Sheared heels - Precautions for the future! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-18-2008, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Sheared heels - Precautions for the future!

My mare recently suffered from a bad bout of sheared heels in one of her hind legs which has put her off work for almost 3 months now. I was told she has boxy feet which might predispose her to them but she was fine all year and it was only about a week after her feet were trimmed that she went lame.

But she's better now and I'll start working with her again in January. I was just wondering if anyone knew any precautions I should take, especially when starting riding again, just to reduce the chance of the condition returning?
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-20-2008, 06:22 PM
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I don't know if this is the best way to correct the problem as I have never had a horse with sheared heels but I googled it and this is the first thing that came up

Horseshoeing Sheared Heels – The Fix

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post #3 of 4 Old 11-21-2008, 07:46 PM
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Perhaps you could attach pics & elaborate? I understood 'sheared heels' to mean they were *perceived* to be too short. But after looking at the above link(& disagreeing with the approach), I looked at the definition; This is also known as 'underrun' 'collapsed' or 'crushed' heels.

I don't get what you mean 'recently...a bad bout', as this is generally a long term prob, but assume it has been going on a while, possibly unnoticed, until it recently made her lame?

My perception of 'boxy' feet(unless this just means high heeled) would also give me the idea these feet are less 'predisposed' than say, flat, flared TB type feet. IME back feet are also much less likely than fronts to become underrun. Tho the basic initial cause is much the same in either. The walls have been allowed to overgrow. If the walls are allowed to become substantially longer than sole level, forcing the walls to bear the weight, Toes tend to become stretched forward, pulling overlong heels forward too.

Keeping the feet *well* trimmed and ensuring lots of exercise are 2 major factors in healthy, sound feet. Pete Ramey hoof care heals founder in horse’s navicular disease farrier will give you some more food for thought.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-22-2008, 04:27 AM
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I've never encountered the definition cited in the ezine links provided here. I am, however, familiar with two definitions for sheared heels:

1. A medial/lateral disparity in heel height. Also known as a jammed heel, the hoof capsule evidences with an obvious disparity in heel height. Most often, the medial (inside) heel is "pushed" up or "jammed," while the lateral (outside) is relaxed and low. The high side tends to be very upright, and the low side tends to flare. There's usually an accompanying failure of the bars.

2. Independent movement of the heels; a failure of the internal structures which normally bind the heels together. This breakdown allows the heels to flex apart more than normal, and can cause lameness. This condition is also generally accompanied by bacterial infection of the central sulcus of the frog.

I usually see the first described condition associated with conformational flaws, and it is often exacerbated by poor maintenance. It can be, but is not always accompanied by the second described condition.

Last edited by Danvers; 11-22-2008 at 04:32 AM.
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