if one of my farriers were willing to teach me, if the whole reason I'm wanting to learn in the first place is that they arent good enough, there could be many issues with that xD I'd be terrified of messing up and hurting her as well. I already rasp her feet myself between trimmings, but I'm not so sure about the actual trimming!
Yeah, learning from an incompetent farrier... But if you work on educating yourself about the theory - hoof function, balance, etc & have a farrier instruct you to better your skills, you shouldn't do too badly. *I do think it's vital to learn the theory well, as well as getting practiced under instruction/a mentor first, if at all possible & not advising you just jump in if you're not sure of the details. If you're rasping in between trims, what do you call that if not trimming?? It appears her heels are high & toes a bit long, so if you concentrated on improving balance - gradually lowering heels & backing toes, while you keep employing a farrier regularly to (hopefully, if they're decent) check & correct your work...
She did have a foal last year (NOT by my choice but it was too late to give her the shot >.>) so its definitely possible. I've tried to keep her work fairly light, and I didn't start lunging her until she was almost three, at only a walk and some light trotting. She was hooked up to a cart for the first time as a 3 1/2 year old, but I've tried to only do walking and 10-15 minutes of trotting under cart, absolutely no cantering. I don't plan to canter her at all because I really only want her as a pleasure cart horse, but if I do, it will be well after she turns five, or closer to six. She was being lunged at a canter for 2-3 minutes at a time in a 25' circle though, until I started noticing that she was having problems. I'm definitely going to look into a chiro as soon as possible, now that I know someone else is noticing it too. I don't want her in any sort of pain!
That's very interesting about the rain scald. I suppose it could be possible! I think she has four of them, exactly along her spine in the middle of her back, and they're quarter to dime sized, depending on the spine. She's had them since I started working with her as a seven month old, and they haven't gotten any bigger or added in numbers, and I was always curious about what they were![/QUOTE]
Good points. LOL. I've been too nervous to rasp for more than evenness (she tends to wear her front hooves unevenly which causes a lot of stress on he outside tendons) but if I can do that, I guess I can learn to do the other things too! It sure would be nice to be able to trim her every 2-3 weeks mysef...before I bought her she was only being trimmed MAYBE every 2-3 MONTHS! O_o
Do you think I'd be strong enogh to use the nippers though? I'm 4'11 and weigh barely 90 lbs xD I have a lot of upper arm strength from hauling haybales and feed bags, but I'm just not sure!
Maybe that will be my summer project. Learning to trim. Sour would be the perfect to learn with considering that she's so easy to trim too. I've done a lot of work withher and she'll practically hold her foot for you when you're cleaning them or rasping them, and not move a muscle. Its definitely something to think about!
Good points. LOL. I've been too nervous to rasp for more than evenness (she tends to wear her front hooves unevenly which causes a lot of stress on he outside tendons)
What does 'trimming for evenness' mean? You could call an entire trim that. If you know absolutely that she needs this, where & how much, you should have a pretty good grasp of hoof form & function. If you are just following someone's instruction & don't have much understanding, I'd think twice in doing it at all. Eg. If her feet grow 'crooked' or some such, how do you know they should be trimmed straight & that won't just put more torque on joints? Not good to trim an 'even' foot on a crooked limb.
Do you think I'd be strong enogh to use the nippers though?
Interesting that most of my male clients have absolutely no interest in doing the job themselves, say it's too hard, while many of my female clients, including young girls & grandmas, are keen & become competent(tho my 9yo daughter tries but can't yet). With a good set - you don't need top of the line, but the cheapies tend to make it more effort than it's worth. I haven't met anyone teenager or older that can't use them - maybe take a while to get strong & good with them tho, as I think technique is a huge part. You can use them 2 handed, if you don't have the strength to use them single handed.
But if you're trimming regularly you won't be needing nippers - I'd just get a set for times when life's got in the way & you suddenly realise what you thought was 3 weeks has become 3 months!
