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post #11 of 15 Old 11-01-2009, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by barefoothooves View Post

Conformation (large body) can contribute to the likelyhood of nav. problems, but more often that not, it's the hoof care and lack of sufficient low impact exercise (grazing, moseying around a pasture) that creates more problems like contracted heels and tinier feet than genetics.
oh i agree ! thats what happened to my horse, the farrier decided he didnt like how scouts feet looked & changed them way too much in the middle of the eventing season. my poor pony =[ i swtiched farriers btw !

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post #12 of 15 Old 11-01-2009, 03:19 PM
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With a navicular horse, to me, the best two things you can do for them before you get to denerving them is proper shoeing and proper ground. Find a good farrier who knows how to shoe a navicular horse. In my horse's case (and a few others since then), the vet who specializes in lameness talked to me Dad, who is a farrier, about what angles he wanted on the horse and we did it. Within a few months, he was no longer sore, and basically showed no signs of navicular. Also ensured that he was always worked on good ground - not the type that is hard and packed, just causes more trauma to the area (bone and tendons). He was diagnosed almost 10 years ago. The only sign you can see in him is that he doesn't like to land off a jump in the left lead, which is the foot that has the worse disease. Other than that, he looks just like any other horse out there.

If you have to denerve a horse, you mainly have to ensure proper foot care. They can still do anything you want them to do, including jumping. But remember - you are the one responsible for finding anything that is going wrong in those feet since they won't be able to tell you about it.
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-01-2009, 07:33 PM
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Agree(as usual) with Barefoot. First thing first tho, I think it's vital that you educate yourself on the principles of hoof function, soundness & rehab, so that you can make *informed* decisions, rather than just having to take the word of the 'experts' at hand. That being your vet's, farrier's, or us.... Study the pros & cons of all treatments. As previously mentioned, is one great place to start.

Originally Posted by sillybunny11486 View Post
ill post a photo after she gets trimmed. is an option, but not right now... as the ground is getting colder, if she transitions now i think it would cause her more pain then if i were to wait till early spring. boots arent really an option, unless i use them just for riding... and i dont ride her. Part of her problems could be small feet, and contracted heals. But it mght be somewhat genetic (shes paint x qh) (her predisposal to hoof problems.)
We'll likely need more than one pic to tell you anything much. Front & side on from near ground level, and a couple of different angles of her sole, inc sighting down from heel, to get an idea of depth & heel height would be good.

Regarding barefoot & 'transitioning', I tend to agree with you, that if she's lame, the ground's hard, being bare may not give her the support & protection she needs, and she needs to at least start some rehabilitation before 'transitioning' will be an appropriate option. BUT I strongly disagree with metal shoes being the best(well, being any good) option in this problem, as they don't provide the necessary support and protection, and can prevent the hooves functioning properly.

Why aren't boots an option? Hopefully(& generally it's the case) boots are only necessary for riding, or exercising the horse on hard ground. If the horse is lame enough to warrant protection being needed 24/7 it is usually only in the short term. Especially if there is some prob specifically with boots, or with outlaying the money for them(I sure know that prob!), alternatives such as Vettec Sole Guard or Equicast are effective & also cheaper full time alternatives.

Regarding genetics, while of course genetic flaws are definitely possible, and genetics does govern hoof form to some degree, the biggest factor is management & exercise of horses from a young age. Of course, diet & regular *good* trimming are also imperative factors. Any hoof conformation is 'predisposed' to various hoof problems, given the wrong conditions.

i talked to my farrier and we both agreed that right now is not an optimal time to pull her shoes. the whole point is to get more circulation in her hoof. Farrier- "The only problem i see with taking shoes off now is with the ground hardening with winter she will wear down her feet to nothing and her foot wont grow with it being cold."
Regarding circulation, yes, removing the shoes should help there, but the main way to increase circulation is ensuring *correct* hoof function, ie heel first impacts, which will require the horse to have enough heel protection *& support* to want & be able to do that. Obviously the shoes can't do this, so whether or not you choose to keep her shod, I would advise pads with frog support.

