Long toes low heel barefoot horse .. Laminiti - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Long toes low heel barefoot horse .. Laminiti

Hi all! I need some help. I have a horse who I am really interested in keeping barefoot where possible, as when shoed she gets bad thrush in the frogs (even though she is kept clean and is turned out 24/7 in dry pasture). Plus, I'm not prepared to send lewd photos to the local farrier so he won't come out to me 😂 (I wish I was joking) It's a nightmare. My problem is this: long toe, low heel, and I'm worried about a slight change of angle up near the coronary band... I've got the vet on hand to have a look soon, but he reckons there's a good chance it's not laminitis... but am just after some opinions! Pics attached 🙂 white sock is hind leg
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 05:42 AM
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I don't see obvious signs of laminitis so if your horse isn't showing signs of lameness I wouldn't worry about that.
The changes in angles/hoof rings relate to diet and trimming.

Who are you planning to have trim the horse? What I see are trimming problems so you need another farrier. The horse will have thin soles and be sensitive barefoot without better trimming. The long toes lead to flat, thin soles. The low heels are a result of the toes being left too long, allowing the hoof to grow out forward from under the horse.

Some farriers seem to think a horse needs a certain visual length of hoof rather than basing the trim on the live sole. Some horses have smaller hooves/bone structure and in order to have a healthy hoof it will need to be shorter, even if that looks wrong to the person. The smaller hoof will actually grow a thicker sole, since it's not having to stretch out and cover a hoof that is too large for the horse's bone structure.

To me it looks like the farrier has grown the toe long to give the appearance of a larger hoof when the horse properly trimmed will have small hooves. The thrush is most likely also a problem created by the poor trim. The right hind looks the closest to how the hooves should look when trimmed properly.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=gottatrot;1970842825]I don't see obvious signs of laminitis so if your horse isn't showing signs of lameness I wouldn't worry about that.
The changes in angles/hoof rings relate to diet and trimming.

Who are you planning to have trim the horse? What I see are trimming problems so you need another farrier."

She's not showing signs of lameness, and that's what the vet asked for first up. She was a little footsore a few weeks ago riding on rocky terrain, that could be the thin soles? What a relief to know the recurring thrush could be solved!

Ill be taking her to someone hopefully in about a month (float repairs), and I'll be happy to travel to a registered barefoot trimmer. I've never had a horse grow such a variation in hoof angle before!

Is it still alright to walk/trot her?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 06:56 AM
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My horse has thinner soles and is a baby to pain/discomfort.
So him stepping on a rock while trail riding will have him limping bad enough for several steps down I go to check for injury...
Back on I get, off we go once his highness has had the attention he thinks he is entitled to...
I never not check for fear of a ouch/injury truly sustained when he gimps so dramatically.
My horse is barefoot.
I tried the typical steel shoe applied, had less gimp but the sole was still exposed...
I was not doing pads and shoes for a variety of reason, biggest one is affording them honestly.
Instead, I invested in well fitting hoof boots that have a protective sole, traction and stay on no matter how deep the footing can become.
My farrier suggested them as shoes are a large expense and otherwise not needed by my horse and he has great feet, just sensitive soles.


A good farrier, one who nails on shoes can also do "barefoot trims" so do not think that you must only use what is labeled as a barefoot trimmer.
You need to use someone who does the very best job to benefit your horses comfort, build and movement accurately and one who comes on a designated schedule.
Be that a barefoot trimmer or the farrier who can also apply shoes...you need one who is good. One skilled and proficient in their trade.
Good luck.

...
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post

A good farrier, one who nails on shoes can also do "barefoot trims" so do not think that you must only use what is labeled as a barefoot trimmer.

You need to use someone who does the very best job to benefit your
...
Boy is that ^^^ ever the gospel truth.

My farrier was here last Friday and we had this conversation.

She is a therapeutic farrier and keeps shoes on my foundered horse.

She also puts the best trim on my horse with a minor club hoof than anyone ever has. He has NOT had one case of thrush since she started trimming him three-plus years ago.

