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Discussion Starter #1
Nelson has accumulated a "Quarter Crack" or a "Sand Crack" not sure what the technical term is...but I am concerned.

My Farrier is an excelant professional, who is a corrective shoer and does a fabuous job, and Nelson had this at our last appointment, and my Farrier never said anything about it.....but the last few days I've been growing concerned about it.

It isn't wide at all, it is a hairline crack that goes from almost near the hair line, right down to his toe.

Looks alot like this:



But his isn't as "Thick" as the crack you see in this particular hoof. Nelson's crack is much thinner, but that traingular shape chip at the toe is the same.

Nelson's goes right down the center of this hoof as well. I called my Farrier and expressed my concern, and Nelson's next appointment is the 27th, but my Farrier said he can come out this upcomming Monday instead.

Should I be as concerned as I am? Or am I just being an over protective, worry wart, mountain out of a molehill Mom?

Nelson is fully shod, all round, with clips and pads on the front. I've been putting alot of this stuff on him:

Horse Hoof Dressing with applicator - 5222013 | Tractor Supply Company

But my Farrier said to go to "Hoof Heal"

Horse Hoof Heal 16 Oz - 6610049 | Tractor Supply Company


Of course I have to wait till this Monday to hear what my Farrier says and does...but I still worry.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Wholly big picture batman...sorry....the picture was not that big when I posted it on my OP.....phptptht.
 

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Yes I would be concerned about that. It is probably because of a structural unsoundness in the hoof which can have many causes. Get the vet involved in the conversation as well and really talk about how the hoof is balancing.
Quarter cracks are often a result of contracted heels from being in shoes and trying to bring the hoof angle down. It might be worth your while to take the shoes off or really look at some corrective farrier work to get the hooves structurally sound and balanced again.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Anabel!

Nelson has gone around for, well, since I got him back in April of 07' with a previous Farrier of mine, with horrible angles to my lack of knowledge. I just believed and trusted the professional I was having do my horses feet. I had no idea how incorrect he was.

Nelson's toes were so long, heel under run, couldn't keep a shoe on him if his life depended on it, thin soles etc, etc. Until I met my now current Farrier, whom is a corrective shoer.

Nelson still isn't at the correct angles that he needs to be at, but my Farrier is working on it. It's been about a year now since we've started the corrective shoeing process.

He's still not perfect, but getting ther slowly.

I took a picture of his hoof today....keep in mind that his due date is the 27th. My Farrier is coming out on the 20th instead.

This is his front left *I think I said front right before.....*



And his front right:



Here's what his hoof angles were over a year ago with my previous Farrier. These pictures were taken about a week after my previous Farrier did him. These pictures were taken around the time I found my now current Farrier.

When my now current Farrier came out to replace that shoe..he asked "When were his feet last done?" I responded "about a week ago" and he shook his head and said "geese...looks like over a month ago"







So we've come a long way since those pics were taken, but he still has a way to go.
 

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Hi,

First & foremost, based on those pics, if your farrier has been working on him for a year now, I don't at all share your confidence in his competence sorry! I suggest you learn all you can about the principles & factors of hoof health & function, so that you will have a better idea about what's needed(most of it's up to you, not a 6-weekly trim) and whether advice & opinions you get, and your 'expert' of choice is good, bad or otherwise.

The quarters are the name of the side of the hoof. Nelson's cracks are toe cracks. As they appear to have started at the ground surface, it makes them 'grass cracks', for future reference. They have obviously been going for some time, which may be the reason your farrier failed to mention them last trim. They are a product of the ill health of his feet and the excess wall stress.

Those pics show that he is likely overdue for hoof care, whatever the date, the nail clenches being loose. But would need more pics to give a better idea of specifics; directly front- & side-on from near ground level and a variety of solar angles, including sighting down from heel to toe.(Tho if he's in pads, solar shots can't tell much)

I would advise the horse is kept unshod and well trimmed until his feet can become healthy, as that is part of the problem ~ the walls are weak and laminae still disconnected in at least the bottom half of the hoof(evident from flaring) and they need to be *relieved* of pressure in order that they can begin to grow down well connected. With shoes they are under increased pressure, the disconnected walls forced to bear the entire load. I wouldn't expect these feet to get much better if they remain shod like that. For protection & support, hoof boots are generally a good option.

