Thoughts on this farrier PLEASE - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Thoughts on this farrier PLEASE

Over the years I have tried many, many farriers. We finally found one that we liked and enjoyed three peaceful years, but over this past winter he was hurt and has stopped trimming.
I went back to one of our old farriers but she tends to rasp the toe starting 2/3 the way up the hoof which strips the wall off and causes some serious cracks.
I found a new guy who does "barefoot trimming", leaving the sole to form a callous. I've liked the concept however he has trimmed them 4 times (every 6 weeks) now and all of the horses have been tender or outright lame these last two times he has trimmed (like seriously, I've been waiting for an abscess to blow on some but that never seems to happen, they're just that sore...)

ONE horse who has always had the worst problem feet I have pictures from today and some from two years ago. I know they should be taken freshly trimmed so I apologize. Even if anyone can weigh in on do they look better in the old photos or currently?

Today, 4 weeks since last trim:












Two years ago photos same horse next post..... Thank-you.....
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post #2 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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OK, these are the old photos. Better or worse? Again I'm sure he was about 4-5 weeks post trim, sorry. Its all that I could find to compare.









X-rays around that time

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post #3 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 02:20 PM
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Well, I'm not an expert on hooves, but it would be hard to be worse than those hooves in the old photos. So by default I have to say the new trim is better. Seems like the flaring is better and, of course, those terrible cracks are gone.
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post #4 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 03:05 PM
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Don't see much improvement on any of the photos posted. Long toes long under run heels and flares big time.

Seems this is the case with so many farriers...hard to find farriers who actually do good work. I've been down this road and it's very frustrating. I finally have a Farrier who does really GOOD trim shoe job.
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post #5 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 04:41 PM
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I am not judging the farriery. I do not think it is reasonable to do so from these pics & info. Hooves are obviously overgrown, which may be normal for him for 4 weeks out, don't know what the guy started with either.

There are definitely *questions* particularly if multiple horses have been lame post trim(still not necessarily his fault, but...) - what has he said/done about that? What have you? Have you had a vet to them?

I wouldn't necessarily judge rasping the surface of the walls that far up either. Imo it is generally best to avoid this, but could potentially be helpful/necessary in some cases. It is not the cause of cracks either.

Diet, nutrition & environment/wet footing, and whether you put stuff on his hooves can all be big factors in hoof cracks(esp 'surface' cracks, as some look) along with mechanical factors.

So, I will just tell what I see... overgrown hooves with long toes & high, run forward heels. If he is not able to trim often enough those things arent nec. farrier fault and run forward & high heels do take time to fix. Hard to see much of anything underneath, with all the black stuff - is that dirt or thrush or...? Frog heels do look thrushy & with them raised so high that's not surprising. Can't tell if those cracks have been cleaned out/opened up at all, but I'd say they probably need more, along with topical treatment, if you're not doing that. And if they are fast growing - he has trimmed well but they have overgrown since, then the horse needs trimming more frequently.

Are they just wet, or have you oiled them or such? If so, don't! This doesn't help, but if there are cracks or other 'compromises', oiling will do further harm in softening horn & sealing in the anaerobic bugs to provide them a cushion environment to thrive!

Fwiw pics from 3 years ago look to me worse in some ways but not in others. Cracks are not treated. Long toes, flared quarters, massively overgrown bars, lateral imbalance... looks like his left fore may poss need to be a bit higher heeled than right though.

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 #6 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 04:46 PM
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Oh & what were the x rays for?
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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 #7 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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OH wow thank-you for the input all.

He had x-rays to check for navicular in the LF. He has an old injury and is only occasional/light riding sound. The x-rays were also to help a new farrier at that time. I just included them here for whatever its worth...

I am not judging the farriery. I do not think it is reasonable to do so from these pics & info. Hooves are obviously overgrown, which may be normal for him for 4 weeks out, don't know what the guy started with either. Understandable. I know the pictures are terrible and that they are best directly after a trim, especially for a farrier critique.

There are definitely *questions* particularly if multiple horses have been lame post trim(still not necessarily his fault, but...) - what has he said/done about that? What have you? Have you had a vet to them? He has said that they will/may be lame until they build more sole. He left a couple, this gelding in particular, a little long last trim because hes been SO sore.
As far as what I have done, we do not have hours in the day... This has been years. Like, all of my horse owning years and I do not even know how many farriers. I give each a 6-12 month period of time to make corrections. This gelding is 14 now and hes never had not underun heels, never had a healthy frog, always had the cracks. They're the worst they have ever been now. I have changed feed, farriers, had a vet look at him and other horses, he has been x-rayed a few times. But the vet that we use is 2+hrs away and cannot help with a farrier suggestion, this isn't a vet issue its a farrier issue and its all of my horses so its just a never ending depressing cycle.


