Managing hoof crack
Here's my mare's nasty right front hoof. I have had a difficult time finding a farrier since I brought my mare home from her boarding facility, I guess b/c my two horses aren't a big enough job for anyone to bother with. I have someone now, and he's been out once and he's scheduled to come again this week.
I would like to know if anyone can offer any suggestions as to how to manage these cracks. She only has one problem hoof, and she's on soft ground. She had shoes up until April, when I had them pulled b/c she basically went into retirement. She's ridden maybe 3 times a week for no more than 20-30 minutes at a time. I would like to be able to full discuss treatment options with the farrier, but I don't have a lot on knowledge on the subject. I also don't know how good the farrier is since he's only been here once. The crack was smaller and didn't concern him last time. Can anyone advise what may have worked for them in the past with this sort of issue?
Got any shots of the bottom of the foot and a shot level with the hoof from the side?
Those would help...... and how long since the last trim?
I don't have any additional pics - I can get some. She's six weeks out from her last trim.
Yes, more pix & info necessary to give you much. Check out link in my signature below. For a very basic idea, I've drawn on your pics - the hoof wall should be straight from coronet to ground surface & the green lines show about where the walls should be. As you can see, the walls are flared & separated from quite a way up. The blue lines are to give an idea of about where/how I'd trim to help facilitate the growth of strong, straight walls. Basically, I'd bevel the walls from the ground surface to relieve them from pressure.
I'd also consider those rings on her feet could be a 'low grade' laminitis, which may be at the route of the problem. The cracks themselves will also likely need opening up & treating, to take care of any infection that's got in too.
Oh & just read your reply to MP. While 6 weeks is the average & may be fine for healthy feet, when trying to correct problems, it's not helpful to allow hooves to become overgrown before trimming - the farrier will just be chasing his tail. I'd probably want to keep to a 4 week max schedule for at least a few trims with this one.
Forgot to ask too, if this is her only 'bad' foot, is the other front one more upright? I also wonder whether by 'only bad' you just mean the others aren't cracked? I would advise spending some time learning about hooves, their form & function too.
LOW GRADE LAMINITIS??!!! can you explain a little further? that makes me panic.
After seeing more pix, firstly to see the different angle of side-on shows that the earlier pics didn't give such an accurate view - it appears the feet aren't so completely flared & disconnected after all. But seeing the sole shot(again different angles will provide for more accurate ideas) it seems there is a heap of excess wall & lots of separation there. I'd bevel the entire wall from the ground surface somewhere around the blue line I drew. Also looks like the heels could be a bit high & the bars are overgrown. It will be good to see some pics fresh after a trim to get a better idea of what's happening/needed.
Thanks for all the info! I read that stress can cause ridging in the hoof, and she definitely had stress with the move to my place this year. She also went from dry lot to grass. I was careful about the transition, checked her feet twice a day and had her in a grazing muzzle. I had visited the safegrass site before, too, so I'm irritated with myself for not being aware LGL could happen.
I'm going to put her on a 4 week trim schedule and discuss hoof supplements with my farrier. When I thought about it I realized that hoof has always been prone to cracks since I've had her (5 years) but they've not been as pronounced b/c she's always had shoes. So we may need to put shoes on the front. I'm also going to examine her diet more closely.
These are simply overgrown feet. There is already a great deal of excess growth there. Any decent farrier can get those cracks (self trimming trying to occur to rid the horse of the excess wall) grown out barefoot if that is what you want. Shorter trim cycle that addresses the flaring that has occured from overgrowth and a good beveled edge should do it. You may need to treat the deeper cracks for fungal issues but this is an easy trimming fix by a knowledgeable person.
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