The Horse Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are so many horse-savvy people on this forum, and I’m wondering if anyone can give me any input into my friend’s mare’s hoof-related issues? She’s a 20-year-old Walker, nice conformation, not overweight and sweet as all get out. My friend inherited her when his granddaughter moved away.
I’m no pro, but her hooves look “weird” to me. They seem to curl up rather than splay out when she needs a trim. She has foundered several times; I did convince Jim to limit the amount of pasture she’s allowed.
Worse still, she gets a hoof infection about once a year. We’ll soak it in Epsom salts twice a day until it comes up above the coronet, than apply red oil for a week after it bursts.
Is their anything that can be done for this poor horse to help prevent this? Does anyone know why it keeps occurring? Any input would be GREATLY appreciated and thank you in advance 🙂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,500 Posts
Pictures would be super helpful.

Limiting pasture might help. Make sure hay is low sugar or soak it first. No feed. Supplement with Zinc, Copper, and Biotin. Get trimming done FREQUENTLY, like once every four weeks at a minimum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pictures would be super helpful.

Limiting pasture might help. Make sure hay is low sugar or soak it first. No feed. Supplement with Zinc, Copper, and Biotin. Get trimming done FREQUENTLY, like once every four weeks at a minimum.
Pictures would be super helpful.

Limiting pasture might help. Make sure hay is low sugar or soak it first. No feed. Supplement with Zinc, Copper, and Biotin. Get trimming done FREQUENTLY, like once every four weeks at a minimum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you! If I were smart enough to be able to post a pic here, I’d go over there and take one😟. I would describe her hooves as very small and “wrinkly” looking. She gets plenty of grass hay; no grain, on our vet’s advice. In what form would she take the supplements you suggested?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,742 Posts
For a good vi/min horse tech does costum made. I get costum made supplement for my horses from horse tech.

But my hay is tested so it's known what is lacking. That said my horses feet are falling apart chipping up mess. He's well trimmed so not due to over grown feet.

Best nutrition doesn't always solve hoof quality. My horse is on a forage only diet not grain no commercial feeds. And having issues foot wise.

Do you have pictures of your horses feet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,457 Posts
Yeah, it all starts with good nutrition - but that doesn't guarantee a good hoof. Still, it's the right place to start. As @ACinATX says above, zinc and copper are really important. Like @rambo99, I get a custom mix of minerals done up after hay analysis (mine come from Mad Barn). We have very low selenium here, so I add some selenium to my mix. It's generally cheaper to just get a straight mineral mix that you can add to beet pulp and/or hay cubes daily. Some people like Biotin, but I didn't find it did anything to my horses' hooves. I think some kind of oil is necessary in the winter especially, so ground flax, camelina oil, hemp oil can all help.

The next thing to look at is the farrier/trimmer. How often is the horse being trimmed? Harley is on a 4 week cycle because he will get flares otherwise, and they often end up cracked or chipped. A lot of people will go 8 weeks, but to me, that's much too long.

And finally, footing makes a big difference. When it's very wet and muddy, I feel like it's a good idea for them to be able to stand in a dry stall at night so their hooves dry out for at least part of the day (I don't even shut mine in, the doors stay open, and they choose to come in).

None of mine have issues with their hooves, but Harley would if I didn't keep a close eye on things. Sometimes, even when you do everything right, their hoof health isn't as good as you'd like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,541 Posts
Why am I not surprised I am reading about Tennessee Walking Horse #2 with hoof issues😨😨. How ironic she is 20 years old — the same age as the TWH gelding in the other thread:(:(

If the mare has foundered”several times”, that is a clear sign of insulin resistance. Horses do not have to be overweight to have metabolic issues - especially easy keeping Walking Horses who are on the Predisposed List right behind Arabs:(


To post pictures. 1

1. Click on the paper clip in the row right below this typing space.

2. Either click on Photo Library and follow the prompts to upload from your photo storage area or

Click on the camera and follow the prompts to upload directly from your camera device.

