Rings/Ridge on all Hooves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Wasaga Beach Ontario
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Rings/Ridge on all Hooves

I bought a mare five weeks ago, waited 2 weeks to have her delivered and she's been with me three weeks now. I'm not sure if her hooves looked like this when I first looked at her( I wasn't aware of what they were), I did bring along my coach/barn manager when seeing her and she didn't mention anything either when she looked her over either. There is a small wave/ridge in each foot where the ring is.

She is completely sound. She was on a mostly hay/grass diet with a scoop of sweet feed and 1/2 cup of Purina Equilizer a day. Since coming to my barn she is on grass until winter and I am trying to eliminate the sweet feed from her diet. I'm not 100% if I should replace it with something else.

We have been doing a lot of walking & trotting since she's arrived. 3-4 days a week and she has been sound.

Should I be concerned about this?
What is it?
Any idea how long she has had it?
Will it go away?
Any other advice?

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AgatsuEquine is offline  
post #2 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 04:37 PM
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Some call those stress lines. Chances are that she had them before you got her, as they go all the way down the hoof. Anytime there’s a fever or distress that big enough to really stress the horse, those ridges can appear. Not sure if there’s other reasons for them to appear as well.

They should eventually go away. I see them on my horses time to time.

I think most get them every once in a while.

Most horses do perfectly fine just on grass/hay. If she needs extra weight then you can look into something like alfalfa pellets or other stuff. But good forage, water and a mineral block is all that’s generally needed.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 04:39 PM
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Personally I wouldn’t be too concerned as long as she’s sound. Those lines are more history tell tale signs. Just keep an eye on it and if you can’t sleep at night, it never hurts to get a phone consultation with a vet.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 04:49 PM
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As the owner of a fat pony, I am probably paranoid about this, but I believe lines like that can indicate chronic, low-grade laminitis. I mean, it could be other stuff, too, and you say she isn't lame at all so that's good. Her feet seem maybe a little flared to me, too, which would also suggest that. Is she overweight?

Before you get too worried, I'm really a novice when it comes to hooves, so that's just my two cents. There are a lot of people here who will be able to give you much better advice, @loosie for instance.

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post #5 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 05:25 PM
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Is this photo showing her front right foot? The bony structure of her pastern is rather odd.

Foot gurus? please weigh in. @loosie @walkinthewalk
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 05:46 PM
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There is never a reason why a horse would need to be taken off sweet feed slowly. I'd suggest stopping it for your horse's health.

The hooves are a timeline of the horse's health. Considering it can take ten months or more to grow a new hoof down from the top, the good news is that recent growth at the top looks tight. That represents good health but usually reflects good management.

The deep rings show a loss of connection of the hoof wall. Most commonly this would have been from laminitis. A horse can get this from being sick too, but most commonly the horse was obese, fed grain or too much grass to cause a laminitis episode.

This is a clue to you that even though the horse is sound you need to manage the diet and weight carefully. Do not let the horse be obese and do not feed any high sugar/starch feeds or grain. Also make sure the horse gets regular, good hoof trimming.

Separation always results in flaring of the hoof wall as it grows down toward the ground, so good trimming will help keep a tighter hoof growing in well. But trimming can only do so much if the feed is causing laminitis episodes.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 05:54 PM
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Ridges and or rings on a hoof or in this case you mentioned seen on all 4 hooves can be indicative of illness, referred to as fever rings.
They can also be indicative of a change in diet, usually to richer foods fed...a change from old hay to new spring grass can create this appearance.
Stress can also do this but those are also pretty thick rings and for that it is more to me something that the animal was exposed to for a period of time while the body acclimates to the new...
And yes, they can be from a laminitis event, aka founder...
As hooves grow continuously...looking at where it is on the hoof I would guess about 3 - 4 months ago something took place...
The question you need to figure out is what happened or occurred...
Remember as the hoof grows down and out that ring will change location, eventually being trimmed off...yes it can disappear.
The secret is to not have more rings occur as then your horse is on a consistent diet and care routine that meets the needs of the animal sufficiently.

I cross-posted with gottatrot... we both were typing at the same time.
She gives excellent insight to what you may also be seeing and why!!
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 06:25 PM
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OP, did you get a PPE done on her? Maybe itís the camera angle, but she looks like she has some swelling below the ankle joint.

Side views on the hooves, while standing on something solid, would be better to look at how the rings end:)

Rings can be common whenever thereís a change of pasture, internal stress of some sort, even what appears to be swelling on the ankle can eventually cause stress to show in the hoof, as the hoof grows down.

@loosie may have to correct me but, the way I was taught is that laminitis or founder rings curve downward at the back of the hoof. Whereas stress from some other change simply go straight back.

That is also how I see the rings on both of my horses. The healthy one has rings from the seasonal change in the pasture and probably from trying to poison himself eating the grass mixed in the Virginia Buttonweed and he broke out in hives on his face & neck.

While the foundered horse had rings with a definitive downward curve at the back of the hoof, when he foundered. I donít pretend to understand the physics behind that:)

At any rate, if you could get your horse on mats and get some front, back, side, and sole shots of the hooves, in good light, more could be told:)

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post #9 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 07:17 PM
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How old is the horse? Stress lines seem to show up more easily, from smaller stresses, on older horses than in younger ones.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-12-2020, 07:57 PM
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Looks like she's got swelling lumps below fetlock. In picture last one on bottom.

Rings ridges can have many causes,I wouldn't worry about it. Looks like new growth at top is ring ridge free.

My horse has ring ,ridges in his front feet,there growing down. Another few trims and they'll be gone.

He'll probably have more rings show up in another 4 months or so. Ran a high fever for 5 or so days.
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