How are his hooves looking? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 25 Old 07-18-2011, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: US
Posts: 600
• Horses: 1
How are his hooves looking?

I tried to get some better pictures of Junior's hooves so I can hopefully get some good feedback on them. I have him for a little over a month and he has had shoes for roughly three weeks now if I remember correctly. He only has rear shoes to fix a crack in his rear hoof. I think he is looking good, still needs some work on his hoof angle but we are taking it one step at a time.

Front left

Rear left

Rear right

Front right

I know there are a lot of pictures, and not all of them may be the best but I worked with what I had. He didn't want to hold still the whole time and I was out there by myself. I hope we are headed in the right direction at least.

That crack was thick like it is near the bottom all the way to the coronet band, now it is just a hairline crack at the coronet band and the bottom of the crack has gotten shallower.
NordicJuniper is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 25 Old 07-18-2011, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 156
• Horses: 0
Sorry but I don't think they look that great. You have long toes, under run heels and a lot of flaring going on. The foot that does have the shoe looks more like it was done 8 weeks ago, not 3. If you look at your picture the foot appears to be growing off the shoe. Is the farrier new to you. Is this your first horse? I would like to see a good therapeutic farrier look at them, especially the one with the crack.

Most of what your looking at will be his previous care. An improved diet will help a lot with foot growth.

Last edited by Gluey33; 07-18-2011 at 07:05 AM.
Gluey33 is offline  
post #3 of 25 Old 07-18-2011, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 758
• Horses: 2
Oh my they dont look great! I think a experienced farrier is in need.
Posted via Mobile Device
ItzKayley is offline  
post #4 of 25 Old 07-18-2011, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,089
• Horses: 2
I'm having similar issues with Ellas feet some stupid farrier filed her heels down and she had naturally low horrible heels as it is. Find a good farrier and get them out as often as they think necessary 4 weeks is what I'm working on.

I'd be interested to see how he progresses
Posted via Mobile Device
Prinella is offline  
post #5 of 25 Old 07-18-2011, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northern Ontario
Posts: 159
• Horses: 4
I agree with the above posts. I thought he was already overdue for another trim but after reading that it's only been 3 weeks I was shocked. The toe has already started to grow over the shoe, and in another photo the shoe is wider than the hoof itself. There's also space inbetween the shoe and the hoof itself, I can see quite a bit of crud between them. You should have him on a more frequent trim schedule with a new farrier, that would help control the current cracks and prevent new ones immensely along with an improved diet as Gluey mentioned so you can start seeing some healthier and stronger growth.
AbbeyCPA is offline  
post #6 of 25 Old 07-19-2011, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,565
• Horses: 0

Afraid I mostly agree with the rest! The backs don't look good at all, but perhaps that's a comparitive statement, based on how they were when you got him? I don't think there's enough to go on by far, to jump to conclusions about the competency or otherwise of the farrier though. Perhaps this is a new farrier for him, so don't know what he started with either, but it does appear, IMO, he could do better with the back feet at least. From what can be seen(need more to really know), the fronts don't look too bad though(trim-wise) so perhaps the shoes are the only reason the backs are so different. Seeing some sole & other angle pics would be helpful - see my signature link for more info. Now here's what I see...

Firstly, I am assuming the lumpiness is just mud?? I know it may be difficult, but for best critique pix, hooves should be clean. It appears on the back feet at least, that the farrier has rasped the surface of the wall quite a way up? Did the horse have substantially more flared toes before he trimmed them? How about the fronts? It may be just disguised by mud but it appears that he didn't rasp the wall surface of the front feet? Were they in substantially better shape to begin with?

All feet are flared, the fronts perhaps only at the toe, but you can see the difference in angle in the top half inch or so(month??) of growth, that it has changed & appears to be growing well attached there. In the front lateral pic I marked a red line, showing about where I imagine they 'want' to be. You'll notice the line above the hairline, which I did to illustrate the possibility(again, not sure at all with only these pics) of a broken forward pastern axis. The wavy line of the opposite foot inside quarter shows that there is imbalance & likely too much pressure at that quarter, which may be remedied by 'scooping' the quarters, as per whatever the sole plane dictates.

Regarding growing out separation, I don't like the idea of just rasping flares off from the wall surface - this is mainly just cosmetic and may also remove too much wall strength and also protection for the front of the foot. I would instead do it in a similar way that he appears to have addressed the fronts - by bevelling/rolling the toe back from underneath(without trimming into sole!). This removes the load & leverage from the disconnected wall, to *allow* the disconnection to grow out. The fronts may or may not need to be bevelled more - can't tell from those pics of hoof in grass, but the lateral pic of his back foot that I marked hopefully illustrates what I mean better. In that pic, the straight blue line is about where I imagine his hoof 'wants' to be and the curved blue line at the bottom is around where I might trim it, to allow the flare to grow out. For the sake of cosmetics &/or interference I may also 'dub' the toe as he has done, but would only go about 1/3 of the way up the wall max, if that much, to preserve as much wall/protection as possible.