In addition to good trimming, there is infection in the laminar region of these cracks which needs to be treated ~ even if the hooves are kept mechanically right to allow good growth, the infection will continue eating away at the tissue & perpetuate the cracks & separation.

Also diet & nutrition play a huge role in hoof health. While as your farrier has rasped the outside of the walls so it's hard to tell if there are prominent rings, it's obvious in the 'before' pics that he was also laminitic & it appears he's at least a lot better now in that respect. This is generally diet related, caused from too much rich feed ~ rich grass, grain, sweet feed, etc. Avoiding feeding starchy/sugary feeds & keeping an eye on how much rich grass he gets is a good idea. His feet also appear 'shelly' & dry, and the other hairline cracks are also generally an indication of diet/nutrition probs. Is he getting a good quality(grain free) complete supplement or such, to give him the balanced nutrition he needs?

On the note of nutrition & dry hooves, you mention using hoof dressings. These products tend to do nothing more than make the hooves look prettier. As the outer hoof walls are dead material, as are finger nails & hair, topicals that purport to aid growth & provide nutrients are basically advertising ploys. Oil based goop also seals the hoof and can dry them out more, also seals in infections, making them harder to treat. As the Hoof Heal link you gave gives nothing away of it's ingredients, I couldn't comment on what it may do. But allowing his feet to soak in water every day or few and feeding the hooves from the inside with good nutrition is what is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your help, I appreciate the time you took to help educate me on Hooves, I am still learning. I know he's due for a job, because as I stated his next appointment is on the 27th, but because I called and stressed concern for his feet, my Farrier bumped the date to Monday the 20th instead.

I wonder if the pads are aiding in the reason why the nails are "lose".

I'm not that worried about the competance in my Farrier, he is pretty educated and has been doing a great job thus far, and I wonder if he's just having to spend more time on repairing the angles and the hooves in accordance to the incompetant farrier I had for so many years.

Nelson is 21, and is nutrition is pretty good I would like to think. He is eating getting 3lbs of Purina Senior and 2lbs of Purina Ultium per feeding, twice a day. So he's getting 10lbs a day, plus he is out on 80 acres of pasture all day and then gets put into a large 4 acre paddock with grass and a large round bale that is Timothy, Alfalfa and Brome mixed for the night with his buddy who is also a senior TB gelding *They are inseperable*

He is on suppliments through smartpak equine. He gets SmartGut Pellets, SmartDigest Ultra, MSN, SmartCalm and Farrier's Formula. They get put into his A.M feeding.

When my Farrier first came out to see Nelson, when his feet were HORRIBLE, which I feel aweful about.........I should of educated myself on feet and took that step to find him a better route than trusting the Farrier I had at the time. I blame myself for the condition of his feet because of my ignorance in the department of hoof health. Anyways, he walked around and looked at Nelson's conformation and touched some pressure points on his body, and proceeded to explain to me how off his angles were and how they should be in accordance to his pasterns, shoulder's and hips. He explained alot, which I cannot remember now word for word, but it was an eye opener.

He just recently put wedge pads on Nelson, the last appointment we had with him was the time he put these new pads on. He explained something to do with his lack of heels or something like that....I can't quite remember what he said about the reasoning behind the wedge pads, but it made sense.

Nelson was quite sore for about a week afterwards due to the new angles - and now that I think about it, that was when the cracks came about.

I just spoke with my Farrier on the phone and asked him why the cracks appeared, and he explained it is because of the pressure on his toes and he talked about it to length but it was hard to understand what he was saying over the cell phone. He asked alot of questions about what the cracks look like and he discussed the steps he's going to take to target them, but again, it was hard to understand what he was saying.

He'll be out tomorrow, so I'll see what he does. I wont be there in person because I have to work, but I will be out aftarwards and will take pictures.

I almost wonder if I should asak him to take those wedge pads off, and just put basic full coverage pads on. I will also ask him about Laminitus.

