Need advice from the farriers here

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Need advice from the farriers here

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    01-16-2010, 12:39 PM
Need advice from the farriers here

Need some advice on my mares hooves. She had been 3 legged lame in the fall, we had x-rays done of her, including of her hoof and could find nothing wrong. Since then she has improved, she's being turned out now after months of stall rest, but is still off. She seems worse on days when the ground is frozen and hard to walk on. I do not think she is being trimmed properly and it is contributing to her lameness. My fiance seems to think this is just the way her hoof is naturally, I think its from poor farrier work and can be corrected. To me her heals seem too low, her toe too long, her angles just all wrong, and not properly balanced. I know theres a few farriers on this forum, so would like some suggestions on her feet. Do you think she may benefit with bar shoes or just a better trim? I will be looking for a new farrier for her.
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    01-16-2010, 10:34 PM
I agree she needs some heel and less toe. Hope a farrier answers ya
    01-16-2010, 11:13 PM
Green Broke
She has flares, no break over, long toes, crushed and under run heels, and overgrown bars, that could be why she is so ouchy... Definitely bad farrier work IMO

Go to Barefoot for Soundness and click the "Do Trim" link in the menu. The first horse seems to have the same feet as your mare in the beginning, notice what gets trimmed off and how it looks when properly trimmed, BIG difference. You will have to scroll a little down the page, but you will come upon a section called White Line Strategy, the horse is called Dane. This will give you a good idea of what to look for.
    01-17-2010, 09:22 AM
Great site, thanks Honeysuga
    01-17-2010, 11:14 AM
Green Broke
No problem. So did you see what I was talking about?
    01-17-2010, 12:42 PM
Ya those ft have underrun heels and long toes. And the hairline on outside of foot is pushed up a little. You can have em trimed or have shoes put on. Either way will work done properly. Check if she doesn't bowed tendons since she's been lame n sore for awhile feet like that can cause bowed tendons
    01-17-2010, 05:45 PM
Are you guys saying she isn't growing enough heal or is it that the heal is weak and run forward??
Is the frog engaging the ground??? Are the bars too long and run forward??
Would trimming the toe and leaving the heals alone change the angle??
Balance is difficult to determine from the pictures. Taking a picture slightly off straight can change to whole prospective of the picture.
    01-17-2010, 11:41 PM

Superficially I don't think the angles look too bad. Nice low heels, not hugely long toes, straight looking walls... Superficially. I do agree with Honeysuga & others tho - except don't get what you mean by 'no breakover' Honey? Anyway, yes, I think not so great farriery is a *likely* *part* of the cause. But without more info, I wouldn't like to judge. Eg. The pics are't great for showing angles & balance. Don't know about diet & management, which are big factors. For all we know, it could be a case of long time neglect or lami prone horse, in which case a 6 weekly trim may just not cut it. Or sensitive heels have led to the horse 'tip-toeing' regardless of how she was trimmed.

Horseluva, another great site is which has HEAPS of info & should provide you with the principles to evaluate the specifics. I highly recommend Pete's book and his DVD course 'Under The Horse' is truly fantastic - but that's not cheap.

Originally Posted by RiosDad    
Are you guys saying she isn't growing enough heal or is it that the heal is weak and run forward??
She's definitely growing 'enough' heel. They're way too long, but yes, they're also crushed forward, so she's walking on the backs of them.

Would trimming the toe and leaving the heals alone change the angle??
Yes, I think it's more important to address the stretched toes, at least for now. Not that that means doing nothing with the heels necessarily. IME relieving the walls and preventing the toes & quarters pulling the heels forward will allow the heels to grow in a more upright fashion. Then they can be gradually lowered. BUT what is often meant by 'trimming the toe to change angles' is that the hoof at the toe is shortened on the ground surface - sole is trimmed. This is a definite no-no, as the foot is already too flat, too thin soled in front. Trimming into the sole would leave the horse with little if any sole depth between P3 & the outside world. What is needed is for more to grow.

One of the reasons I think heel trimming should be done with discretion is that altho they're too long, the internal structures(lateral cartilages etc) may be lower in the hoof capsule too, so there may not be that much to trim, until they get back from whence they came. Also I suspect sensitive, weak heels are likely the biggest cause of discomfort, and leaving the heels *a little* high for now may provide the extra comfort needed for her to use her feet correctly. It is using her feet correctly - heel first impacts - which will drive the internal structures back up to an appropriate height & allow the sole & frog to grow thick & strong.

I would certainly not advise bar shoes. Wouldn't actually advise conventional shoes at all. IME they are generally unhelpful & often make matters worse when applied to a sick foot. Bar shoes, wedges, etc can cause a horse to be more comfortable if they have sensitive heels, because they remove the heels from an active role and lock the hoof into a contracted state where bloodflow - & therefore feeling is reduced. That is what people have found is an effective measure for keeping 'navicular' horses comfortable for longer. But it is purely palliative - it is only a temporary measure which can reduce pain, not a treatment which can help rehabilitate the horse. The mechanics of this method cause the underlying problems to worsen. What is needed is for the heels to *comfortably* support the horse, gradually more & more until such time as they gain enough strength to take the primary support role they were meant to. I advise the use of boots &/or pads when the horse needs more support & protection.

So.... I appreciate that while the tide's changing, the above paragraph flies in the face of what many still advocate. So it's just up to you to learn all you can about the workings, pros & cons & come up with your own *informed* decision on what approach, what experts, etc you're going to go with.

PS. Interested to see the xray, some more pics(front- & side-on from ground level & sighting down soles from heels to show depth) & info if you would like some further advice.

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