One of my horses had some front toes bruising last trim (not bad, but noticeable). While trimming today the farrier said it didn't go away, but got slightly worth. She never had bruising in past, but we never had such an unusual winter either (warm, muddy, rainy, and with quite a bit of frozen -> mud -> frozen ground -> mud). My guy thinks it's because of rain and mud (so much softer hoofs, which is a case indeed), and them running a lot around the property so she can hit the hoofs while sliding in all that mud. He also said that he definitely noticed it in other people horses too, so she's not alone.
So the plan is to wait over couple trims (Spring is coming so hopefully everything will dry up), but if no improvement/getting worse I'll have to seriously look into shoeing the front (which my farrier is not very happy about either, because he's all for going barefoot unless absolutely needed).
So my question: is it something normal? What could be the reasons for the bruising (besides the weather)? Can I improve/prevent it in some way? Any other info/experience/ideas?
BTW, farrier said my paint's hoofs are OK (I believe she also had a little bit of bruising last trim, although I don't remember for sure). But qh is generally more heavy on front and more clumsy. Also we have mats around the hay rack to keep them from standing in mud, which really works.
could you post a picture of your horses feet?
it could be an issue with the trim.
My horse has had a history of bruising and really the only advice the farrier gave me was to wait it out. My horse is on a hoof supplement (which takes like 6mo-1yr for the effects to show up) now too because she has generally not the best feet to begin with and she does wear shoes. I would hope that you wouldnt end up having to shoe your horse, its definitely nice to keep them without shoes especially if hes never worn them before! Sorry I couldnt offer much advice :/ good luck!!! :)
Yes, overly wet weather does indeed soften feet & can lead to bruising & abscessing IME. If the weather's been like that, pasture is possibly richer too(& I condition & otherwise diet may come into it too), so that there may be metabolic factors. The horse is also likely to have thinnish soles to suffer in this way too IME.
If you are going to put conventional rims on your horse, do consider that they're not going to protect your horse's soles or frogs without pads and pads may be problematic in muddy conditions, considering infection, reduced grip, etc.
I would probably opt for hoof boots when working/on hard ground, with pads to further support soles, and soaking in very strong saline can help dry horse's feet by osmosis, helping to counter wet conditions.
Thanks, loosie and Jumper12!
Very good point about pads and mud! My plan so far is to wait out for couple trims to see what's gonna happen.
I have boots BTW (I usually use in parks), so I'll definitely consider that.
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