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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I have a new horse with several issues, but one of them is that her feet are awful! She was extremely footsore when she came to me a month ago, so I got the farrier out asap to put pads on her which helped a lot. He said her sole was so thin he could flex it without testers but thought it was probably due to over paring by her previous farrier and was confident he could correct it and get her comfortable within a couple shoeings. That was 3 weeks ago and since then she’s been less sore (not totally better I don’t think, she still seems to hesitate on hard surfaces). However, now her feet are totally chipped and coming apart at the quarters and around the nails on her shoes. One chip on her right front right toe has me particularly worried, it seems to persistently chip in that one spot and I thought it might be white line? Thought I’d post here and see what the world wide web thought before I start bugging my farrier again.

She’s been on a biotin supplement for about two years and I use keratex hoof hardener twice a week to try and toughen up her soles on her back feet.
 

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Do you have any pictures?
 

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So, its not just biotin that is needed to grow and build good horn health...you need the helping amino acids too.
Lysine, methione and ???? oh boy just blanked out of my brain. Zinc?? Is it zinc....:think:
Your horse must have good nutrition though as good hooves come from being fed good nutritious food to start with and yes, genetics do come into play.
So, by all means "bother" the farrier and let him/her know you see a persistent crack/chip and are concerned.
Something needs to be addressed, at the least looking at it next time they come for care.

Now, if my horse was having foot issues from previous owner neglect, my farrier and I would have a date set every 4 weeks we meet so small, frequent changes take place and hopefully less sore comes of it.
Speak to that farrier about WLD and if it is suspected, I swear by White Lightening made by Grand Circuit.
Follow directions carefully to soak, then fumigate each hoof as directed and you should be seeing a improvement sooner rather than later.
When my horse had a problem in one hoof, being solution was made we did all 4 and then I knew we were treated and that was no longer a issue...to each their own.
It is recommended shoes removed and a fresh filing done so open pores and tissue to best absorb the product into all those spaces, cracks and nail holes from shoes applied...the rest is up to the farrier to guide you on what can be done to lessen soreness.
So if decided to soak, my farrier would remove shoes and trim hooves...
I would then soak and fumigate and farrier would either be back same day at end of day to now shoe the horse or come the next morning to shoe the horse...
In the interim time though said horse should not go out with feet prepared for shoes in case he chips a chunk now what do you do...
That is me and how I would do...but it starts by "pestering" the farrier...:|
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn’t include this in the original post because I didn’t wanna make it too long but for context I owned this horse when she was young and sold her three years ago. When I had her she was barefoot and her hooves were not perfect but we’re not this cracked ever. She was getting Triple Crown senior, which is what she’s eaten pretty much her whole life and like I said her feet were fine. I just in the past month switched her to Strucomix Senior because I wanted to feed something lower sugar, but it’s too recent a feed change to see if it’ll improve her hooves. I’m feeding her according to the guidelines on the bag and it is a high-quality feed.

I’m expecting the Ferrier to be out this week to look at another horse so any advice I get here I’ll run by him when I see him.
 

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The strucomix senior is 4 percent sugar 27 percent starch. Wouldn't feed this stuff it's sky high NSC. You'd be better off going back to TC senior that's 11 percent NSC.

High sugar high starch diets aren't how horses are supposed to be fed. High fiber high fat. All high NSC does is make horse prone to all kinds of health issues.
Been down this road and my gelding had nothing but issue after issue with feet & being sore.

Off all commercial feeds and after a year of good low NSC diet he's sound. Obviously has an excellent farrier who keeps feet well trimmed balanced.

From the one picture toe is long looks over do for a good trim. Go to @loosie signature for how to take good pictures.

Another poster on here also has her horses grain free, commercial feed free. @walkinthewalk .
 

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1. Ditto to go to @loosie signature and read the link on taking clear hoof pics:)

2. Ditto @rambo99 to go back to TC Senior or one of their feeds that is low in NSC:). I have not bought bagged feed or ration balancer of any sort for my horses years:)

3. If you can afford to, I would get her front hooves x-rayed to see where the coffin bone is for two reasons:

3.1. The farrier is concerned about how very soft her soles are.

3.2. That horizontal ridge at the top of her hoof. Depending how fast her hooves grow, something major happened 3 to 5 months ago with her health.

It could have been a huge change in diet or ——- it could have been a laminitis attack which may account for her soft soles and being so foot sore.

4. Regarding that toe crack —- you need to address that “yesterday” before a serious case of whiteline starts invading the healthy tissue up inside. WLD spreads like wildfire.

My suggestion is to buy some Thrush Buster for now. Clean that opening out as best you can, then squirt some thrush Buster in there.

Do that every every 2-3 days until the White Lightening GEL you will have to order arrives:), lol.

That stuff is amazing at killing fungus and bacteria inside the hoof. A 2 oz bottle is $20, BUT a little goes a long way. I use a 1/2” brush to get the gel inside a hoof chip on my foundered horse.

