What's wrong here? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Angry What's wrong here?

First off I am not happy with how my mare's hooves look. New farrier comes Wednesday. These pictures were taken June 1 and they were last trimmed on May 6, so not quite a full month. She has never been shod and should never need to be.

I would like to know what is wrong with how these feet were last done. I am a new owner and this was only the second time these hooves have been trimmed with me as the owner. I have a lot to learn when it comes to this. The barn decided to switch to a new farrier for some stupid reasons and this is what happened so now we are switching back. I didn't really know anything about farriers or hooves when they decided to switch so I trusted they picked a decent farrier.

I tried my best with the pictures, if you would like new ones please let me know what you would like and I can get them tonight. I'm sorry about the stuff stuck to her hooves, as soon as she put them down again the gap around the edge picked up everything on the ground. I got two pictures later when they were mostly clean.

We do mostly trail riding at the moment and walk on roads to get to the trails. Try to stay away from really rocky areas. After this weekends trail ride they actually look much worse as there are now bigger chips. Nothing that can't be trimmed off on Wednesday though.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hoof 1.jpg (48.7 KB, 313 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 2.jpg (53.5 KB, 298 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 3.jpg (43.3 KB, 294 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 4.jpg (58.7 KB, 292 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 5.jpg (58.2 KB, 291 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 6.jpg (46.1 KB, 288 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 7.jpg (59.8 KB, 289 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 8.jpg (54.4 KB, 288 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 9.jpg (53.8 KB, 287 views)
File Type: jpg hoof 10.jpg (62.0 KB, 284 views)

Last edited by poppy1356; 06-04-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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post #2 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:03 AM
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The farrier left away too much toe on her. She should have had much more trimming, also those quarter cracks concern me, she needs something to help those from getting and higher on her hoof wall, are her feet dry? Do you use any kind of hoof conditioner or oil on her? Bottom line, find a new farrier that does a better job.
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post #3 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Those large cracks aren't nearly as bad as they look. They are just surface cracks at this point. The old farrier who used to trim her and is coming back this week, dug those out back in February because she had a bit of thrush and it had started to take hold in those cracks. I put some hoof treatment on them almost everyday. It has been extremely muddy here lately and is just drying out so I am trying to keep her feet from getting to dry.

I have been carefully watching those cracks and chips to make sure they aren't getting any worse and I'm not riding her anywhere but the sand arena until they get fixed now. Any recommendations on good hoof conditioner? I am currently using Hoof Heal.

Is it just too much toe? She's also become ouchy on gravel after this last trim and short striding even in the round pen. She used to move right out over gravel and have a very floaty trot.
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post #4 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
First off I am not happy with how my mare's hooves look.
It's been nearly a month since the horse was last trimmed. Much of the damage to the walls precedes the farriers work. How do you think the hooves should look?

Quote:

.... She has never been shod and should never need to be.

... I am a new owner
... I have a lot to learn when it comes to this
Look at your first statement, then try to reconcile that statement with the comments that followed.

Quote:
I didn't really know anything about farriers or hooves when they decided to switch so I trusted they picked a decent farrier.
How do you know they didn't pick a decent farrier?

Whose decision was it to leave the horse barefoot?

Quote:
I would like to know what is wrong with how these feet were last done.
Unless there are significant errors in the work, it is difficult to judge a farriers work three weeks after the work is done.

The horse presents significant wall damage and loss of structural integrity. These problems have been present for a long time. Some of the problems are related the horses conformation and can be managed but not necessarily corrected.

While it is possible that a more aggressive trim may have better controled some of the problems, that same aggressiveness will also further erode the structural integrity of the foot. The result would be a foot that "looks" better in the short term, but may present greater problems later on.

Quote:
After this weekends trail ride they actually look much worse as there are now bigger chips. Nothing that can't be trimmed off on Wednesday though.
Yes, the minor chipping at the distal wall could be cleaned up. So could some of the remaining distortion of the wall at the quarters. Trouble is, the horse only has about 1/4" or less of wall thickness left to work with. The weaker the wall, the more it will distort and crack under load.

