Thin soles - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-18-2011, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thin soles

I'm not sure if this belongs in this section or not, but can a horse be born with thin soles on its hooves? I've heard of some horses having thin soles genetically, but I want to know if it's true.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-18-2011, 01:39 AM
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Well, just about any kind of genetic mutation could theoretically happen, but IMO it's waaay more likely to be 'nurture' over 'nature'. As with our own skin, all babies are born with softer, thinner skin, but the more 'use', the more is produced. Same sort of thing as calloused feet or hands - if you don't use it, you lose it - or don't produce much in the first place. The more you 'use' them, **assuming the tissue is able to function well, the thicker/tougher they get. Of course, nutrition & diet & such also comes into it, because you can't bake a 'cake' without the right balance of 'ingredients'.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-18-2011, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jumanji321 View Post
I'm not sure if this belongs in this section or not, but can a horse be born with thin soles on its hooves? I've heard of some horses having thin soles genetically, but I want to know if it's true.
It is true and most often a consequence of mechanics associated with distal limb conformation.

Good examples are club footed horses, those presenting hi-low syndrome and those with low-heel/long toe syndrome. What they all have in common is excess DDFT pull resultant inefficient phalangeal levers and/or functionally shortened flexor tendon/muscle group.

You will see a good number of the first example among stock bred horses. The latter is easily found among the thoroughbred family.

If the primary causal factors were environment and maintenance, we would be able to correct many of these horses. The reality is that we usually have to settle for mechanical management over correction.

Cheers,
Mark
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-18-2011, 11:26 PM
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If the primary causal factors were environment and maintenance, we would be able to correct many of these horses. The reality is that we usually have to settle for mechanical management over correction.
It can be 'corrected', at least to some degree, *depending* on how much/what changes are made to management/environment & the extent/reason/length of time of the probs. But IMO reality is, in many/most conventional domestic management situations, it's difficult/impossible/undesireable for one reason or another to change the situation effectively enough to make huge changes(tho some can - endurance or otherwise hard working horses on rocky ground for eg). So I don't know about concluding that the primary cause is obviously genetic & incureable, when environmental factors can't/won't be changed sufficiently.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-19-2011, 08:22 PM
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I've been told that iodine helps them toughen up? Its what my trimmer recommended when we pulled my geldings shoes for the first time in who knows how long(since I bought him with shoes) he was tender on gravel.. a few weeks and iodine and he's perfect now. Although I'm being very careful with the upcomming mud to keep him in at least 2 days if the mud doesn't go away.. I know moisture can make them soft and I worry about him being uncomfortable over gravel again.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-19-2011, 08:32 PM
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You can artificially harden soles with chemicals, but if they're thin, this doesn't offer much more protection to the corium against stone bruises - they need to *grow* thicker for that. Therefore I'd tend to protect thin soled hooves on rocks with boots or such, regardless how they appear to feel.
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