Gunnar's barefoot transition. Possible prior hoof capsule injury...
So some of you know I've switched farriers, Gunnar is barefoot now and I love it.
The white line is going away and Gunnar seems to trot easier, or at least it's more fluid and smooth.
We went on vacation for a week and when we came back I couldnt help but notice how off his front left foot looks. I know these aren't the best pictures, sorry.
I've called my farrier and the soonest he can see him is Wednesday night. Then he's going to work a horse show for a week in Kansas. Drats.
I talked to him and he assured me the flaked chunk is normal from the weak spot the nail holes created. Okay no biggie. But it kind of looks like his front left foot is in general longer.
He asked if there was prior trauma to the hoof capsule because sometimes that can affect how fast the hoof grows.
I'm kind of worried because he does have about a 3/4 inch scar on the bulb of his heel on that hoof. And when he first trimmed him he asked about hoof injury because he said that hoof grows a little differently than the other.
I'll get an email back today with what he wants to do. He said maybe he just needs trimmed every 4 weeks.
I'm kind of worried about that possibility of prior hoof trauma, does anyone have experience with this? He's still sound no problems. I'm trying to catch this before it becomes an issue... I'm debating calling the vet for an xray to see exactly what is going on inside..I'm going to ask him about it when I hear back..hopefully can get the vet and farrier out at the same time.
I know it isnt the best quality but thats the piece that chipped away I was talking about.
You can kind of see the scar..I tried pointing it out so you can spot it in the other picture. And that point midway down his hoof where the angle changes. That's the growth ring that was aged to be right before we bought him..so everything above that point is new growth since we've gotten him.
This hoof is the only one with noticeable hoof bars too..the other ones are growing slower :/ he said it's not a big deal that its natural to see the bars.
Still waiting to hear back from him. I'll update when he replies.
Well I got an email back. Here's what he said:
Thanks for the photos. From what I can see I would not worry very much about him. Transitioning from shoes to barefoot there will always be a few strange happenings. 90% of what I see is just cosmetic damage but if you're concerned I can work you in after 7:30/8:00 on the 22nd. As for xrays they are nice to have as a reference point should something go wrong in the future but unless he is uncomfortable I would not spend the money on that at this time.
So I guess I'll keep a close eye and make sure nothing else changes.
I really don't see much evidence of any severe hoof trauma. Lots of horses have scars on or around their coronet line that never cause any problem at all.
Now keep in mind that I am no expert, but his white line seems extremely stretched out and the hoof wall itself seems too long, which certainly wouldn't help with the white line problem. Plus, the added pressure on the hoof wall appears to be the cause of the place that is broken off on the left front. Loosie is the resident expert on all things barefoot, but it looks to me like the hoof wall needs to be beveled quite a bit more to keep the pressure off of it as much as possible. That will, in turn, put less stress on the white line and hopefully allow the stretched portion of it to grow out and the entire hoof to become healthier.
About the difference in growth, I can't really see it but it wouldn't really strike me as unusual. They may just grow at different rates or she may be wearing one down more than the other. I really don't see it as anything to be concerned over.
I don't see anything to be worried about either.
My Fox Trotter mare has a pretty bad scar at her coronet band and the hoof wall grows weird all the way down to the ground. I bought her that way 2 years ago and she is 17 yrs. old and hasn't taken a lame step since I've had her.
If it was a crack (from coronet to ground) I would be worried (and actually my mare has one of those too and is sound). But chunks coming out of a bare foot like that are not much more than cosmetic. And the scar doesn't seem to affecting hoof growth. Really, he looks pretty normal. :D
Phew I'm so glad I worried for nothing. I've never done or seen the barefoot transition from shoes. The farrier said if he goes lame call and he'll get down ASAP but that he thinks he'll be just fine.
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