Two points that should occupy your thoughts.

  1. Trimming can never add mass or volume to the equine hoof.
  2. Some domestic horses, in use, need more than a trim to remain sound and meet their owners performance expectations.
Cheers,
Mark
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post #5 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:32 AM
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Do you have pictures of the hooves from before this farrier had trimmed so we can compare and see what he had to work with?

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #6 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post
It's been nearly a month since the horse was last trimmed. Much of the damage to the walls precedes the farriers work. How do you think the hooves should look?

Look at your first statement, then try to reconcile that statement with the comments that followed.

How do you know they didn't pick a decent farrier?

Whose decision was it to leave the horse barefoot?

Unless there are significant errors in the work, it is difficult to judge a farriers work three weeks after the work is done.

The horse presents significant wall damage and loss of structural integrity. These problems have been present for a long time. Some of the problems are related the horses conformation and can be managed but not necessarily corrected.

While it is possible that a more aggressive trim may have better controled some of the problems, that same aggressiveness will also further erode the structural integrity of the foot. The result would be a foot that "looks" better in the short term, but may present greater problems later on.

Yes, the minor chipping at the distal wall could be cleaned up. So could some of the remaining distortion of the wall at the quarters. Trouble is, the horse only has about 1/4" or less of wall thickness left to work with. The weaker the wall, the more it will distort and crack under load.

Two points that should occupy your thoughts.

  1. Trimming can never add mass or volume to the equine hoof.
  2. Some domestic horses, in use, need more than a trim to remain sound and meet their owners performance expectations.
Cheers,
Mark
Mark has given you some very good information.

If I remember correctly, this mare was a 'rescue'? Since hooves take up to a full year to grow out - you will need that time to see a complete improvement. Some of her issues may be nutritional, some genetic, some mechanical. Your farrier, barn owner or vet should be advising you.
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post #7 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post
It's been nearly a month since the horse was last trimmed. Much of the damage to the walls precedes the farriers work. How do you think the hooves should look?

Look at your first statement, then try to reconcile that statement with the comments that followed.

How do you know they didn't pick a decent farrier?

Whose decision was it to leave the horse barefoot?

Unless there are significant errors in the work, it is difficult to judge a farriers work three weeks after the work is done.

The horse presents significant wall damage and loss of structural integrity. These problems have been present for a long time. Some of the problems are related the horses conformation and can be managed but not necessarily corrected.

While it is possible that a more aggressive trim may have better controled some of the problems, that same aggressiveness will also further erode the structural integrity of the foot. The result would be a foot that "looks" better in the short term, but may present greater problems later on.

Yes, the minor chipping at the distal wall could be cleaned up. So could some of the remaining distortion of the wall at the quarters. Trouble is, the horse only has about 1/4" or less of wall thickness left to work with. The weaker the wall, the more it will distort and crack under load.

Two points that should occupy your thoughts.

  1. Trimming can never add mass or volume to the equine hoof.
  2. Some domestic horses, in use, need more than a trim to remain sound and meet their owners performance expectations.
Cheers,
Mark

She is a rescue mare so I know bad nutrition has played a role along with the neglect and past "trimmings" she had prior to rescue. She is at the same barn she was being fostered at and the farrier that first saw her will be the one coming back. Back in February he told me her feet are hard as rock and should never need shoeing as I will never be doing high impact work with her. They have never looked this bad.

This last farrier has done two trimmings at our barn. The next day two horses were lame and within a week another had an abcess (not sure if that is directly related, but the abcess was not in a usual place). This last trim also left my horse hesitating on gravel. Also a few other horses that saw this farrier are now basically tip toeing on gravel when for the past few years, never have.

I only want to do trail riding and later dressge work with this horse. The trails so far have been grass or dirt but we must travel on the roads to get to them.