Sorry, let me try to explain that better xD To me it looks like the farrier trims, but tends to trim so that her hoof wall grows slanted, if that makes any sense? Like, she has more wall on one side of the hoof than on the other which causes problems, and within two weeks the inner side of her hoof wall begins wearing down/outer wall begins growing faster and she's left lopsided and putting extra pressure on her tendons. So I just take the rasp and I rasp the outside wall down to match the inner wall at 2-3 weeks into the trim. Make sense? From what I've read it just sounded to me like she wore one side down faster than the other and obviously my farrier isn't great (but better than my last one, who hit her in the hip with his rasp when she pulled her foot backwards after something startled her!), and her legs have never looked like they grew oddly to me, but I guess that doesn't mean they don't. I've never had radiographs or xrays done of her legs/joints before.
My farrier must be doing something seriously wrong then, because he always used the nipper to take off some toe. Then he goes back with the rasp and evens things up, rounds off her toes, etc. I'm rather confused! XD
Here is a picture of her hoof a week and a half after trimming. In my limited knowledge the toe is WAY too long and they seem to start flaring out at some point, but I know little about heel height or anything. The angles don't match on all of her feet either >.> I don't have pictures of any other angles though.
inner side of her hoof wall begins wearing down/outer wall begins growing faster and she's left lopsided and putting extra pressure on her tendons. So I just take the rasp and I rasp the outside wall down to match the inner wall
Without much more info, I can only give you hypotheticals, but what I was trying to explain is that if her feet seem to 'want' to keep growing imbalanced, it may be that they *should* be like that & that trimming them to be even may be what puts extra pressure on tendons. Horses tend to rest with the inner side of the fronts bearing more weight, so shorter, more upright medial sides, slightly longer, more angled lateral sides are normal for horses that aren't in lots of work.
If you're only rasping the outer walls & not touching the ground surface, you won't be affecting this balance really anyway. There is more to it, but it's largely cosmetic to rasp the outer surface of the walls.
My farrier must be doing something seriously wrong then, because he always used the nipper to take off some toe.
Not necessarily your farrier's doing something wrong, perhaps there's just that much excess by the time he visits. But... Yes, I'd agree with your 'limited knowledge' that if your pics are only 10 days post trim, he's leaving way too much toe on the ground & it appears likely too much heel too. But if you would like a good hoof critique, need better pics. In the meantime...
Xrays could be good & that left fore looks like there's a fair bit of 'rotation' likely. Appears that one's a bit 'clubby' & that the others may be reasonably OK tho & it may be that that foot 'needs' to remain high heeled...
I've marked that pic to show some signs that give me an idea what's going on in this foot. Red lines show problems - broken forward hoof-pastern angle, quite flared toe from high up the wall - looks like only the top half inch or so is likely close to parallel with P3. Heels are long & forward. Hairline is a shallow angle. Blue line indicates approx where I'd bevel the toe(probably further but guess based on the one pic). Pink line indicates where I guess P3 is.
It would make sense for her to have coffin bone rotation, considering that she did founder.
*sigh* if only you were in Texas, she wouldn't be in this situation in the first place! I'm definitely going to have to figure out something different when it comes to a farrier. There is a good one about two hours away from us that holds clinics and has written many books of hoof health...maybe I'll see if I can attend a few of those and talk to her personally. Sours hooves can't go on like this!
Miraculously though, she's never been lame that I know of. She has nice gaits (not show quality, but nice) and never acts like her feet hurt. It could be though, that her hooves have been this way for so long that she just ignores it and doesn't know any different. Wouldn't that be sad?
Will the coffin bone rotation cause problems further down the road? I manage her diet as well as I can to prevent relapse, but it still worries me. I'll try to scrape up some money for xrays at some point after she sees a chiro.
Miraculously though, she's never been lame that I know of.
So how was the conclusion drawn that she foundered? Horses are very stoic animals. Founder/laminitis can be 'mild', 'low grade', 'sub clinical' that causes only minor symptoms such as rings on the hooves, stretched laminae, short term, mild discomfort. Can be 'acute attacks' such as major discomfort suddenly in spring grass, which if that's the only prob & cause is removed, can be very short lived & not cause mechanical change/damage. Or can be chronic, long term, with/because of mechanical changes, such as 'rotation'.
