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armydogs 03-17-2011 12:35 AM

Club Foot?
I am trying to find out information on clubbed feet. I read the thread that was started back in Aug, and seem to see one thing everyone agrees with. Seems like with club feet horses have a high heel. Is that correct? I am asking because Deanna had the farrier out to trim my horses feet today. He said Queen had a club foot on her left front, but that she also had track feet (low heels). She has been off the track for a little over the year. I am trying to find any pictures I have that might show her feet, and I can only find one. I can tell there is something wrong with her foot, but I can't tell what exactly it is. It looks to me like the toe is long on the hoof, but what else is wrong? Ill see if I can get Deanna to take more pictures for me.

Any help would be appreciated. TIA!!!

tinyliny 03-17-2011 01:49 AM

Is that picture taken before or after he trimmed/shod your mare ?
She isn't squared up, so it's harder to compare the left to right. To be honest, I don't see exactly a club foot, though it has a "bow" in it , or whatever is the correct term for the way it starts out steep and then changes angle.

Pretty mare.
Her heels do look a bit low, though.

armydogs 03-17-2011 01:57 AM

This picture was taken before he trimmed her. Like I said, I need to ask Deanna if she will take better pictures for me. We are trying to get her barefoot. I realize being a TB odds are she will need shoes, but if at all possible we would rather not. I though her heels were low, but wasnt sure. Will this bow that you are talking about in her hoof affect her soundness? Thanks for responding Tiny

tinyliny 03-17-2011 02:12 AM

I will be curious to see what other folks say about this, too. I don't know as much about feet as I'd like to know.
my friend's horse has a club foot, but it doesnt' look like that at all. It's really upright and kind of "thick".
To be honest, she doesn't look like she has a lot of hoof on her. If you aren't going to ride her she might be ok barefoot. but I dunno . . . I feel doubtful about it.

I had the farrier out to shoe Mac and he looked at Joker , who is in his 3rd barefoot month. Took J out today and we walk,trot and cantered on trails, but only where soft, muddy and fairly rock free. He told me that he didn't really want to canter up the hills that he normally gallops up.

The farrier said his feet look great, and they do, but as for being barefoot, ,she says you have to just see how the individual horse adapts and how hard you plan on using them.

Mac, who appears to have wondeful feet in pictures; big, nice hoof wall; is very tenderfooted when he throws a shoe.

armydogs 03-17-2011 02:19 AM

I dont plan to do any more than just trail ride, she will have a year of not being ridden to get used to being barefoot. Of course, when we get back, then I will test her out, and see if she can be ridden without shoes. If not, then in shoes she goes. Like you, I thought club footed meant it looks real thick and upright.

I hope others respond as well. I would like all the opinions I can get, so I can learn.

smrobs 03-17-2011 03:47 AM

The way that I understand it. There is something about a tendon and muscle that spasms over a long period of time and shortens, thus changing the angle of the coffin bone (or something, it's late and my brain is only half awake). Here is the website that I found and one of the illustrations looks very much like your mare.

I bet that she does have a moderate club, possibly from an injury suffered on the track. Has she had this since you got her or has it developed during your ownership? Of course, without actually seeing the mare and her feet, this is just a guesstimation but....It looks to me like the "dip" is where the angle of her hoof growth changed. That would be a decent indication of how long ago the issue started. Since the hoof above the dip appears to be growing straight, even if it is different than the hoof below. The dip does not appear to effect the hoof above. So, since it appears that it is a fairly recent development, I am willing to bet that she will begin to grow higher heels as the growth progresses and the hoof wall evens out into it's new angle.

But, keep in mind this is just my uneducated opinion based on one photo :lol:. You might have your friend get your vet and farrier together and see what they can come up with.

maura 03-17-2011 07:01 AM

Smrobs is on the right track as usual.

Club foot usually means that the angle of the hoof wall and coffin bone is *straighter* or more upright than ideal. Some people throw the term around just to mean that the horse has two differently shaped front feet. They'll refer to the more upright hoof as "He's a little clubby on that left front."

If a horse has a true club foot, yes, the heel will be longer on the club foot than the non-club foot, but it's important to remember that club foot is skeletal - you can't fix it by hoof trimming.

Horses with mild to moderate club foot are managed by keeping them on a shorter trimming/shoeing schedule. Allowing the feet to grow long exaggerates the difference in the structure, shape and size of the feet. It may also produce some uneveness in movement if you allow the feet to get too long. You also need to consider that there's a higher risk of unsoundness on the club foot - more upright angle = greater concussion.

Horses with moderate to severe club foot need a very good farrier and are best suited for light work.

All that said, I have a horse with a pretty significant club foot right know - doesn't bother him or me.

As far as your photo, I see two differently shaped feet, and I see either a founder or injury line on the left front. Makes me wonder if an injury made the hoof wall bulge outward at some point. You would have to get better photos with her standing square to really be able to look at the angle. And, after trimming, it's going to be harder to tell.

armydogs 03-17-2011 08:40 AM

Thank you guys so much for answering my post. The information you have provided has been extremely enlightening. I do know she was injured on the track, but if you look at her leg the injury is right above her fetlock (?). Could that have affected her anatomy just enough to cause a club foot? I do not know for sure what the cause of the injury, but was told it possibly had to do with the starting gate. I am assuming the injury was before I got her, I have only had her 3 months now.

starlinestables 03-18-2011 09:21 PM

Your mare doesn't look club to me but it's really hard to tell with that picture. I have a mare with both front feet considered club feet. However they are equally angled and surprisingly, she moves out quite well and is a very smooth ride.

jdw 03-18-2011 09:37 PM

I know regarding going barefoot there is a new theory about buidling the natural callus on the bottom base of the foot (the ferrier does not scrape and expose it) In fact, they check and barely clean and only then if really necessary. My ferrier says it builds a natural barrier and seals it from pebbles and rocks. All I know is it works great for mine.

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