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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I pulled my horse's front shoes 4 days ago. So far so good thanks to a nice cushy blanket of snow. I'm not sure he knows they're off yet.

Anyway, I took day 1 pics and was surprised to see how off shape his high foot is. The whole foot drifts off the the right. He's a classic high/low. The high is a borderline club.

I've posted the a few pics of how crooked it is. The heel shot shows it the best. I'm wondering if the heel will even out a bit on its own once the heel bulbs spread out, or if my trimmer has to even this out each trim to encourage even growth. Here's the pics.
 

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Looks like there was significant high inside heel going on under the shoe. If you look at the solar shot, you can feel it in the run of the frog. Shoved right over to the outside from the get go. This is a high heel dictating so strongly, that the rest of the hoof is forced to pivot around it. The energy ran from that high heel diagonally and splatted out the outside toe quarter effectively moving his breakover from 10-2 to 12-3. Just like you'd feel if you walked pidgeon-toed. If you look at just the sole area amount around the frog, you'll realize that the whole outside toe quarter is flared in its shape. Its been landing hard on that side

He's got a good trim on there now. I cannot find fault with the balance. He just started transition and the pathology will come off with time, homework and future trims. Keep the patience. Things are corrected and just needs time to settle into it and get his ducks in order. No worries.:)
 

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My farrier successfully trims my horse's hi lo and has actually managed to reduce the under-running of the low heel, all with shoes on.

The most important thing I've found with treating hi lo, beyond radiographs and a good farrier, is frequent trimmings. My horse is trimmed and reset every 4-5 weeks. My farrier jokes how he would love to be out there every week to keep the horse balanced haha. Another important thing to consider with a hi lo horse is the alignment of the joints above the hoof. The left and right knee should be at the same height!! Working a horse with such an imbalance can cause a plethora of issues.

Good luck!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like there was significant high inside heel going on under the shoe. If you look at the solar shot, you can feel it in the run of the frog. Shoved right over to the outside from the get go. This is a high heel dictating so strongly, that the rest of the hoof is forced to pivot around it. The energy ran from that high heel diagonally and splatted out the outside toe quarter effectively moving his breakover from 10-2 to 12-3. Just like you'd feel if you walked pidgeon-toed. If you look at just the sole area amount around the frog, you'll realize that the whole outside toe quarter is flared in its shape. Its been landing hard on that side

He's got a good trim on there now. I cannot find fault with the balance. He just started transition and the pathology will come off with time, homework and future trims. Keep the patience. Things are corrected and just needs time to settle into it and get his ducks in order. No worries.:)
Thanks! That's good to know it can be corrected. I had a feeling something was getting out of whack when he started having trouble doing lateral work on one side. I walked him on pavement today and saw the first signs of him starting to land heel first. I also caught him using it a few times as the grazing foot. So far no soreness.
 

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Hi,

Doesn't look too bad to me. I'd just be conscious to address the flares & trim the 'up' foot where it needs to be, not to match the other(not saying that's what's been done) While it's a bit hard to tell, it appears there is a fair bit of toe that could be bevelled from the up foot. Ditto to frequent trimming being best - 3-5 weekly is good I reckon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The trimmer said the toe on his high foot is all the way back to the white line, so she's actually hoping it grows out some. I was surprised to see the side show resembling excess toe. Funny what you notice when you take pics. My trimmer is being cautious about bringing the high heel down. We're trying to do as little as possible and still be effective each trim. I'm working the muscles on that leg so they can stretch out as his high heel is lowered.

So it's more an issue of addressing the flare on the outside rather than the high wall on the inside?
 

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I'd be keeping a bevel on the walls from approx where I've drawn on your pic. I couldn't say for sure, but it does appear there is a little stretched toe. Often people mistake the epidermal laminae for the actual 'white line'.

Re lowering high/clubbed feet, depending on the cause of the high foot, it may not be able to come down, so I don't generally think it's a good move to try to force the issue. None of us are perfectly symmetrical. I think respecting the sole plane is very important with this - never rasp/pare into it. But if it needs to and you just keep the foot frequently well trimmed, that sole plane may start to recede, leaving more 'excess' wall at the heels.

Re medial/lateral balance, can't tell. If the inside wall is higher, again I think respecting the sole plane again is the way to go, keeping the inside wall at/near level with the sole but never paring into it. I think that is a way to facilitate better balance over time without trying to force it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think part of the problem with the toes on both feet is that extra layer of hard stuff grew there over the past few weeks. We can't see the white line, water line or hoof wall for that matter. It's starting the crumble and fall off now that he's shoeless, so hopefully I'll soon be able to see where exactly that line is.

It's funny. In person it looks like that club foot is practically straight up and down. In the side view pic, it looks like a long toe!

Thanks for your sticky on picture taking. I'm getting better.
 

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Oh, didn't attach pic...

BTW, if you mean the signature link for pics, that's not my page, just a site I thought was helpful re pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is that where it should end up after we've grown out a new foot, or are you saying take it back to that spot next trim?