Can be a combination - eg. A horse with long term metabolic issues may have had 'low grade' laminitis for a long time with no apparent problems, until a 'final straw' such as rich spring grass, grain, extra strain from bad mechanics such as high heels & long toes, or peripherally loaded hooves pounding hard ground etc causes an acute 'attack'. Bad/insufficient hoof care may cause mechanical changes which don't cause obvious probs until they reach a certain point.
My point of explaining the above is not to cause you to panic, but many people don't tend to recognise the horse has any kind of a problem until/unless they're obviously very lame, founder stance, etc. By that time, it's definitely panic stations & horse needs intensive care. But if we could recognise the minor signs & causes & manage accordingly, I believe the vast majority of major laminitic problems could be avoided.
Will the coffin bone rotation cause problems further down the road?
Yes it will. If this foot 'needs' to remain 'clubby' then the 'rotation' may remain in this foot to some extent. In that case there are ways to minimise further damage because of it. But if at all possible, I think it's vital to correct the problem, so you don't have to worry about 'further down the road'. Apparently there are still even professionals out there who believe reversing P3 rotation or descent is impossible but thankfully that's generally not the case.
Mmm...I'm actually not sure. She supposively foundered before she came to us, as a 7-8 month old because she had been directly weaned then put into a large, healthy pasture with a bunch of other horses and she was being fed sweet feed. Since that was before I or her previous owner had her, I never thought to ask how they knew. I guess she could have been lame at that point. Since coming to us though, she's never been lame with the exception of some strange steps with her rear hooves that the vet concluded were front a uterine infection that nearly killed her. Otherwise she's been one of the healthiest horses we've had at he farm so far *knockonwood*.
She definitely could be moving uncomfortably without me realizing it, but she really does look normal to me, especially compared to some of our other minis who have worse faults and walk like bowlegged cowboys O_o
If they're of any worth, I have some videos from last summer of her on a lungeline at a walk and trot. She was being lunged by total beginners at a summer camp though, so they may be worthless since she was obviously confused during the session xD poor gal. The videos are when her hooves were still in TERRIBLE shape, and had been for years. I didn't own her at this point. Not that they're much better now... :/
Now here's my tricky question. How do I get it corrected, if I really don't have access to a corrective trimmer, or even a decent one? :/ I honestly do want her to be healthy and sound for many years so that she can be useful (she turns into a demon when she isn't in work because she seems to love having a job...like right now >.>) for at least light walking driving, but I don't have much to work with. I'm willing to learn myself, but I just have no clue who would be able to teach me!
Yeah, horses can be very stoic & it is possible for them to have substantial damage without being obviously lame.
I do advise you find a good teacher/mentor(or few - worth considering different opinions/approaches) if at all possible, to compliment the theory you can learn at home, or at least attend a few clinics. Maintenance trimming is not rocket science, but there's more to it in correcting issues. But if you can't, you can't & IMO Pete Ramey's DVD set 'Under The Horse' is well worth it and should give you a good grounding if you can't find a good teacher. www.e-hoofcare.com is a good site for explaining balance, particularly as it relates to heel height & stretched toes.
Horses can be very stoic & lack of obvious lameness doesn't mean lack of a problem unfortunately.
If you're wanting to learn yourself(& it sounds like time, want or not ) While maintenance trimming of healthy feet isn't rocket science, I'd still advise finding a good hands-on teacher/mentor if at all possible, to compliment the theory you ca learn at home, or at least attending a workshop or few, and correcting probs requires more indepth knowledge. But of course, if you can't, you can't & many people have to learn with little help, out of necessity. If that's the case, among other sources, I'd recommend Pete Ramey's "Under The Horse" DVD set as very comprehensive, and www/e-hoofcare.com is one of many great sites, where you can learn more about evaluating/correcting balance, especially re high heels, long toes, etc. I'd also advise reading everything you can by Professor Bowker - heavy but well worth it!