3. Once the photo loads, pick the “full image” option, although either option should load automatically to your post.

4. This site does a decent job of explaining the proper way to take hoof pictures for evaluation.


Clean the hooves but do NOT wash the hooves, they need to be dry. No hoof shine either:)

5. There is a lot of work involved in rehabbing foundered horses that includes a strict diet, frequent hoof trims (every 4-5 weeks) by a farrier who has been trained to deal with foundered hooves, and hopefully the horse is still sound enough to stay barefoot.

6. Ditto @rambo99 regarding HorseTech supplements. My horses are on them.

7. I’m tagging @loosie for the second time today —- she ought to be ready to come after me with the buggy whip by now😳😰
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gosh I wonder where I can find a horse apothecary around here! Maybe Valley Vet sells those supplements?
Genie has a nice dry lean-to stuffed with straw to retreat from the mud. However Jim doesn’t pick out her feet all that often since she doesn’t willingly want to pick them up. Could that be a culprit? I do Angelina’s hooves daily. She eats the same hay Angelina eats, since I get mine from Jim. He also gives Genie treats and carrots and that’s pretty much her diet except for grass in the warmer months.
That’s where the similarities end. Angelina has excellent hooves; she’s never foundered either. I’ll definitely look into those supplements; thanks so much 🙂
Yeah, it all starts with good nutrition - but that doesn't guarantee a good hoof. Still, it's the right place to start. As @ACinATX says above, zinc and copper are really important. Like @rambo99, I get a custom mix of minerals done up after hay analysis (mine come from Mad Barn). We have very low selenium here, so I add some selenium to my mix. It's generally cheaper to just get a straight mineral mix that you can add to beet pulp and/or hay cubes daily. Some people like Biotin, but I didn't find it did anything to my horses' hooves. I think some kind of oil is necessary in the winter especially, so ground flax, camelina oil, hemp oil can all help.

The next thing to look at is the farrier/trimmer. How often is the horse being trimmed? Harley is on a 4 week cycle because he will get flares otherwise, and they often end up cracked or chipped. A lot of people will go 8 weeks, but to me, that's much too long.

And finally, footing makes a big difference. When it's very wet and muddy, I feel like it's a good idea for them to be able to stand in a dry stall at night so their hooves dry out for at least part of the day (I don't even shut mine in, the doors stay open, and they choose to come in).

None of mine have issues with their hooves, but Harley would if I didn't keep a close eye on things. Sometimes, even when you do everything right, their hoof health isn't as good as you'd like.
[/QUOTE]
Yeah, it all starts with good nutrition - but that doesn't guarantee a good hoof. Still, it's the right place to start. As @ACinATX says above, zinc and copper are really important. Like @rambo99, I get a custom red
Why am I not surprised I am reading about Tennessee Walking Horse #2 with hoof issues😨😨. How ironic she is 20 years old — the same age as the TWH gelding in the other thread:(:(
Yeah, it all starts with good nutrition - but that doesn't guarantee a good hoof. Still, it's the right place to start. As @ACinATX says above, zinc and copper are really important. Like @rambo99, I get a custom mix of minerals done up after hay analysis (mine come from Mad Barn). We have very low selenium here, so I add some selenium to my mix. It's generally cheaper to just get a straight mineral mix that you can add to beet pulp and/or hay cubes daily. Some people like Biotin, but I didn't find it did anything to my horses' hooves. I think some kind of oil is necessary in the winter especially, so ground flax, camelina oil, hemp oil can all help.

The next thing to look at is the farrier/trimmer. How often is the horse being trimmed? Harley is on a 4 week cycle because he will get flares otherwise, and they often end up cracked or chipped. A lot of people will go 8 weeks, but to me, that's much too long.

And finally, footing makes a big difference. When it's very wet and muddy, I feel like it's a good idea for them to be able to stand in a dry stall at night so their hooves dry out for at least part of the day (I don't even shut mine in, the doors stay open, and they choose to come in).

