Sore feet. Are her feet being trimmed properly?
I am looking for help on figuring out what is the best way to trim my horse (5 yr old QH), and help with getting her sound. I am looking for different peoples help/ideas and will looking for a good barefoot trimmer to come out.
I futuritied (barrel racing) her this past year and she came up sore at the last futurity. I have always had fronts on for summer and in her 3 yr old year she had sliders on the back and this last year she had rims on the front and regular shoes on the back.
I had a chiropractor come out who also does thermal imaging. She got pictures of the whole body and my mare definately needs some work done on her back end and spine, but she also has problems with her feet. If any one is interested in seeing those pictures just let me know. I would be able to add the full report tomorrow morning.
I am very seriously thinking about switching to strictly barefoot trimming and see if that will work in the long run. I have always shoed because either she was too sore to ride outside, or else I was running barrels and believed that she needed shoes for traction. The more I research barefoot trimming, the more I like the idea and can understand what the merits are to keeping the foot natural to the horse rather than putting shoes on.
Here are some pictures of her hooves from December 11th which was 2 1/2 weeks after a trim. Please let me know if these pictures are ok or if I should get different ones. The first 8 are her front left, next 7 are front right, 7 hind left, 7 hind right, and 4 body shots (body shots aren't that great, sorry).
If you can find a GOOD barefoot trimmer who knows what they're doing, this would be THE best thing for your mare's feet. I see some things that she needs worked on, but on the whole, she has pretty nice feet.
Needless to say, I am a big advocate for barefoot horses. They are better off overall from top to bottom if you can keep them the way they were intended. :)
Thanks. Someone reccomended one to me that I am going to look into.
I guess what I am looking for is for any of you that have experience with trimming, to let me know what you would fix/do with her feet. If they are good as they are right now, then I don't see why I wouldn't keep my current farrier and just keep her barefoot. But I am wondering if she might not be getting trimmed properly and that is why she is having problems.
Her feet look nice and tough. The worst thing I see is under run heels, but I can't see that her toes look too long. The toes could come back a bit to where the outer hoof is the same width around the edge instead of thicker in the front. I think the underrun heels will take some time to get under control. If someone tries to fix them too quick, you'll end up with a horse who's hoof angles are lower than her pastern angle and that's a no-no.
If her feet are sore barefoot, she may need shoes for the kind of work she does.
The heels are definitely underrun and the bars are laid over. There is no bevel ( mustang roll ) to the hoof wall, which is causing the chipping and the flaring of the quarters. Its almost like her hooves are being trimmed the same as they would be to receive a shoe, which is not the same as barefoot.
It looks as though the bottom 1/3-1/2 of the hoof wall has been rasped smooth, which I think is too much, but above that there seems there are very distinct event lines, which could be a sign of something bigger?
As her feet are corrected, she may become slighty more tenderfooted, but I wouldn't take that as a sign to slap shoes back on. Give her some time and if necessary use hoof boots.
Those hooves show the ripples / event lines of diet issues usually caused by too much sugar in the diet or mineral imbalance. Hoof walls should be smooth and ripple free, high sugar or starch in the diet (from feed or grass) is directly related to footiness and soreness and is the fore runner to laminitis (but a long way down the line).
Get the diet right (which might mean a forage analysis to correct copper or zinc deficiency which is common in the UK, but I have no idea in the US) and the movement sufficeient and the horse will most likely be able to self trim and correct underrun heels etc. Trimmers can get a bit carried away and sometimes a good long road ride might be better than a visit from the trimmer. The hooves look potentially really nice.
I will find out where to send a sample of our hay and see what it comes back with. Right now (winter, with no work) she is getting half alfalfa hay half grass hay with free access to salt and minerals. But without knowing what the hay is testing at, there isn't a way to know if she is getting what she needs.
Makes sense what is being said about the under run heels. As for her feet being sore outside, she has all winter to get used to being barefoot before I start riding her in spring. Its funny but now with everything being totally frozen, she isn't sore on the hard ground or ice, but in summer the gravel or rocks are too much for her.
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