Limited Hoof Travel - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-27-2020, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Limited Hoof Travel

I don't even know how/what to search for on the net so I'll start here.


Hondo has been resting the off side fore toe quite a bit. Actually, in the beginning he was actually walking very slowly only on the toe of his off-fore.


Over several weeks he has improved and does allow some heel pressure, quite a bit sometimes, but is still reluctant to allow his off fore come behind his near-fore.


I had originally considered that it was caudal pain but couldn't figure the cause from various front/reverse wedges and modified pads.


I have now come to the tentative conclusion that it seems as if he just doesn't want his foot to, I guess extend is the word, past center as it would if it traveled the normal distance behind the near-fore.



The near fore travels back the normal distance of a couple of feet or so but he stops the near-for when it come parallel to the off fore and then steps forward with the off-fore.


He walks sort of like I now climb stairs bringing up one foot and always leading with the other. (bad knee)


So it sounds like either a joint he wants to limit travel on or a tendon that he wants to limit travel on.


If anyone has a clue or even a clue on how to search this subject on the net I'd appreciate it.

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 12:21 AM
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I assume if he's been reacting to pressure in the heel that this relates to heel pain.
However, when I have seen this the most is when a horse has a tendon injury and they don't want to stretch the tendon behind the front leg above the knee. Even though it is most likely from the hoof because of the history you've seen, you might still palpate above the back of the knee on the leg he is short-striding on, to feel for heat or swelling.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 04:21 AM
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Yeah, little hard to understand what you mean, but I'm thinking sounds like soft tissue or joint pain, that means he doesn't want to stretch? Perhaps when he didn't want to put that foot down, it was due to a strain or such.

Not in the least saying this is his prob, but he did have run forward feet if I remember rightly(which I assume is addressed correctly now), but if chronic, is a cause of 'navicular' & also osteo arthritis/low ringbone at the extensor process.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 08:39 AM
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Often, in my experience, a foot lameness can be caused from a shoulder misalignment.

Pick up his foot, place your right arm over his forearm and hold the leg up from mid way down his cannon bone, allowing the hoof to droop.
With your left hand lift the toe of his foot up, the centre of the frog should be in alignment with his elbow.

It is easy to move the hoof to one side or the other so you have to be certain you are raising it straight up.

The other test is to take the leg and stretch it forward, if this is painful he will sit back or try to pull it away.

Two simple tests that can tell you of shoulder misalignment
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Doesn't seem to be in the shoulder. It just seems more like he just doesn't want his fetlock joint to go over the toe.


I'm going to complicate my question somewhat as the thinking needs to include the possibility that the problem was induced by others.


The problem (s) first appeared on March 6. I could be off one day. There was some vandalism committed on my property at the very same time the problems appeared.


I've searched for testing for heel pain but really found nothing. By observation, I believe it is not. Today I'll try my testers but haven't had much experience with them.


I did just return from a somewhat expensive vet visit that was meant to address the problem but got sidetracked by the horrible condition of his feet for lack of sufficient trimming since March 6. For almost two months I could not pick up either fore. If I tried he would simply lean more weight on it. He was only recently well enough to travel in the trailer and displayed significantly more rotation. The corrective trim is happening and that part is under control. But what is not is the resistance to going over center on his off-fore.


He has improved dramatically in the last four months in that regard but would be getting more exercise if the cause could be found and corrected.


While I'm at it, I'll throw out that his initial insult of founder was clearly intentionally and maliciously done by others, the severity of which would have been much less had I not been so blind to over weight horses.


So anyhow, add to the natural possibilities causing not wanting to go over center, add any way a man made cause could be done.


I see you wagging your head, but if you only knew what I knew. When, if ever, it's over, I may write a long detailed story about my experiences
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I just did complete a test that seems on the surface to further rule out heel pain and suggest a lower limb problem in either a joint or tendon.


A short section of 2x6 lumber was placed under the front half only of the off-fore. He stood with weight on the board with a level sole. When an attempt was made to pick up his near-fore, he shifted his weight to his off side with his heel going down below the toe and the board turning up at the same angle. He stood there seemingly unconcerned about this new arrangement.


When the board was applied to the near fore in the same manner with an attempt to pick up the off fore, he would not allow his heel to drop below the toe. Maybe a little, but very little.


In both cases there was no pressure on the heel at all as it was in air only.