I ask because but there is currently no clear view of the water line or white line, so we have no clue where the hoof wall actually hits those areas. We hit white and stopped. That's a hard crusty layer of sole on there and blocking real view of the foot. It's starting to chip off on his low foot and the white line is closer to the outer edge of the hoof.

I do see how having that eventual shape would eliminate the flare on the outside and better balance the hoof, so I guess that's good that I'm starting to catch onto this hoof stuff.
 

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This is a case where i would use my knife and do a good sole cleaning. I would probably only need to do this one time but I would do it in this case to expose the markers and the true sole plane so i could formulate a proper trim plan. Anything crusty and false would get taken so the markers of the foot show to do a proper trim.

It is pretty easy to tell dead sole from live. Dead sole will have little black "veins" or lines like spiderwebs kinda running in it and kinda be crumbly appearing sometimes. Live sole is waxy and clean with no lines in it. I clean till i just barely start to see waxy pop out a tiny tad and then stop and leave a little bit of "sock" on if you will.


Clean the rim and all crusty sole away and then retrim according to new visable markers. Never touching the sole is a misnomer when you are just starting barefoot since finding the true sole plane and markers are important to leveling the foot properly. There are times I might not do that but it depends.

IMO it is best to at least get to the visible markers of the foot, apply a correct trim and then pad, boot, sole guard or cast as needed while the horse adapts and grows a bit. Of course it all depends on the details as to exactly what is called for and if I do what I normally might do or do something else for that particular horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the advice, but this is a TB who is dead sound 1 week after pulling his shoes for the first time. I'm not touching a thing!!

I am walking him on every possible surface I can find to encourage the dead sole to wear away on it's own. Once I can see the hoof wall and white line, we'll make the adjustments on the next trim.
 

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You may loose this soundness as the "fake" hoof shoe he has created under where the shoe was wears off or is trimmed away finally. It is temporary material tho and his soundness after it is gone depends on how healthy his foot actually is under that "hoof shoe".

I personally opt for true balance after finding the true sole plane and use a round or two of casting or sole guard typically in these situations. We have more tools now than the barefooters of the past and IMO never touching the sole is someone who doesnt have enough tools in his or her toolbox today. In the past, I would opt for soundness without boots over balance as you have here and gradually work forward from there, but now I know that it actually hinders the forward progress that can be made using different tools and going towards full balance and proper form up front.

JMO tho. You gotta do what you think is best for your horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh I totally agree with you about losing the soundness. That's why I'm leaving it there for now. His low foot is flat as a pancake and his high foot is so high, no dead sole is sloughing off on it's own. My evil plan is to get him moving around as much as possible to encourage new healthy growth and sole before those hard things come off on their own. I figure I have about a month. Maybe by then pancake foot will have started to develop a little concave to it.
 

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Is that where it should end up after we've grown out a new foot, or are you saying take it back to that spot next trim?
Next trim, so that over time, the hoof can become more balanced. Again I emphasis that precise measurements & such are only guides, as without more info, pref. even an xray to see exactly where P3 is, it's no more than an experienced 'guesstimate' but the sole pic with extra white lines shows what I'm basing it on.

Basically hooves should be balanced according to the 'centre of articulation', which is the centre of the distal end of the second phalanx. While we don't have xray eyes, it has been found that this point is consistently above mid-frog, approximately 3/4" back from the apex. Other 'landmarks' for this point are the widest part of the foot & the anterior end of the bar, or bar crack. One source of information onto studies on that that you can look into is Equine Lameness Prevention Organization

So... The middle horizontal line marks the COA. The line across the heel - around the middle of the 'dimple' of the central sulcus - is where the rearmost weightbearing point of the heels should(ultimately) be. The hoof should be balanced anterio-posterial 50% in front & behind the COA, which takes us to where the vertical line ends at the toe - where my black line has marked the breakover. The short horizontal line in front of the COA is the same length as from the centre to the black 'breakover' line on the inside.

I ask because but there is currently no clear view of the water line or white line, so we have no clue where the hoof wall actually hits those areas. We hit white and stopped. That's a hard crusty layer of sole on there and blocking real view of the foot. It's starting to chip off on his low foot and the white line is closer to the outer edge of the hoof.
Might have gotten the wrong idea, but if by 'we' you mean the professional trimmer, I'd like to think they have a lot more than just a clue' what they're seeing. While I *generally* think paring sole is unhelpful & unnecessary, agree with Trinity that a bit of excavating may be necessary, in order for you to correctly 'map' the foot & gauge balance. I suspect there'd be very little sole pared at worst anyway, for you to see what's what.

I suspect the 'hard crusty sole' may actually be lamellar material, which when the 'white line' is stretched can indeed be hard to distinguish from sole. The *true*(dermal) lamellar line is not close to the outer wall, but will be somewhere close to my black line. What you are taking for white line is likely the outer part of the laminae(epidermal) and what you're taking as sole may be 'lamellar wedge' - keratin that the dermal laminae have put out to fill the gap, which can be very hard to differentiate from sole material. That's one reason I think it is so important for the trimmer to understand balance in relation to the COA, or else they may be way off the mark.

