Hoof critique w/update
Here's the original thread with the original pictures:
I spent the past few weeks trying to get a new farrier out who has a good reputation around here. W well, I've still had zero luck in that department. So, this farrier came out again. I talked to him about some of the more memorable concerns that were pointed out on here - contracted heels, too much toe, and flare on the one front hoof. He agreed that he was long and appeared to bring the toe back a little more than last time. The contracted heels he said were due mostly to his conformation - longer, slightly upright patterns. He agreed that one side of each hoof was slightly contracted and said that he could cut it back (paraphrasing) to make it look better, but that his heels would always look somewhat like that because of his conformation. I decided to take the shoes off to see how he does since he never really needed them in the first place.
Here are the pictures taken a day and a half after the trim and removal of the front shoes:
Front right (the slightly clubby foot):
I hope the links work. It's late and I don't have time to fight with Photobucket to make it work so I can put the pictures on here. Unless someone else knows of an easier way. I tried uploading the pictures straight to this site, but it didn't work.
Firstly, it's good to see good hoof pics - that helps a lot:wink: But a couple of different on-angle pics of the soles would be helpful, because it's difficult to tell from straight-on pics as to sole depth, etc.
I don't believe it's a good move to do any big trimming/sudden changes to hooves fresh out of shoes, so I would possibly have not done anything more to those feet last week, even though they obviously need it. Because of this, I would however, want to book the next trim sooner rather than later - your horse could do with a trim now for eg.
So, what I am seeing is quite high heeled & stretched forward feet. Backs appear mostly pretty good, just a bit stretched at the toes. The 'clubby' right fore is more upright while the left is run/crushed forward, but still about as long. The clubby foot appears to be more flared forward but the other one looks, from examining the 'landmarks' underneath to look just as forward. I think the farrier is right that it could be a 'conformational' thing that she is so upright, as in it is not just her hooves but her body, so lowering heels very gradually in conjunction with a good bodyworker would be what I'd suggest. I'd also back up those toes a heap, to keep 'breakover' back where it should be, which will take care of the flare on the right one.
It sounds like it isn't much better than the last time he trimmed my horse. So I need to get someone out again soon for another trim? I'll be keeping an eye out for another farrier, of course, but those are very hard to come by around here.
I'll get some more hoof sole pictures the next time I'm out there.
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It looks to me like the heels are being left way too long. All around i see poor trimming practices. If you are going to leave him barefoot do some research on barrfoot hoof mechanics to give you a better idea of what is being done wrong and what to ask for from your farrier. Good luck.
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Some good advice on here.
In addition, this farrier has left one side of the hoof longer on every foot except the front right seems fairly well balanced.
There are central sulcus issues on both fronts (see how deep the crack is on the back view), probably from thrush. This very often causes contracted heels.
On the front left it also looks like he didn't bring the heels back to the same point. One ends at the base of the frog, the other ends a bit forward of that.
It seems that someone with a better eye for symmetry and balance (or measuring tools) might be better for the horse.
Thanks everyone. I'm trying really hard to find another farrier with surprisingly little success. Wish me luck!
If the farrier had trimmed much shorter when the horse is first out of shoes it would likely have been pretty tender and maybe unrideable for a few days. The horse needs a bit of time to toughen his feet.
Last reply lost again!
Again, I don't believe it's a good move to do any big trimming/sudden changes to hooves fresh out of shoes, so I would possibly have not done anything more to those feet last week, even though they obviously need it. Because of this, I would however, want to book the next trim sooner rather than later - your horse could do with a trim now for eg.
It looks like there are some improvements since last set of pics, of which you also said was a first trim from this farrier, that was an improvement on the last, so I don't think it reasonable to be judging the farrier just from these sets of pics.
I'm trying really hard to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he doesn't to think that many of the faults listed are actually an issue, i.e. heel and toe length, contracted heels, flare, etc. That's the part that really worries me. It seems more like he's just chalking it up to conformation of the patterns and that he's an arabian on the more petite side.
If that's true, then I worry a lot about ending up where I was 2 farriers ago with a bad mechanical club (true slight club exaggerated by terrible farrier work) and a lame young horse. I'll see if he'll come out at 4/5 weeks rather than the 6 he's scheduling. I get frustrated because he really does much better with 4 weeks and always has because his feet grow like crazy.
Farriers don't like coming all the way out to my barn for one horse just to come back out 2 weeks later for 2 more horses. So my horse gets forced into this cycle at 6 weeks and his feet get worse. That's what happened 2 farriers ago. That and the guy was just terrible and did a one size fits all trim every time. In only 3-4 months I had a lame 3 year old. I want to avoid this at all costs.
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