First things first... I forgot to get pictures of his hooves from the front (I can't believe I forgot...).
Anyway... I would like to know how Dakota's hooves look. He's shedding his frog, so it's kinda messy looking... His hooves are a good deal bigger than his dams hooves, and my farrier likes the way they look so far. He hasn't been trimmed by my farrier in a long time, though every time the farrier comes out to shoe my mare, his hooves do get looked at, so it's not like no-one ever touches his hooves or anything. I do ride him weekly now (about two times a week for at least three hours each ride), and he's never taken a lame step or has stumbled because of his hooves. He walks as easily on gravel and pavement as well as he does on grass or dirt and goes over rocky areas without a problem. My farrier says he has really good hooves, but I'd like another opinion and I value yalls opinions greatly.
So, does anything need to be fixed? If so, can you tell me what and explain what it is and how to fix it?
Just took a quick glance,but overall, not too bad. The first lot of pics, heels appear a tad on the tall side, but he may need them, depends on the terrain you're on most, though the shedding frog may indicate that they are, indeed, a little high, so they aren't gettting enough stimulation. Could have a tiny bit of infection, can't say without being able to peek under those flaps. Thrush doesn't always appear moist and funky, sometimes it's dry and powdery. That being said, in my glance, didn't see flaring, laid over bars or massive ripples. And it's nice to not see shoes! =)
We ride on pavement, cement, gravel, dirt, grass, rocky areas, mud... pretty much on any terrain you can think of... Mainly pavement and gravel, though.
So, we may need to bring his heels down a little...? Ok...
May also need to treat for thrush, if he has it (which I don't think he does, there's no funky smell or anything... though I may be wrong, he may have a slight case... our pasture has been pretty wet lately...)... Ok... I can work on that.
I'm not planning on shoeing him at all, though that may change when I start riding him a lot more... I'm only going to shoe him if it turns out that he really needs it.
They look pretty good, particularly as they haven't been trimmed in a while, he obviously does a pretty good job himself. If he was mine, I would neaten the frogs up a bit, to stop any infection getting in under those flaps. Although it is hard to tell from a photo, it looks to me like one heel is slightly higher than the other on each foot, so when you do bring them down make sure they're even. Don't bring the heels down too far though, because you don't want to make him sore on the gravel.
Re the white line - it doesn't look stretched to me. I think what we're seeing is a 'pitted' white line which is what happens when a horse walks over gravel a lot and little bits of gravel get stuck in the white line. Don't worry about this - it's one of the functions of the white line, it aids traction.
I would like to see front shots too, if you can get them, but generally, I'd be very happy if my horse had feet like that.
We do trot and canter, but I try to keep hom off the pavement when trotting and cantering. We usually just walk on pavement and trot and canter on the sides of theroad in the grass and dirt, and occassionally gravel.
ETA: As for trimming, he does do a good job on keeping his hooves naturally trimmed. While my farrier doesn't work on him (and hasn't in over a year) I do every now and then. I don't trim him as regularly as he would be if he was on a set schedule to be trimmed by a farrier, but I do trim the chips out of his hooves and I try to trim out the flaring (his hind hooves flare just a little bit). My farrier is teaching me, so that's why I trim him and not my farrier... (that and I just don't have the money to get Dakota trimmed by the farrier every time he comes out...).
Thanks guys! I'll talk to the farrier about his hooves and what I can be working on.