Toe Chipping and Breaking; Does She Need Shoes?

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Toe Chipping and Breaking; Does She Need Shoes?

This is a discussion on Toe Chipping and Breaking; Does She Need Shoes? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Chipping of the toe on horse feet
  • Chipping on shoes

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    03-03-2011, 08:42 PM
Green Broke
Toe Chipping and Breaking; Does She Need Shoes?

I've been putting a lot of miles on my horse recently to get her ready for a CTR down in Florida. We jog three to four miles a day over soil that varies from sandy to loamy to a bit hard. Overall, the terrain is nice. Most of our horses are fine barefoot. My mare has been barefoot most all her life (was shod for a month last year) and we are just starting to experience "problems".

It's been about three weeks since her last trim. Her toes are chipping and pieces are breaking off. They look ragged around the edges. I've never seen her feet looking like this... It's concerning me. Do you think she needs shoes, or is this just superficial cracking and raggedness?
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    03-03-2011, 09:18 PM
She may be self trimming. This will happen if her toes are getting a bit long.
    03-03-2011, 10:26 PM
Green Broke
Could be self trimming. Rasp off the rough edges!
    03-03-2011, 10:49 PM
Green Broke
Do you have pictures?
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    03-03-2011, 10:50 PM
Green Broke
Not at this time, but I can very easily get some tomorrow.
    03-03-2011, 10:55 PM
Green Broke
Ok. Would be easier to figure out possibly what is going on.
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    03-03-2011, 11:10 PM
Green Broke
She may just need a better mustang roll around the edges with a touch up between trimming. Your farrier should be able to show you how to make a roll around the edge of the foot. It's not that difficult.

If she's getting sore, then she may need protection. Personally, I prefer boots over shoes. Boots allow you to protect her feet only when she really needs it. You don't have to worry about a lost shoe, added risk of thrush/WLD, and it's cheaper. A good set of boots will last a long time, paying for themselves quite quickly. Plus you can still ride her barefoot some, to help toughen up her feet, possibly allowing her to ride without boots in time.

Some conditioner for the outside of the feet may help with superficial cracking. I have had good luck with both Hoof Heal and Carona Hoof Ointment. Both seal in moisture while still allowing the hoof to breath, and they kill bacteria, helping prevent thrush.

A good hoof supplement will help her feet grow in stronger. I HIGHLY recommend Source Focus HF. I have seen fantastic results with it and my horses' feet grew out VERY quickly. I used it when my mare had some wall separation and it really did wonders.

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