Tell Me About Quarter Cracks
   

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health

Tell Me About Quarter Cracks

This is a discussion on Tell Me About Quarter Cracks within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Quarter clips ferrier work
  • How long will it takes to give a horse with a quarter crack off /

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    09-17-2010, 11:48 AM
  #1
Trained
Tell Me About Quarter Cracks

Nelson has accumulated a "Quarter Crack" or a "Sand Crack" not sure what the technical term is...but I am concerned.

My Farrier is an excelant professional, who is a corrective shoer and does a fabuous job, and Nelson had this at our last appointment, and my Farrier never said anything about it.....but the last few days I've been growing concerned about it.

It isn't wide at all, it is a hairline crack that goes from almost near the hair line, right down to his toe.

Looks alot like this:



But his isn't as "Thick" as the crack you see in this particular hoof. Nelson's crack is much thinner, but that traingular shape chip at the toe is the same.

Nelson's goes right down the center of this hoof as well. I called my Farrier and expressed my concern, and Nelson's next appointment is the 27th, but my Farrier said he can come out this upcomming Monday instead.

Should I be as concerned as I am? Or am I just being an over protective, worry wart, mountain out of a molehill Mom?

Nelson is fully shod, all round, with clips and pads on the front. I've been putting alot of this stuff on him:

Horse Hoof Dressing with applicator - 5222013 | Tractor Supply Company

But my Farrier said to go to "Hoof Heal"

Horse Hoof Heal 16 Oz - 6610049 | Tractor Supply Company


Of course I have to wait till this Monday to hear what my Farrier says and does...but I still worry.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    09-17-2010, 11:54 AM
  #2
Trained
Wholly big picture batman...sorry....the picture was not that big when I posted it on my OP.....phptptht.
     
    09-17-2010, 01:38 PM
  #3
Trained
Yes I would be concerned about that. It is probably because of a structural unsoundness in the hoof which can have many causes. Get the vet involved in the conversation as well and really talk about how the hoof is balancing.
Quarter cracks are often a result of contracted heels from being in shoes and trying to bring the hoof angle down. It might be worth your while to take the shoes off or really look at some corrective farrier work to get the hooves structurally sound and balanced again.
Good luck!
     
    09-17-2010, 04:59 PM
  #4
Trained
Thanks Anabel!

Nelson has gone around for, well, since I got him back in April of 07' with a previous Farrier of mine, with horrible angles to my lack of knowledge. I just believed and trusted the professional I was having do my horses feet. I had no idea how incorrect he was.

Nelson's toes were so long, heel under run, couldn't keep a shoe on him if his life depended on it, thin soles etc, etc. Until I met my now current Farrier, whom is a corrective shoer.

Nelson still isn't at the correct angles that he needs to be at, but my Farrier is working on it. It's been about a year now since we've started the corrective shoeing process.

He's still not perfect, but getting ther slowly.

I took a picture of his hoof today....keep in mind that his due date is the 27th. My Farrier is coming out on the 20th instead.

This is his front left *I think I said front right before.....*



And his front right:



Here's what his hoof angles were over a year ago with my previous Farrier. These pictures were taken about a week after my previous Farrier did him. These pictures were taken around the time I found my now current Farrier.

When my now current Farrier came out to replace that shoe..he asked "When were his feet last done?" I responded "about a week ago" and he shook his head and said "geese...looks like over a month ago"







So we've come a long way since those pics were taken, but he still has a way to go.
     
    09-17-2010, 09:29 PM
  #5
Trained
Hi,

First & foremost, based on those pics, if your farrier has been working on him for a year now, I don't at all share your confidence in his competence sorry! I suggest you learn all you can about the principles & factors of hoof health & function, so that you will have a better idea about what's needed(most of it's up to you, not a 6-weekly trim) and whether advice & opinions you get, and your 'expert' of choice is good, bad or otherwise.

The quarters are the name of the side of the hoof. Nelson's cracks are toe cracks. As they appear to have started at the ground surface, it makes them 'grass cracks', for future reference. They have obviously been going for some time, which may be the reason your farrier failed to mention them last trim. They are a product of the ill health of his feet and the excess wall stress.

Those pics show that he is likely overdue for hoof care, whatever the date, the nail clenches being loose. But would need more pics to give a better idea of specifics; directly front- & side-on from near ground level and a variety of solar angles, including sighting down from heel to toe.(Tho if he's in pads, solar shots can't tell much)

I would advise the horse is kept unshod and well trimmed until his feet can become healthy, as that is part of the problem ~ the walls are weak and laminae still disconnected in at least the bottom half of the hoof(evident from flaring) and they need to be *relieved* of pressure in order that they can begin to grow down well connected. With shoes they are under increased pressure, the disconnected walls forced to bear the entire load. I wouldn't expect these feet to get much better if they remain shod like that. For protection & support, hoof boots are generally a good option.

