Okay so it came down to another shoeing, another chance to see if Jake would improve or get worse off of my farriers work. This is attempt number three at a review from anyone who knows about shoeing. Anyhow, Jake was lame after his shoeing. This is the third shoeing in a row that he has gotten worse after a shoeing and requires at least a week until he is back to a better state (which is an on and off very light lamness) He had been sound for three weeks, with light riding, before this current shoeing. Now he is lame. He shows resistance to turning (rotating on his front) and won't stretch out, only takes shorter steps.
A little background on Jake. He is a 20 yo grade paint stocky build roughly 1200 lbs. He has a hard lump on the side of his front right close to the cornet band which may be sidebone. I'm still trying to get the vet out. (Another story...I can't seem to get her to call me either. Played phone tag a few times and now she won't even respond. I'm ready to find a new vet as well.) Then possibly get x-rays for that as well. He has stiffness in his back legs, and stocks up from time to time. It is easily worked out of. He has been tender and on/off lame on his fronts for roughly 6 months now.
Things I see that make me worry :
-One shoe is not centered according to bone structure. It looks too big and it covers part of the heel/frog.
-Another hoof has a small chunk of hoof wall missing, it is the width of the shoe, and can almost bee seen from looking at the sole of the hoof if pushed from the outside.
- Hooves look short for my horse who has large bones.
- Square hooves (rolled toe for the sidebone) are causing bad roll over points.
Back Right - Shoe uneven, covering heel/frog
Back Right - Closer Shot
Back Left - Hole HoofWall - Corner Shot
Back Left - Hole Hoofwall - Side Shot
Regular Shots :
Front Hooves - Front Shot
Front Hooves - Front Shot2
Front Right - Front Shot
Front Right - Side Shot
Front Right - Sole Shot
Front Left - Side Shot
Front Left - Side Shot 2
Front Left - Sole Shot
Rear Hooves - Front Shot
Rear Left - Side Shot
Rear Left - Sole Shot
Rear Right - Side Shot
Rear Right - Sole Shot
Now I wanted to talk to my farrier because I wanted him to shoe my friends horse (who is pretty much left in my care...we had some issues with her paying for a shoeing so the mare went 16+ weeks between shoeings...her feet are bad and she pulled off one of her shoes) I called and left a message asking him to shoe her as well, or if he didn't have time to shoe her on the same day to come out at his next available time. I also told him where I left the checks. Well he didn't call back until he was already at the stables shoeing my horse, I was working and couldn't answer but left me a message saying "We are here, I couldn't understand what you said, remember you owe me $, call me again"
Well I left him another message (He didn't answer) repeating the information, I asked him to call after 6pm. He didn't, so the next day I left another message telling him to call me. He finally called me (again while I was working), when I called back he again didn't answer...I told him I was free to answer the phone anytime friday (today) or after 6 other days. I haven't heard from him.
Now another thing that I don't know is how important or not but he doesn't watch Jake walk/trot before or after the shoeing. Jake is toed out on his front feet and with the rolled toes he rolls over the point on one hoof, which I imagine would cause a lot of pressure on one spot on the hoof wall. All my previous farriers would study how he moved both before and after a shoeing the first time, then watch them move after every shoeing. This guy takes Jake out, shoes him and puts him back. He is patient with Jake's laying down issue which I find a huge plus in my book, but still...he should have the time to watch him walk and notice that he rolls over the side of his hoof.
So he hasn't been paid and I'm pissed about his shoeing job, lack of communication with me, lack of time with my horse and my lame horse.
A few things come to mind after reviewing your posts/photos.
Sole pressure. Does your farrier forge/grind sole relief into the shoe?
Shoe fit. Yep, there are obvious problems but can't say if those issues are contributing to lameness.
The horse is twenty years old.
In the video from a prior posting, the lameness is subtle but visible. Again, the horse is twenty years old.
You mention in this post that the horse is lame every time the farrier completes the work, yet... in the second posting you said the horse got "better and better" for two weeks after the shoeing. Is the horse worse off immediately after shoeing than before or not? If he is, the farrier needs to make some changes.
The missing "chunk of wall" appears to be where the farrier resected a part of the hoof intentionally. Perhaps chasing a possible abscess or whiteline infection?
Communication between you and your farrier seems to be an ongoing problem. Same goes for the vet. Sounds like he has had as much trouble reaching you as you have had reaching him. Yes, you can't always answer the phone because you are working. So is he. Perhaps it's time to find a date/time when you can actually meet in person.
If you have not paid the farrier for his work and he is not aware of ongoing issues with his work, odds are good he isn't going to come back.
Could his work be improved? Definitely. So could mine. Is his work the cause of the horses lameness? Don't know without an on-site exam.
Your focus should be three-fold.
