I wanted to know everyone's opinion on jumping a pony with a clubbed hoof. Some people I talk to have no problem with it, and others disagree with what I'm doing. Odin's clubbed hoof in no way shape or form makes him lame or sore, but he, like every other horse, has his days were he isn't feeling his greatest. Whenever he's stiff, people assume it's because of his hoof.. but people get stiff also when they just stand around, right? Right. On the days were he won't loosen up, I don't ride, I just work on making him more comfortable. If what we do was really hurting him or was really hard for him to do, a) he would have let me know already (if a pony doesn't want to do something.. they'll let you know.. we all know that :roll: ) and b) I would have stopped right away.. why would I want to do something to hurt him?
But anyway... sorry for that little rant. People just bug me.. well what's your opinion?
I think as long as the club foot is taken care of by a farrier who is experienced in dealing with those issues that you should be able to do whatever you enjoy. Lots of western pleasure show horses that I compete against have a club foot and it doesn't stop them. I say go for it!
I know of an arab mare that has a really bad club foot but the farrier makes sure it is trimmed and looked after properly. But the thing is this mare does endurance. She goes for many kms without pulling up lame or sore in any way.
I think if the hoof is looked after properly then a horse isn't really limited by its club foot. It doesn't look the best but it's not physcially limiting with the right care.
I knew of a little filly who had a clubbed hoof. The vet said it was pretty bad too. But she got the right surgery and is pretty much fixed. She can jump or do whatever you ask of her. So in my opinion if the clubbed hoof was treated right, then they are perfectly capable of doing anything(well not anything :D). Try putting your horse on a small dose of joint supplement or Country Supply offers an all natural Bute that does not have any side effects(as the non natural Bute may cause ulcers). Many people have quit joint supplements to use the natural Bute. This extra help will make your horse not have any stiff days and make it easier on you!
I raise arabians, and they tend to be more prone to club feet than other breeds. I had two horses at one time that both had club feet. It was not severe in either horse, just a slight difference in the angle and size of one of their front feet.
Neither had to have corrective shoeing, and neither took a lame step during the time I owend them. One was a hunter horse and the other a reiner. Both were worked hard and did fine bare foot with proper trimming. Our farrier trimmed their clubbed feet a bit differently than the other hooves, but like I said, they never needed shoes.
I think it depends on the extent to which the foot is abnormal. If it is a severe club foot and it obviously affects the horse's gait, or causes him pain and jumping aggravates it, then its probably not a good idea. However, I have never seen a horse with a hoof that is clubbed so severely that corrective trimming/shoeing (or in the worst cases, surgery) can't fix the problem and make him/her ridable. And in most cases, completely able to compete in athletically challenging situations.
In other words, I agree with you. People who say you are being mean just because you are riding a horse with a clubbed foot are ignorant. If the horse isn't in pain because of it, then you are not wrong to do so. Your horse's stiffness is most likely due to something else entirely. Particularly if its a stiffness experienced through his whole body. His age, the condition of his joints, and the fact that jumping involves allot of concussion are probably more likely to be the factors involved in making him stiff. My club footed horses competed well and were happy, pain free individuals.
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