Bad idea to let horse's feet go more than 12 weeks? - Page 2

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Bad idea to let horse's feet go more than 12 weeks?

This is a discussion on Bad idea to let horse's feet go more than 12 weeks? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-20-2012, 12:10 AM
Green Broke
The arab gelding I used to ride was often done every 12 weeks and our farrier absolutely loved his feet, said they were picture perfect. Some horses can go longer others can't just depends, I'd say try just going 10 weeks first though if thry look like they still can go another 2 weeks perfectly then go for it. If you doubt he can then don't he's your horse so you tell the farrier what you want.
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    09-20-2012, 12:21 AM
My anglo arab goes every two cycles of the farrier.

Selena goes every 8-12 weeks (Depends on what we put on her shoe-wise) and even on the every 20 weeks or so he never looks SUPER bad. He just starts getting a little long. He does get trail ridden pretty hard though and a lot of rocks. He's insane. I wish all horses were like him. Never had a horse go THAT long without getting bad feet.
    09-20-2012, 06:46 AM
Originally Posted by ShannonSevenfold    
Though I do feel it is a bit of a waste to pay the farrier $35 to take like a quarter of an inch off. ....He has a small (less than an inch) crack in one toe, but the farrier said it doesn't look like it will spread and should just grow out.
Re the quote above, if your farrier has to take off 1/4" hoof wall, the horse was definitely well due. While the 'real world' sometimes gets in the way, it's not good management to routinely allow hooves to overgrow too much before trimming. A 1" crack isn't all that little. That should amount to almost 1/3 up the hoof wall of a big horse & if it's substantially less than that, the hooves are likely too long due to(??). Cracks often start due to hooves getting too long &/or imbalanced. Also IME it's unlikely for cracks to 'just grow out' of their own accord without management.

I do think it depends & some horses can go quite some time between trims, but I do find that most people that believe their horse doesn't need trimming & has 'hardly grown' are either mistaken & just haven't noticed how much excess growth there is(perhaps because unexfoliated sole is disguising the situation), or the feet are indeed slow growing(or rarely, they're used/worn as much as they grow) but have become imbalanced due to lack of regular maintenance. Therefore, generally I think it is far from a waste to have the farrier to them around 8-10 weekly max.
    09-20-2012, 09:41 AM
I think that I will just keep him on a 12 week schedule unless they start growing like crazy. I tend to disagree though that 1/4 of an inch is well overdue. That's hardly anything at all.

Re: the crack - he said it was a surface crack so it likely will not spread but to just keep an eye on it.
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    09-20-2012, 09:44 AM
I think it depends on the horse, what kind of terrain you have in your pasture, and how much (and where) your ride the horse. (We go barefoot whenever possible.)
    09-20-2012, 09:54 AM
Mine get trimmed when I think they need it. That usually is at about 10-12 weeks for the Appy. The other 2 could go perhaps a month longer, but it is easier to get them all trimmed at once. The last trip, the farrier only used a file & cleaned the sole on the mustang, and the same on 3 of my mare's feet.

Count me in as one of those who thinks 1/4" of trim is a mild trim...that is about what was taken off the Appy on the last visit. Worth doing, but hardly waiting too long.
    09-20-2012, 01:10 PM
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
I'd be concerned about a potential nutritional deficiency if it takes that much more than 12 weeks to need a trim. But I supposed if the feet are actually healthy looking I wouldn't be concerned.
This is what I was thinking. When I first got my horse, he had not had a very good diet and I was unknowingly feeding him a vit/min supplement that didn't actually cover all his needs. At his second farrier visit (at 8 weeks) the farrier didn't use the nippers at all- just rasped a little off and the nails from the shoes went back through the same holes. The hoof quality seemed fine, but there just wasn't much growth. At that rate, he probably would have been perfectly fine on a 12 week schedule.

Around that time, I switched to a better feed and his feet really took off. I had to call my farrier out early because if I waited until my 8 week appointment his feet would have been way overgrown. He's now on a 6 week schedule (although my trainer starts asking me when my farrier is coming out by 4 weeks...)

There are certainly some horses that grow slowly even on a good diet, but it would be a good idea to double check your gelding's diet and make sure all his bases are covered. ( is a great resource for this!)
    09-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Okay, I gave him a bath today and once his feet were all clean, I noticed that the top 1/2 - 3/4 of a inch of his hooves is MUCH lighter than the rest of the foot and it's very flaky and dry looking. I'm worried about his feet now. Could that be caused by nutrition problems (I just bought him and considering the last person only had him for 6 months, it couldve been what she was feeding him)? What should I do about it?
    09-20-2012, 03:25 PM
Can you take a picture? It depends horses have what's called Periople it's an off white rubber stuff on the outside of the hoof wall, normally at the top, you can scrape it off with a hoof pick, normally a farrier will clean that up when he does it.

But if you notice a ring or a distinct 'bump' growing out of the horse's hoof those indicate nutritional changes. If you're worried, which pictures will help us determine, but I think your farrier would honestly know better than most of us - unless someone on here is a vet or farrier? Which there may be. But if you're worried you could put him on a hoof supplement, they don't hurt. I have all my horses on Brewer's yeast which provides a great deal of all the essential B vitamins - it helps keep hair and hoof properly nourished.
    09-20-2012, 03:34 PM
My gelding does best on a 6-7 week schedule (thinnest hoof walls EVER) but my mare goes pretty much every other of his trims. So she gets trimmed half as much as him. At $45 a trim, I'm very glad.

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