is aluminum racing plates and a vettec equipak cs pad to offer cushion and promotion of sole depth.
Another trick I learned is to use perforated pads under the lightweight shoes and then fill the foot with the equipack. The equipack with the perforated pad helps stabilize the shoeing package as because it fills the holes in the pad, while it also glues the whole shoe and pad to the sole and at the same time it supports the frog, stimulating better growth. Also insuring the heels of the foot are trimmed back adequately and the breakover in the toe is moved back under the foot if it is too far forward now also help build a more concave , better sole.
    10-31-2013, 04:00 PM
Originally Posted by xxdanioo    
Once a year?????
Yes once a year. They are turned out on 200 acres year round and they both have naturally healthy feet. I have my farrier come out ever 6 months to check on them but he only has to trim them once a year. My gelding is 7 and has only had his feet trimed once a year since he was 2 and my 2 year only filly hade her feet trimed at 6 months, 1 year and she just had them done as a 2 year old. My farrier says that they have amazingly healthy feet and I NEVER do anything to them except clean them out once a week...
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