Critique my farrier (Lots of pictures)
I have been using the same farrier for well over a year now - I am very happy with the work he does, but second opinions are always great as all I know about feet is really what he tells me. He's awesome in that he loves to answer all my questions when my horse is getting his feet done! Are we on the right track (in your opinion)?
Horse is a 9 y/o warmblood, 16hh and competing high level dressage. These are the feet after almost 5 weeks of growth. I will post pictures after our trim/reset on Friday. For any additional views please let me know!
I think the hind shoes were new last time and the fronts have been reset once.
Thanks in advance!
Looks like a nice job overall. On the right front, in the solar shot, it looks like that foot is stretched forward a bit, but nothing really bad. He can shoe my horse any day.
I am not a farrier and far from an expert but why are his shoes not firmly fitted to his hooves? There looks to be a gap in random spots between the shoe and hoof on all the feet. Just wondering.
I'm hoping it's just the picture angles, but my "just learning feet" mind is seeing quite a bit of imbalance. From the pictures, it looks like his heals on the front feet are not the same height. In the heal pic of his left front, the coronet is nearly at ground level, but on the heal pic of his right front there appears to be almost 1 1/2 inches of heal.
Also, on the head on pic of the right hind, it appears that the coronet is jammed upwards on the inside, leaving a line that is high on the inside and low on the outside.
Looking forward to what the experts have to say. :-)
LoL, or am I totally off in left field somewhere? :-)
FaydesMom, I guess that would be accurate. Many horses have one hoof that is more upright than the other. I honestly don't know if the leg on the high foot is actually shorter, or if it's just a way of the body compensating for an old injury further up in the shoulder. With this horse, it's a very slight difference, so it's probably just a matter of this horse prefers to graze with the same foot forward which puts all the weight on one foot over the other. The angle on the upright hoof is steeper resulting in a higher heel. The overall foot is shorter from heel to toe. The other foot is usually a longer toe, heel that's prone to under run or grow forward instead of down.
If you put the two feet side by side, the more forward one will have a slightly longer breakover point than it's more upright counterpart. Some farriers will set the shoe on the more forward foot to even that out.
So, how could the average horse owner be sure the farrier is fixing a physical problem the horse has, and isn't really shoeing poorly and causing the problem? Couldn't poor shoeing over time cause the horse to change how he stands in response to changed angles until he becomes comfortable in the new stance?
Maybe I'm making it more complicated than it is, but that old "which caused which" keeps me questioning. :-)
MBP you nailed it, this is the most even his hooves have looked, they have been up to 15 degrees different with major imbalances in the past. It's my biggest issue for keeping this horse going sound and healthy :) I've been through a lot of farriers!
As far as the shoe fit, those things are hot shod on there so tight it takes my farrier a good while to get them off. The gaps are likely just from the 5 weeks of growth.
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Also, in response to the "shorter leg" theory, very, very seldom is a horse's leg truly shorter. The optical illusion is caused by the high heel elevating the fetlock joint and knee, making the entire leg appear shorter.
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