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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all! I have a 13 yo paint mare. I bought her two years ago and she had 4 shoes. We have tried barefoot twice and both times she went lame. She has been in front shoes only and seems to be okay, ouchy in the red clay arena. Radiographs were taken in October of 2019, 7.5 and 8mm soles. Wore softride boots for 2 months, grew about 1 mm. She also has pancake feet. The backs have callused over. Last week we had some rain here in Texas and she looks to have a forging injury in her front right. Long story short, when the vet saw her a few weeks ago for shots he recommended a wedged shoe. I have read the pros and cons of wedge shoes and don’t know what to do. Looking for advice from others who may have experienced this. I have attached a picture of her front left and all 4. Thank you!
 

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Short reply here - gotta go do dinner v soon. Need some good pics to give anything specific. See link in my signature before posting some. I'm imagining, from previous experience, when you say 'no heels' she likely has long but crushed flat heels.

Basically, conventional steel rims are a commonly effective *palliative* as are wedges, but they don't help - & often hinder - the underlying probs, so allow them to progress. This is likely the reason she was OK in shoes but now can't even stand your arena without being 'ouchy'. I'd look at what exactly the probs are & correct them, work towards rehab if poss, instead of just palliative. If she is downright lame, I wouldn't want her in rigid peripheral rims, but she may well need some special care for a bit, including rehab boots if she's not even comfortable on soft footing.
 

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What @loosie’s comments translate to, is do NOT work or ride the horse until you get some quality professional help for her.

There’s a lot of “great” farrier’s out there that aren’t that great if hooves have serious issues.

I’m reading about a horse right now, on another forum, with your horse’s exact same issues. The owner has been to Hades and back with the horse, not only because of poor and unknowlegable farrier work but even her “family vet” gave her bad advice.

If you are u dear 21 and dependent on your parents income, please convey to them that crushed/underrun heels need a lot more than a backyard farrier and may require some micromanaging of the horse’s well being:)
 
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=/ The rear feet have no heel, while fronts look okay. At least in the posted picture. Fronts don't look long toes either.
Can you take new pics on clear, flat ground?
 

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Thank you for the information! I sure do wish I was 21, I appreciate the compliment. I am 29 and support myself, including my mortgage, dogs and my horse.
That’s too bad as it means you may have to dig deeper into your checkbook, lollol

Here’s @loosie ‘s link for taking clear hoof pics for critique.

https://www.horseforum.com/members/4160/album/chestnut-5339/pictures-128437.jpg

The best way I found to get pictures of the tops of the hooves that are not skewed is to stand the horse on a piece of plywood big enough to allow the camera to be set back 18” - 24” from the hooves- in good light:)
 

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Actually I'd be interested in close-ups of the front feet, from that same angle. It's hard to tell, but I think I might be seeing something there.
 

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There are many individuals on this forum that are under 18 years old, and may/may not rely on their parents income to fund the care of their horses.

Walkinthewalk provided you information to take better pictures of your horses hooves, so that the professionals in the horse world here can help you, and also made a kind-hearted joke.
 

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, I do appreciate the knowledge provided from everyone. These are pictures I took today, not the best, but my farrier asked for them. This is at 5 weeks since her last cut.

The vet recommended the wedge, my farrier is concerned it will crush the heel more. I am trying to go beyond the idea that this is genetic and she can’t grow a heel. She also grows forward which is why he cuts the front to the white line and she has a square looking toe. The “wings” are left, I am not sure why, but the vet said they should be shaped like a normal hoof. These photos are of her back feet and the shod foot is underneath her front right, only shod in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is the only other side view pic I have. This is a bit older, but when she was totally barefoot and had an abscess that came through the coronary hand. Since then, October of 2019, she wore softride boots for 2 months (vet orders after xrays) and then had shoes put back on the fronts with pour in pads for one cycle. Within those 2 months in soft rides her sole only grew 1 mm. 😕
 

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I think I am inclined to say that it isn't so much that her angles are off, it's more that her feet are flat and like to flare. Like her back feet are pretty flared. And the front looks pretty flat from the solar view. I agree with getting all the toes backed up to control the flares, and giving her good break-over on the fronts. I think she barely grows enough heels to keep her angles correct, but you wouldn't want them to go any shorter or they could become negative/broken back angles and stress her tendons. But I think she's adequate and not negatively angled (in my estimate).

