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Loosewolf 11-06-2009 03:33 AM

stumbling, navicular, and other sundries..
Here's one of my concerns. My "new" horse has on a few occasions, (though not lately) half-tripped or partially stumbled while under saddle. Never while going on His own. He is a Tennessee Walker, 6Yo,limited exercise, and his feet were not taken care of for a few months. His toes were getting long, he had front (normal size) shoes, and his heels were a little me, slightly off angles to say the least. My best thinking is that the lack of hoof-care, and the lack of rider-load exercise, were the main culprits, nothing on the medical front. I might add, I am not a Vet either..
Now, as of three days ago, the farrier had been out (I was not present), taken off the old shoes, trimmed back his front toe part of the hoof, and taken down the hoof wall to close to sole-flat. When I went over his feet, I noticed on the foot I thought was the main culprit with the stumbling, it was a little tender to my hoof pick, especially around the sides of the frog. There seems to be some new work done around this frog, some form of trimming back at the edges of the frog. Further inspection shows no infection, no swelling, walks and runs outside just fine on it, but is still sensitive to a good pick-out.
My question, is this just normal stuff related to previous poor foot-care, especially with him now going "naturally shoeless" that he will be a little sore over, and should fully recover, or is there any suspect to the dreaded "navicular syndromes"?
The only times he did "stumble", was when the long toe seemed to catch on poor paddock ground, and that is why I wasn't too concerned. Radio graphs are an expensive option, so I would like to believe it isn't yet needed

Any input? -Lw

pepperum 11-06-2009 05:26 AM

I'm no vet either but i'd be inclined to say give him some time to adjust to being barefoot, his feet are probably very tender after being poorly cared for and overdue for a trim, especially now as he is no longer shod. The frog is the most sensitive part of the hoof so now that his toes have been trimmed it would be more exposed and until it toughens up he may be a little footsore.

barefoothooves 11-07-2009 08:09 PM

One possibility is thrush. The farrier probably trimmed the frog back some, and that could cause some sensitivity after being so long between trims. Also, there could be old bruising that is more exposed and sensitive. Just hard to say without looking at the horse.

Try some apple cider vinegar mixed 50/50 with water and spray on the soles when you pick out her feet. It does NOT have any magic toughening properties, but does wonders on thrush, both prevention and treatment-wise, and trimmed frogs are more susceptable to thrush, so it would be a good preventative. Try every day for a week, then spray once or twice a week.

It's possible your horse has corns from the old shoes and they can fester into an abscess, so soaks with ACV can help draw them out,and soothe the hoof. However, if you don't think that's the issue, don't soak, just spray. Soaking softens hoof horn to allow an abscess to pop, but can over soften for riding, etc. So if there is a bruise, it may merit a soak, but just don't soak your horses feet without a reason.

Also, if stumbling continues after this, perhaps the saddle is pinching the shoulders, and it won't hurt to double check that.

Loosewolf 11-07-2009 10:41 PM

I have been through His hooves for 4 days and, the feet are clean, no smell, no oozing or other indications of fungus / infection,or any bruising. I like using applecider-vinegar too. Cheap yet effective anti-thrush remedy. I also inspect all of the foot closely with a flashlight, as I am not comfortable with the barns ambient light. As for tack-fit Issues, I will be re-checking that shortly. That, besides his feet having been too long toe-wise, remain to bee seen...
When his move is complete (farm to farm), I will be trying my trusty English sasdle on him, as It is the overall best saddle I have (not that I have many..)
So far, so good Thank God.. Thanks, certainly

barefoothooves 11-07-2009 11:10 PM

If you have any foam pads you can just duct tape to his feet? Try that and get him to move out over the terrain he's been limping on.If they help, you know it's hoof issue, and has nothing to do with tack (at least right now). You can ride a little with them taped on to test this.

Otherwise, a few days off may be what he needs to adjust. Sometimes just the angle changes that come from removing a lot of excess horn can make tendons and muscles sore, as well, and just takes a few days to adjust.

In my mind, I'm still suspect of corns from the shoes being on too long, or not fitting right in the first place...

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