In addition to good trimming, there is infection in the laminar region of these cracks which needs to be treated ~ even if the hooves are kept mechanically right to allow good growth, the infection will continue eating away at the tissue & perpetuate the cracks & separation.

Also diet & nutrition play a huge role in hoof health. While as your farrier has rasped the outside of the walls so it's hard to tell if there are prominent rings, it's obvious in the 'before' pics that he was also laminitic & it appears he's at least a lot better now in that respect. This is generally diet related, caused from too much rich feed ~ rich grass, grain, sweet feed, etc. Avoiding feeding starchy/sugary feeds & keeping an eye on how much rich grass he gets is a good idea. His feet also appear 'shelly' & dry, and the other hairline cracks are also generally an indication of diet/nutrition probs. Is he getting a good quality(grain free) complete supplement or such, to give him the balanced nutrition he needs?

On the note of nutrition & dry hooves, you mention using hoof dressings. These products tend to do nothing more than make the hooves look prettier. As the outer hoof walls are dead material, as are finger nails & hair, topicals that purport to aid growth & provide nutrients are basically advertising ploys. Oil based goop also seals the hoof and can dry them out more, also seals in infections, making them harder to treat. As the Hoof Heal link you gave gives nothing away of it's ingredients, I couldn't comment on what it may do. But allowing his feet to soak in water every day or few and feeding the hooves from the inside with good nutrition is what is needed.
     
    09-19-2010, 03:43 PM
  #6
Trained
Thanks for your help, I appreciate the time you took to help educate me on Hooves, I am still learning. I know he's due for a job, because as I stated his next appointment is on the 27th, but because I called and stressed concern for his feet, my Farrier bumped the date to Monday the 20th instead.

I wonder if the pads are aiding in the reason why the nails are "lose".

I'm not that worried about the competance in my Farrier, he is pretty educated and has been doing a great job thus far, and I wonder if he's just having to spend more time on repairing the angles and the hooves in accordance to the incompetant farrier I had for so many years.

Nelson is 21, and is nutrition is pretty good I would like to think. He is eating getting 3lbs of Purina Senior and 2lbs of Purina Ultium per feeding, twice a day. So he's getting 10lbs a day, plus he is out on 80 acres of pasture all day and then gets put into a large 4 acre paddock with grass and a large round bale that is Timothy, Alfalfa and Brome mixed for the night with his buddy who is also a senior TB gelding *They are inseperable*

He is on suppliments through smartpak equine. He gets SmartGut Pellets, SmartDigest Ultra, MSN, SmartCalm and Farrier's Formula. They get put into his A.M feeding.

When my Farrier first came out to see Nelson, when his feet were HORRIBLE, which I feel aweful about.........I should of educated myself on feet and took that step to find him a better route than trusting the Farrier I had at the time. I blame myself for the condition of his feet because of my ignorance in the department of hoof health. Anyways, he walked around and looked at Nelson's conformation and touched some pressure points on his body, and proceeded to explain to me how off his angles were and how they should be in accordance to his pasterns, shoulder's and hips. He explained alot, which I cannot remember now word for word, but it was an eye opener.

He just recently put wedge pads on Nelson, the last appointment we had with him was the time he put these new pads on. He explained something to do with his lack of heels or something like that....I can't quite remember what he said about the reasoning behind the wedge pads, but it made sense.

Nelson was quite sore for about a week afterwards due to the new angles - and now that I think about it, that was when the cracks came about.

I just spoke with my Farrier on the phone and asked him why the cracks appeared, and he explained it is because of the pressure on his toes and he talked about it to length but it was hard to understand what he was saying over the cell phone. He asked alot of questions about what the cracks look like and he discussed the steps he's going to take to target them, but again, it was hard to understand what he was saying.

He'll be out tomorrow, so I'll see what he does. I wont be there in person because I have to work, but I will be out aftarwards and will take pictures.

I almost wonder if I should asak him to take those wedge pads off, and just put basic full coverage pads on. I will also ask him about Laminitus.

I tried the Barefoot thing a year ago and it did not work out well. I had a barefoot farrier come out and take care of him. He was sore, tender and ended up not even wanting ot move. He incurred bruises and abcesses on all 4's and it was a disaster. I even invested in 4 Easy Boot Epics and he was still miserable.

I shoe because I believe he is a horse that needs them, and we are Eventers and we work all year round. I like the fact that I can have his shoes with the stud holes in them, because I feel he needs that extra traction to protect him while we are on course, both stadium and cc.