5. Far as pads, I’m all for them but if the farrier is using leather, I’m not for them, lollol

My farrier uses wedges with lily pads and packs a pliable (reminds me of silly putty) packing under the lily pad to encourage blood flow to the frogs. The sole depth my foundered horse has gained with that method is mind boggling.

I have some fotos, if you’re interested and would want to show your farrier. My farrier also uses copper nails and the shoes are Natural Balance PLR’s.

6. How did you happen to get her back? Did the people call you and ask if you’d take her back? Was it word of mouth through a third party? I’m just wondering if them wanting to get rid of her is related to what happened to cause that horizontal ridge at the top:)
 
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Hi,

Responding firstly to your OP and the one pic.

Hi! I have a new horse with several issues, but one of them is that her feet are awful! She was extremely footsore when she came to me a month ago, so I got the farrier out asap to put pads on her which helped a lot. He said her sole was so thin he could flex it without testers but thought it was probably due to over paring by her previous farrier
What other issues? Because if they're gut/metabolism issues, or she is on pain meds long term, then they are likely factors in her hoof health. The superficial vertical surface cracks/lines from half way up the hoof are likely nutritional, and the ridgy looking horizontal line up near the coronary border looks like it could have been a laminitic event, which probably correlated with when you got her. From what can be seen though, it appears her hooves aren't too bad on those fronts generally though.

I would NOT have put rigid rim shoes on her, which are indeed effective *palliatives* but will do nothing to heal whatever probs. Esp not if I suspected laminitis, or if the horse were very lame(or, for that matter, on feet in that state). I would have had the vet out, poss got rads, kept horse on soft, comfortable footing, a bland, 'low GI' diet, and padded her feet and considered short term pain killers if she were still uncomfortable. One reason for not using steel peripheral loading shoes is that it puts all the load on the hoof walls, which can, esp if metabolic issues(low grade laminitis) is involved, can lead to unsupported internal structures 'sinking' within the capsule. While I can't know if last farrier also overpared the sole, with long walls as pictured, if the sole is thin, it's not just about overparing, but that P3 is sunk low in the capsule. Also, putting extra pressure on the walls, when the horse may have already been suffering laminitis, could lead to a total breakdown of connective tissue.

However, now her feet are totally chipped and coming apart at the quarters and around the nails on her shoes. One chip on her right front right toe has me particularly worried, it seems to persistently chip in that one spot and I thought it might be white line?
Can't tell much about balance etc from that angle pic, but as said, her walls are long & flares out a bit, changes angle from about half way up. And I get the impression heels are also high. So hoof mechanics is a problem, and shoes have been attached to these 'stretched' walls. And quarters, which should generally be a tad shorter than heel & toe, are trimmed flat, kept under pressure when shod, so no surprise that's what often breaks away/cracks first. So they have started to break away at the very bottom, although I wouldn't call it at all major. And yes, I'd bet there's some 'seedy/white line' infection present all round too, there definitely is in the crack at the toe. As this is an 'opportunistic' infection, it commonly invades hoof wall that is compromised in some way. It's anaerobic, so thrives in closed, airless spaces and can eat away inside the outer wall insidiously. So it needs to be cut out/opened up by the farrier, as well as treated topically.

These minor chips & crack are a symptom of the mechanical(& poss systemic as a factor) probs this hoof is suffering.

Thought I’d post here and see what the world wide web thought before I start bugging my farrier again.

She’s been on a biotin supplement for about two years and I use keratex hoof hardener twice a week to try and toughen up her soles on her back feet.
 

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& now after reading other posts...

Firstly yes HLG, zinc is one of the vital nutrients often lacking, which is associated strongly with hoof health. As is copper, magnesium, etc, etc. And then over supply of iron, manganese, potassium, etc, can also be a problem. So OP it depends what she is getting already in her diet as to what she may need supped. Biotin is but one very well marketed ingredient that may or may not be necessary. If she's getting adequate green pick, then she may well be getting enough biotin without supplementing. So first & foremost, you need to do a diet/pasture analysis, before you can know what supps may be needed.

She was getting Triple Crown senior, which is what she’s eaten pretty much her whole life and like I said her feet were fine.
Why did you feel the need to feed that to her, if she were young and healthy? Was she having trouble keeping condition? Was she in hard work? Was she not getting enough grazing, hay, other feed? And what was the rest of her diet?

Yes, she was likely 'fine' just as, for eg, most people are 'fine' if they live on junk food for some time. Things like type 2 diabetes don't tend to rear their heads until someone has been eating badly for a long time. **Not at all that I'm saying this is a bad feed per se, but just because 'she was fine' doesn't mean to say diet has been good.

