Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 86 - The Horse Forum
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post #851 of 1996 Old 05-31-2017, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Just tried looking up overgrown bars, but couldn't figure out what I was reading.

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post #852 of 1996 Old 05-31-2017, 09:03 PM
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The bars are part of the sole, left untrimmed, they grow up and out, like your horse's and cause the heels to underrun, or they grow inward, then the horse feels soreness, like walking around with ingrown toenails. Some farriers argue that the bars are there for support, nonsense, they grow just like the hoof and should be trimmed otherwise you get the problems I mentioned. Here is my daughter's horse trimmed a month ago, bars left, heels underrun, by a certified farrier. I get called because her horse is lame, so I balanced her up and fixed the bars and brought back the heel so everything is hitting the ground equally.

Notice how her heels are not at the back by the bulb of her frog? That is unbalanced, her toes are stretched as well.
revb4.jpg

I trimmed her bars, brought the heel and toe back under this mare, she's balanced now.
revdonegood.jpg
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post #853 of 1996 Old 05-31-2017, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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I took a camera out with me feeding the horses, but forgot to grab a hoof pick. Here are Bandit's feet, now shod, left front and right front:



I don't recall any of the trimmers trimming the bars much, except one - and the horses were so sore for the next few days that we never brought him back.

The bars on Bandit's seem more flared out to me than they were just a few days ago. We went on some really rocky spots yesterday. I dismounted because he didn't need my weight added to his, but the rocks chewed up his feet some. I'll try to get some pictures of Cowboy's feet tomorrow for comparison.

My horses' feet never look like what I see pictures of on the Internet. My horses NEVER have "concave soles" - not unless they are trimmed to make them concave, and then the horses can't go out on anything but pavement for the next week! This was Mia's hoof from who know when:



It is frustrating. One wants to do right by their horses, but what is "right"?

I went for a jog today. Coming back, I saw Bandit racing around the corral. He does that sometimes barefoot as well. He seemed to be trying to get Trooper to play, and Trooper wanted none of it. I hope to get a ride in tomorrow before the winds pick up.

The farrier said if I changed my mind to just give him a call and he'd swing by to remove the shoes. I'm going to need to give it a few weeks to make an honest test, though.
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post #854 of 1996 Old 05-31-2017, 09:55 PM
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Like I said, I wish I could come out and trim your horses. But some horses accommodate for improper balanced hooves and do fine, some are off, lame, just can't tolerate it. Your farrier ignored the bars and left the heel underrun, but that horse has a good hoof, short toes, wide frog, he's learned to accommodate for the imbalance, he'll be fine. The shoeing, from what I can see is decent, used forward three nails, supported the heel, can't see the rest.

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post #855 of 1996 Old 05-31-2017, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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I worry a lot more about Bandit than the others. Trooper's hooves have tended to crack at times, but he only gets tender if you RUN him across the rocks - which my daughter has finally quit doing! The farrier today mentioned his hooves don't have any small cracks like they often have.

Cowboy...well, everyone who has seen his hooves say they are great. I'll try to get pictures because no one has ever had a bad word to say about Cowboy's feet.

But Bandit was raced long miles with a guy who is easily 50-60 lbs heavier than me. I told the farrier today that his previous owner was as big as the farrier and had raced Bandit in the relay races (pony express races). He looked at me and replied, "As a young horse?"

"Afraid so."

"Well, at least he has gentle use now!", the farrier said. But he arrived in 00 shoes and was shod in size 1 today. And what happened INSIDE the leg, to the bones and knees and all the other stuff that can be damaged...darn it! Bandit didn't deserve it! I could easily see him turning arthritic a few years from now with nothing I can do to stop it. And if he sometimes gets frustrated by me, he is still a darn good horse. It would be horrible to have something go wrong in his legs or feet, but I can't be sure the damage hasn't already been done. It gets scary.

