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What to do (Hoof Woes)

This is a discussion on What to do (Hoof Woes) within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        03-09-2013, 08:42 PM
      #11
    Foal
    The only issue I have with everyone saying put a shoe on is that I don't understand what you guys are thinking this will accomplish. I agree a shoes can be a bandaid so-to-speak for injured hooves, or stop a horse from over wearing, etc. but this one picture of the hoof, at this angle so that it's hard to tell really, seems like it could use a bit of wear. If he's sore, figure out why- if a shoe is the answer because it lends support to a specific area that requires it, or it gets pressure off a rotated coffin bone go for it, but don't think a shoe is a cure for general lameness - something is wrong IN that hoof, and since it wasn't always that way, it can be fixed! I agree about talking to your farrier, but I doubt there's anyone who would disagree that if you **can** go barefoot, you should for the horse's health.

    I think more pictures from different angles would also help us get a better look
    loosie, Wallaby, Missy May and 1 others like this.
         
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        03-10-2013, 04:29 AM
      #12
    Weanling
    I agree with Kero.

    That picture is difficult to interpret because the foot is dirty and it is hard to see the angles. However, it appears the foot has long heels that are uneven from side to side, a long stretched forward toe (oval shape to hoof) and long, laid over bars.

    All of those things would benefit from frequent trimming while keeping a close eye on the changes being made. None of those things would benefit from having a shoe put on which would increase the time between trims to at least 6-8 weeks.

    Most often a thin sole is caused by a sole that has stretched forward with a long toe. The same amount of sole grows down from the coffin bone on every foot. However, a short-toed horse will have enough sole to make a thick sole while a stretched-out toed horse will have a thin, stretched out sole.
    loosie and KeroKero like this.
         
        03-10-2013, 04:34 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Pics or no pics, you already know he's in pain. Shoes with pads would probably make sense for at least until he's comfortable again. Hoof boots are not logical for an ouchy horse in that they are not supposed to be left on 24/7 and you're guy sounds like he needs full time help.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Taffy Clayton    
    Put shoes on him. I don't even think you need to invest in pads. Shoes will do wonders for him.
    I'm hoping to get a farrier out this week to shoe him, even if it is just temporary. I'm willing to try just about anything, and shoes seems like the obvious first choice.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oldhorselady    
    At least it looks like he has a nice frog and no thrush!
    Actually, I fear he may have thrush in the front :S His feet are a little whiffy and frogs are a bit black.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
    I am going to "sound like a broken record" (no one under 45 knows what means) BUT:

    Diet WILL help toughen his hooves up. He may never be able to be ridden without shoes but diet helps.

    My 25 yo TWH has always been flat-footed and very tender; he always wore shoes.

    He was diagnosed Equine Metabolic Syndrome in 2007 and his diet under went a major major change.

    About a year after the change to a very low starch diet, I noticed he went gaiting across the gravel drive without missing a lick.

    I decided to bridle him and go down the road to see what he'd do barefoot on the road. To my surprise he went down the road at a pretty good lick and stayed in stones in the center of the road.

    I would still shoe him if we were hard trail riding but changing his diet to as low starch as I can get it, has surprisingly strengthend his soles to allow me to ride him barefoot for all the more I do around here.

    Both the vet and the Trimmers told me that, while all my horses have great hooves, the best hooves in the barn belong to the two with metabolic issues

    Hopefully you find a farrier you can trust

    An no, we are not anti-shoes. All my horses are barefoot because (A) I can't ride anymore (B) two of them never did need shoes to go "4-wheelin'.

    If I were still riding like I used to, the other two horses would take turns having a set of shoes put on. I would rotate them to force me to ride them both

    Anyway, along with hoping you find a trustworthy and knowledgeable farrier, at least give some thought to a change in diet
    I know what it means ! A diet change has been suggested to me on another site - He is currently on a mixed pasture and getting a biscuit of lucerne/alfalfa hay each day. It's been suggested that I use grass hays and soak them to rid them of the sugars etc. Would that make a difference, do you think?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KeroKero    
    The only issue I have with everyone saying put a shoe on is that I don't understand what you guys are thinking this will accomplish. I agree a shoes can be a bandaid so-to-speak for injured hooves, or stop a horse from over wearing, etc. but this one picture of the hoof, at this angle so that it's hard to tell really, seems like it could use a bit of wear. If he's sore, figure out why- if a shoe is the answer because it lends support to a specific area that requires it, or it gets pressure off a rotated coffin bone go for it, but don't think a shoe is a cure for general lameness - something is wrong IN that hoof, and since it wasn't always that way, it can be fixed! I agree about talking to your farrier, but I doubt there's anyone who would disagree that if you **can** go barefoot, you should for the horse's health.

    I think more pictures from different angles would also help us get a better look
    What you say here rings similar to what I have been told on another site - that shoes will not necessarily fix the problem. I will probably shoe him though, just to get him moving with less pain until I can look into other options. I'll try and get some more photos :)

    I found out today that a big problem seems to be his front left hoof, which has rather large 'chips' out of it. Touching the bared areas makes him flinch noticeably, so a large part of me is hoping that once that hoof regrows some of the issue will be resolved.

    I lunged him today on a mix of grass and packed dirt - there was a notable difference in both the walk and trot when he moved from one to the other. I'm wondering whether a part of the problem is how hard the ground is here compared to where he was.

    It's also been recommended that I use a hoof oil to toughen his hooves up a little, plus it will help regrow the front left hoof.
         
