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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I am a new horse owner with a 12 year old Quarter horse gelding called Dallas. I adopted him around six weeks ago as a pet/company to my donkey. He was rescued a year ago with a terrible abcess in his left hind foot. The whole hoof capsule fell off they said and he had to grow a new one. His foot is good now. He has a shoe on that foot only.

The previous owners told me he was sound and ok for light riding. Riding him is not my priority, but it would be nice if I could! But I haven't ridden him because I wasn't 100 % sure his foot was ok - he seemed off sometimes, especially in trot. I go for walks with them and I lunge him.

After a lot of lunging and watching him, I'm sure now that it's not his left hind foot that's bothering him - it's the right! It shows when lunging in trot to the right. He also rests that foot more often.

So my question is, does anyone have experience with secondary lameness and how to resolve it? He's seeing the farrier soon (the same farrier who looked after him all through last year) and I will definitely ask him. But it would be good to hear experiences.

Also, would it be better to keep both hind hooves balanced - either both shod or both bare? It seems to me that they are uneven now because of the single shoe.

Thanks and nice to meet you all 馃檪
 

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Welcome to the Forum...

It is very common to see a horse who had a long, lengthy and painful injury one limb/hoof once healed have a "secondary" issue on another limb from the added stresses it took during injury and recuperation time.
What it is and why, how serious and how long a aftereffect it can have is something personally I think a vet should be answering because they have the diagnositc equipment to see the insides of the animal no other has.
It may just have become a "habit", he could be sore, he could actually have sustained physical injury when his body automatically shifted much of the burden of supporting his weight to another limb...
Your farrier is a great resource, to start with.
If he sees or finds nothing with a hoof tester then call the vet and do the exam and pictures if needed to find and take care of the problem before it too escalates to something else more involved.
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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Absolutely, it can and will affect gait and stance and how he must rest his legs.
Walk around for an hour in a flat soled shoe and the other one with platform and heel of any height... :frown_color:
Your horse is very unbalanced, hence a very awkward gait and feel to him and absolutely looking lame.
Why not approach your farrier about padding up the growing out hoof to better even the horses anatomy if possible.
You see people with a built-up shoe walking normally, but take away that built up shoe and they limp because their leg height total is uneven...no different for your horse.
Talk to the farrier for solutions...
Speak to your vet if farrier has no ideas cause there are solutions out there.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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One of my mares abscessed a hoof in utero. I was not the owner on record but was primary caretaker. Her first few months were intense because of the amount of care she had to receive. Shoes were supposed to be part of the he as ling process and vet and farrier worked together. She wanted nothing to do with either of them which makes for it's own story. Her first set of shoes were put on as a set to alleviate the discrepancy and help keep them as close to matching as possible through the recovery and growth. She hated them and before the farrier and vet made it back to their offices she'd figured out she could pull them off with her teeth. Twice more shoes were put on with the same result. In the end she was rehabbed without them and we had a club on one side and pancake on the other. This was the reason I had to learn about trims and grasping. She had attention to all four every week. Whether it was me or the farrier who was on my speed dial she had something done every 5 to 7 days. It took years to even her out and she still isn't perfect and has to be kept up with more regular than most. Because there are still differences that we cannot account for and structural changes to that hoof she is prone to abcessing. We still trained her but she has limitations to the type of ground she can be worked on and the amount of work she can accomplish.
 

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Re-looking at those pictures shows a leg with a lot of thickness from appearing at hock to the shod toe and foot...different from the other leg.
The limp may not be just because of unbalance but because there is a issue under the skin...
Farrier is fine to consult, but me...would be calling the vet if you don't know why the legs differ so much in size apparent already...something is going on or already happened.
Legs and anatomy should be near a mirror image left to right, right to left...those legs are not.

:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@horselovinguy yes the difference between those hooves is huge, it can't continue this way! I feel that the right hoof wears down as regular but the shoes hoof keeps on growing - and the shoe adds height too. So even if they are trimmed evenly, if the one shoe is then put back they will become uneven again. I will definitely speak to the farrier about this.

About the leg looking thicker - it could be just the angle that the picture was taken from? But you might be right. I'll have a good look at that. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@QtrBel thanks for sharing your story, that sounds crazy! You mean the horse was born with an abscess and had to have shoes put on immediately?
 