I should also add that for something over a month after March 6 when I would encourage him to walk at least a little, he would swing his hind end out to the near side by 15 degrees or so and walk that way for a ways in a very uncoordinated fashion. He would finally straighten out after a time and begin walking fairly normal.


The search on the net suggested a neurological disorder from one of various causes. This resulted in me thinking it would just be a matter of time before Hondo was gone. But as his heel came to be on the ground more, his sideways walking subsided and I began to conclude that perhaps the sideways walking was connected to the near fore not wanting to flatten out and bend over the toe.


The off fore was the real reason for the vet visit but while there I wanted laterals for an aggressive trimming guide for ground lost while I was unable to trim. The rotation and growth was so overwhelming that the problem he was taken to address was left in the dust.


On the next visit I will ask about a nerve block to determine if the problem is for certain in his lower limbs.


Any and all comments appreciated.


My only consolation such as it is, is that had he not come into my care he would have been trucked off to a horrendous end long ago.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 05:47 PM
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Ah I didn't realise he was still foundered & hadn't been trimmed for a while. Could possibly be due to this that he's gimpy. Pressure on his toe may be the issue. Or in the joints, as explained earlier due to long toes.

Curious, why do you think he was 'maliciously & intentionally' foundered?

And you'll learn lots thru googling, but you'll learn lots of crap too, esp if you start from a point of not knowing much about the thing. You will often find fatal causes if you google symptoms, ime!

I'd personally be getting his feet under control asap, padding them & keeping him on soft, yielding footing until they're ok, putting him on hyaluronic acid to hopefully ward off further damage, and getting a body expert - chiro vet, osteo, cranio-sacral or such - to come check him out.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-28-2020, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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I had him at the Prescott Equine Center which specializes in only horses as the name suggests. So there is a plan and is being acted upon. Just don't know what the problem with the one foot is. My reading is that it'll take nerve blocks to determine the area of discomfort in that foot.


The hyaluronic acid acid is pretty spendy stuff so I'll wait until there is some evidence that it is in fact a joint problem. I'm not able to just throw stuff at him.


Cushings aka PPID tests were ran which should be back Wed or Thur. That's spendy stuff too. But hey, it my horse.


Not 'still' foundered but re-foundered with devastating rotation this time on March 6. Could not pick up either foot for over a month. When I finally could it was for only 10 or 15 seconds. That was only the near and later finally the off also.


Were it not for an angle grinder with a coarse sanding disc I suspect Hondo might already be in the great beyond. He is gimpy for certain but seems to be enjoying life. Will walk a ways to me just to get his chin scratched. Is walking further away from his food again to poop. Spends a lot of time walking around in the lower '4' (not 40) eating buffalo grass and weeds.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 12:59 AM
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Hopefully you can figure it out and get him feeling better.

He's been lucky to have you.
Some horses also have other complicating factors that make them more difficult to prevent from foundering. Such as Halla who never was obese at all, ever, and had a controlled low sugar/starch diet the entire year before she foundered the second time and had to be put down. SueC also has mentioned her mare that went from healthy to such a bad state from metabolic issues that she needed to be put down.
Hondo could also be one of the horses that is not as easy as many we read about online, where people say don't worry, you can just rehab them and they'll be fine. I do believe some horses are that way, but some are much more complicated.
I'm not saying don't be hopeful, just realize that even doing everything you can does not guarantee anything.

I'll go along with @loosie and guess it might be a muscle/tendon or ligament injury due to the hoof problems.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-29-2020, 05:22 AM
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Given what you've now told, I wonder, why do you suspect it's a separate issue, but in his hooves, to the founder? Not in the least having a go or anything, just trying to understand/remember... I forget the time frame, but thought it was 2-3 years ago that you accepted that he had quite 'run forward' feet. Then wasn't it a fair bit more recent than that when you discovered he was obese, then later he foundered & had quite severe 'rotation'? So he wasn't better for long(& guessing not completely healed) when he 'refoundered' at the start of march & hasn't had his feet done since?

Again, not having a go or implying there aren't possible valid answers, just asking... How much 'healed' was he by this year? What's his weight & diet been like? Why do you suppose he 'refoundered' this year? And why has he not had his feet seen to since March?

Last edited by loosie; 06-29-2020 at 05:46 AM.
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