None of mine have issues with their hooves, but Harley would if I didn't keep a close eye on things. Sometimes, even when you do everything right, their hoof health isn't as good as you'd like.
If the mare has foundered”several times”, that is a clear sign of insulin resistance. Horses do not have to be overweight to have metabolic issues - especially easy keeping Walking Horses who are on the Predisposed List right behind Arabs:(


To post pictures. 1

1. Click on the paper clip in the row right below this typing space.

2. Either click on Photo Library and follow the prompts to upload from your photo storage area or

Click on the camera and follow the prompts to upload directly from your camera device.

3. Once the photo loads, pick the “full image” option, although either option should load automatically to your post.

4. This site does a decent job of explaining the proper way to take hoof pictures for evaluation.


Clean the hooves but do NOT wash the hooves, they need to be dry. No hoof shine either:)

5. There is a lot of work involved in rehabbing foundered horses that includes a strict diet, frequent hoof trims (every 4-5 weeks) by a farrier who has been trained to deal with foundered hooves, and hopefully the horse is still sound enough to stay barefoot.

6. Ditto @rambo99 regarding HorseTech supplements. My horses are on them.

7. I’m tagging @loosie for the second time today —- she ought to be ready to come after me with the buggy whip by now😳😰
mix of minerals done up after hay analysis (mine come from Mad Barn). We have very low selenium here, so I add some selenium to my mix. It's generally cheaper to just get a straight mineral mix that you can add to beet pulp and/or hay cubes daily. Some people like Biotin, but I didn't find it did anything to my horses' hooves. I think some kind of oil is necessary in the winter especially, so ground flax, camelina oil, hemp oil can all help.

The next thing to look at is the farrier/trimmer. How often is the horse being trimmed? Harley is on a 4 week cycle because he will get flares otherwise, and they often end up cracked or chipped. A lot of people will go 8 weeks, but to me, that's much too long.

And finally, footing makes a big difference. When it's very wet and muddy, I feel like it's a good idea for them to be able to stand in a dry stall at night so their hooves dry out for at least part of the day (I don't even shut mine in, the doors stay open, and they choose to come in).

None of mine have issues with their hooves, but Harley would if I didn't keep a close eye on things. Sometimes, even when you do everything right, their hoof health isn't as good as you'd like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why am I not surprised I am reading about Tennessee Walking Horse #2 with hoof issues😨😨. How ironic she is 20 years old — the same age as the TWH gelding in the other thread:(:(

If the mare has foundered”several times”, that is a clear sign of insulin resistance. Horses do not have to be overweight to have metabolic issues - especially easy keeping Walking Horses who are on the Predisposed List right behind Arabs:(


To post pictures. 1

1. Click on the paper clip in the row right below this typing space.

2. Either click on Photo Library and follow the prompts to upload from your photo storage area or

Click on the camera and follow the prompts to upload directly from your camera device.

3. Once the photo loads, pick the “full image” option, although either option should load automatically to your post.

4. This site does a decent job of explaining the proper way to take hoof pictures for evaluation.


Clean the hooves but do NOT wash the hooves, they need to be dry. No hoof shine either:)

5. There is a lot of work involved in rehabbing foundered horses that includes a strict diet, frequent hoof trims (every 4-5 weeks) by a farrier who has been trained to deal with foundered hooves, and hopefully the horse is still sound enough to stay barefoot.

6. Ditto @rambo99 regarding HorseTech supplements. My horses are on them.

7. I’m tagging @loosie for the second time today —- she ought to be ready to come after me with the buggy whip by now😳😰
Oh gosh I didn’t know Walkers were prone to founder. She has such tiny little hooves; my Angelina’s are the size of dessert plates, heh.
Thanks for the tips on posting photos...I’ll give it a shot but I’m tech-challenged😟
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,879 Posts
Hi & welcome to the forum,

I’m no pro, but her hooves look “weird” to me. They seem to curl up rather than splay out when she needs a trim. She has foundered several times; I did convince Jim to limit the amount of pasture she’s allowed.
Whether 'curled up' or 'splayed out', yes, they are signs of distortion, that show the horse is well overdue for a good trim. While 6 weekly trimming is the norm, that's too long for most horses & 4-weekly trims are more appropriate, to prevent the hooves becoming distorted between trims, so the farrier is not always 'chasing his tail' & correcting problems.

