cracked hooves/strange clicking? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-30-2008, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
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cracked hooves/strange clicking?

Hey guys,

I was wondering if you guys could help me with something. Indy has horribly cracked hooves. I don't know how else to describe it except it's really bad. The farrier looked at it and told me that the cracks aren't deep and that it isn't much to be worried about but it looks pretty awful to me. He isn't sore or anything, and it doesn't bother him but I was wondering if there was something I could do. He has been getting Farriers Formula Double Concentrate for about 8 months now and i've seen a bit of improvement, but not much. Some other information: His hooves aren't hot or sensitive to the touch. I am completely forgetting the name of the things that you use to put pressure on different parts of the hoof, but the farrier used one of those and nothing came up. He lives outside 24/7. He is fed 1/2 a bucket of grain twice a day with free choice hay. Grass for 20 minutes to half an hour when I'm there (varies depending on the last time he's had it, if it has been a while we start with five minutes and work back up). Honestly I don't know if any of that was relevant to his cracked hooves but I just thought I'd throw that in.

We have talked about keeping him barefoot as he used to throw his shoes quite often, but the farrier said his hoof walls aren't strong enough. We may try keeping him barefoot in the back this winter and see where it goes from there but I'm not sure.

I am going to try to ad pictures:

Also, yesterday for the first time in a very long time, I heard that "clicking" sound again. When Indy was walking around the arena (just loose by himself) his hind right leg was making a clicking sound. It was loud and deffinately audible. It kind of sounded like when a human's knee cracks (I get that a lot do to an old stress fracture, hopefully you know what I'm talking about!). When he started trotting I could hear it as well but after about half an hour of trotting/cantering/galloping & bucking it went away. When I caught him and walked him over to tack up, the sound was gone and I didn't hear it for the rest of the two hours that I was riding/with him. He was not limping, no abnormal heat or swelling in the leg, no signs of soreness, nothing seemed to be wrong. The barn manager looked at him, a good friend of mine looked at him, nothing seemed to be wrong. The problem with calling out a vet is that it only happens every once in a blue moon. This may be the third time in the year and a half i've had him. Is it something to worry about? He is only five so I had ruled out arthritis but then I was thinking I shouldn't rule that out because you never know. He hasn't ever been sore or lame (knock on wood) aside from the time the farrier put a nail in sideways (long story short, it was pinching a nerve in his hoof). What do you guys think? Should I call the vet out or talk to him when he does his spring shots or just keep an eye on it?

Cookies for whoever read that whole thing, sorry it's so long!!

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post #2 of 6 Old 11-30-2008, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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"The farrier looked at it and told me that the cracks aren't deep and that it isn't much to be worried about "

Is the same farrier that pinched his nerve with a nail the same one that said "not to worry"??

What a great farrier ---------NOT!

I don't see how any farrier can look at those vertical cracks and say they "are nothing to worry about".

While they don't get on the "critical path panic list" yet, they sure look to be heading that way.

If this horse has had shoes on all year, evidently the farrier's shoeing prowess (or lack of same) hasn't done a thing over the summer to correct these vertical cracks or they wouldn't be near as far up (or down) the hoof.

Me thinks the first thing I would do, if it's even possible, is to lay off the current farrier and try to find another one.

The second thing I would do, would be to hopefully find a good barefoot trimmer; at least a shoer that is knowledgeable and can perform high quality barefoot work.

If you're not showing or doing heavy trail riding over the winter, I would have those shoes pulled "five minutes ago", have a good barefoot trim done (which means don't trim the sole, bevel & roll the edges and without seeing the bottom, maybe even shorten the toe up some.

While I do my own barefoot trimming, I am far from a professional. I hope the barefoot trimmers and the shoers will come in and post their thoughts.

Were your farrier my farrier he would be wearing an imprint of his own rasp alongside his head. I apologize for that to a point:)
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-30-2008, 01:40 PM
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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There are time constraints on editing, so I just went ahead and posted my edit in another post

I was going to post a pic of my club-footed horse's front hooves because he has a small vertical crack on both fronts, but I don't have any recent pictures, much less ones that show the cracks really well.

Thankfully he is only the mildest of the club-foot issues, but still difficult to keep balanced and that interprets to me having a difficult time keeping those cracks under control.

One is about 3/8" in length from the toe upward, the one on the club hoof slightly less. I stress over that much.

Also, I put all my horses on Omega-3 Horseshine a year ago and it has made a tremendous difference in hoof quality.

Horse Health Product Horseshine Omega 3 Flax Feed Supplement by Omega Fields

My fingernails should shine as much as their hooves do. No one gets oat & corn based grain either, which is a whole 'nuther subject in itself:)
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-30-2008, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Yes it is the same farrier who put the nail in wrong. When I bought Indy his feet were NOT in the greatest condition as he had basically been on 70 acres for the first two years of his life with no attention to his feet but when they brought him in he got mixed up with a bad farrier, long story short, they were a mess and I thought I could fix that. When I brought Indy to the barn he is at now, I began using their farrier and from what he said/the work I had seen him do on other horses/the work he had done at first with Indy I was satisfied that he could help me.

I have been trying to find a barefoot farrier in my area but haven't had much luck. Any ideas on how to go about looking for one? I'm in the North East (had to think about that directionally! Haha!)

Later tonight or tomorrow I will try to take more recent photographs of his hooves, these were about three months old. I believe they have gotten slightly better.

I am not doing intensive trail riding or showing this winter, however in order to keep Indy "sane" he requires a good half hour of work daily or hour every other day with one day off each week. We have tried switching up his feed, lowering quantity, etc. but the best thing to keep him in shape and consistent is exercise. He is only 5 and just started under saddle a year and a half ago. Very fresh. All the time. Would that be catagorized as intensive trail riding or showing? He has been barefoot about a week. This summer he threw all four of his shoes and due to many things going on in the farriers life, was unable to be seen for just over a week and a half. I did not ride, however towards the end I had him walking and jogging in the round pen to get his energy out. Otherwise, he gallops and bucks in his turnout and I didn't want to risk him hurting himself. Never took a lame/sore/ouchy step. To me this contradicted what the farrier was telling me but I trusted him as the older more experienced horse person.

Quite honestly, I have never dealt with hoof problems before. All of the horses that I have ridden/leased have never head any issues (aside from thrush but I won't get into that). I will be looking for a new farrier this spring as he will be moving onto my property then (a whole different story, but I can not wait) but I guess it wouldn't hurt to find a new one RIGHT NOW. haha

Thank you very much for your response! All the information was highly valuable to me and I appreciate the time you spent.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-30-2008, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southcentral Kansas
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I'd get those shoes off, study up on barefoot trimming by reading some sites and depending on where you are I would think you will be able to find a barefoot trimmer before long. No horse needs to be shod to deal with those types of cracks. A simple balanced trim will do the job. You can use hoof boots when you ride if he is ouchy. Be sure nobody trims sole down as that will make them tender. Look at this site and use the links she has available to check barefoot trimming by others who are well respected.

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-30-2008, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
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1. Get a new farrier. Any farrier knows how to trim a horse for bare feet.. other wise they wouldn't be licensed.

2. Tell your new farrier you want the shoes off and take a little more toe and tell him to leave the heal ALONE.

3. Get your horses feet done every 4 weeks until those shoe holes are gone then you can do 6 weeks.

4. The clicking sounds like your horse is over reaching. Tell your new farrier about this. Taking of a little more toe will help speed up his break over.
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