I have a mare I semi-rescued from a bad situation. She was underweight and the previous owners had left front shoes on her for almost a year. Her hooves were severely overgrown, and she has pretty bad contracted heels. My farrier took the shoes off and trimmed her pretty short, and said that she would need a trim every 2 weeks until the hoof entirely grows out (about a year, she says) We think she might be developing navicular because of the horrible shoeing the last owners did, and she is very lame when she gets trimmed. My question is, is there anything I can do? I have seen all kinds of hoof products, from supplements to oils and things to put directly on the hoof. Is there any product like this that might help my mare? What do you think about the feed supplements for hooves? Any home remedies?
If the horse is lame after a trim, this is not good. IMO, a good trimmer would not leave a horse in more pain than before (s)he trimmed the hooves. Is she lame B4 the trim? or only after? If only after, I'd look for another opinion if you can. Trimming every two weeks sounds like a lot, but if the farrier is only assessing the current condition every time and not necessarily trimming (or only doing small touch ups), that would be a good thing. But then again, that doesn't jive with being lame after a trim. Every trim?
Best hoof product is good diet and full turnout. I have used a cream that I rubbed into my horses coronet, but I don't honestly think it helped. However, if I was going to try another one, it would only be something that is diet based or absorbed at the coronet area. Putting anything on the wall that is already grown is too late. Can't change what's already grown, and some products actually "seal" the hoof wall, which can do more harm.
Pics on this one too? of the hoof and the sole?
a good hoof needs two IMPORTANT things a good farrier trimming for that horse's conformation and balance and a good diet...
I agree the horse should NOT be sore after every trim .. if she iis the farrier is doing something wrong!!! and most likely creating more problems..
Supplements are usually not what is needed, believe it or not. Keeping her on a shorter than average trim cycle might be helpful for a short term basis, but that's usually to get the foot shortened to the appropriate length gradually to avoid making them sore in any way. A single, aggressive trim may have indeed made her sore, but sometimes a farrier will pick the lesser of two evils and just go for it. They mean well, though I don't usually agree with it, as tenderness just makes the horse move all wrong and perpetuate the original problem, however, sometimes an agressive trim is just what's needed, and I can't say what was appropriate in your situation with the information available.
Usually, once that initial agressive trim is made, you can go on a 4-6 week trim and get more accomplished. Two week intervals can actually cause some problems, but I'm not going into that right now. Yes, it can take up to a year to grow out a new hoof, but many times it takes less than that if the horse can be allowed enough exercise, it just depends.
Hoof creams don't really help, usually, but if your horse is in an otherwise dry environment, if they make you feel better, you can put them on no more than once a week.
I would recommend a second opinion, it doesn't hurt, at any rate. If your farrier is offended, I would wonder why he/she's so defensive, as nobody is perfectly right all the time, and it doesn't mean you have to use the second person's services, either. It's just another expert opinion.
Cutting her shorter should not mean short enough in the sole to cause sensitivity, so if it habitual for her to gimp afterwards, I'd expidite the second opinion and perhaps try another service after all. Shorter should mean shorter excess wall, to alleviate leverage and facilitate heel first landings, which translates into a comfortable foot for the horse, or vise versa. Good luck with the mare.
I have to agree that I'd be looking into different farriers. Pain does not help healing and the more pain you cause the more incidental issues you are causing - chiropractic from incorrect balance, muscle soreness, neck/back pain, and more. In addition an unbalanced horse is more prone to laminitis.
In addition to that, I'd also look at some of the good hoof supps out there. There is a variety that address a different range of issues. Some promote growth, some promote strength, some promote a combination, some help with sole, etc. I use EquiSupps.com with great success and vary based on my individual horse's needs - one grows hoof, but it's crappy so he's on a formula for better integrity and another doesn't grow hoof, so he's on a supp for growth. Definitely email them for recommendations they are great.
Also finally check diet and make sure that the feed is good quality - without increasing the potential risk for laminitis!
Good luck and blees you for rescuing the mare!
Growing more foot might help make the corrective trimming go more quickly. I had good luck with BioFlax from horsetech.com. It improved my horse's coats as well.
I would look for a Pete Ramey style trimmer. She should NOT be sore after every trim. Trimming too short like that can cause bruising or abscesses.
Thanks so much for the advice!
When I got this mare, her ribs were sticking out badly so I started feeding her a little stable mix grain with high quality grass hay. She gets plenty of grass hay, and I have slowly increased her grain to about a scoop and a half per day. I also let her out on green pasture, in the hopes that she will walk around and stretch her legs, but she mostly just stays by the gate. She is most tender on gravel and when she trots. When she is walking on soft ground she seems okay.
My farrier told me to ride her at a walk and trot on flat ground, so her hooves can get some good blood circulation and the growth can be encouraged. But, she is so tender that I have not ridden her. I just hand walk her on soft, flat ground. Originally when I got her, she was not lame. Her hooves were overgrown but she did not seem to be in pain. Now that she is barefoot and her hooves are quite short, she doesn't want to move around at all. I tried putting some boots on her feet to cushion her from the gravel, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
This farrier does all the other horses at the barn and has been trimming them for years. I am told she is an excellent farrier, but I am sceptical since my mare now seems so lame. I know I am not any kind of expert on trimming and shoeing, so my instinct is to trust someone (like my farrier) who has more experience and knowledge than me.
Should I keep giving my mare grain, or should I try some other way to get weight on her? Should I hurry up and find a second opinion before my farrier comes to trim her again?
if she is foundered or has lamintis she needs taken off of all grain products and limit her grass intake...
go with a good vitamin/mineral supplement(ration balancers are great) or grain free feed like triple Crown senior.. there are many many safe ways to add calories without the sugars and starches the two most popular seem to be beet pulp or alfalfa pellets/cubes
Well, you've changed her diet and her feet... I would review BOTH. And, yes, I would put URGENT beside "another farrier's opinion". She wasn't sore, now she is and is very sore to the point where she's not moving much. NOT GOOD. No matter how good or capable this farrier is/may be, everyone comes across something that is new or doesn't "work" for them. This may be the case here.
Next is feed (or first since this is more easily done...) take her off grain, give her free choice hay. Maybe a bit of a simple 12% supplement to help catch those little things, make sure she has a mineral block and that worms and teeth aren't issues. But PeggySue is right -- you could inadvertently be doing more harm with that grain. For now anyway, I would drop the grain. Get her sound again.
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