My horse was already shoed once I bought her, and recently she started limping. I cleaned out her hoof and didn't find anything. It went away after a couple days and now it's back again. The first time she started limping her back horseshoe came off completely, could this be the issue of her limp? The tricky part is though that her front leg is the one she limping on, not the one where the horseshoe came off.
Firstly, where's your farrier? If your horse lost a shoe it either needs to be replaced, or the remaining 3 need to be pulled.
Secondly, sounds like your horse may be brewing an abscess. If she's limping, then not limping, then limping again, that's usually the normal sign something is not right in at least one of her feet.
It could be a number of issues ranging from having loose shoes to stone bruises, abscess, etc.
I would suggest calling a farrier for a trim and possible new shoes. I'm assuming the horse has 2 fronts and a back right now. I would also ask the farrier why he thinks the horse has shoes all the way around, if there is no apparent need for them, I'd personally pull the back shoes.
Are you a new horse owner all together?
Yes. I've only owned a horse since last year that I sold. I've worked with horses at a trail riding stables but i'm new to owning my own horse. Would you say that it's better to just replace the lost shoe or just pull all the shoes off? I've thought that it not's such a bad thing that she has horseshoes, I mean they do protect against gravel and pavement.
It depends on WHY the horse has the shoes on. He may have a medical need for them or even just tender hooves. If there is no need for shoes, then I'd personally go barefoot. It's cheaper and most likely healthier but if he's tender or has an underlying issue then shoes will be important for his comfort.
For a horse with no issues, you will most likely need to have a farrier out every 6-8 weeks for a trim. I don't know how long these current shoes have been on your horse but it sounds like he's due for a visit from the farrier.
Ok, thanks for the replies :)
She used to be an racehorse, do you know if the hoof problem could be correlated?
Many thoroughbreds have very shallow "pancake" feet and might be better shod. A good farrier could tell you if your horse might be a good candidate for being barefoot. And, it depends on how much you ride and what kind of terrain you ride in. Just like if you go barefoot for the first time, it is not unusual for a horse to get very sore when they go barefoot for the first time. They will either toughen up, or you will need to reshoe.
As for which foot the horse is lame on? It is common for a horse to look off on the front (or rear) when they are really sore on the diagonal "other end" leg. For instance, the horse looks off on the right front.....check the left rear, too.
You seem to be getting some very good advice
I would suggest that your next step be to call a good farrier - try to get one that's recommended to you by a reliable experienced person
If your horse currently has a shoe missing then its going to appear uneven and whether you decide to go with a re-shoe or try barefoot you need a professional now to attend to his feet
She lost a shoe on her left back leg, and is limping on her front right leg.
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