I wouldn't necessarily judge rasping the surface of the walls that far up either. Imo it is generally best to avoid this, but could potentially be helpful/necessary in some cases. It is not the cause of cracks either. Other farriers have been horrified after she has trimmed. Is this in fact OK? She rasps clean off the whole top of the hoof. Others have told me that weakens the wall and allows the cracks.

Diet, nutrition & environment/wet footing, and whether you put stuff on his hooves can all be big factors in hoof cracks(esp 'surface' cracks, as some look) along with mechanical factors. I have made MANY diet changes over the years and followed many vets, farriers and the likes advice. But nothing has ever changed their hooves. During the winter the horses eat a nice timothy alfalfa mix hay and a Essential K, CoolStance, Flax seed meal and a little kelp. During the summer they graze and are fed a much lighter supplemental ration. I've tried magnesium, I've tried biotin, Coolstance, various grains, NO sugar diets, I've tried pretty much anything and everything people have suggested. Switching hay, no grain, yes grain, more coconut, no pasture, yes pasture, ration balancer, nope try oats, nope try (insert here)... I've owned horses for almost 20 years so this has been done slowly over many years - with this gelding we've had him 14 years. No feed change has helped his feet. I've never noticed changing feed to help any of their feet.

Our pastures are high, dry and sandy. He is not standing in anything wet.


So, I will just tell what I see... overgrown hooves with long toes & high, run forward heels. If he is not able to trim often enough those things arent nec. farrier fault and run forward & high heels do take time to fix. He likes to trim every 8+ weeks. He said that trimming to often weakens the hoof wall. This was news to me, but like I said with each new farrier I try to just go with it and let them do their job how they want. If and when it doesn't help. I look for the next guy. I am out of next guys though... Hard to see much of anything underneath, with all the black stuff - is that dirt or thrush or...? Frog heels do look thrushy & with them raised so high that's not surprising. Can't tell if those cracks have been cleaned out/opened up at all, but I'd say they probably need more, along with topical treatment, if you're not doing that. And if they are fast growing - he has trimmed well but they have overgrown since, then the horse needs trimming more frequently. The cracks were opened up.

Are they just wet, or have you oiled them or such? If so, don't! This doesn't help, but if there are cracks or other 'compromises', oiling will do further harm in softening horn & sealing in the anaerobic bugs to provide them a cushion environment to thrive! This explains why the cracks, though opened up have gotten much worse? This farrier had me using coconut regularly on all of our horses bc he said the feet are dry (we have sandy soil). Like I said, I try to just use each new method at me but all I've got is a big list of wrong ideas I think... and horses who cannot walk

Fwiw pics from 3 years ago look to me worse in some ways but not in others. Cracks are not treated. Long toes, flared quarters, massively overgrown bars, lateral imbalance... looks like his left fore may poss need to be a bit higher heeled than right though.

I've used thrush buster, tea tree oil, one farrier said hydrogen peroxide, another bleach (I skipped that), another alcohol, another lightning something I forgot its name, another suggested something else that I've forgotten the name of but they needed to soak with it in a boot for 45 minutes and it was quite pricey, but also did not work to cure the cracks on this horse or any of the others.
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post #8 of 44 Old 07-14-2019, 11:55 PM
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A lot of old timers leave mud around the water trough so the feet get wet whenever the horse comes to get a drink. Others in wetter environments may disagree, but it will add back natural moisture being sucked out of the feet in your dry sandy soil. I also agree to not rasp so high as the hooves have a thin protective layer that retains the natural moisture.

Toe needs to be shorter for better breakover and less stress to pull cracks apart. Heels need to be shortened and facing the ground. The frog has wasted away and needs to meet the ground to do what it is intended to do.
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post #9 of 44 Old 07-15-2019, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoriahKoda View Post
He has said that they will/may be lame until they build more sole. He left a couple, this gelding in particular, a little long last trim because hes been SO sore.
If a horse is 'low grade' or 'sub clinical laminitic' for eg, they may well be a bit tender immediately following a trim, through no fault of the farriery. Even so, I would not just accept this and (even if other probs persist in causing the 'SCL') you can avoid or at least minimise this by adjusting the trim, &/or trimming less, more frequently - IMO it is generally only an issue for horses left to overgrow between trims, while if they're *maintained* with a rasp frequently enough, they don't have the issue.

But it sounds like, regardless of whether they are 'SCL', this is more than just a little tenderness immediately post trim anyway. So I'd definitely be looking for better answers and while it's still possibly not his fault(not enough info still IMO), I'd personally be putting his visits on hold until you get to the bottom of it.

Padding your horse's feet - even with baby diapers or foam duct taped on if you're desperate - if/when they become lame or they need to be on hard ground, should alleviate the discomfort & prevent further damage from thin soles. If their soles are that thin, they're at risk of serious bruising & abscessing if not protected.