        03-10-2013, 07:08 AM
      #14
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Shoes with pads would probably make sense for at least until he's comfortable again. Hoof boots are not logical for an ouchy horse in that they are not supposed to be left on 24/7 and you're guy sounds like he needs full time help.
    Sorry OP, that pic doesn't give much away, mud & all.

    I agree that shoes will likely make him comfortable. Just that shoes IME are only going to address the symptoms, not the actual problem. Yeah, boots aren't the best when left on full time, but all but the most 'intensive care' horses don't need them full time anyway. It sounds like the horse is fine moseying in the paddock, so won't need boots full time. But economics of buying boots for a lease horse with major hoof issues... there's a pretty healthy secondhand boot market these days, but... I'd personally be looking for another lease horse if he's that problematic.

    Yes, shoes/no shoes is one of those things you've just got to weigh up for yourself. Shoes tend to reduce the discomfort, so allow you to use the horse more normally, regardless of terrain & hoof health. Shoes may also be the best option in some hoof problems, such as pedal bone fractures for eg. But generally, the reason I would advise against boots for a horse with unhealthy feet is that they're already likely compromised & laminae may well be stressed/weak, the sole may already be weak & thin, so using peripheral loading devices to force the entire load on the walls, along with (unless padded) providing no support & protection underneath the foot. I think it's contraindicative. For the sole to become strong & thick, it needs *comfortable* use(just like our own), and the walls need to be relieved of pressure, rather than made to bear the entire load.

    Also not at all discounting the importance of diet, as Walkin explained, and other factors such as environment, which will have a bearing on the whys & wherefores.
         
        03-10-2013, 10:23 AM
      #15
    Green Broke
    ---

    Quote:
    I know what it means ! Lol lol. "sound like a broken record" was my mom's favorite phrase when I wouldn't be quiet about something

    A diet change has been suggested to me on another site - He is currently on a mixed pasture and getting a biscuit of lucerne/alfalfa hay each day. It's been suggested that I use grass hays and soak them to rid them of the sugars etc. Would that make a difference, do you think?
    If you can switch to a good grass hay it may help. The "go to" for metabolic horses has always been to soak hay if it can't be tested.

    BUT, I have read recently that if it's soaked long enough to leech out the starches, it might also leech out the nutrients.

    When the EMS exploded on my horse, I was already feeding grass hay from a Grower five miles away. I never switched but did have his hay tested; it was always around 9.2% - 9.5% NSC.

    It was the feed pan stuff that changed but you're not feeding anything in that regard, so maybe that's what needs to change.

    Maybe, for this horse, whatever nutrients are in your forage products isn't enough. Every horse is different.

    Maybe a good ration balancer if you can find one without grains. Especially don't feed corn or other grains typical to your area that are high in starches.

    You might also consider buying a vitamin/mineral supplement in a tub, something that only takes one or two ounces daily, and top-dressing it over a pound of timothy pellets or whatever hay pellets are available to you.

    I would keep him off any sort of legume for several months, until you see a lot of new hoof growth, and see if that does anything for hoof quality.

    The only way to correctly gauge that quality is to take before and after pictures - lollol

    Take pics of the undersides, top , side views, rear views right before you make any changes as you will never remember what those hooves used to look like.

    It is eye-opening to go back and compare and decide on the next "plan of attack". It may also help the farrier as they cannot possibly remember details of every horse they work on, unless somebody takes pictures.

    I had one barefoot trimmer that took periodic pics of everyones hooves and kept them for comparison. It helped him notice subtle changes, good or bad. He left the area, so the picture taking became my responsibility - lol
         
        03-10-2013, 11:20 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gottatrot    
    Most often a thin sole is caused by a sole that has stretched forward with a long toe. The same amount of sole grows down from the coffin bone on every foot. However, a short-toed horse will have enough sole to make a thick sole while a stretched-out toed horse will have a thin, stretched out sole.
    I am embarrassed that I've never realized this.... :O Thanks for that simple, amazing info gottatrot!
    Trinity3205 likes this.
         
        03-10-2013, 11:43 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    I always advocate finding out the whys. There is ALWAYS a reason for a horse to be sore barefoot. Find out why and address it. Shoes are often just a band aid because many farriers do not recognize or know how to address a distorted hoof capsule and improve it whether with shoes or barefoot. Therefore, nothing is fixed which can spiral into long term lameness. However, They can also be used as a tool and provide needed protection while addressing the underlying problem. It all depends on the knowledge and reasoning behind the application. Long toes are certainly the primary cause of thin flat soles. Shoes or no shoes, find out why and what is wrong and address it. Trim to the bone and live sole plane. Flat soles need pads of some sort even with shoes as they are still vulnerable to rocks and usually need the back of the foot inflated to properly align the bones and joints. Padding is preferably to wedges if alignment can be achieved that way, but wedges can be a real solution if used short term and the heels are trimmed well back and down. Don't leave the horse hanging off a rim shoe.


    We need better pictures to give you proper feedback.
         
        03-10-2013, 06:41 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KeroKero    
    I am embarrassed that I've never realized this.... :O Thanks for that simple, amazing info gottatrot!
    I'd say that one big reason for thin soles is stretched toes, but I wouldn't call it the main one. Peripherally loading the hoof(forcing the walls to take the whole load) will do it. Living in soft footing, diet, nutrition, etc....
         
        03-11-2013, 03:15 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    Horses can be ouchy for different reasons. Sensitivity due to several reasons, or a Navicular problem.

    You can change his diet for the future, you can call a vet for xrays, or put shoes on and see if it works. You can always pull them back off if they don't work, then call a vet, or call the vet first , and have xray proof for your farrier to trim him better incase it's a long toe and thin soles or flat soles.
         

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