I tried the Barefoot thing a year ago and it did not work out well. I had a barefoot farrier come out and take care of him. He was sore, tender and ended up not even wanting ot move. He incurred bruises and abcesses on all 4's and it was a disaster. I even invested in 4 Easy Boot Epics and he was still miserable.

I shoe because I believe he is a horse that needs them, and we are Eventers and we work all year round. I like the fact that I can have his shoes with the stud holes in them, because I feel he needs that extra traction to protect him while we are on course, both stadium and cc.

I am worried about those cracks, and I stressed this to my Farrier on the phone yesterday and he said he'll address this when he sees him tomorrow.

So the Feibings Hoof Polish is doing more harm than good? I bought it because it said on the can that it helps heal Quarter Cracks. I've been putting it on his hooves everyday for 2 weeks now - crap - I hope I didn't do any damage.

I was looking at RainMaker:

http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=3483&cm_vc=Search

but like you said, it is probobly a waste of time and money.

Here is the Hoof Heel that you wanted to see more about:

http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-22416&tid=froogle&CATALOG_CODE=1X814&EID=X1814001&zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=49&zmap=X1-22416&bhcd2=1284925187
 

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Wow, I don't want to sound offensive or anything but that is just ugly. I am with loosie, I am not sure I would share the confidence in your farrier if he was just done within the last few weeks. It looks more like he was shod in mid summer and then turned out to pasture. Even under hard work, a shoeing job should not look loose like that when they start getting close to the due date. None of mine ever look loose like that unless they have hung a shoe at some point and pulled it loose, they just start looking a little long.
 

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Hi,

I can only give you my opinion as a hoof care practitioner based on those pics and the info you've provided. I deal a lot with rehabbing sick hooves, most clients finding me after 'doing the rounds' or on vet's referral. Of course it is only my opinion based on little info & I wouldn't expect you to take it any more than take anyone's advice on blind faith, as you say you've learned not to since your last farrier.

I wonder if the pads are aiding in the reason why the nails are "lose".
Could be, if they're material that has compressed under load.

I'm not that worried about the competance in my Farrier, he is pretty educated and has been doing a great job thus far, and I wonder if he's just having to spend more time on repairing the angles and the hooves in accordance to the incompetant farrier I had for so many years
Of course I'm but one opinion, but if he's been working on your horse for that long, angles should have been rectified by now. That is one concern that can't be seen from the pics. Another that can be is the flaring. Along with the cracks indicating hoof imbalance.

Regarding his diet & nutrition, as mentioned, there is no obvious evidence of lami from those recent pics. I personally advise doing at least a basic diet analysis, through a service such as feedXL.com(that's who I subscribe to) in order to correctly balance nutrition. Neither of those Purina feeds give a list of ingredients. They both say 'low starch' except that the Senior has molasses, which is a cause for concern. I presume the Optium is the competition one? Is he in very hard physical work to need that? Just be careful of how much hi-carb feed he gets, along with calories in general. Fat horses are also more at risk of health/hoof probs. safergrass.org is one source of info on diet as it relates to hoof health.

The other thing is the size of his meals. Horses are 'trickle feeders', evolved for tiny amounts near constantly. They have small stomachs(about the size of ours) & quick metabolisms. Especially when considering starchy feeds, to reduce the risks, the daily ration should be fed in as many small meals as possible & the fewer feeds per day & larger the meals, the more likelihood of hind gut problems.

HORRIBLE, which I feel aweful about.........I should of educated myself on feet and took that step to find him a better route than trusting the Farrier I had at the time. I blame myself for the condition of his feet because of my ignorance in the department of hoof health.
Interested to know what you did to become educated about it? Where did you learn from? What is it that about this farrier that gives you faith in him? How do you see the general health of your horse's feet now?

how off his angles were and how they should be in accordance to his pasterns, shoulder's and hips.
That, I think is open to opinion & interpretation. Yes, pastern angles are *generally* a match to the toe walls in healthy feet *depending* how they're standing, etc. Yes, shoulder & hip angles do change when hoof angles change, but every horse is individual & conformation is individual. No horse should be trimmed to conform to preconceived 'correct' angles IMO. No horse should be trimmed in order to make pastern/hip/shoulder angles 'correct'.