I meant 'what have you done' specifically about the horses being lame after trimming? I hear you, that you've been trying everything & frustrated otherwise. Especially the 'out of next guys' sentiment. Unfortunately yours is not an uncommon experience... I also don't think I was clear regarding the rasping the wall surface... Generally I believe it is not necessary or desirable to do this. But not knowing exactly what/how she did or why, or what state the feet were in, I just wouldn't be saying it was necessarily wrong. And while I do not believe doing this will cause cracks of itself, the outer layer of hoof which grows down from the coronary border is harder, impermeable(if not compromised) and the softer inner wall material is indeed more easily invaded by infection if the outer layer is compromised/cracked... removed.

Quote:
[B]He likes to trim every 8+ weeks. He said that trimming to often weakens the hoof wall.
You can often get away with trimming horses that infrequently, without issue, particularly if they're already healthy & getting lots of barefoot exercise, to wear the excess away. But when hoof walls are allowed to become overgrown between trims, THAT is what weakens walls the most, as they distort, flare, separate, crack under pressure... Because they're not built to be a major support structure. At the end of the day, they're just toenails.

And it's also been shown (I think Pete Ramey had a good article on it) that thin soles will not *begin* to grow better, thicker, until the walls have grown out healthily, without 'stretching' or other undue pressure to the laminae. It's also vital, IME, that if you want to effect changes, particularly to run forward heels & such, trimming little & often(say 3-4 weekly) to gradually, continually improve the situation, whereas leaving hooves to overgrow between trims often sets you back to 'square 1' each time. You may still be able to prevent the prob getting worse, but it's difficult/impossible to improve things on each trim.

Quote:
This explains why the cracks, though opened up have gotten much worse? This farrier had me using coconut regularly on all of our horses bc he said the feet are dry (we have sandy soil).
If they're not being treated effectively, and they've also been sealed up, yes, that's a problem. Horses evolved in semi arid environs - their feet are meant to be dry on the outside! And remember, if the outer wall is not compromised, it is impermeable anyway, so oil, water, whatever, will only sit on the surface, it doesn't sink in, or help the moist inner wall stay moist.

Yeah, lots of people have a range of different ideas, opinions, knowledge... and if you just try everything without analysing it, I think the law of averages is likely to show that you'll end up trying a lot of rubbish, along with the helpful stuff. And as farriers are just people, and in many places it's not even a regulated profession, so there's not even a guaranteed 'base knowledge', how are you to know who's worth listening to? So I think it's vital for owners to educate themselves as well as possible about hooves, lameness, etc. To that end, the thread link in my signature line is one place to start.

Quote:
I've used thrush buster, tea tree oil, one farrier said hydrogen peroxide, another bleach (I skipped that), another alcohol, another lightning something I forgot its name, another suggested something else that I've forgotten the name of but they needed to soak with it in a boot for 45 minutes and it was quite pricey, but also did not work to cure the cracks on this horse or any of the others.
[/QUOTE]

There are all manner of topical treatments that can be effective to kill 'seedy' bugs. They can be bacterial, fungal or protozoa, so a 'broad spectrum' antiseptic, and one that isn't deactivated with air, dirt, moisture(because you tend to find those on hooves!) is best. Generally, so long as infection isn't into live tissue, 'heavier' chems are fine. But IME topical treatment alone only tends to work with shallow infections, in more 'ideal' environs. Generally it takes a 'joint approach', because otherwise, you can't get deep enough to treat it all, &/or mechanics or such are perpetuating cracks, so the seedy just reinfects.
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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 44 Old 07-15-2019, 05:07 AM
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It sounds like you've been given a lot of dietary advice. Something I will point out is that your Essential K is a good ration balancer, with copper, zinc and biotin for the hooves, but they'll only get the appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals if you're giving the horses 2.2 lbs (1 kg) every day. That is what the label says on the bag. If the horses are on pasture currently and not able to eat 2.2 lbs of grain without gaining weight, you might consider switching to a multivitamin instead. For example, you could give a cup of Horseguard Trifecta to a 1,000 lb horse and still give the horse all the copper, zinc, biotin, vitamin E, and all the other essential vitamins and minerals needed without all those extra calories.

If you're only feeding vitamins and minerals in the winter, the hooves will only start to show the benefit before you stop giving them again. It takes around six months for biotin, copper and zinc to show improvement in hoof quality.

What can be tricky about the seedy/cracks/white line disease is that as @loosie said, it takes a combination approach. You need the hoof minerals in the diet, the trimming that brings back the toe and balances the hoof to relieve stress and open up any infected spots to air, and sometimes the combination of soaking and products applied as well.
Sandy soil can be difficult because it brings organisms inside the hoof and works them up into the cracks. My friend recently had to have her horse's hooves trimmed very short to get to the bottom of some white line disease that developed in some small cracks. The sand made the WLD much worse.
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