Shoes and a rusty nail?
Question #1 - Shoes.
My mare is going into training, has always been barefoot and has never been shod in her life (what I was told by previous owners who had her since she was very young). We have a lot of rocks, and I plan on taking her on very long ride on the road side, endurance rides and maybe some hunter jumper/courses if she progresses enough before she sells or I leave home for a little while. Should I shod her or just invest in some barefoot horse boots? My friend says shoes aren't good for the horse, because they weren't born with them they shouldn't have one, and my previous farrier told me that shoeing a horse isn't life or death, but it prevents the hoof mechanism from flexing as much as it should. Shoe her or boots?
Question #2 - Rusty Nail.
A lot of renovations and construction has been going on around the house lately, I told the handy man to stay out of my arena or at least keep it clean but apparently somebody dropped something. I always check the footing before I work my horses out and I pick, check and recheck the hooves three times--sometimes four to make sure there's no poop, rocks, or nails, etc. Well all was clear, my mare has been a little bit stiff lately, I suspect she's sore from the stretches and work, she has tomorrow and the next day off, so we quit early. I took her back to the hitching post, check her hooves again the low and behold, there was a rusty nail in her hoof. I pulled it out, it came super easy and it wasn't very big and it was barely even in her hoof. Maybe at most a nick? At this point I was very relieved but did put some medicine on it and put her back in her stall. I measured the nail, took a picture and marked it to show you how much it went in, I also found and marked a picture of the hoof diagram to show you where it was exactly. Should I be concerned or bother calling the vet? She didn't show any signs of pain whatsoever. I plan on just watching it very closely for the next week or so, hosing it off and making sure the area stays clean.
Depends... how thick is her sole? And does she have a "false sole" at all? False sole is the cracked layer on the sole of the hoof, which some horses shed naturally all the time and barely ever have any of, and some horses don't shed it at all so need to have it cut out every so often.
It doesn't look like it went in very far at all, and if it was me I wouldn't be worried. I have had a bigger piece of metal go farther into my horse's hoof (around that area) out on the trails and he wasn't bothered at all... but he has quite thick soles and false soles due to having been totally barefoot all his life including on very hard/rocky ground.
She has a good sole, not a false one I don't think. Very lumpy, maybe? My farrier says her hooves are beautiful. But she trips very often while on rocky terrain.
And as for the nail thank god! I was worried, never had a horse get a nail in the hoof before.
I'm glad your horse is OK. Construction people are never as careful as horse people when it comes to nails.
They make a magnet on wheels that covers a lot of ground. It comes in handy often.
False sole is a good thing, and natural :) some horses have more of it than others. If her sole is lumpy, then that's a layer of false sole. HOWEVER, false sole can and does make them "ouchy" on rocks, which might be the cause of the tripping. My boy is quite ouchy on rocks, but doesn't bruise.
If the nail had gone into her frog I would be worried, but where it was isn't normally a problem as that part of the hoof (IF the horse has false sole) doesn't have blood supply. The layer immediately within the false sole, the true sole, DOES, but the false sole protects it and if the horse has a reasonable false sole then the nail would have had to go in deeper to do damage.
Truly and honestly, if there is anything puncturing a horse's hoof, I call the vet to do X-rays and pull it out. I never want to jeopardize that structure, no matter how shallow. I would also want an opinion on a tetanus booster or antibiotics.
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There was absolutely nothing, besides a small nick, and after having a second look it looks like everything is going to be fine, her false sole is very thick.
A half decent metal detector was one of the wiser purchases I've made in my life. People began living on this property in the 40's and it turned out there was a small house and a work shop where we had fenced for pasture. As I was checking it out, old rusty tin cans began turning up, inside the fence. One metal detector later and I'd filled a 5 gal pail, located an old swede saw blade, teeth turned upward and barely below the surface, That was from where the shop stood. I told one fellow working in my barn that he count the nails he takes in there and the number he puts in the boards had better match if he wanted to get paid. If he dropped a nail and couldn't see it, a magnet would find it.
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