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You need to have your farrier assess those hind hooves as soon as possible. They are incredibly different angles. That alone could be a huge contributing factor. As far as secondary lameness, I have experienced this with injuries of several kinds. One was in a mare I had that pulled a suspensory. She started having issues on the opposite side, from compensating.

What I did was have a chiropractor out to adjust her, and then a massage therapist two days after. I had to repeat this twice, and had her given a couple massages after the last chiro adjustment. They can become very body sore when they have been recovering from a major lameness or physical issue. However, in this case I would start with the farrier. Its going to take a bit to get those feet to matching angles, you will need to take it slow. A vet visit wouldn't be out of line either. If after a couple trims he is still having issues, I would definitely have the vet out. Then explore the chiro/massage route. Good luck OP he's cute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@WildHorses85 a chiropractor is something to keep in mind! I will definitely think about that, thanks for suggesting it. This farrier has been working on him for a year, I'm very eager to meet him. I wonder what he will say about the different shapes of the hooves. Anyway it's clear that they should be more balanced. And yes Dallas is very cute, I love him ! Sound or not 馃檪
 

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Looking at your pics - granted only gives me a rough idea - the right looks a overlong but not too bad, but the left is quite high heeled & I'm betting a lot of 'stretching' to the toe. Why is he shod? IMO that's definitely not helping...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@loosie I got him this way 6 weeks ago, they said that hoof is still in rehabilitation and needs to be shod. (His feet had just been done). When I'm looking at it now though it looks quite sufficiently rehabilitated to me! This same farrier is coming out this way next week so I will definitely be asking what the logic behind the one shoe is! This is all new to me (never owned a horse before) but it looks to me a different solution is needed. What would you be asking the farrier to do if it was you? Shoe both or not shoe at all?
 

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loosie, correct me if I'm wrong...
But if the horse needs to be shod for final rehab...
Wouldn't shoeing in tandem relieve some of the stress to the body unbalanced and just a rim pad or some sort of pad applied just to elevate a bit more "higher" help with the stress factor?

That hoof to my uneducated eye might need one more round of shoe left on, but then should be grown down more with more than enough that it resemble a bad chip with much grown out wall to support the weight of the horse moving and not bust up the toe so bad.
Here in Florida our sandy soil is very abrasive and wears down many hooves.

Explain if I am wrong....
I want to learn too... :smile:
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Firstly my apologies - after looking at the hoof pic, I got muddled, thought the right hind was the one that had lost the hoof capsule & the left was lame.

Anyway, if it was the left that lost the hoof capsule, it's obviously grown out enough to do without a shoe(which I personally don't think a rim shoe is good for that anyway). The form/angle the foot has been trimmed/left is not helpful anyway. As said, right hind is also overlong in heel & toe, but the left is super high, and being jacked up like that will also have an impact on the way he stands & moves, along with the right perhaps having some pain from compensatory stress when the left was... not able.

What would I be asking the farrier to do? Take off the shoe. I wouldn't tell him to do anything more. Respectfully, esp if you have no understanding about hoof form & function, and you're employing a professional to do a job, you can question, discuss, ask for details & reasoning for what he does, but not really... diplomatic to tell him how to do his job. And even if you do know what's what, if he has to be told how to trim correctly... Unfortunately while there are great farriers out there, there are a lot of very average or bad ones, and that's one big reason I believe owners should educate themselves - how are you to know the difference if you don't have much of a clue either?

HLG, yes, the imbalance between feet could well have a slight effect on the body/hip. But even if it was deemed necessary to keep the left shod, I'd address it by dropping that into a better form, not raising the other heel even higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi all, thanks for your replies! In the mean time, he has seen the farrier and I got some more information! Farrier says he has chronic laminitis. I didn't know about this, the previous owners told me it was an injury. We spoke to the vet who treated him and confusingly, he told us it wasn't laminitis but gravel causing infection and abcess.

Anyway, the farrier seems very professional and he trims Dallas as if he has laminitis. He says he can't be without a corrective shoe. I'm not knowledgeable enough to understand exactly what's going on here, but I did ask him to put shoes on both hind legs so they will be more even. So that's what he did.

I would prefer him to be barefoot but if that's not possible for him, to at least be balanced 馃檪

Also, he had a beginning abcess in the left hind foot so that explains why he was limping on it! I'm glad we caught that on time. I hope he will be more comfortable now... we will see!
 
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