HELP? Newbie to hoof care :(
I recently adopted a 9 yr old Polish Arab mare about 2 weeks ago. When I got her she had just had her feet trimmed. They appeared too short to me, but I know next to nothing about hoof care. She has tiny feet as it is, so I wasn't sure if this is why they appear so short (my gelding has huge feet and hooves). Well the main problem/concern is that her "toe" is completely worn in from her dragging her feet. They have gotten worse in just the 2 weeks I've had her. The front are the worst and they are worn in and up in an arc. How bad is this problem? Is she dragging her feet from her hooves being too short? How concerned should I be? What can I do to either get her to pick up her feet or should I consider boots for protection? Like I said I no next to nothing about feet, my only other horse is an extremely easy keeper. My gelding has never needed more than a quick trim, even when we did parade, etc... She doesn't limp or favor any foot over the other, doesn't act like she is in pain, and likes to kick it up in the field with the TB filly she is boarded with and is very playful. I adopted her after her feet had been done, so I have no idea what she was like before the trim or if this has been a problem in the past. She was a rescue and I have had trouble finding info on her past life. My personal farrier is coming out on the 3rd but I've noticed that they are wearing down pretty quickly. I know their feet is their foundation and bad feet can lead to a whole ton of problems. I know I've asked a lot of questions that may not be able to be answered and unfortunately I couldn't get any pics due to the snow and bad lighting. Ill try for pics again tomorrow though. And like I said I am having my farrier look at her no matter what comes from this thread but I am curious what other peoples experiences have been and to find out more about hoof care as its obvious she could turn out to be a hard keeper. I am eager and open to hear and learn about anything that may help our situation. I have the same list of questions for my farrier but I like to hear different opinions and different stories. I'm a firm believer you can never learn too much. Thanks in advance! Can`t wait to hear what you guys have to say :)
First & foremost - I'm guessing by your attitude you've already started:wink: - work towards correcting the state of not knowing much about hooves. Learn about anatomy & hoof function, about the various factors(such as diet & environment) that influence hoof health and learn about the pros & cons of some different approaches. Then you'll be in a better position to make objective decisions about her care. To that end, check out the link in my signature below for a start. There is plenty of good stuff available on line. I'd also consider finding/doing a good workshop/clinic to teach you the basics hands-on.
If you could post some pics of your horse's feet - the other link in my signature below - we could get a fair idea of what's going on. Without them, unfortunately a guess is the best you can get.
So my guesses are that the horse is dragging her toes because they're too LONG. Walls may be level with the sole at the ground surface, but stretched out too far forward. She may have 'dropped' soles, which despite a long hoof capsule has left her toes level with the sole. She might have body problems - in the shoulder or such - that are causing her to drag her toes.
If she's just enjoying paddock life, I wouldn't be too concerned with overwear. That's not likely but if she has worn her toes back into sole material, then this could well be problematic. If that were the case I'd consider protecting her toes until you have resolved the problem.
I was able to extract some information from her last owner. Supposedly Comet (my mare) slipped on the ice a couple years ago but was not injured, was seen by vet and farrier due to the new habit of dragging her feet after the slip and so now according to the old owner she drags her feet from fear (vet said no pain) of slipping on ice. It just started freezing here a couple days ago so its not like there has been ice to worry her (?) I also find this odd because Comet is not a fearful horse despite being an arab. She is very calm and a thinker. She doesnt spook and if she does its barely a jump. She is more curious to see what it was that scared her. It has been icy and snowy here for a few days now and she is still the same old comet. I walked her through a shallow icy puddle from the water hose and she didnt flinch. So Comet is not acting like the owner said which Now makes really concerned about an injury. Comet is also a very lazy horse which is why I think she doesnt spook, she is just to lazy to care about things around her. In the round pen she tried to charge me when I asked for a canter but wasnt really aggressive about it (and I corrected that very quickly) she just didnt want to work that hard was my guess. I just thought this was lazy behavior but now that I am talking it out I wonder if its an injury/pain not laziness? Im glad I posted this and started to look in to things cause now my mind is really thinking, what is the underlying problem? I know the hooves need to be addressed and my farrier needs to come out but now I think I am calling the vet as well. My husband is not gonna be happy LoL I will still post pics of her feet and I hope everyone still responds with advice and opinions and stories. Mine and Comet`s problem is just starting to unravel. And we are only starting to figure out whats wrong. Thanks Loosie! I am gonna be checking out those links for sure :)
oh I forgot to add she was at the rescue for a month or so before I actually adopted her officially. I work for the rescue, and spent a lot of time with Comet from the day we got her. I have only officially owned her 2 weeks. I noticed my posts were kinda confusing on that part so I just wanted to clarify. I will also be posting pics soon.
Hey I know I'm being finicky, but paragraphs & more punctuation makes reading posts easier ;-)
I also thought it was odd that she developed this habit but wasn't injured, that really caught my attention and I think she was indeed injured and that is the underlying issue.
Sorry for the bad punctuation. I have been in a hurry today and got going on the subject without thinking about how hard it could be for others to read. I will work on that :)
I also disagree with most people`s perception of Arabs. I have been riding Arabs my whole life and I am use to the automatic response about Arabs being flighty, skittish, crazy, hard to handle, hot, temperamental (I'm sure you know the stereotype). I was told when I got my first Arab at 11 that it was a stupid choice because an Arab was all of the listed above and more. But my gelding is the best choice I could have ever made. I automatically expected the Arab judgement so I thought I should throw in that she doesn't have the "typical" Arab behavior that most people expect. But yea, it`s not my judgement, its others, I was worried people would automatically assume the "fear" was due to breed, which obviously isnt :) In my area we have lots of QH and anytime we bring our Arabs or TB`s into a subject, cow people make the assumption. Sad part is I'm a cow person myself LoL but I prefer my gelding any day over a QH (not that I have anything against them but my gelding is pretty amazing LoL)
Hope this clarifies a bit more and is easier to read than the last post :)
Let me know if I can clarify anything else...
Yeah, you hear those sorts of assumptions made about just about any breed IME, depends on the circle you're in as to the breed & traits assumed of it! Unfortunately it seems to be a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy, as horses are really good at giving us what we expect of them!
Of course he is pretty AND amazing :D He is my main boy <3 Ill post an album of him on my page as well. He is the definition of 'bomb proof' if it ever existed :)
I was born and raised in cow country so unless they are QH or QH appendix, they are a "bad" horse, which is sad because my gelding can cut like no other and I work with a lot of OTTBs (not appendix) who also work our cattle amazingly :)
I have known almost nothing (show world taught me a lot) except the cow circle and I have always loved Arabs and TBs, so I was and still am the 'crazy weird' one. Cow people think because of the assumed stereotype, that Arabs make bad cow horses. But I have shown a lot of 'old timers' that they can be better than any 'cow horse' on any day :)
I do have to get to bed, but Ill be back on soon :)
Thanks so much for the help and the links really helped as well :)
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