Help! My horses hooves won't grow!

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Help! My horses hooves won't grow!

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    07-20-2011, 05:44 PM
Help! My horses hooves won't grow!

I have a 4yo OTTB that I got in February. His last race was in September. Ever since I've had him he has had really short, upright feet. When the farrier came to look at him he said they were too short and he needed shoes to keep him from wearing them down anymore, so we waited for his feet to grow out a little so we could put on shoes (I stopped working him and started feeding him hoof supplement). He has shoes now and is still on daily hoof supplement, but his feet still aren't really growing (maybe because he's kind of thin? I'm having a hard time keeping weight on him). I'm going to switch him to a new stable soon and the owner there thinks that shoes restrict growth and told me I should take them off. Does anyone have any experience with this? What should I do?
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    07-20-2011, 06:46 PM
I highly recommend Farrier's Formula. It'll take a few months, but you will see results.
    07-20-2011, 06:48 PM
Horseshoer S Secret 38 lbs (13338)

Sorry, I meant horseshoers secret...that is if that's not already what you're using.
    07-24-2011, 12:46 PM
I don't see how shoes keep the hoof from growing. It grows from the hairline down.
    07-25-2011, 02:18 AM

Diet & *the way* horses are fed is a hugely important part of health, feet included. As a racehorse, this horse was most probably kept stabled & fed high octane, concentrates. He also may not have been given adequate forage(because you can't have racers with hay bellies!) and was probably fed in infrequent large meals(usually up to 3-4 times daily, because that's what's convenient). Trouble is, horses are built to eat tiny amounts of low grade forage almost constantly. They don't do well with rich feed, or large or infrequent meals, or periods of hunger in between. Oh, also lack of movement(standing around in a stable for hours on end) also effects digestion. Putting/keeping a horse on a healthy, more natural regime is generally all that's required for them to do a whole lot better, including in the hoof department. If the horse has ulcers from unhealthy feeding practices, it can be necessary to treat these too & many owners opt to treat without scoping first.

I think your problem also comes down to the 'to shoe or not' debate, so I'd look into that and learn all you can to make an objective choice(see other thread in my signature for starters), but IMO shoes are also contributing to the problem - and as a racer, this baby has also possibly been shod & run hard since well before he was 2yo. I'd get the shoes off, keep the feet well balanced(usually needs more than 6 weekly trimming) and use boots or something that don't inhibit growth & function, which will protect & support your horse's feet while they grow strong.

I don't see how shoes keep the hoof from growing. It grows from the hairline down.
I think the idea was to put shoes on the horse to prevent weak walls from breaking Tuff. But since you brought it up.... Even if the hoof only grew from the coronet, how do you get that shoes couldn't restrict growth from that point? Shoes aren't just attached to the bottom of the foot & have no effect on the rest. Yes, much of the wall grows from the coronet it seems, but it also grows out from the laminae. One of the ways shoes(or otherwise peripherally loading walls) can restrict circulation & therefore growth is at the coronet - The hoof walls under ground pressure become pushed up and can constrict the coronary artery.
    08-01-2011, 11:27 PM
I agree loosie, the nutrition plays a big,big part in hoof and hair condition. I do know of some horses that get the best of care but still just have poor hoof condition and it seems as though genetics can sometimes cause some issues. Usually the first thing you should look at for poor quality of hoof is nutrition .

As far as the shoes thing, I could see where an improper application of shoe could probably cause more damage than good.

hoof problems

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