In the front-on pics of his backs it is clear the flaring is all the way round, not just at the toe, and I would basically address it in the same manner - bevel/roll the walls from the ground surface, to wherever the ideal 'hoofprint' or 'breakover' should be for him. Regarding finding what is correct for him, I think Equine Lameness Prevention Organization describes the hows & whys quite well.

Regarding the crack, I disagree that shoes are a good idea, because you're just peripherally loading already disconnected, fractured walls, for one. I think the best treatment is to *releive* pressure, not put more on the walls. So for a number of reasons I'd ditch the shoes asap, but of course, that's another something that you'll have to do your own research & make your own decision on. Hopefully my signature links will help you start learning, to enable you to make objective decisions.

In the back lateral pic, I've marked in red approximately where I may further roll/bevel the wall to releive that crack more. Tho that may not be needed at all, if the foot can be otherwise well balanced & disconnected walls releived sufficiently. I would also suspect that infection in that crack is very likely, and that would also be perpetuating it, even when the hoof is well balanced. I would definitely be treating it seriously and would also seriously consider digging it out/resecting may be a good move.

Other things... Diet is SOOO important for hoof health, which I don't know if that's stating the obvious to you or not, but check out Katy Watts | for starters, if you haven't already.

That right rear heel looks like it's suffered a pretty major 'blow out'. I'd keep tabs on that, to avoid/treat further infection. Also with that much separation & probably weak heels, he will likely need protection for the base of his feet, when being ridden on hard ground at least, so I'd consider hoof boots.

On average, 5-6 weekly is a reasonable schedule IMO for trimming/shoeing. I would not leave shoes on for more than 6 weeks max, but for just trimming, some horses can healthily go a bit over that. However, many horses need more frequent trims - 3-4 weeks - and I think it's especially important in treating unhealthy hooves, to do them more frequently, in order to *keep* them in shape & improving, rather than allowing them to get further out of shape before 'correcting' the imbalances. Therefore(another 'con' of shoes IMO), with feet such as his, I'd be inclined to do little & often - say fortnightly. If your farrier's a decent type he may be willing to give you an old rasp & instruct you in doing interim trims to keep him 'touched up', so that you don't have to get the farrier more than 6-weekly.

So anyway, that's my take on it. Hope it helps & I'd be interested to see/hear more. Cheers!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CanterStables036.jpg (35.0 KB, 128 views)
File Type: jpg CanterStables031.jpg (60.3 KB, 132 views)
loosie is offline  
post #7 of 25 Old 07-19-2011, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: US
Posts: 600
• Horses: 1
I have absolutely no idea how to fix that crack without shoes and neither does anyone else in my area. That crack has been there for a long time, and by long time I mean 1-2 years. Shoes are the only thing that has caused it to even begin to look better. Without shoes all he was doing was walking on that hoof and causing stress to the crack. Everytime the hoof tried to grow out her would stress the crack by moving around on cause it to continue spreading up to the coronet band completely splitting the new hoof as well.

The farrier I have on him now has only trimmed him/shoed him once. It was his very first time seeing Junior. But the farrier is well known and said to be one of the best in the area. There aren't many options where I live really. This is the fourth farrier that Junior has been to and so far I like him the best, I didn't meet his last farrier though.

I know nothing about hooves and really the jargin and trying to read up on it just confuses me, I don't know what they are talking about half the time and honestly could only understand maybe 1/3 of your post loosie. I tried but just really have no idea. His hooves were overdue/not in the best shape when he came to me and we are working on fixing them up again.

I have had so many problems with hoof, leg and soreness issues since I got Junior that I am seriously getting discouraged and regretting my decision to take him on. I don't feel like I am the best person for him anymore because it seems like no matter what I try to do it isn't the right thing.

At this point I am being careful with his diet because he is older and hasn't been on grain for a while before I got him. He has been on grain for a month now with only msm added in because I don't want to overload his system so completely changing his feed isn't something I want to do. He is older and I don't want to risk colic, founder or anything else that could happen. I have been going off the advice of my trainer and the BO where he is at, as well as advice from other places. I am just to the point where I think he should go to someone with more experience... :/
NordicJuniper is offline  
post #8 of 25 Old 07-19-2011, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,565
• Horses: 0
Oh, sorry if I used too much 'jargon' - I do try to write for the average person, but sometimes I forget... Yes, it did sound like you don't know much about hooves, which is why I tried to be so descriptive. Don't worry about your lack of knowledge - we all started there - but that is great that you at least appreciate you have lots to learn. Perhaps you can tell me what particular bits you didn't understand of my post, or perhaps if it was totally beyond you, you should get a good book or such(Pete Ramey's for eg) and start at the start.