I am worried about those cracks, and I stressed this to my Farrier on the phone yesterday and he said he'll address this when he sees him tomorrow.

So the Feibings Hoof Polish is doing more harm than good? I bought it because it said on the can that it helps heal Quarter Cracks. I've been putting it on his hooves everyday for 2 weeks now - crap - I hope I didn't do any damage.

I was looking at RainMaker:

http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=3483&cm_vc=Search

But like you said, it is probobly a waste of time and money.

Here is the Hoof Heel that you wanted to see more about:

http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-22416&tid=froogle&CATALOG_CODE=1X814&EID=X1814001& zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=49&zmap=X1-22416&bhcd2=1284925187
     
    09-19-2010, 04:38 PM
  #7
Showing
Wow, I don't want to sound offensive or anything but that is just ugly. I am with loosie, I am not sure I would share the confidence in your farrier if he was just done within the last few weeks. It looks more like he was shod in mid summer and then turned out to pasture. Even under hard work, a shoeing job should not look loose like that when they start getting close to the due date. None of mine ever look loose like that unless they have hung a shoe at some point and pulled it loose, they just start looking a little long.
     
    09-19-2010, 08:30 PM
  #8
Trained
Hi,

I can only give you my opinion as a hoof care practitioner based on those pics and the info you've provided. I deal a lot with rehabbing sick hooves, most clients finding me after 'doing the rounds' or on vet's referral. Of course it is only my opinion based on little info & I wouldn't expect you to take it any more than take anyone's advice on blind faith, as you say you've learned not to since your last farrier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
I wonder if the pads are aiding in the reason why the nails are "lose".
Could be, if they're material that has compressed under load.

Quote:
I'm not that worried about the competance in my Farrier, he is pretty educated and has been doing a great job thus far, and I wonder if he's just having to spend more time on repairing the angles and the hooves in accordance to the incompetant farrier I had for so many years
Of course I'm but one opinion, but if he's been working on your horse for that long, angles should have been rectified by now. That is one concern that can't be seen from the pics. Another that can be is the flaring. Along with the cracks indicating hoof imbalance.

Regarding his diet & nutrition, as mentioned, there is no obvious evidence of lami from those recent pics. I personally advise doing at least a basic diet analysis, through a service such as feedXL.com(that's who I subscribe to) in order to correctly balance nutrition. Neither of those Purina feeds give a list of ingredients. They both say 'low starch' except that the Senior has molasses, which is a cause for concern. I presume the Optium is the competition one? Is he in very hard physical work to need that? Just be careful of how much hi-carb feed he gets, along with calories in general. Fat horses are also more at risk of health/hoof probs. Safergrass.org is one source of info on diet as it relates to hoof health.

The other thing is the size of his meals. Horses are 'trickle feeders', evolved for tiny amounts near constantly. They have small stomachs(about the size of ours) & quick metabolisms. Especially when considering starchy feeds, to reduce the risks, the daily ration should be fed in as many small meals as possible & the fewer feeds per day & larger the meals, the more likelihood of hind gut problems.

Quote:
HORRIBLE, which I feel aweful about.........I should of educated myself on feet and took that step to find him a better route than trusting the Farrier I had at the time. I blame myself for the condition of his feet because of my ignorance in the department of hoof health.
Interested to know what you did to become educated about it? Where did you learn from? What is it that about this farrier that gives you faith in him? How do you see the general health of your horse's feet now?

Quote:
how off his angles were and how they should be in accordance to his pasterns, shoulder's and hips.
That, I think is open to opinion & interpretation. Yes, pastern angles are *generally* a match to the toe walls in healthy feet *depending* how they're standing, etc. Yes, shoulder & hip angles do change when hoof angles change, but every horse is individual & conformation is individual. No horse should be trimmed to conform to preconceived 'correct' angles IMO. No horse should be trimmed in order to make pastern/hip/shoulder angles 'correct'.

Quote:
He just recently put wedge pads on Nelson, the last appointment we had with him was the time he put these new pads on. He explained something to do with his lack of heels or something like that.
Horses are *supposed* to have very short heels(again, it's individual, there's no absolute 'correct' angle/length). Generally when people talk about a horse 'lacking heel' it is either because of a preconceived notion that they should have high heels & they need to be 'stood up' more, or they fail to realise the horse actually has long but crushed flat heels - he's walking on the backs of them(which is a prob difficult to correct with shoes). While the current shots don't show the heels, your earlier pics show heels that are indeed crushed forward.

