Savanna's toes get worn down extremely quickly. I have no idea why. She doesn't paw, and she doesn't seem to drag her feet (this is what I initially thought it was but after paying close attention this does not seem to be the case). She is rarely on pavement or gravel - only on occasion when I take her trail riding or down the drive to the outdoor arena (even then, it's less than 50 feet of pavement and we rarely trail ride on gravel). She is almost walking on the soles of her feet. I didn't realize how much of a problem she was having until I took her on a trail ride and the majority of the trail is gravel (fine gravel, but gravel nonetheless). She walked down the middle of the path when I asked like an honest pony but did stumble and grunt every now and then. I kept her on the sides in the soft ground as often as I could and checked her feet thoroughly once we arrived back at the trailer (not a very long ride). When I picked her foot up, I heard her pastern pop and crackle. She didn't show any soreness when I pressed with the hoofpick (not even on her frog). I realize now I didn't check her heel, though... I worry that she has some issues in her front feet that are starting to rear their head now that I'm riding her more. Should I ask my farrier if shoes will help, and then possibly get the vet to take x-rays and make sure there isn't a bone problem? I don't understand why her toes wear so easily. I keep her trimmed regularly. Her back feet are fine and dandy.
Also, she has not been as willing to move off lately and I fear it could be from being sore. I am giving her time off from riding and will get her vet/farrier checked, but I'd like to get the problems out there and see if anyone recognizes these issues and might see some "red flag" that suggest "your horse has ___!"
Thanks! I'll get photos of her feet this week.
where do you keep her? does it rain alot where you live? like standing water in her pasture?... that could cause her hoof wall to soften up, and cause fast wear... i wouldnt worry about her pastern popping, it probly was from her trying to keep her weight off of her front feet when you were riding her on tha rocks. also if she doesnt get enough vitamin supplements, try Farrier's Formula, you can double the dose, just keep it at that level. it has biotin in it, which promotes hoof hardening....
hope i helped:) if you have any more questions dont hesitate to message me!!!:)
Some wearing of the toe is normal, even down to the sole. It is called "break over" and is not a bad thing. Of course I can't see your horse either, so that is just a guess on my part. I use Easyboot Epics in the rocks and barefoot the rest of the time.
There is not a lot of rain here, and even if there was, all of the pastures are on hillside so there is no standing water. She isn't in the pasture enough for it to effect her. She gets turned out when the barn she's in is cleaned (about 10 horses) and when I turn her out (just about every day, usually for about 30 mins). She's never out there all day or for an excessive amount of time.
I'll get photos today; I haven't been out much this week since I'm giving her some time off.
Talked to the farrier. He suggested some hoof dressings and supplements that might help her. He said we could manipulate the hoof but we couldn't make it grow, and he says she has no foot so she might not even keep a shoe. I will be buying her Easyboots for "rough riding" and leave her barefoot the rest of the time.
He mentioned I needed to soften the hoof rather than harden it so that it broke off in chunks instead of wore down.
Farrier's Formula is great stuff! They also have other products that go dierctly on the hoof.
i only feed the farriers formula once a day since i double the dose.... and yeah i think easyboots are a great idea!!! just sorta expensive, but in my opinion its worth it:):)
From what you've told, it sounds like there is some problem there, but also could be more that you're not used to seeing hoof walls nice & short &/or because she's impacting toe first(probably), she's not wearing down the rest of her foot enough, so the toe looks extra low. Her outer soles *should* be weightbearing, not held off the ground, but her heels/frogs should be doing the most, rather than her toes.
So I'd guess she probably has sensitive heels - that she's kept locked up full time will also be part of it, as she isn't getting adequate movement either, to build their strength.
She may also have flat/thin soles, so there is little protection under P3. 'If you don't use it you lose it' clause is relevant to horse's hooves, as with the callouses on a worker's hands. If she's already tender from what she's had to do bare, hopefully this is just minor bruising, rather than abscesses or such. If there's not enough skin to protect them, then you need to boot her or such, to prevent further damage.
Padding/protecting her heels should allow her to use them correctly & therefore begin building their strength. Just as yourself at the end of winter & constantly wearing shoes, you wouldn't just go out on your soft feet for a few km walk on gravel, but if you build up to it gradually, you may produce enough callous to run 10kms bare by summer. If however, you only went out bare for a few minutes daily, this probably wouldn't be enough to 'condition' you for that surface(not to mention being unfit for 10kms...) Therefore the more turnout the better. Aside from this, horses are built for free movement & for a number of reasons keeping them cooped up is not healthy for them. 24/7 turnout with free access to shelter would be ideal generally.
Tho the pic is blurry, it appears there may be lami rings on that hoof too, about half way down. This could be part of the problem too, which may be(usually tends to be) diet related. Unfortuantely can't tell much from those pics otherwise, but if you would like a hoof critique, see the link in my signature for info on taking good pics.... & the other one to learn more. I personally wouldn't advise putting any topical goop on them either, and I don't think that either hardener or softener is a good idea - hooves SHOULD be hard but topical potions tend to make them brittle too.
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