Cracked hoof; lame horse
I noticed my gelding limping every couple steps about three days ago. Upon looking over the leg he was limping on, I found a pretty large crack in his hoof and it appears to be the cause of his lameness. The crack wasnít in his hoof a week ago, as I rode him last Saturday and checked his hooves very carefully before we rode.
I dunno how he cracked it, either... it looks like he stepped on a piece of wire or something and Ďsplití it. The crack doesnít seem to be bothering him as long as he doesnít step on a rock or jam something inside of it. Heís been walking, trotting, cantering, and galloping in the pasture, and only limps when he steps on something like a rock or stump... so itís obviously not a Ďconstant limpí.
Anyway, I finally got around to taking a few pics today so I could post them and get some advice. At first, I thought that he might need a shoe on the hoof to keep the crack from getting worse, but I seriously donít have the money to put shoes on him at the moment (the only reason my horses are barefoot right now is because I donít have the money to get either of them shod... I dislike riding them barefoot due to tenderness, but right now I have to ride them barefoot).
Now, though, since Iíve -finally- gotten my file back from my best friend (along with a hoof stand, nippers and clinchers, and a hoof knife... we share things... I own the only file, she owns everything else, lol... so whenever she needs the file, I let her borrow it and whenever I need anything, she lets me borrow it) Iím going to sharpen everything and really get to work on both my horses hooves tomorrow and the next few days (along with my cousins horse... as sheís asked me to trim her gelding for her).
So, my question is... should I file where itís cracked (file it even and all) or just leave it alone and hope it grows out correctly? Iíve been filing my horses hooves for years (just call the farrier out to shoe them), but Iím not really sure how to go about filing the hoof with this crack in it. I donít want to make it worse or anything, but I have to do something because my horsesí hooves seriously need filing down (Iíve sort of neglected their hoof-care lately... I havenít filed either of their hooves since December... thankfully their hooves arenít that bad, though).
Are you a certified farrier? Just curious
You've neglected your horses' hooves since December, and now you have to pay the price - literally. Get a farrier out to trim them properly, even if you can't afford shoes, you can surely still swing a trim. You don't want to just take a file to the broken section, it will pull on it and cause your horse further pain. The crack isn't caused by a wire or anything else, it's caused by the hoof being overgrown and neglected to the point it is trying to self-correct and break off - but it's broken too high.
I get needing to save money on farrier bills. I'm doing my own horses feet too, however I have done a lot of research and studying, attended a clinic, and still pay a professional to come out every 10 weeks, give me guidance and keep my horses correct while I am still in the learning stages.
Spend the money and get a professional out.
Your horse's hoof looks just like my horse's hoof a few weeks ago. She had just been given to me and her feet hadn't been done for a whole year before. :shock::shock: Anyhow - I got a farrier out and he trimmed them up really good. She has no problems now, but she was starting to drag that foot before the trim. I would get a farrier out and him do your horse up right. I don't think its a problem people doing their own horse's hooves (if they know what they are doing of course!), however when a hoof gets to be in bad shape I think they need a professional.
Your horse's feet are not that bad. A sound horse lands heal first. You have a bit of flaring on the heals so your horse probably stepped on a stone with this flare and bent part of the wall up , just like catching a finger nail.
That section of wall can NOT support weight so just take the nippers and cut a good part of it out. It is doing nothing anyway and if you just rasp it flush it will just get torn back again.
So take the nippers and from the bottom cut as much of the piece off as you can. Go up 1/2 inch since it is doing nothing anyway and until it grows out don't let it touch the ground or the crack will just continue to move up the foot.'
Again her feet are not that bad and you can do it yourself if money is tight.
Get rid of that hanging flap, file it smooth; get rid of all those flares on all his feet, as much as you can, and he should be fine. Right now the reason he is 'gimpy' is because that tag there, is still catching on the ground each time it hits just right, because it did break up higher; once you remove the tag itself, and smooth the rough edges, he will be just fine. My own mare finally broke off a 'crack' in the same general area your gelding did, and I've been working at hers since I got her, but there's only so much you can do, sometimes nature has to take it's course, and now that it finally broke off, I can do the rest and keep that area from cracking again in the first place (she had poorly cared for feet when i got her).
I agree with Dad and Mom. :D LOL, sorry couldn't resist. I've had similar flaps on my horses and if taken care of right away (removing the chance for them to catch and rip more) they weren't really a big deal.
Acutally I was going to say that if I hadn't done my horses hooves since December, they would look a lot worse! Your horse's hooves don't seem to grow all that fast. Lucky. :D
I think you should invest some time and money into learning how to shoe a horse. I can't afford for a farrier to come out and do mine so I do it myself but before I did that I found someone to teach me and bought ALL of my own tools.
Thanks for the advice, guys.
I want to learn how to shoe my own horses. I plan on it, but until I can find a job and all, I'm kind of stuck, lol. Thankfully, y farrier teaches me a little about filing whenever I have him out so I can do general care and let him handle the 'big stuff'.
I'm going to sharpen my nippers and all tonight and get to work on my horses hooves first thing tomorrow! I would have done it today, but my cousin asked if I could do some work on her geldings hooves (they were pretty bad, way worse than my horses...) so I agreed. Her horse is walking much, much better.
And year, my mares hooves barely grow... and my geldings don't grow very, very fast.
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