Clubbed Hoof Progress *pic heavy*
I have a 4 year old TB mare who has a clubbed foot on her left front. I'm now on my 3rd farrier within the past year and so far I am quite happy with her!
I thought I would make a thread on my mares feet as they have changed for better and worse over the past year of owning her. She has had a full set of shoes on since she was about 2 years old according to the previous owners. She also had either metal or thick rubber pads on her feet because of the terrain where she was living.
This first set of pictures are from about 6 months ago... she no longer wore the pads
some of you may have seen my other threads about whether or not to go barefoot which is something i had been contemplating for quite some time as my mare was constantly pulling shoes and her heel was so contracted.
I had asked my farrier at the time his opinion and he really couldn't have cared either way. The last time my mare was about 2 weeks away from her next appointment, she pulled her left front as she usually does, only this time her entire toe came off with the shoe! :shock:
I had already made the decision to change farriers hoping to find one who cared to explain things to me and give me a real opinion/advice. We went ahead and pulled all remaining shoes and decided to see how things would go barefoot with the new farrier.
This is the nub of a foot that my mare was left with after losing her toe...
The last picture was from 3 1/2 weeks after he original trim, her heel already started growing like crazy because of that lack of toe so we trimmed it down once again to give her toe some relief and a chance to grow.
about a week later her heel has already grown quite a bit and we will be putting her shoes back on her front feet at her next appointment to prevent so much wear on the toe so it has a chance to grow out.
my new farrier was immediately concerned with white line because of how her toe had torn off but when she trimmed her she said there seemed to be nothing but healthy foot for now but it is something we will watch for.
the benefit, however, that we have had from my mare being barefoot is the heel that was very contracted has opened up quite a bit and her soles and frogs are just 100 times healthier. I will get more recent pictures today so you can all see how her feet are doing.
feel free to comment on any thoughts or suggestions you may have! :)
sorry! not sure why one of the pics posted upside down!
Very interesting, I would love to see pic's of her sole on that foot. And it would be really cool if you make this thread into a journal of how it grows out and what your farrier does. :-) I just love seeing the odd things that these animals throw at us.
Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out!
Have you considered only shoeing the toe of that foot? After years of messing with shoes on my mild club mare I asked my farrier to only shoe the toe. He made a tiny shoe that is slightly tapered at the ends. It works great & can be reset. It has allowed her heel to remain open & the toe to not break off. Her other feet are barefoot.
thank you guys for your comments!
natisha that is something i will definitely be asking my farrier about!! thanks for the idea!
i manage to get a few photos today, sorry they aren't the greatest quality they are from my phone.
Front Right Solar
Front Left Solar
Both front feet were given a quick trimming at only 3 1/2 weeks after the initial trim/shoe pulling. her heel on the clubbed foot is growing unbelievably fast and needed to be cut down in just that 3 1/2 weeks.
the pictures i just posted were of her feet today, exactly 1 week after having her fronts retrimmed. the heel on the clubbed foot has already grown back a good amount.
In the first pixs her club looks strikingly similar to my mares club, only hers isnt so bad I believe the vet said she has a slight broken back heel axis..keep up the work though. Is she sound for riding?
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Yes she is completely sound for riding *knocks on wood*. She does step a bit short now on the clubbed foot which she had never done before losing the toe.
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Do you and/or your farrier understand what happens when you reduce the heel height?
Wow, considering how much excess toe there is not long after she lost all that foot, there must have been a heap! The last pics show an improvement in how the flaring/stretched toe has been dealt with & grown. Still lots of flaring all the way round on the right foot it appears though.
Be interested to see different solar angles, as can't really tell depth, etc, but it appears her toe sole on the left is extremely thin & flat - unfortunately common with that amount of 'rotation'. I'd be padding that sole. Her heel on that foot is much wider & in better shape than I'd have guessed looking at the foot on the ground. It also appears her heels are lower than it appears from the other pix. It's unclear whether they've been recently cut back a lot, but *if so*, I'd be doing this gradually, *if at all*. It depends on why she's 'clubbed' & the specifics as to whether it's a good move to even try to change it IMO.
While I know 6-8 weeks is common schedule for many horses, I do think that more frequent is preferrable for most horses, most of the time & especially when 'correcting' problems or managing problems such as this, i think little & often is best.
My farrier did explain to me why it is that the heel grows faster. From what I understood (and please correct me if I am wrong) the heel grows faster for a couple of reasons... One being that most of the pressure is at the toe which pushes the blood to the back of the foot making the heel grow faster, the pressure also causes more wear on the toe preventing it from growing. Also, because more weight is being put on the "good" foot, it has the same effect.
She also told me that lowering the heel will put more pressure/pull on the DDFT. She said that over time, the tendon will stretch and adjust.
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