If the horse has 'foundered' multiple times, it could well be metabolic/diet related, even if the horse isn't obviously overweight. The major cause of laminitis is IR & chronic 'easy keepers', as it's effectively just like type 2 diabetes in people - horses are given a rich, sugary diet(even if only from 'improved' cattle fattening pastures) and a 'cushy' lifestyle bumming around with little exercise. If this is an issue and the pasture the horse is on is rich in NSC(sugars & starch), it's absolutely a good move to reduce access to the pasture & any other 'high carb' feed, and instead feed low NSC hay(need to ensure that, because grass doesn't lose it's sugars in processing - hay can be just as rich as the pasture it was cut from!).

Nutritional imbalances can also be a culprit behind laminitis, as can drugs such as Bute & gut damage. And mechanical problems - such as the distortion you describe, if chronic, can of themselves be a cause of laminitis/founder. Eg. neglected hooves which are chronically left to 'splay out', & 'club footed' horses often mechanically founder, due to toes being left long & underneath the foot not being adequately supported.

Worse still, she gets a hoof infection about once a year. We’ll soak it in Epsom salts twice a day until it comes up above the coronet, than apply red oil for a week after it bursts.
I presume you're talking about an abscess, or does she have chronic hoof wall infection(seedy toe/white line disease) which results in frequent abscesses? Either way, I don't know I'd class that as worse than recurring & untreated acute laminitis(aka founder). And either way, if a horse gets recurring abscesses, this is likely not a problem of itself, but a symptom of whatever the problem is - eg. chronic mechanical founder. That the abscesses burst at the coronary border rather than the ground surface indicate likelihood of seriously compromised feet. I don't know what red oil is, but applying oil or other 'dressings' to hooves is not a good move, albeit still reasonably common.

So... yes, there is absolutely lots that can be done for the poor horse. Diet, nutrition, management, good, frequent enough hoofcare - and if the horse has gone well 'overdue' for a trim for some time, if as I'm guessing there are some major problems, a trimmer who is knowledgeable & experienced in successful rehab(no, not all farriers/trimmers are equal, by a long shot), and getting them to come trim little & often, every couple of weeks, for at least a bit, to get the hooves on track would be a good move.

If you'd like to post hoof pics of the horse(assuming you have permission), then we might be able to give you more specific advice. If you want to do that, please first see the link in my signature line below for what's needed of the pics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Loosie THANK YOU for all that info! Yes they are abscesses inside the hoof and always diagnosed by our vet. Red oil is sometimes called scarlet oil and is an antibiotic that our vet likes. (It’s more a liquid than a true oil.)
We share the same farrier who has a very good reputation but Genie gets a trim whenever my Angelina does and perhaps she needs one more frequently. When I first met Genie her hooves were badly overgrown; she hadn’t had shots or been wormed in five years! (Not really Jim’s fault; he knew very little about horse care, so I set him up with my vet and farrier and I worm her myself.)
She also hadn’t been ridden in five years. When she seems to be moving well, I’ll occasionally ride her; she’s a wee bit skittish but in general well behaved. I only ride her on pasture, never gravel roads, at least not yet
Loosie...would shoeing help her?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,879 Posts
Of course, I'm still just imagining what's what, without more info, but esp if the horse isn't getting adequate hoof care now, shoeing will only further compound issues. Conventional shoes peripherally load the hoof walls, along with providing no support/protection to the underside of the foot. That is the opposite of what's required. Esp when there's any laminitis, infection, separation, distortion... putting excess pressure on already compromised laminae will likely do further harm. Hoof boots or such would be good though, if the horse needs protection/support to be comfortable.