I just in the past month switched her to Strucomix Senior because I wanted to feed something lower sugar, but it’s too recent a feed change to see if it’ll improve her hooves. I’m feeding her according to the guidelines on the bag and it is a high-quality feed.
TC Senior IS low sugar, grain free. It's only 11.something% NSC and is designed to be an appropriate food for horses with metabolic issues, and even as an entire ration for old toothless horses. While a quick look at that Strucomix shows that it is a high grain content feed(even including corn!!) so, while their product sheet doesn't mention NSC/sugar/starch, it looks like a 'high octane' feed, I highly doubt that it's at all low(let alone lower NSC/sugar than TC). (just saw Rambo's comment about that feed) Again, I wonder, why have you chosen those particular feeds for her & what is the rest of her diet?

Don't forget, while 'feeding according to the bag' may well be needed, it depends on the condition of the horse, what else they're getting as to how much they may need, and of course, feed co's also want you to feed/buy as much as possible, so guidelines are on the upper end of the scale, very often too much for most average horses.

I’m expecting the Ferrier to be out this week to look at another horse so any advice I get here I’ll run by him when I see him.
Horses should generally have their feet attended more frequently than the norm of 6-8 weekly. Generally 4-5 weekly is good. Especially as the horse has had serious & ongoing lameness issues, even has trouble on hard ground in padded shoes, I absolutely wouldn't advise you leave her longer than about 4 weekly max between FARRIER visits.

As usual, I agree with what Walkin & Rambo have told you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thank you everyone for all your advice! The morning after I posted this she ended up throwing a shoe, which wasn’t shocking since the integrity of her hoof was so poor that there wasn’t much for the nails to grab onto. Because of that I decided to go ahead and pull her front shoes and pads and call my vet out. Vet tested her hooves and examined her and said that she doesn’t think that she’s laminitic and there is no sign of white line, so she thinks the most likely cause it’s just poor nutrition at her previous barn. I’m going to keep her barefoot for now and have been icing, packing, and wrapping her feet before turning her out and then using hoof hardener in the morning. We also switched her feed to a ration balancer to make sure that she is getting all the nutrients she needs. I also got lucky and this whole week it’s supposed to torrential down pour here, we’ve had a long dry spell so the ground was rocksolid and now its nice and soft. With the icing and packing routine she is already significantly less foot sore than she was even with the pads on so I am very happy with the trend so far. I am waiting on some cloud boots to be delivered and once those come I’ll probably stop wrapping her feet and start turning her out with the front boots on instead. I’ll update again soon.
 

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there is no sign of white line, so she thinks the most likely cause it’s just poor nutrition
Really?? I'd be very surprised if there were no infection in that toe crack. And what of poor hoof form? And why is she so unsound if it's only nutritional probs(which are likely minor, by the looks)?? Possibly this vet is not well versed about hooves...

icing, packing, and wrapping her feet before turning her out and then using hoof hardener in the morning.
Why are you icing them? What are you packing them with? She needs a good trim, and if she needs padding just to be comfortable in her paddock, her feet are indeed in a bad way, not just nutritionally. I'd pad them with foam rubber, then you can tape it on with duct tape or such, as an 'emergency measure'. And yes, Cloud boots are great, and you don't need to pack/wrap when she gets them. Don't use hoof hardener on the wall or frog, just the sole.

Be interested in seeing some more hoof pics. If you'd like further info on them, be sure to check out the link in my signature line, for what's needed for the most accurate idea.

We also switched her feed to a ration balancer to make sure that she is getting all the nutrients she needs.
You might want to do a bit of homework into that, to ensure you find a ration balancer that does indeed suit her particular nutritional needs, or work out what other things you might need to add to what you've got, to make sure sh is indeed getting what she needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The horse is an easy keeper so she was only getting a handful of Triple Crown senior morning and night and was on a mostly dirt pasture. Not sure about the quality of hay she was getting, but the vet basically said that on only a handful of TC she was getting no nutritional benefits from her feed. She is an OTTB so they tend to have terrible hooves anyway. She is extremely footsore because of her thin soles, she is totally fine walking on grass now that it’s rained and the arena sand but on the gravel driveway, concrete aisles, and hard ground before the rain she was very sore. I’ve been icing her to relieve the soreness and inflammation from bruising and its helped her a lot. I’m packing with magic cushion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So her feet are desperately in need of a trim again but after having her about 3 months I feel like I’m seeing some healthier growth and she is chipping less now that she is barefoot. I see what she has now as normal wear and tear vs the persistent chips and crumbling I was seeing around her shoes. Still footsore on hard surfaces but not as bad and not reactive to testers. Sorry all the pictures I post are awful, my vet and farrier are happy with her progress though so I’m feeling better!
 

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Yeah, obviously due a trim & heels look high. Appreciate 'life happens' sometimes, to get in the way. But the top new growth, while it appears it's covered with a fair bit of periople, looks better. So 'keep up the good work' as they say! If you want more of a 'critique' on her feet, see the link in my signature line & post some more pics.
 
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