I do wish you could come down and ride with me and show me about hooves, waresbear. You could see what wimpy riding I generally do, but it IS fun just to ride the washes and squeeze between the cactus - even within a mile or so of here! I've avoided learning about horse feet, but I guess it is time for me to start...
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post #856 of 1996 Old 05-31-2017, 10:28 PM
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Well, if you came here, I could hook you up with a farrier buddy of mine. She gives farrier clinics where you get to trim cadaver hooves, she makes sure everyone understands what is a balanced hoof. I have training with her for about a year now.

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post #857 of 1996 Old 06-01-2017, 03:19 AM
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@waresbear did a nice trim. I disagree slightly with one thing, the bars don't cause the heel to run under, although they do need to be trimmed and can cause all kinds of problems. The running forward problem usually begins at the toe, and the heel follows.

It looks like the farrier ignores your bars completely, which is common. Sometimes it causes no problems, and sometimes it causes serious problems. Many farriers see the hoof wall as a round rim when actually it curves around and forms the little triangle area of the bars.

Bandit will be more sound over rough ground with shoes on. Regardless of whether the trim is good or not, the shoes will lift his sole up so he won't feel the rocks and hard matter very much. Shoes make horses more sound unless the farrier does a terrible job.

It's the long term health of the hoof that is often affected by shoes, and that can be less easy to spot because it happens gradually and the shoe will cover for many issues that would lame the horse barefoot.
I'm not saying it is wrong to put shoes on or to not shoe Bandit. But I believe if a person puts shoes on horses, they need to be more aware and watchful for problems that may develop over time.
It can be legitimate to shoe for part of a year because protection is needed and you don't want to boot. It's less ideal, but a choice many people make.

What I don't like about the shod pictures is that it's not clear where the hoof breakover is supposed to be. A knowledgeable farrier will peel back the tip of the frog and find out where it attaches to the sole. From the barefoot pic, the frog looks too close to the end of the sole. That either means someone has trimmed the toe back too far, or the frog is stretched forward. More often the frog is stretched.
The center of the toe of the shoe should be 1 to 1 1/4 inches in front of the actual tip of the frog, on a horse Bandit's size.

It's good you're not getting charged much for the shoes...but it's not a great job, I'm afraid. It looks like the shoes' edges are not flush with the outer hoof wall edges, which puts them at danger for being ripped off if the horse steps on those edges. The ends of the right front do not match up evenly with each other, and stick out past the frog! Again, any overtracking and Bandit can step on those ends and rip the shoe off. A farrier needs to match the size of the shoe exactly to the hoof, and if either hoof or shoe is a mm oversize, the wall or shoe needs to be rasped to make the edges flush. Good farriers I've had will heat the shoe and hammer it narrower or wider to adjust it slightly to fit the shape of the hoof. The shoes just out of the box often don't fit the horse perfectly.

The bars will probably wear off some if you ride over abrasive enough surfaces, even with a shoe on. But left laid over the way they are, they can trap small gravel which can wear into the sole under the bar, which can cause bruising or abscessing. I've seen many horses that the farriers shoe without trimming the bars, and I've dealt with some of the abscess under the bars for people.

On hard surfaces like yours, taking out sole will lame a horse. But a trimmer should know how to remove bars which are hard hoof wall and press into the sole versus taking out sole which is there to protect the hoof.
Going six weeks instead of eight is a good move.

I'm working more on the information on hooves I'm posting on my pages, so if you ever get time to read a bit it could be helpful to learn how to assess your own hooves.

Last edited by gottatrot; 06-01-2017 at 03:25 AM.
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post #858 of 1996 Old 06-01-2017, 05:09 AM
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There was mention of how thick you estimated Bandit's sole, and also that your hooves did not have concavity.
Just wanted to clarify how you were estimating sole thickness, and how you were checking for concavity.

As Ramey mentions in this post, the depth of the collateral grooves in the back of the hoof can vary and not relate to the sole thickness under the coffin bone where it is critical.
This image shows how to measure the sole depth from just behind the apex of the frog to the top of the sole ridge. You measure to the bottom of the rasp.

