Farrier DISASTER!!!
 
 

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Farrier DISASTER!!!

This is a discussion on Farrier DISASTER!!! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Farriery for club foot
  • Barefoot trimming disaster

 
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    04-07-2011, 09:15 PM
  #1
Foal
Farrier DISASTER!!!

I am looking for any and all input on this situation, so don't be afraid to jump in....

I have had my horse for almost 2 months. He had his first trim with me 2 weeks ago, by a farrier who comes highly recommended around here (by people I trust), and who is supposed to be trained in natural hoof trimming (barefoot trimmer??). The short of it is, 2 weeks later and my horse is lame.

The longer of it is this: at the time of the trim, his left fore had a longer heel than the right (the right heel actually seems "under-run" a bit). The farrier took off a LOT of this left fore hoof. To all appearances, it looks "normal", but he was quite tender on it for a few days and is now what you can only call lame. There is no heat anywhere in that leg or foot. He will stand on it normally while grazing, but as soon as he moves to walk, he limps noticeably. The farrier kept calling this a club foot. Yes, the heel was longer than the right, but it otherwise didn't have a club "look" to it. Regardless, he was saying that the ligaments need to stretch out and and once they do he'll feel better, etc. etc.. IF it was a club foot, I've read up on that and discovered that the effected ligament does NOT always stretch!! In some cases surgery is used to cut the ligament and so on. Anyway, back to the trim and current state of my horse.... I am trying desperately to find another farrier and get another opinion...harder than it would seem -- I'm new to my area in terms of having a horse, don't know a whole lot of people (other than the ones who recommended this farrier!), and you'd be amazed at how many people just don't return phone calls or e-mails.

Something else I was reading recently in terms of lameness after a trim, was about making sure the horse's feet are balanced. It makes sense, but in all my years of having horses, I can't say that's a term I ever came across when discussing trimming. But I do "get" it.....is it possible he's lame because he IS off balance in his front?? Would a good farrier know this and know how to correct it automatically?

In the meantime, I am going to improvise a pad on this foot tomorrow, first to just cushion the sole, and then, I may add a small wedge to add some height back on that heel. If the pad alone helps, I'll guess his sole is very tender and needs the protection, and go buy an EasyBoot. If the pad alone doesn't quite do it, but the wedge does, then I'm going to be pretty certain that it's the ligament that's suffering here.

Thanks for any advice or info y'all can toss my way!
     
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    04-07-2011, 09:23 PM
  #2
Weanling
It's hard to say if this farrier is good or not but I agree that if my horse was lame after the farrier came and not before then I would probably look for another farrier. A balanced trim is so important. Have you seen Pete Ramey's website? You might consider having a vet out to check out the lameness if it doesn't go away in a couple of days since it could be something more.

Good luck.
     
    04-07-2011, 09:35 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyTheElf    

In the meantime, I am going to improvise a pad on this foot tomorrow, first to just cushion the sole, and then, I may add a small wedge to add some height back on that heel. If the pad alone helps, I'll guess his sole is very tender and needs the protection, and go buy an EasyBoot. If the pad alone doesn't quite do it, but the wedge does, then I'm going to be pretty certain that it's the ligament that's suffering here.
This sounds like a good plan of action to me.

I am not a professional farrier but I did take a farrier science course many years ago, rode around with a farrier for a little while, and have studied both shoeing and barefoot, and have done both with my own horses (and currently maintain my own horses barefoot). Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is, the more I study, the more I realize that farrier science is as much of an art as it is a science. I'm not even sure what I consider "balance" to be anymore. Is that balance when the horse is standing still? Balance as the horse is moving? Is an out-of-balance foot really IN balance because it is compensating for an old injury or a conformation defect? The more I learn, the less I know!

Anyhow, I personally have come to believe (and perhaps some "real" farriers will disagree) that an out-of-balance foot (including a club) is a foot that is compensating for some other issue with the horse's conformation. In other words, I personally don't try to over-correct a wonky hoof if I feel the hoof is wonky for a reason. Or if I am not sure, then I will try "correcting" it once to see how the horse feels afterwards and see if the "inbalance" comes back. I have a feeling, that if your horse really needs that high heel, it will comeback on it's own no matter what the farrier does to get rid of it. But in the meantime, I think your idea is very good. See if a pad alone helps, and if not, try the wedge to see if that fixes the problem. If it does, he may need to be shod with a wedge until the foot is able to grow back to the angle the horse needs.
     
    04-07-2011, 11:35 PM
  #4
Trained
Sure, the lameness could just be an out of balance foot. My horse also has a club foot and was always a little "off" at the trot. It was barely perceptible, but he just felt a little off. After a bad trim, I did lots of research and learned to look at the knees to determine if the horse is in proper balance. Sure enough, the knee on his club foot was about 1/2" higher than the other. I pointed it out to the new farrier, he evened him out, and now my horse is no longer slightly off.
     
