The slope of the front face of hoof exceeds 60 degrees. Horse often has long, upright heels. May be from contracture of DDF (deep digital flexor tendon) that was not addressed at birth or developed from nutritional imbalances or trauma.
Fairly common, best to use horse in activities done in soft-footing & those that depend on strong hindquarter usage
Various degrees of angulation, from slight to very pronounced. Horses with obvious club feet land more on the toes, causing toe bruising or laminitis. The horse generally does poorly at prolonged exercise, especially if on hard or uneven terrain (eventing, trail riding).
Because the toe is easily bruised, the horse moves with a short, choppy stride, and may stumble. The horse is a poor jumping prospect due to trauma incurred on impact of landing.
Any another website (long)
Club foot, which may involve one or more of an affected horse's feet, is a flexion deformity caused by fixed contracture of one or several flexor tendons in the leg. The deep digital flexor tendon is usually involved; the superficial digital flexor tendon and suspensory ligaments may also participate in the deforming forces of club foot. When the foot and leg are in upright conformation, the foot axis, which normally averages about 45 degrees, will exceed 60 degrees.
If the club foot is diagnosed in a young horse, it is likely either congenital or the result of diet-related problems that affect limb growth. Older horses with club foot probably develop it in response to an injury or other painful condition. The affected horse avoids weight bearing on the painful limb. Disuse of the limb results in contracture of the flexor tendons, which produces the deformity.
A veterinarian should evaluate affected horses and make recommendations based on a physical exam and a lameness exam. A radiographic study is an important diagnostic tool; it is used to evaluate the bony deformity within the hoof wall. Horse owners should not attempt to diagnose or treat the condition without professional guidance.
Club foot may be acute or chronic. Acute cases are usually seen in younger horses. Horses with acute onset will present a heel that will not touch the ground although the hoof has a normal shape. Lameness usually results. Treatment for acute club foot includes short-term use of phenylbutazone and similar medications to relieve pain and inflammation sufficiently to permit weight bearing on the affected limb. When such conservative therapy fails, surgery to release tension in the inferior check ligament may be required.
Chronic club foot presents as an obvious contracture of the heel; the heel will also be excessively long and the front of the hoof will have a "dished in" appearance. Chronic cases are usually seen in older horses. The horse may or may not have walking difficulty or lameness. If the horse is not lame, efforts to maintain the natural shape and balance of the hoof should be taken. The hoof should not be trimmed to change the hoof angle as lameness may occur. If these measures fail to prevent lameness, or if lameness is already present, the inferior check ligament may need to be surgically released. In this case, follow-up care may involve substantial hoof trimming. Additionally or alternatively, toe extension shoes may be applied during the healing process to maintain the proper angular alignment of the hoof wall.
In severe cases, both acute and chronic, surgery in addition to inferior check ligament release may be necessary. The veterinary surgeon may perform a tenotomy, or surgical release, of one or more of the other tendons associated with the club foot.