Pads, I personally wouldn't go that direction. Because I would want to feet to get stronger, not weaker. I think pads might be a slippery slope to flatter, weaker feet. But I'm not a professional farrier, so whom I to say that's wrong.

I think you want to keep them trimmed and prevent flaring as much as possible. Beyond that, I really don't have any good advice because I'm not a very experienced farrier.
 

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Actually jrobyn the question needs to be asked more often. One of the previous replies made comment of the many under 18 when the reality is there is a large number under 16. A few even under 13 that should not be here. But changes in privacy laws mean they are here posting. We don't want people shouting out their ages but an above or below question helps with advice given.
 

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Wow, that is a very contracted foot! No wonder she is hurting. And shod so heels are even more closed. And yes, stretched toe too. And backs are flared, overdue for some good trimming. But with only those pic angles can't give much more than that. And if U have x-rays post them too.

That she was able to develop noticeable extra sole in only 2 months when in soft ride boots is a good sign that she is not likely beyond rehab.
 

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I wish vets would all mark rads, for more accurate reading, but they seem to show that the horse doesn't have the thickest by any means, but not terribly thin soles either. Seems the right is thinner than the left. And toe is indeed a little stretched but not shockingly - blue line marks about where it should be trimmed.

I'm interested & a little puzzled about that dark line in the first rad, which seems to follow the wall laminae and go round the sole. Maybe just lucency of rad, how it was taken or such, as doesn't show in other pics, just never seen that before, dark lines like that being so 'neat' and right around - dark patches mean less dense material, so in bone indicate osteoporosis or a fracture, in hoof horn tend to indicate 'seedy toe' infection/separation or an abscess or such.

What is obvious & is a real problem is that P3 ground surface(palmer) angles are low - they should be raised at the heel by about 3-8 degrees off ground parallel. And the hoof/pastern angle is 'broken back' because of this. Interesting it's 'broken' at the P1/P2 joint & seems good below, as that's unusual IME.

So, caudal foot is too low, which indicates weak digital cushions & puts undue stress on both the extensor region and the navicular region which is why your vet wants wedges.

Trouble with wedging heel *walls* and keeping horse in conventional rigid peripheral rims is, it forces the walls up & no extra support under the frog, so doesn't tend to raise the *internal* heel, at least for long, until it 'sinks' further. And the extra pressure on heel walls will not allow them to 'relax back' & become more vertical, allowing them to one day provide the support they should either.

So I would suggest that the horse has *frog support* wedge pads, NOT wedges under the walls, or for that matter, rigid rim shoes. I'd use the wedge pads in boots, for at least half of each day - tho you've indicated she may be seriously lame out of shoes, so if she is that bad, she may need boots full time just in the paddock anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for the information. I have the new Mac boots from last time we tried to go barefoot. I will look for some frog support wedge pads as well. Hoping for the best this time around..
 

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This picture suggests a possible medial lateral imbalance. Personally, I'd want to see the foot before being certain.





Lady1ML copy.jpg



If this were my horse, I would trim the toe to the red line to move the breakover back to where it should be. LTUH seems to be a chicken/egg scenario in some ways with each affecting the other so that a LT can affect an UH.



lady6.jpg


The horse doe look to need more heel as the coffin looks to be level with the ground which would mean it would be negative upon loading.


One good way to determine if a horse needs a wedge and how much is to observe how the horse moves with different wedges. Difficult to do with shoes, but very easy with boots. Different slope wedges can simply be inserted into the boots or attached to the bottom to see how the horse stands and moves. I have done this and has worked very well.


Dark lines on x-rays are generally referred to as gas lines and indicate a line where there is less material to interrupt the beam with the lighter areas representing more. I'd ask the vet's opinion about some of the lines on the first picture as it seems the wall may be beginning to pull away from the coffin, but I'm a novice in x-ray interpretation.
 
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