Of course if there is a shoe on or the hoof wall has not been trimmed, you can't measure this way. 1/2 to 5/8ths inch is ideal.
Reading Sole Thickness
Sole depth in that part of the hoof is synonymous with concavity. That gap under the file seen in the photo is the concavity of the hoof. Concavity in any other area is irrelevant (and possibly unhealthy). A flat sole means there is no depth to that part of the hoof.
This hoof has no concavity:
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post #859 of 1996 Old 06-01-2017, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
...This image shows how to measure the sole depth from just behind the apex of the frog to the top of the sole ridge. You measure to the bottom of the rasp.

Of course if there is a shoe on or the hoof wall has not been trimmed, you can't measure this way. 1/2 to 5/8ths inch is ideal.
Reading Sole Thickness
Sole depth in that part of the hoof is synonymous with concavity. That gap under the file seen in the photo is the concavity of the hoof. Concavity in any other area is irrelevant (and possibly unhealthy). A flat sole means there is no depth to that part of the hoof.
This hoof has no concavity:
Cowboy may make a liar out of me when I look at his feet later this morning. I don't do his feet very often. But Mia, Lilly, Trooper and Bandit have never had can concavity with their feet, unless it is cut in - and that lames them. Based on your photo, none of them would have any sole depth.

Frog material stretches forward and falls off. It also tends to stretch sideways. I can't be certain none of the farriers we've used have ever trimmed the bars, but I don't remember seeing it done. Enough travel on pavement will wear it smooth, and the rocks will chop it up and remove parts at times. I had never heard of trimming the bars until yesterday. They will cut off some near the rear, but the part that extends along the frog is generally left there.

Cowboy is a desert mustang. The farriers we've used rarely do more than rasp his feet slightly. If he was wild, he'd probably COULD go without trimming and without harm.

Bandit's rear feet are never a problem. He has longer, pointed toes in the rear. The farrier says he'd like them to be less pointed, but that just seems to be what his feet want - and he shows no problems on the rear. Maybe because he carries less weight back there, of course.

When I took up riding, one of my huge frustrations was with the conflicting advice I'd get. My toes should be straight ahead. Or 30 degrees to the side. Legs should be nearly straight. Or bent. Heels should be under my hip. Or not. I should be "on my pockets". Or not. I should only ride bitless. Or only use a snaffle. One guy, in his 80s who raised and trained horses for 50 years (good ones, I'm told) told me to throw away my snaffles - that all horses should be ridden in a low port curb bit. Period.

But with riding, I could go try different things and see what worked. Or WHY it worked for X but not for Y.

With humans, I've known very good athletes who were moving like old men by 40 because of wear and tear inside their bodies - while feeling fine and being very good athletes when young! It can take 20-30 years for premature and excessive or incorrect wear on the body to reveal itself. So experimenting with one's body is tough for a human, let alone what we do TO a horse!

It amazes me that over hundreds of years of riding, we cannot say, "Hooves need to be like this in Kentucky, like this in England, like this in Egypt and like this in Arizona." We humans have spent 2000+ years with horses, and we still don't know much!

I appreciate the advice I've received. I'm not getting ****y, or 'have some attitude' over that!

I'm just incredibly frustrated when the horse depends on me to get it right, but I can't say what "right" is. My farrier has 30 years of experience with uncounted horses, and training - so if he doesn't know, then how am I going to figure it out? It seems I need to hope for what @waresbear wrote:

Quote:
But some horses accommodate for improper balanced hooves and do fine...
I almost wonder if the best I can do is continue letting the horse decide what they can do in terms of ground, distance, speed, etc - and hope THEY know their limits.

Signing off my rant as "Frustrated in Arizona"...
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post #860 of 1996 Old 06-01-2017, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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To put it another way:

I can't get doctors to agree on if it is OK for me to eat bacon and drink coffee. Why should I expect anything about horses to be any easier?
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