Can you tell me why the walls look bad? These feet don't look to much different now then they did 4 weeks ago. The only difference is the amount of flaring on the insides of the fronts. I ment to take pictures just before and right after but I completely forgot. The gap around the edge on the bottom bothers me a bit, am I right in that? That gap was there right after trimming. Also the 'pockets' on the sole are odd to me? I have never seen those before.

I appreciate your input. I am trying my best to explain things and provide as much information as I can.
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post #8 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:37 AM
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If she is being ridden on gravel, why would you not shoe? My arab has amazing feet, but within the next few weeks will need shoes due to the footing we have to ride on. My last mare had flatter feet with thinner walls and I could never ride her on gravel with out her getting ouchy.

We have selectively bred horses for thousands of years, often with out thought of their feet. Not all horses have "mustang feet" that can with stand work with out shoes.
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post #9 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark View Post
If she is being ridden on gravel, why would you not shoe? My arab has amazing feet, but within the next few weeks will need shoes due to the footing we have to ride on. My last mare had flatter feet with thinner walls and I could never ride her on gravel with out her getting ouchy.

We have selectively bred horses for thousands of years, often with out thought of their feet. Not all horses have "mustang feet" that can with stand work with out shoes.
I will see what the farrier (different farrier than the one that did this trim) thinks about them on Wednesday, but last fall he felt they should never need to be shod. Right now the only gravel is the driveway exiting the barn. I stay off hard surfaces whenever possible.

Oh an unfortunately I looked through all my photos and cannot find any good ones of her hooves prior to this.
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post #10 of 43 Old 06-04-2012, 09:15 PM
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They look in need of a good trim. They look like they could be very nice feet with a few good trims and some healthy, well attached growth. That right fore especially looks like it has a very long toe. It will be interesting to see them after they've been trimmed. Clean feet & some different angles - check out my signature link - would be helpful too.

I think diet & nutrition is a big cause of the cracks & it will take some time for all the 'micro cracks' to grow out. The bigger ones will need to be dealt with, with trimming & treatment too, but sounds like the farrier was doing that. I'd be opening up those seedy looking cracks as much as necessary. As there is little integrity there at the moment anyway, I don't believe it would further reduce it, and I it's necessary to treat infection along with mechanics & diet in order to grow strong wall.

As the weak walls have little integrity around the bottom half at least, as is seen by the flaring, I'd also be inclined to unload them. *It would also depend on environment & degree of flaring & such as to specifics. I have found this sort of approach allows the foot to become stronger in the long run and the walls will then be capable of sharing the load.

Quote:
I put some hoof treatment on them almost everyday. It has been extremely muddy here lately and is just drying out so I am trying to keep her feet from getting to dry.
It's the mud, not the dry that's a problem. Horses, hooves & all, are built for a semi arid environment & hooves are meant to be dry. I wouldn't put anything on them, aside from treating for thrush & perhaps strong saline soaks to dry them out too, if the environment's eternally muddy. Hoof 'conditioners' & other topicals can make their feet look prettier, but they do very little if anything for the health of the feet. If they're oil based or such & there is already seedy infection, it'll only provide the bugs with a nicer environment too. Check out this report; High Performance Hoof Care - Hoof Dressings

Quote:
We have selectively bred horses for thousands of years, often with out thought of their feet. Not all horses have "mustang feet" that can with stand work with out shoes.
Sure, genetics do come into it - there are some badly bred lines with terrible feet for eg, but I don't buy the 'bred the feet off 'em' argument to a big degree. I don't think it's so much about 'nature', but I do think we've 'nurtured' their feet away. IOW it's how they live, eat, are treated. This is often changeable though, so we can potentially develop our 'mustang feet' But at the end of the day, it comes down to the same result, that many domestic horses require hoof protection to do what we ask of them. I think hoof boots are a great alternative to steel rims.
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