I think that once you learn what's what, you'll have a much better idea of what's going on & why, & what to do about it. Unfortunately, just because a farrier is popular, had years of experience, whatever, doesn't make them necessarily any good or knowledgeable. Likewise, I don't think your horse would necessarily be better off with someone more experienced, because if you're willing to learn & put in the effort to educate yourself, your horse is better off than someone who's been in the game for 40 years, think they know it all and aren't open to learning. Of course, they may well be fantastic, but how do you know what sort of home the horse is going to if you don't understand enough to know whether they're any more knowledgeable than you?

So... what I'm trying to say in a long winded way is that you need to do whatever is right for you & the horse, but don't knowck yourself or think you're not good enough just because of lack of knowledge & experience - we were all there & for many of us, it was 'hopeless' or 'mysterious' cases of lameness that caused us to learn better!

Regarding not knowing how to fix a crack without a shoe, yes, I get that, but learning about balance and hoof function and other principles will help you understand what to do about stuff. Equine Lameness Prevention Organization is a good resource for this, especially when considering your horse's feet, and I think it's put plain enough not to go over your head. I am not dead against shoes at all, but I really think that their innate nature is contraindicated for unhealthy feet at least. Again, this is my opinion & others have different ones, but you can't make a rational choice without understanding the principles.

Re him walking on it & further stressing it, well he's doing that with or without shoes if his walls are overlong &/or feet otherwise imbalanced. I guess if you're working on the assumption that the walls should bear all weight and the rest of the base of the hoof none, then there may be apparent cause for shoes. The entire load is forced on that weakened wall constantly when it's shod. Also, do a little experiment of holding the tips of 2 of your fingers together, then put your weight onto them, pressing down on a bench or such. What happens?? It doesn't releive any pressure to the area keeping the ends together, but may cause the 'split' to open further up. It's treating the imbalance and *releiving* the walls, not the shoe that makes the big difference. 'Rolling' or bevelling the wall will releive it of any leverage acting against it upon breakover.

As I've said, only really guessing, cos can't tell much from just those pics, but it appears the farrier may well have done a good job(IMO) on the fronts, so if you told him/showed him what I said, especially if he already appreciates the importance of 'rolling' the walls, etc, there's a fair bet he'll know exactly what I mean & how to deal with it effectively without shoes. He might even have a better way of explaining it to you than I do!

Oh, one last thing, on diet, you say you don't want to change it, but you've already changed it, and with the addition of grain, put him at more risk of colic, founder, etc. If you're not supplementing him appropriately, based on his age, diet, etc, he is also likely imbalanced/lacking in many nutrients, which among other things, may be needed for him to be able to grow good hooves. Of course, again, I have precious little info from you & this is my opinion, which obviously differs from your BO, but you need to do your homework( is a great & independent source of nutritional info..) in order to come to a logical conclusion of whether to go with their opinion, mine.... or a totally different one.
loosie is offline  
post #9 of 25 Old 07-19-2011, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Beautiful rural NSW, AUSTRALIA
Posts: 163
• Horses: 2
Red face Good luck with hooves

Well done you for taking pics of the hooves and posting them for feedback! It shows you really care about what is best for your horse. Please don't give up, I think regular trims are the long term solution to problem feet.

I am a big fan of barefoot horses myself and wonder if a padded hoof boot might help until the crack heals? I have never used them myself but have heard they are good for injured feet as well as providing protection when riding on hard ground.

The pic below if of my new mares front feet after 3 maintenance trims (2 weeks apart), she could barely walk when she arrived her feet were so sore, and when she did move forward she would inevitably stumble or trip... well she was galloping and bucking along the fence line last night because her herd mate was in a seperate paddock and there is no sign of soreness at all.

Good Luck.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 110608_154710.jpg (70.6 KB, 124 views)

No matter what road I travel, I'm going home and if I'm riding a horse I am halfway there.
Day Mares is offline  
post #10 of 25 Old 07-19-2011, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 504
• Horses: 0
I don't know enough about hooves but we have a app/thorougbred and he had terrible feet and we even bought boots for him because he seemed sensitive so have a year and trims every 6 weeks he now has great looking feet and doesn't seem sensitive to walking across gravel. I personally think it probably takes just as long to get them back as it did for them to break down. Hang in there.
chandra1313 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How are her hooves? Sarahandlola Horse Health 29 03-23-2011 12:59 AM
ice in hooves. lilkitty90 Horse Riding 21 12-27-2010 06:25 PM
Odd Hooves NordicJuniper Horse Colors and Genetics 31 12-22-2010 01:06 AM
hooves ? InBox Horse Health 13 03-03-2009 10:05 PM
hooves!!! chasin the dream Horse Training 12 06-26-2008 11:42 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome