Evaluate this shoeing job? LF especially. Lame. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Evaluate this shoeing job? LF especially. Lame.

Hi all, my 5-year-old big appendix gelding just had his shoes done 2 days ago. He has a history of not growing any heel, so my farrier has been putting wedge pads on him for approximately five or six shoeing cycles. I still don't see any heel growth at all though. A few days prior to this shoeing job, my horse was pretty lame in the left front due to the shoe coming loose and really digging into his heel bulb. The farrier told me on the phone (I wasn't there for this appointment) that my horse was good now, not lame at all.
Except I rode today, and my horse is still very tender on that left front and it looks to me like the shoe is still digging into his heel bulb which he cannot tolerate. Half the reason for him not being barefoot is that he wears all heel off, then is in pain walking around on his heel bulbs.
I'm frustrated. I need outside opinions please!
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Pics of the Right Front, which he's not lame on, for comparison
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 08:17 PM
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Now take my opinion with a grain of salt, since I haven't see his unshod foot.

For a horse with very underrun heels, he would likely need more protection than just the heel of a keg shoe. I personally like horses with chronically underrun heels to go in a keg shoe with turned in heels, if not a straight bar shoe. That is also a VERY aggressive wedge pad for that kind of problem. Wedge pads often force the toe to grow very long. Has he been in wedge pads for a while? They're not meant to be used long term, though I have seen horses with underrun heels do well in a very mild wedge. I do realize that I'm making a lot of assumptions off of just pictures, I could be completely wrong. That first picture does look like the shoe is a bit too short for that foot, but if your horse has a habit of pulling shoes that could explain why your farrier chose to shoe him that close.

Do you have a pair of hoof testers to see where he's sore? If he's sore in the heel and you know it's not due to navicular, his heels probably need a lot more protection. Maybe even a full pad for a cycle, but you'd have to discuss that with your farrier.

How sore is he without shoes? If you think he'd be okay with losing the support of a shoe, you could pull the shoe and pack the foot with magic cushion and see if he comes up sound within the next few days. If you don't have a pair of shoe pullers on hand, you can still pack it with magic cushion to bring some of the swelling down. It can be very hard to pinpoint lameness exactly, and there's a chance it has nothing to do with the shoeing, but it's definitely time to call your farrier if he's lame again.
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post #4 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 09:55 PM
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Hi,

Looks to me that your horse is growing plenty of heel! This is not 'evaluating the shoe job', rather evaluating the feet I see. They are actually way too long by the look of it, but they are crushed flat, growing forward rather than down and too low. I drew on your lateral pic to point this out. How long has the horse been shod? How long has he been lame, or has he had 'no heels'? How is/was he bare in the paddock?

I also outlined your horse's foot, for a diagram I did, which only having lines, I think shows what I'm seeing more clearly. Pics in red box are as-is. The constant pressure on his walls from shoes will be perpetuating the crushing effect, especially as the rest of the foot is left 'hanging' so high. You can see that the back of the foot is far lower than the heel walls, with pressure from above & without support underneath. Last pic in that box, arrows supposed to show pressure on the hoof capsule. This will, assuming it hasn't much yet, cause misalignment of the bony column & stress at both the front of the P3/P2 joint, and the back, the 'navicular region'.

In the second green box, 1st pic is what I'd do - probably provide support/padding under the frog, but NOT under the heel walls, so that they can relax down & back, become more upright. ALTHOUGH with the back of the foot dropped so much lower than the walls, may not want the padding. If you must use peripheral rim shoes for some reason though, I'd absolutely support under the frog, so it's not (literally) left hanging.

If he needs protection for work, I'd generally recommend hoof boots - you can use a 'frog support pad' inside them if needed. This will lead to a hoof conformed more like the middle pic on this side, the heel wall/corner being back at the widest part of the frog, far shorter but upright. As the bones are better aligned and there's no undue peripheral pressure on the walls, the hairline and dorsal wall will become straighter.

Having provided necessary support under the frog, the back of the foot should become fuller & stronger above the hairline, rather than the internal foot 'dropping'. 3rd pic, heel walls are upright, can now provide some support, and frog/heel bulbs are wide, flat and can support the horse as they're meant to.

Due to a number of reasons, I'd generally avoid shoeing a horse, particularly with peripheral rims, before maturity, and esp as he's in that state, I'd remove shoes at least until his feet can become healthy. Hoof boots are generally a great option if he needs extra protection for work. The good thing is, that he's not yet quite mature, being 5yo, there's a very good chance that with good care, they will heal & become strong despite these probs, and you can avoid further issues.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Ratlady, and Loosie, trying to answer all questions...
I could ask about straight bar or turned in heel shoes... I was told the pads would only be for one shoeing cycle, but I think it's been five shoeiing cycles!
The shoes are short because he does pull shoes, he has to be in thick bell boots all the time.
I don't have hoof testers but I have big pliers, I'll try hoof testing him tomorrow. I guess I'll magic cushion him too
He was barefoot until about a year and a half ago maybe. Barefoot was a constant struggle, I ride a lot and It is all Rocky ground, gravelly roads, hard ground, no grass. He was frequently sore and bruised just running around on his heel bulbs. He never grew much heel but It's probably worse now. I tried hoof boots for a while but grew frustrated with them, buying them without being able to try them on, the poor fitting and rubbing, the application of socks and pads and hoof boots before I could ride, the losing them on trail if I galloped, the sand inside them, the not being able to use them in arena or for jumping. I gave up and tried shoes.

His unshod hoof is quite flat, I didn't often pick his feet because there was nothing to pick out. No concavity. Just his flat sole and heel slapping right on the ground. I used to pack with magic cushion if he seemed bruised but but there wasn't much space to pack into at all.
He doesn't seem to grow nice normal bare hooves like my other horses (ponies) He's a big boy, and I started thinking his size and weight was too much for feet that take after his dam (racing TB)
Shoes seemed to be the answer for a while. Now this pad mess and the severely underrun heels and I'm just so embarrassed looking at how bad those pictures of a 200$ shoe job look, and I'm scared I've set him down the path to navicular!
Farriers response to my text today was a shrug emoji (I guess he's sick of me) and saying wait a few more days and if he's still lame, he'd come out Monday. (Giving it a week, I guess)
Loosie- Thank You~ That was a lot of information and I am still studying your diagrams, and thinking...
Basically I have no idea what to do now, I doubt he'd be sound in no shoes but now I'm panicking a little bit that he might develop navicular... so something has to change!
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 01:37 AM
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Look at a heart bar shoe too. Got the support for the heels and the frog, If he can handle the pressure.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 05:01 AM
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I would not use bar shoes generally, esp on him at the moment. I would NEVER use 'turned in heel' shoes - they will only keep the pressure on the crushed heels AND bruise the frog, without providing it any support. Not sure if you said, or I asked, WHY did the farrier do wedges anyway? As mentioned, I would not shoe this horse at all, until his feet can be gotten healthy. But if you must, I'd be using flexible shoes with good support under the foot, such as Easyshoes.

I'd imagine he's sore in those 'dropped' caudal feet. I would not be squeezing him with pliers, they're just not appropriate. even if they're massive & do fit.

Quote:
He was barefoot until about a year and a half ago maybe. Barefoot was a constant struggle, I ride a lot and It is all Rocky ground, gravelly roads, hard ground, no grass. He was frequently sore and bruised just running around on his heel bulbs.
So he's been shod constantly since he was 3.5yo? He already had crushed, run forward heels then(running around on heel bulbs)? Horses don't *begin* to develop much caudal hoof strength until they're around 4yo, even in ideal situations. So it's no surprise he was sore & bruised from being worked on rough ground barefoot, especially if he had unhealthy feet too. How is/was he bare in the paddock?

Hoof boots are generally a great option for protecting feets when necessary. I see you did try & had heaps of issues though. Generally, rubbing & falling off are related to fit, and it would indeed be difficult to fit such crushed heels well. You don't generally need 'socks' with most boots, and more often than not don't need pads. You CAN use boots in arenas and you can jump in hoof boots too, but x-country type stuff they can be too slippery/unstable for. I wouldn't be doing any jumping on an immature horse though. I would personally choose to put my riding ambitions on hold while his feet were fixed, if you couldn't otherwise ride him without shoes.

Quote:
His unshod hoof is quite flat, I didn't often pick his feet because there was nothing to pick out. No concavity.
I missed the bit that one hoof is unshod. Why is that? If he has quite flat soles, they will be very thin, so provide little protection for internal structures. Therefore I'd absolutely protect the underside of his foot/feet, rather than just peripheral rims. If he's always had 'crap feet' since he was a baby, I'd say it's a fair bet there are nutritional deficiencies too.

Quote:
Farriers response to my text today was a shrug emoji (I guess he's sick of me) and saying wait a few more days and if he's still lame, he'd come out Monday.
Hmmm, regardless how 'sick' he may be of you, regardless whether you've been... 'tricky', if he shod the horse & the horse has been lame since, then I'd be very unhappy with that response!

Quote:
Loosie- Thank You~ That was a lot of information and I am still studying your diagrams, and thinking...
Basically I have no idea what to do now, I doubt he'd be sound in no shoes but now I'm panicking a little bit that he might develop navicular... so something has to change!
No worries! And as I told another poster (on the 'horse losing shoes' thread you might want to look at too), I appreciate it's overwhelming & difficult, etc. Your horse is only 5yo & while the sooner you start fixing the better, it's not likely to do much further damage in the short term, if you take weeks to work everything out.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-20-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Just an update that the farrier pulled the shoes off today per my request. He said the shoes looked good to him, and he couldn't see anything wrong. He said the horse didn't really react to hoof testers.
The horse is lame today of course with no shoes, but, surprisingly not much more lame than with those shoes. Just judging by his moving around in the turnout.
(I put some Durasole on, that's what the purple color is.)
Not sure what to do next, I guess I'll use a hoof hardener product and wait and see!
Any opinions on the bare hoof?
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-20-2019, 06:51 AM
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I find it hard to see what's what with that sole shot, with the chunks out everywhere. Except for... I don't say this lightly, because I know they're expensive - like I said to someone in another thread, IMO they're always interesting to see, but not too often necessary... xrays. After seeing the bottom of those feet, I sus negative plantar angle is a strong possibility. **Which IME many vets are still likely to say you need shoes with wedges to fix. I think I described it previously, that the 'wedges' need to be under the frog, to support the internal structures, NOT just jack up the walls.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-20-2019, 07:53 AM
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I'm suspecting a negative palmar angle, meaning the tip of the coffin bone is higher than the back portion.



My suggestion is based on pictures and discussion on pages 111 and 112 of the Essential Hoof Book. No discussion of corrective treatment is mentioned as trimming methods are not part of the scope of the book.


One website discusses the use of a rocker shoe which is apparently to allow the foot to slowly correct the internals.


If it were my horse, I would get lateral x-rays to ascertain what is actually going on inside the foot and go from there.
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I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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