So... How long has the horse been getting regular hoof care? And how frequently? Are the hooves still distorted? If horse has been seen a few times by a vet, have x-rays been done? What was the diagnosis? What did vet say of the reason for the abscesses? What did the vet have to say about the feet generally & has the farrier trimmed to x-rays or such? Or perhaps, as is often the case unfortunately, the vet doesn't have a lot of knowledge about hooves himself. Not something they necessarily learn a great deal about, if they're a general vet & haven't specialised.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,879 Posts
Oh & how old is the horse & how long had it been neglected for? While I do believe ignorance is a fair enough reason in many cases - such as for eg if your farrier is doing a bad job & you don't know better - I don't share your feeling that apparent total neglect & ignorance on your friends part, of an animal he has chosen to have, is 'not his fault'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,541 Posts
Oh & how old is the horse & how long had it been neglected for? While I do believe ignorance is a fair enough reason in many cases - such as for eg if your farrier is doing a bad job & you don't know better - I don't share your feeling that apparent total neglect & ignorance on your friends part, of an animal he has chosen to have, is 'not his fault'.
This TWH mare is 20 — same age as the TWH gelding in another thread with hoof issues:(

Unless there are metabolic issues or the gift of a club hoof from “The Old Man”, aka Prides Generstor, Walking Horses have good hooves.

Joker had beautiful big hooves until he foundered. He still retains his exceptionally thick hoof wall and his hooves are still size two on a 15.3H horse:)

Rusty has hooves like a goat and stayed barefoot the bulk of his life. He did inherit a Less-Than-Grade-One club hoof from The Old Man but it has never caused him lameness issues.

Duke had solid hooves but was flat-footed from Day One so had to wear shoes to trail ride.

Sultan was of the Carbon Copy bloodline on both sides. He had tiny hooves for his size (I used to ask the farrier if his hooves would ever catch up to the rest of him). but they were rock solid. I was just getting to ride him and had him barefoot without issues, when I lost him:(

Meaning these Walking Horses should not be dealing with the described hoof issues unless they are metabolic, (which I think both are), and/or there is poor farrier care and poor owner care on the part of this mare.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BethR

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh & how old is the horse & how long had it been neglected for? While I do believe ignorance is a fair enough reason in many cases - such as for eg if your farrier is doing a bad job & you don't know better - I don't share your feeling that apparent total neglect & ignorance on your friends part, of an animal he has chosen to have, is 'not his fault'.
Hi again Loosie. Jim and I have been best buds for about eight years, when I convinced him she needed more care than what she was getting. He grew up on the farm he now owns and he loves Genie dearly; he just doesn’t know much about horses. (I thought I did until I got one, heh.)
Our vet said that abscesses “just happen” but our farrier thinks it’s caused by a thinning of the hoof wall due to founder. Jim doesn’t know her exact age but our vet believes her to be about 20. He’d originally bought her for his granddaughter and paid an exorbitant amount for her;I think the previous owners took shameful advantage of him. Oh...no x-rays. Do you highly recommend?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,879 Posts
Abscesses don't 'just happen' - well, unless you're talking about minor ones that 'just happen' because of a bash/bruise to the foot. The hoof wall doesn't typically become thinner when a horse founders - more likely thicker. But if it's serious founder, there can be a breakdown which allows infection/abscessing in between wall & bone/corium. I'd highly recommend finding a lameness vet & yes, hoof xrays to see what you're dealing with exactly. Again, if you'd like to post some hoof pics, that would also allow more specific advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,058 Posts
Proper farrier , low sugar feed, and I have started using Equinity supplement. One horse has rotated on one foot, his slight club foot, another has shelly feet that crack , and another gelding stocks up. I am not using the full scoop per horse and the gelding that stocks up has less swollen legs after 3 weeks use. I will see how the hooves go with the other horses for the first farrier visit and see how it works after a few months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Abscesses don't 'just happen' - well, unless you're talking about minor ones that 'just happen' because of a bash/bruise to the foot. The hoof wall doesn't typically become thinner when a horse founders - more likely thicker. But if it's serious founder, there can be a breakdown which allows infection/abscessing in between wall & bone/corium. I'd highly recommend finding a lameness vet & yes, hoof xrays to see what you're dealing with exactly. Again, if you'd like to post some hoof pics, that would also allow more specific advice.
Thanks Loosie...I’ll take some photos and have my daughter post them, as I seem to be totally ignorant in this area 😟
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top