1. Possible sole pressure due lack of sole relief in shoeing.
3. Horse is twenty years old. Set expectations accordingly.
Here's rule #1. The horse should always walk off as well or better than he walked up. If he doesn't, the farrier needs to make it right!
Thank you for the reply Mark,
The lameness issue is that the next morning after a shoeing he is lame, then as time goes by he gets better and better. For about 2-3 weeks after shoeing I don't do much of anything with him, just turn outs because he isn't rideable. He doesn't stay that lame, whether it improves as his hoof grows out or he gets used to it I am unsure.
I am aware that his initial problem may not be caused by the farrier, but the issue is more of that he aggravates whatever is wrong with Jake. As far as I know about shoeing, the horse should not be worse after one. If the horse is off, it should not get any worse. I'm not expecting him to fix my horse's lameness issues. I have considered saddle fit, side bone, farrier work and old age/arthritis are all possibilities. Its all a matter of time before I can get the vet, farrier, chiropractic, and saddle fitter out. I have to go on a payday by payday basis.
I wasn't horribly concerned about the hole, more of found it as a surprise, if it was an abscess or whiteline infection I would like to know about it. I want to know what is going on with my horse and if something is off, I want to know about it.
I have specifically left messages asking for a meeting time and letting him know exactly when I am available to answer the phone, I would expect him to possibly leave a message and try and do the same except calling me at the exact same time of day, the few times he has responded.
The previous shoeing I had been there in person. We had agreed upon a set schedule of every 7 weeks and I told him I would leave a check in my trailer for him when he got there in seven weeks. I called to remind him that I left the check for him, as he did not grab it while he was there.
He is one of the more expensive farriers in the area, am I wrong to expect better service than I am getting? I always try to look at it from his point of view to see why things are going the way they are, but I am coming down to a point where I just want what is best for my horse. I want to eliminate all possibilities of what could be causing his soreness.
Theoretically would you be willing to go out and do an hoof exam on a horse that doesn't need work at that point in time? For example could I try and call another farrier to do an exam on his hooves? I would be willing to pay, but unsure if that is something anyone would be willing to do.
In all honestly, it's rare that I recommend an owner change farriers. You've had this fellow shoe your horse three times and shared that the horse went lame after each attempt. Time to make a change.
I wouldnt expect great service if I'm not there, You really should evaluate what your doing. If your not telling the farrier whats going on it's not really fair to blame him.
I read you are expecting better service but you are not being a very good customer either.
You may have one of several things going on.
Sole pressure (as Mark said)
Trimming/shoeing aggravating sidebone/ringbone problems
Way farrier holds leg/foot aggravates arthritic changes
Shoeing looks better than most posted on line,however, it sound as if communication is lacking. I would try to work this out as you could do worse as far as the shoeing.
Best of luck to you.
Mark, You mention finding that there is a need for sole relief, what are you looking at that indicates that his sole may be compromised in some way? I like to take it as a learning experience. Also how concerning is the issue with the shoe coming across the heel?
If I could get a hold of him, I would let him know of the issues. I am half way of an opinion that we need to talk and discuss possible shoeing options and Jake's reacquiring lamness. Since he will not return my calls when I am not working, (I have left messages telling him what days/times I am available to talk, but the two times he called in the middle of my workday), we can not fix the problems, therefore still leaving my horse with the same problems. I would like a farrier that would listen to his voicemails and either leave me a message saying when he is also available to talk, or his email...some way that I can talk to him. Also giving me some way to pay him...
bntnail - I hadn't thought about the way he has to hold his leg as making him sore and/or aggravating possible arthritis. That is something I will have to take into consideration. Thank you for stating your opinion on the shoeing. I will have to see if I can get a hold of him so we can talk in person, if he just has some minor hiccups that are not obvious damaging problems, I am willing to work things out, yet if he is making mistakes that are damaging and he failed to catch them, I don't think little ol' non-educated me is going to change how he shoes. I know if I had been shoeing for as long as he has, I would be offended if some young adult told me how to do my profession...
Next time the shoes are pulled, brush them off and check them for sole relief at the toe region.
Hold the shoe flat in your palm, foot surface facing up, heels of the shoe pointing towards you.
Place a straight edge (ruler) across the toe of the foot (edge up). Slowly slide the ruler from the forward most part of the toe towards you.
With the ruler placed on the forward most part of the shoe toe you won't see a gap under the ruler. As you slide it towards you (closer to the inside web), you should see a slight gap between the ruler and the shoe. The gap will between the forward most toe nails.
How can you check after a fresh shoeing job? Pick up the horses foot and let the lower limb hang at 90 degrees (parallel to the ground). Look across the bottom of the foot from the heels to the toe. You should be able to see a slight gap between the toe of the shoe and the sole. The gap is about the thickness of a business card.
One thing is not guesswork. If a horse walks off worse than he walked up, the farrier needs to address that problem.
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