What do you think of my horse's feet?
I know very little about horses' feet so I am looking for opinions on my mare's.
Facts: She is 9 yrs. old, OTTB, in general pretty bad feet. She has been on Farriers Formula for about a year and it has helped tremendesly, she went from pulling shoes monthly to rarely. (Oh and she is due behind tomorrow.)
So tell me what you think.
edit: Let me know if you need any more pics.
I don't do shoes, so take my comments with a grain of salt. In general I think her feet are pretty good actually. I think her heels are too far forward, but even with shoes, her frog looks quite well developed. I don't know why she would be due in the back, but not the front. Actually, I don't know that she is due at all, but the shoes may be masking something that I don't see because I'm not used to shoes.
If I could keep her barefoot I would but with the work she does the quality of ground here, and her soft TB feet it just wouldn't work.
She is kept on a tight schedual for shoeing because as soon as a shoe gets even the littlest bit loose she rips it off with a chunk of her foot.
i'm not an expert at all, but here is what I see:
bottom of hoof pics:
front right - shoe does not fit nicely on heel on right side
hind right - shoe fits too tight on heel
hind left - shoe fits poorly on foot - outside of hoof severely overgrown
front left - shoe does not fit nicely on heel on right side
all of them look like the bottom of the hoof is being rasped to a smaller size than what it should be - also, it appears that the horse's heels are left very long.
again, i'm definitely not an expert! that's just what pops out at me :-)
I'm always hesitant about evaluating a shoe job unless I was there to see what the farrier started out with, so I'll not get into a lot of detail and pickiness...
What I do see on the side views, especially on the fronts, is the growth rings and the hairline curve downward in the back 1/3 of the capsule; this is exaggerated and even more dramatic at the very back of the capsule. This indicates that the hoof is in need of heel support. It may have been right when it was done; if so, the horse needs to be on a shorter cycle.
On the solar view, it appears that the terminal heel or buttress is considerably forward of the highest and widest part of the frog, which also indicates that the capsule is stretched forward and is need of caudal support. Again, this could be an issue of growth....
Although the photos don't allow for a good view of the limb, I suspect that if you were to extend a line from the terminal heel of the shoe straight up, you would find that the heel was in fact in front of the cannon bone.... So, if I were shoeing this horse, I would be looking to "back the foot up," working to provide a good base of support under the boney column of the limb.
The horse also evidences as "high/low," with the RF being the steeper foot and the LF being the lower foot. Subsequently, I assume that the horse is left-sided or left dominant and that he prefers his left lead. He's probably "choppier" and rougher on his right lead--possibly even resistant. Subsequently, I would be working to mechanically (rather than aesthetically) balance the feet, moving the breakover back on the steep foot (notice that on the solar views of the fronts, there is considerably more distance from the apex of the frog to the shoe on the RF than there is on the LF).
In general, I would also want to work a more true hind foot shape/pattern into the hinds, and I would want to provide more support there as well.
It looks like your farrier is shaping the feet to match the shoe. That is not good... The shoe should be a smidge BIGGER than the foot, to allow for contraction/expansion during movement, and to allow for some growth.
IMAO (amateur opinion) her fronts look too high in the heel and too long in the toe. I agree that the curved growth rings are definitely showing something wrong mechanically. Her back feet just look "off" in their shape. If she were mine, I'd be shopping for a new farrier.
they look very healhty...nice frog and even
however they dont look shaped well....like shes kind of too boxy and on the toe. IDK. but they do look very healthy and VERY well cared for.. nice job
i keep my horse's feet bare.
I'm not a farrier, so just looked at shape and balance of the feet, not the shoes.
FLs I though were reasonably good looking feet, heel perhaps a little short but otherwise fine.
HLs have a slightly low heel.
I use these criteria to judge lateral foot balance:
1) Is dorsal hoof wall (front), parallel to heel?
2) Is heel length approx. a third of toe length?
3) Does the centre of the coffin joint lie approximately over the centre of weight bearing?
A yes to these is the good answer!
I'm a hoofcare practitioner who also doesn't do shoes, tho I used to, before I started really learning.... As someone else pointed out, it's not ideal to judge a farrier without having been there to see what they started with and quiz them on the whys & wherefores. It's also difficult to get an accurate full story just from some pictures. So I'm just telling you what I see. While many of the specifics of the trim & shoe job appear problematic, it's not necessarily because you have a bad farrier. Who knows - perhaps you've only just started using them & they're picking up where the last one went wrong.
The growth rings indicate she has had a lot of metabolic upsets and her diet may still be a problem, as it obviously has been until recently at least. This may be the cause of the flaring(separation), tho mechanical issues will have contributed. Carbohydrate overload, be it from grain or rich pasture, etc, is a big problem, as is feeding horses rich meals, with hours in between is also a probelm for horses who were designed to eat low grade, high fibre in tiny amounts nearly constantly.
Her front feet are quite high heeled and the heel buttresses have underrun a bit too(too forward). Looking at the sole pic, it seems they are very flat, thin soled feet at the front. It's impossible to tell accurately just from a few pics what's needed, but I would possibly not lower the heels ATM until she's grown a bit more sole at the toe. Her heels will likely be weak & sensitive from lack of use, so lowering them now may force her into more toe-first landings which will create & exacerbate problems.
I'm also concerned that it looks like the farrier has carved a lot of frog away & may have rasped into the sole at the toe(Perhaps to 'stand her up' more, as some like to). This is asking for trouble, especially given that there is likely little sole protecting P3 at the front anyway. I also agree with what others have said that it looks like she's shod too small.
The hairlines are a distorted, especially at the rear, from excess pressure at the quarters - this is more common than not in shod horses.
The back feet also look very shallow & perhaps short at the toe. The outside pic makes it look like the grain of the hoof at the heel is nearly horizontal - the heel is badly crushed. But the inside views show a reasonably nice heel height & angle. I'm thinking (& hoping) that the bullnose effect is because the farrier has backed up the toe too far, rather than the horse's feet growing in that manner.
The shoes all look like they're set a little skewiff too, esp the HL. The front feet look possibly steeper in angle to the backs, which is not generally good. While I'm def. not a fan of letting hooves overgrow & find 6 weeks is frequently too long between trims or resets, she looks like she couldn't afford to lose any more toe at all, but perhaps a little heel.
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