Yes, you need to ditch your current farrier and hopefully find someone who actually knows how to trim. The hooves will serve the horse better (in terms of improved movement) and the thrush will disappear:)

Also, some horses are just thin soled and will always need shoes (or boots to trail ride:)

Best wishes and good luck finding a quality farrier.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 09:40 AM
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Two meanings for low heels.


One is "underslung heels" that can result from both the toe and heel being left too long. That low heel is bad.


The other is a heel trimmed properly near the location of the live sole. That's a good low heel.


Pictures can explain it much better than I. I don't see an indication of low or tall heels from the pictures shown. Pictures of the bottom of the hoof would be more indicative of the whether the heel height was proper. Same for toe length and overall balance of the hoof.


But from the top, I don't see a major imbalance.


The thing that really caught my eye was the two deeper hoof rings, particularly in the fores. Most noticeable in the second picture. Smaller but in the same distance from the hairline on the hinds.


Those do look to have resulted from a major metabolic disturbance. Could be from a fever or a major major episode of stress. Also could very well be an episode of founder which is now being used interchangeable with the term laminitis.


I don't see any dishing at the deeper groves which should indicate that even if there was an episode of founder/laminitis, there was no rotation of the coffin bone. Other wise there would be a "bend" at the location of the grooves.


The non-grooved growth rings as mentioned are normal.


The left/near side hind almost looks like it could be a little bullnosed but not sure at all.


It would be helpful to see the the bottom of the hooves from a couple of angles.


I am very biased against metal shoes. If shoes are to be used, I would go with a flexible shoe that provided frog support. It all depends on what the bottom of the hoof looks like.


Send off for The Essential Hoof Book for $25-30. You will become more knowledgeable than many trimmers.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, this is so helpful! I'll definitely be buying that book!! And finding a new farrier.

I'm most worried about the second smaller groove up at the hairline, I think it looks like there might be a change of direction in the hoof growth? Maybe I'm over analysing and but a nothing
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
I don't see obvious signs of laminitis so if your horse isn't showing signs of lameness I wouldn't worry about that.
Strongly suspect I don't disagree with you on that😊 But the way you put it, brings up....

There may well be no cause for *worry* but I would strongly suggest people NOT wait for clinical symptoms/lameness before paying attention to what's going on. Because laminitis doesn't just come out of the blue, and generally the sudden & acute signs are an indication of 'the final straw'. So learn the signs & factors, and manage accordingly to minimise/treat probs *before* they get to clinical diagnosis stage. That is a result that can in the vast majority of cases be avoided with understanding & good management.

I would personally not put any fixed shoe on those feet atm at least until they're in better shape. Then, if deemed appropriate I'd use something like eponas or easyshoes. When necessary for added protection, hoof boots are generally a great option.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 06:33 PM
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The side view of fronts ,they don't look like toes are long or heels underrun. Other pics toes look long.

I think pictures can be deceving and obscure how foot truely looks. Reason I won't post hoof pics for critique.

Easy for others to say need a new farrier, sometimes easier said then done.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-09-2020, 10:02 PM
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As said, pics can easily give you false ideas, depending on angles etc & never as accurate as 'in the flesh' examinations. But has drawn on your pics to give a basic idea. The angles you took the pics mostly don't lend themselves well to accuracy either, so take this only as 'food for thought'. I have also purposefully exaggerated the lines on the front-on pic and the closer side on one, to more obviously illustrate what I'm seeing.

Front on pic shows quite a bit of lateral flaring, albeit not major looking, with a distinct change in angle around 3/4" down. More accurate angle(not the close up) side on shows a little flare forward, and appears heels are quite high enough, possibly a tad long, and a bit forward. Rear hoof shows possible 'bullnosing', but this could also be due to toe scuffing or trimming - perhaps the toes grow straight & are flared forward. Hind heels do look quite possibly too low, but they're long & crushed forward.

**IF** there is a 'bullnose' look & heels ARE too low, it is *possible* there is a 'negative plantar' thing going on where the ground surface of P3 is sloping up at the toe. I would not consider it at all reasonable to assume that from these pics though(just putting it out there as a consideration/possibility), and something like that can only really be diagnosed by vet/xrays.
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