Feet healthy? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-04-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Feet healthy?

Hi, I'm new here and I've been emailing someone about a horse I'm interested in buying. I'm only 13 and I don't really know about all the health stuff. I'm going to get him vet checked before I buy, but anyway.

He is a 2006 thorughbred gelding. 16-16.2 hh. been emailing for a while until he recently got his foot caught in the fence and pulled his show. The vet looked at it and took some Xrays she sent them to me. She says the coffin bone is close to the sole. She says he would be okay in a longer hoof wth a show but, my parents already don't want a horse, and I don't want this to turn into a financial disaster in the future. I would post the pictures but they are copyrighted and it will now allow me to take them. But I'm stuck, because this horse is absolutely perfect for me aside from this problem. She says he will always have sesitive feet and they should be treated with respect, not horse you would want to gallop over stones, etc.

I'm really unsure of what to do, but I want him so badly. Please help.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-04-2010, 10:53 PM
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Howdy Emily and welcome to the forum. There are lots of horses out there, especially thoroughbreds, that have thin soled feet. It usually isn't such a terrible thing, just more difficult and expensive to deal with because you usually have to have them on hoof supplements and be meticulous about keeping a good farrier visiting frequently. I personally, would visit with the vet and ask how severe the problem was, what issues it would likely cause in the future, how productive the horse would be with what your personal goals are. If you are wanting a horse that you can take out on rough trails, then he might not be the perfect horse. However, if you are wanting to show and will be spending 99% of your time in a sand filled arena, then it might not be such a bad thing. I would just find a good vet that you trust and ask their opinion because they can actually look at the horse and they know how to read the x-rays to get a prognosis.

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post #3 of 4 Old 09-05-2010, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
It usually isn't such a terrible thing, just more difficult and expensive to deal with because you usually have to have them on hoof supplements and be meticulous about keeping a good farrier visiting frequently.
I agree that the most important thing you will need is a good farrier that understands how to work with this horse's feet. In my experience, thin soled horses can be fine even barefoot on rough ground if they are trimmed with their soles in mind...there is just less margin for error by the farrier.
Do you know if the horse has any history of lameness/soreness? This will give you better idea than even a vet or farrier could give you, IMHO. Our lead mare is fairly thin soled, is fine on trails and rough ground, and the only time she has ever been sore is when I trimmed her a bit too short.

Finally, concerning your comment about galloping over stones, keep in mind that no matter what you read in these forums about horses with tough as nails feet that can seemingly walk over hot coals and sharp rocks, any horse can wind up getting stone bruises, even the toughest ones.

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post #4 of 4 Old 09-05-2010, 11:23 PM
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I'm a hoof care practitioner who has dealt with a heap of 'typical flat footed TBs' among many others.

I agree with others, that it is an unfortunately very common issue that is not *necessarily* cause for concern. Effectively what it means is that the horse is foundered(the coffin bone has 'sunk' within the capsule). It is basically due to metabolic(generally diet related) causes and is worsened by forcing the walls to take the entire load of the horse, such as being shod.

So yes, a thin soled horse has very little protection from stone bruises/abscesses, so will require more protection than a healthy footed horse to avoid those problems. I don't agree that any horse is susceptible to stone bruises - tho in my personal experience it's only been the brumbies & station horses up north who lived on sharp limestone that I could say had *thick* enough feet to avoid it - altho I agree that the vast majority of horses will require some extra support/protection in that sort of situation.

I would ensure first & foremost that the horse is kept on a *healthy*, low carb diet & balanced nutrition(they all need this, not just thin soled or such). I would ensure I got some boots or such for the horse before planning on doing anything on hard/rough ground with it and I would keep it unshod at least until it's feet become healthy. But above all I suggest you educate yourself on the principles & factors of hoof health, so you can make *informed* decisions about his (or whatever horse you end up with) care & management. hoofrehab.com is a fantastic, comprehensive resource to start with.
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