    04-08-2011, 09:41 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Good for you Puck. That is what you should do is look at the knees. I believe that's what Anvil does. My suggestion is to do both fronts. Shoe both. I have been on many runs with Anvil and am learning so much by watching and getting clients feedback. Does the OP have any pictures of the feet? It would also help us to see what you are dealing with.
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    04-08-2011, 10:04 AM
  #6
Showing
Could you post some pics may be?

First of all, yes, good farrier can do miracles (well, kinda depends on condition and the hoof of course). At least a good farrier can give you a direction (with explanations of whats going on and what should be done to fix it). Also in my experience good farriers are not always easy to find.

BTW farrier being "barefoot/natural trim" doesn't necessarily mean he/she is good. Some people claim they are the best because they do "barefoot" trim, but it's simply untrue. Shoes/barefoot depends greatly on feet, some horses simply can NOT stay sound without shoes.

Sounds like you have a plan in mind, so I wish you luck! Hope he'll be fine soon!
     
    04-08-2011, 10:09 AM
  #7
Yearling
It is very true something else could be going on with your horse being lame. I would think that if it was the farriers fault the lameness would have occurred sooner than two weeks later. It, however could be an issue of not being a balanced trim. Barefoot trimming is based on a 4-point system. Finding a journeyman farrier is your best bet in determining if it is a case of not being a balanced trim by the previous farrier.
     
    04-08-2011, 10:09 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Hey there, sorry to hear that your horse is lame! I just thought I would mention that we have several people that are incredibly knowledgeble with regards to hoof care on this forum and are usually extremely helpful in these types of situations!

I think your best bet would be to get photos from all angles of the hooves (including solar) and post them up here asking for advice. The users that spring to mind are Loosie, Anvil, Luvs2Ride1979 and bntnail. They don't necessarily all agree on things (although usually they reach some sort of consensus) but their combined knowledge on hoof care is a force to be reckoned with! Hopefully they won't mind me dobbing them in ha ha.

So if I were you I would get some pics and perhaps contact those guys to see what they have to say. Sorry I couldn't be more help myself but I am happy to leave it to the experts on this one!!
     
    04-08-2011, 11:02 AM
  #9
Yearling
** Yes please post pictures**

I define balance in two ways.. balance within the hoof and balance in the gait IE do the feet match. I have a morgan mare with 2 "club" feet (oddly enough she is one of the nicest movers at the barn). She is literally standing on 4 inches of heel but they are even. We take her down almost inch each trim and it doesn't bother her. However, they are right back where they were by the next trim and this is OK to me because she is sound, and her feet don't get worse.

In your situation, it would depend on how the feet looked before the trim. How different were they? If the horse had more than an inch of difference in each foot, and you plan to ride this horse often; I would've taken the club foot down a little bit, and then added a wedge pad to the other foot and of course shoes on both so that they have the same angles.

It may not be the farrier, because he should have been more lame right after, not two weeks later. I do like your plan of action though. If he does better with the wedge, get the farrier back out to put shoes with wedge pads on and then go from there. Try to get the feet consistently even so that you can eventually try going back to barefoot. With a club foot horse you may have to keep the club foot rasped more frequently if you want them to stay even while barefoot.
     
    04-08-2011, 11:31 AM
  #10
Foal
Thanks to EVERYONE who replied! I appreciate it greatly. Just want to touch on two points brought up --

Quote:
Originally Posted by candandy49    
It is very true something else could be going on with your horse being lame. I would think that if it was the farriers fault the lameness would have occurred sooner than two weeks later. It, however could be an issue of not being a balanced trim. Barefoot trimming is based on a 4-point system. Finding a journeyman farrier is your best bet in determining if it is a case of not being a balanced trim by the previous farrier.
The lameness didn't just start now. He was sore/off from the moment the farrier was done. He told me he would be sore for a few days (not uncommon, so I wasn't worried at that point), but the soreness has gotten worse over the two weeks, rather than improving. It went from the observation of "Hmm, he looks a bit sore on that foot" to "Oh my word he's quite lame!" It's the fact that it's not improving after 2 weeks that I'm concerned about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starlinestables    
** Yes please post pictures**

I define balance in two ways.. balance within the hoof and balance in the gait IE do the feet match. I have a morgan mare with 2 "club" feet (oddly enough she is one of the nicest movers at the barn). She is literally standing on 4 inches of heel but they are even. We take her down almost inch each trim and it doesn't bother her. However, they are right back where they were by the next trim and this is OK to me because she is sound, and her feet don't get worse.

In your situation, it would depend on how the feet looked before the trim. How different were they? If the horse had more than an inch of difference in each foot, and you plan to ride this horse often; I would've taken the club foot down a little bit, and then added a wedge pad to the other foot and of course shoes on both so that they have the same angles.

...
First, I am going to take a bunch of pics today and see what I can post (my Internet connection is VERY slow right now and uploading can be tedious.....). I do wish I had "before" pictures. There was a definite difference in heel height. But he was sound! And, I'm definitely going to look at the knees when I have him on a solid, even surface. He may be all screwed up because of having a high heel suddenly knocked way down, and an already-low heel trimmed and not compensated for?! Ugh.

Ok, that's the update for now.....THANK YOU all again!.....stay tuned for pics!!
     

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