Calling all hoof experts. Loosie? Ricci's hoof saga.
Some of you may remember my threads about my mare, Ricci and her foot/leg problems. Basically, her feet hurt, causing strain on her tendons in the back of her front legs and [we assume] in the soft tissue of her feet. I have had my vet out. Approximately 9 months ago, he took x-rays to rule out navicular, and all looked normal. He did a nerve block just above her foot, and she was moving better, therefore showing the problem is in her foot.
Now the point of this thread is about my current farrier and possibly switching to a new one. I have been using this farrier since the problem occurred. He came vet recommended. First, he put natural balance shoes on her. They seemed to help at first and then the second time around, I saw it wasn't helping. So we have been doing just trims. I put her on a strict 6-week schedule, but that seemed too long, and went to a 5-week schedule. She is due this week.
I had a barefoot trimmer come out this afternoon and give me a consult. She said the bubbly wave she has going on is indication that she is growing an angle that is not consistent with the trim she has been getting. She said her quarters were left too wide, and she has actually grown too much heel. Everything she said made sense, and Ricci obviously needs a change. If my current farrier was working, I would see evidence of some kind of improvement, right?
In my attempt to keep this post from being too ridiculously long, I may have left some things out, so please ask me if you have any questions. These pictures were taken today of her left front foot, the one that was bothering her the most to begin with.
Here, you can see how her hoof is trying to grow straight down, but is flaring out.
Here, you can see how it flares out.
And from underneath, you can see a faint ridge in her toe, that the BT said was from keeping her toe too long, except she said it in fancier words. Basically, I understood it like the white line or whatever it's called should be much closer to that ridge.
What do you think? Can you tell me anything from these pictures, or give me any suggestions? I'll take another picture of her heel to show how much she has tonight. Thank you so much for any and all input.
I am not very educated about proper hoof care and all that, especially in barefoot horses, but it definitely looks like her toes are too long. Though her entire hoof capsule looks really long.
A part of her lameness issues might also be due to her conformation, as straight as her pasterns are, there is very little shock absorption on ever stride.
Sorry, that first caption for the first picture should have said it showed that bubbly thing she has going on.
ETA: Yes, the barefoot trimmer said the same thing about her hoof capsule. And I know her conformation doesn't help her out any, but I don't think this is a conformation issue just yet. She had never been lame at all before all this. I know it's possible, I'm just not ready to chalk it up to confo yet. =]
At any rate, I'm glad you're echoing the words of the BT.
Her hooves do look long, though her hoof wall isn't over grown... the bumps are quite visible though i'm not personally certain what would cause it. Is it in all feet or just one? SHe may have formed an absess of somesort underneith the hoof wall... hmm...
Just had a thought, though i may be wrong... my old pony used to be quite prone to founder & everytime afertwards he'd get swelled rings like you see in the photo on his hoof wall (he usually got it in the one foot really bad & was always tender in it afterwards).
Is it possible that she has had minor bouts of founder? Somtimes, if it's just a minor case, you cant always tell because the horse just seems a little sore & isn't completely lame... just an errant thought
I don't think you need a new farrier as much as you need a new vet. I don't see anything about that trim that should be causing chronic lameness. It may not be perfect but it shouldn't cause lameness.
With a trim due, it's hard to judge current condition because all horses grow differently and I rarely see a hoof that goes so long between trims as I do my own, but here's what I would question.
Agree with flaring on sides. No toe callous -- maybe working on it? Hopefully it has not been trimmed away.
Areas circled in black look like overgrowth to be trimmed. Areas circled in red could be thrush? Area in blue -- what's going on there? Perhaps some previous damage there?
No, she's not foundering. Thanks for trying though! And Kevin, sorry, my vet isn't wrong. Or rather, the nerve block can't lie. The pain is in her foot and this farrier/trim isn't helping. I have nothing against the farrier, he's actually very sought after. But just like training, there is no end-all, be-all in the farrier world. She may have a tendon issue now, but I can't fix it until I fix the foot issue. All signs point to the foot.
ETA: Forgot to add, both front feet are similar, her back feet are fine.
I still have to take a look at the circled picture, NorthernMama, but what is toe callus and what should it look like? I don't know what previous damage could have happened in that one spot, I'll take a closer look and ask the next person I have out for her. And yes, she's definitely thrushy. My pastures are a mess.
ETA 2: Oh, I'll make sure to take pictures as soon as she gets trimmed. I didn't realize being due is harder to analyze than just done, lol.
NorthernMama, did you mean, in the blue circle, that tabby piece of white hoof? I think it's just a piece that's trying to shed.
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