Originally Posted by cherriebark
I have a mare I semi-rescued from a bad situation. She was underweight and the previous owners had left front shoes on her for almost a year. Her hooves were severely overgrown, and she has pretty bad contracted heels. My farrier took the shoes off and trimmed her pretty short, and said that she would need a trim every 2 weeks until the hoof entirely grows out (about a year, she says) We think she might be developing navicular because of the horrible shoeing the last owners did, and she is very lame when she gets trimmed. My question is, is there anything I can do? I have seen all kinds of hoof products, from supplements to oils and things to put directly on the hoof. Is there any product like this that might help my mare? What do you think about the feed supplements for hooves? Any home remedies?
Supplements are usually not what is needed, believe it or not. Keeping her on a shorter than average trim cycle might be helpful for a short term basis, but that's usually to get the foot shortened to the appropriate length gradually to avoid making them sore in any way. A single, aggressive trim may have indeed made her sore, but sometimes a farrier will pick the lesser of two evils and just go for it. They mean well, though I don't usually agree with it, as tenderness just makes the horse move all wrong and perpetuate the original problem, however, sometimes an agressive trim is just what's needed, and I can't say what was appropriate in your situation with the information available.
Usually, once that initial agressive trim is made, you can go on a 4-6 week trim and get more accomplished. Two week intervals can actually cause some problems, but I'm not going into that right now. Yes, it can take up to a year to grow out a new hoof, but many times it takes less than that if the horse can be allowed enough exercise, it just depends.
Hoof creams don't really help, usually, but if your horse is in an otherwise dry environment, if they make you feel better, you can put them on no more than once a week.
I would recommend a second opinion, it doesn't hurt, at any rate. If your farrier is offended, I would wonder why he/she's so defensive, as nobody is perfectly right all the time, and it doesn't mean you have to use the second person's services, either. It's just another expert opinion.
Cutting her shorter should not mean short enough in the sole to cause sensitivity, so if it habitual for her to gimp afterwards, I'd expidite the second opinion and perhaps try another service after all. Shorter should mean shorter excess wall, to alleviate leverage and facilitate heel first landings, which translates into a comfortable foot for the horse, or vise versa. Good luck with the mare.