Regarding her feet wearing down, this is generally unlikely, especially if you're not riding her a lot on hard surfaces. IME it might also be a question of perspective, as many farriers consider a healthy length of wall(at or near level with the sole plane) to be 'worn down to nothing'. The other thing is, if her feet are shod and quite contracted, as you already recognise, circulation is reduced, so therefore so is growth. Her feet should begin to grow quicker without them. Exercise/more good hoof function also increases growth, and also the more they're 'used', the more the hoof puts out. By the same token, if you don't 'use it, you lose it', which is likely why she may have little growth now. You're right tho that feed/protein also effects growth, so if you feel the need, increase her protein in winter - eg. alfalfa hay.

Hard ground usually agrivates all horses with navicular, so I could definatly see her flaring up even more. She wont even walk up to the barn when she looses a shoe,
As previously stated, I agree that being left bare is possibly not best for her ATM. Especially in light of the above. I agree that hard ground is more painful to 'nav' horses. But that is an argument for protection & support for her heels/frogs, not an argument for keeping her shod. She is not getting protection with shoes, but it's likely they 'work' to reduce her discomfort, because when circulation is reduced, so is feeling. Get this horse padded for her comfort. Aside from the humane issue of having a horse in pain, she's not going to start improving until she can be comfortable using her feet properly.
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-03-2009, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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she have very soft feet, when she pulls a shoe half of her hoof usually comes along too. i think the farrier is worried about her feet, because they are so soft. she has pads right now. im hoping to use equi pack so she has pressure on her whole hoof, possibly increasing bloodflow, and more surface area to absorbe impact. He suggested a supplement for hooves be given to her. I did some research and i got 160 days of grand hoof, so well see if that works any. (those smartpack comparison charts are great!!) I know it will take a few months at least to show effects on her hooves, if any.

i dont necessarily agree that all shoes cause a horse to loose blood flow, otherwise every shod horse would develop hoof problems. boots arent an option because they arent ment for extended use, ie turnout ect. shes on 24/7 turnout. they work well for riding, when the horse is supervised, but i dont ride her. She gets about 3 cups of alfalfa cubes a day but im not giving her too much more than that. I assume she also gets protein from the flax seed shes on as well. She is a large pony, i dont want her weight to skyrocket (and the possibility of founder), making her have to bear more weight on her hooves, and shes on 24/7 turnout, i dont want the weanling getting access to the alfala.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-03-2009, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sillybunny11486 View Post
im hoping to use equi pack so she has pressure on her whole hoof, possibly increasing bloodflow, and more surface area to absorbe impact.
Good idea, as it's incredibly unhealthy to force the walls to take the brunt of the load. And it's not just a case of more surface area to absorb impact, but that it is the rear of the hoof that is designed to do this & the front of the hoof & the walls aren't built for it. There is little shock absorbtion at all in toe-first impacts, which is one reason for navicular bone/tendon damage, along with many other joint ailments, splints, etc.

i dont necessarily agree that all shoes cause a horse to loose blood flow, otherwise every shod horse would develop hoof problems. boots arent an option because they arent ment for extended use,
I agree that shoes don't *necessarily* cause reduced circulation. However, when hooves are sick, shoes generally exacerbate any problems. When hooves become contracted, when a shoe is nailed to those feet in their contracted state & phase, it is highly likely this will result in further constriction. It's just the way hooves function. As for every shod horse developing hoof probs, I don't think that's a valid argument, because while shoes may not *necessarily* cause serious issues in otherwise healthy feet, and there are usually a range of factors that contribute to their illhealth, how do you explain the alarming majority of shod horses that do have contracted, sick hooves.

I agree that boots aren't generally the best option if the horse must be turned out in them 24/7 long term. Short term, turnout in boots shouldn't create any big issues, so long as you use ones which don't extend up past the hairline. But Vettec products like Sole Guard are definitely good options.

Anyway, like I said, keep studying & educate yourself on the factors involved, then it's just up to you to make the best decisions you can at the time.
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