Quote:
Nelson was quite sore for about a week afterwards due to the new angles - and now that I think about it, that was when the cracks came about.
There are exceptions, but a horse being sore after a trim is generally down to farrier error. The horse should be the same if not better after each trim. Yes, forcing a horse onto his toes is one reason for cracks - along with a multitude of other more serious problems - but if this was only done 4-5 weeks ago, I imagine the cracks had already started by then(unless his walls are a lot weaker than they look & there's been lots of high impact exercise). But that they got obviously worse then is another indication of faulty treatment.

Quote:
but again, it was hard to understand what he was saying.
I would suggest that if you're allowing him to do whatever to your horse, that you at least make sure you understand what he's on about. How can you make informed decisions without?

Quote:
I tried the Barefoot thing a year ago and it did not work out well. I had a barefoot farrier come out and take care of him. He was sore, tender and ended up not even wanting ot move. He incurred bruises and abcesses on all 4's and it was a disaster. I even invested in 4 Easy Boot Epics and he was still miserable.
I wouldn't expect a horse with feet like that to cope well barefoot on anything but soft ground. He would have to develop healthy feet first. While I suggest *shoeless* that doesn't necessarily mean bare. Did you use the boots from the start full time? Was the trimmer someone who was experienced in rehab? What other measures did you take to protect/support his feet & help them become healthy?

Quote:
I shoe because I believe he is a horse that needs them, and we are
In my opinion he is a horse that needs NOT to be shod, until his feet can become healthy & strong. That may well mean putting your eventing ambitions on hold & give precedence to getting him sound first. IME it is difficult or impossible to rehab feet like that when the entire load is forced to be kept on disconnected walls. The walls need to be relieved, not loaded. If boots aren't good enough protection/support for him, there are additions & alternatives such as foam pads, Vettec SoleGuard and Equicast for eg.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Be happy to give you further more specific opinions if you want to post some more pics that better show the state of his hooves now.
     
    09-19-2010, 10:05 PM
  #9
Trained
MI - I'm actually shocked to see these pics of Nelson's feet. All the time and care and love that your horse has and these are his feet!? I know how much you are dedicated to your horse. So now you really need to read up on hoof structure now. Consider it your new job. It should be easy after everything you've been through with Nelson. When studying up, take side pics and sole pics as well to learn from. Print them out and draw lines all over them. It's very interesting reading and learning. I think you'll be happy with it once you start.

I agree with loosie too. And I most definitely agree that after a year of care under a competent farrier the feet should not look like this. I won't repeat everything that's been said except for one thing: give these feet a break from nails and shoes! Let them grow in healthy for a year.

Every nail is another avenue for weakness and infection. Shoes prevent the feet from expanding and contracting. Shoes are holding Nelson's recovery back. If you feel after a year you want to go back to shoes, so be it, but, for now anyway, Nelson needs another method. And it will likely take a year for that crack to grow out. When you describe a crack, remember that is grows from ground UP, not the other way. So until the area hitting the ground is corrected, it will never go away.

Use boots if you feel you need them and you probably will to be able to continue to compete. I've read a little about boots and I know you can get something that will give you the traction needed. It's an investment, but it's well worth it.

And remember as well that the trauma that Nelson's been through in the last months/year(?) certainly has had an affect on his feet.

I'm sorry for your lousy luck with farriers, but I advise you to look again. :(
     
    09-19-2010, 10:54 PM
  #10
Trained
Now that I've seen the pictures - those are not quarter cracks. They are quite a cause for concern and although much advice has been given, the best way to figure out a solution is to get your vet and your farrier together to discuss what to do. Always remember that people can talk a lot of talk, but it is very hard to find a good farrier.
While barefoot is one option, for a competition horse it is a very, very hard decision to make because it does basically mean that the horse needs to be laid up for 3-4 months. I would definitely get a corrective farrier with experience working on competition horses out to discuss your options with your vet. One product that I have heard a lot of good about that can allow the horse to be "barefoot" but still allows work in good footing is Equi pak. You may have to sell your first born and I know some farriers don't like it but I know people that have had advanced level dressage horses in the off season, still training with this stuff when the other option is basically to take the shoes off and throw the horse in a field until the feet are under control.
But really, this needs to get taken care of now. I would call your vet and try to get him out on the same day as your farrier.

Good luck!
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What to do about hoof cracks? CloudsMystique Hoof Care 18 10-15-2009 11:59 PM
Bad Infected Quarter Cracks AlmagroN Horse Health 1 08-23-2009 10:19 AM
Hoof cracks kitten_Val Horse Health 2 09-10-2007 10:27 AM
hoof cracks moomoo Horse Health 3 06-07-2007 12:56 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0