Looking at the side-on pic, the white line is where I estimate to be parallel with the dorsal surface of P3 & the angle thfe toe wants to be on. I'm estimating that based on the hoof pastern axis and the top 2/3" or so of the hoof wall before it flares out, as this top part is likely to be still parallel or nearly.

I do see how having that eventual shape would eliminate the flare on the outside and better balance the hoof,
Having the hooves bevelled in that way now is what will help relieve the laminae of leverage, to allow the flares to eventually grow out. It depends on the reason for any medial-lateral imbalance I reckon, as to whether it will be 'cured' or will be a constant thing that you just have to manage.

Thanks for the advice, but this is a TB who is dead sound 1 week after pulling his shoes for the first time. I'm not touching a thing!!

I am walking him on every possible surface I can find to encourage the dead sole to wear away on it's own. Once I can see the hoof wall and white line, we'll make the adjustments on the next trim.
Of course it's important that the trimmer is confident of what they're doing before paring anything, so that's your call. While he may be 'dead sound'(oxymoron??:lol:) & that foot at least doesn't look terrible at all, it doesn't look great either & I'd suspect 'dead sound' may not last & I'd be inclined therefore to protect his feet or stay off harsh terrain for now. It doesn't actually look to me(again, only based on one sole pic...) that there is much dead sole to be exfoliated anyway and you may well be looking at the 'white line' now & not recognising it.

Oh I totally agree with you about losing the soundness. That's why I'm leaving it there for now. His low foot is flat as a pancake and his high foot is so high, no dead sole is sloughing off on it's own. My evil plan is to get him moving around as much as possible to encourage new healthy growth and sole before those hard things come off on their own. I figure I have about a month. Maybe by then pancake foot will have started to develop a little concave to it.
IMO leaving too much hoof is not generally helpful & is often detrimental to soundness, even in the short term, so again I agree with Trinity, that I'd opt for removing the excess now & protecting his feet as necessary. - Short term gain, as with shoeing, can negatively effect long term soundness. I agree with you that generally speaking, the more movement the better, but protection is very important IMO - esp if the low foot is 'pancake flat', that indicates it's likely got precious little 'armour' beneath P3. I don't understand what you figure you have a month for? Generally I find that concavity doesn't *start* to develop in these sort of cases until *after* the flaring is relieved & the disconnected wall grown out. So on that note, the sooner you set him up to grow healthy walls, the sooner he'll start to develop healthier, thicker soles.
 

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I think for his first week out of shoes, you guys are doing well. You are staying proactive about his hoofcare and learning all you can. Lots of people with TB's just think "Oh he's got crappy TB feet, he'll never go barefoot!" and your boy is proving them all wrong.

While I agree that leaving too much can be detrimental but I think at this point, I wouldn't take much more without letting things develop a bit. If he's sound and happy, take a breath and recalculate your next move. His feet are still in the work in progress stage. Let him adjust and then go in for another piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Might as well post pics of the low foot since both are involved. They're a bit dark, but that's all I've got. This foot shows that layer of whatever the heck that extra hard stuff is around the toe a little better. It's starting to chip off on its own. Those wrinkly scrunched up heel bulbs are driving me nuts. I can't wait to watch them spread out. Day 8, he's starting to show a few signs of sensitivity, but still moving freely around his paddock. Fingers crossed...
 

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What is happening on this foot is that his break over is actually quite far forward of where it should be and the extra "rim" is actually exacerbating a broken back axis as well pulling the toe forward still with every step. It needs to be relieved. His foot is flat as a pancake also. At some point, this will need to be dealt with together. I prefer to deal with things up front and get it over with. I find the horse recovers much faster. Do you have a good trimmer helping you or are you on your own here? sorry, I cant remember but having experienced help can really make a difference.

IMO, and Im not saying that if you dont do this, its wrong, just MO here and what experience tells me will forward this foot, I would trim the toe down and bevel it back to where it belongs (this will be almost to the inside of the rim that is present now) and get the bones in better alignment first and foremost. This will make him sore barefoot on anything rocky but it is only a symptom of what is already in the foot and jsut being masked by this rim of extra buildup.

Knowing that, I would then probably apply sole guard and then cast the foot over the sole guard so it is supported everywhere promoting the growth of concavity with the breakover in its proper place. Leave it on for 3 or 4 weeks and then see what is what.

Either way, the angle needs to be dealt with at some point to progress this rehab which means bringing the toe down (just getting rid of the buildup here, never into live sole) and then getting breakover back and supporting the heels/frog area to remove the forward flare and pull while supporting the whole foot till it grows in better aligned.
 

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Trinity, I totally see what you are saying but this boy is FRESH out of shoes. He's flat footed and contracted from long term rims. I always prefer the cautious side...I think that is what her trimmer is taking. Get the shoes off, relieve the quarters, bevel around and let him settle into his new bare feet.
 
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