He just recently put wedge pads on Nelson, the last appointment we had with him was the time he put these new pads on. He explained something to do with his lack of heels or something like that.
Horses are *supposed* to have very short heels(again, it's individual, there's no absolute 'correct' angle/length). Generally when people talk about a horse 'lacking heel' it is either because of a preconceived notion that they should have high heels & they need to be 'stood up' more, or they fail to realise the horse actually has long but crushed flat heels - he's walking on the backs of them(which is a prob difficult to correct with shoes). While the current shots don't show the heels, your earlier pics show heels that are indeed crushed forward.

Nelson was quite sore for about a week afterwards due to the new angles - and now that I think about it, that was when the cracks came about.
There are exceptions, but a horse being sore after a trim is generally down to farrier error. The horse should be the same if not better after each trim. Yes, forcing a horse onto his toes is one reason for cracks - along with a multitude of other more serious problems - but if this was only done 4-5 weeks ago, I imagine the cracks had already started by then(unless his walls are a lot weaker than they look & there's been lots of high impact exercise). But that they got obviously worse then is another indication of faulty treatment.

but again, it was hard to understand what he was saying.
I would suggest that if you're allowing him to do whatever to your horse, that you at least make sure you understand what he's on about. How can you make informed decisions without?

I tried the Barefoot thing a year ago and it did not work out well. I had a barefoot farrier come out and take care of him. He was sore, tender and ended up not even wanting ot move. He incurred bruises and abcesses on all 4's and it was a disaster. I even invested in 4 Easy Boot Epics and he was still miserable.
I wouldn't expect a horse with feet like that to cope well barefoot on anything but soft ground. He would have to develop healthy feet first. While I suggest *shoeless* that doesn't necessarily mean bare. Did you use the boots from the start full time? Was the trimmer someone who was experienced in rehab? What other measures did you take to protect/support his feet & help them become healthy?

I shoe because I believe he is a horse that needs them, and we are
In my opinion he is a horse that needs NOT to be shod, until his feet can become healthy & strong. That may well mean putting your eventing ambitions on hold & give precedence to getting him sound first. IME it is difficult or impossible to rehab feet like that when the entire load is forced to be kept on disconnected walls. The walls need to be relieved, not loaded. If boots aren't good enough protection/support for him, there are additions & alternatives such as foam pads, Vettec SoleGuard and Equicast for eg.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Be happy to give you further more specific opinions if you want to post some more pics that better show the state of his hooves now.
 

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MI - I'm actually shocked to see these pics of Nelson's feet. All the time and care and love that your horse has and these are his feet!? I know how much you are dedicated to your horse. So now you really need to read up on hoof structure now. Consider it your new job. It should be easy after everything you've been through with Nelson. When studying up, take side pics and sole pics as well to learn from. Print them out and draw lines all over them. It's very interesting reading and learning. I think you'll be happy with it once you start.

I agree with loosie too. And I most definitely agree that after a year of care under a competent farrier the feet should not look like this. I won't repeat everything that's been said except for one thing: give these feet a break from nails and shoes! Let them grow in healthy for a year.

Every nail is another avenue for weakness and infection. Shoes prevent the feet from expanding and contracting. Shoes are holding Nelson's recovery back. If you feel after a year you want to go back to shoes, so be it, but, for now anyway, Nelson needs another method. And it will likely take a year for that crack to grow out. When you describe a crack, remember that is grows from ground UP, not the other way. So until the area hitting the ground is corrected, it will never go away.

Use boots if you feel you need them and you probably will to be able to continue to compete. I've read a little about boots and I know you can get something that will give you the traction needed. It's an investment, but it's well worth it.

And remember as well that the trauma that Nelson's been through in the last months/year(?) certainly has had an affect on his feet.

I'm sorry for your lousy luck with farriers, but I advise you to look again. :(
 

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Now that I've seen the pictures - those are not quarter cracks. They are quite a cause for concern and although much advice has been given, the best way to figure out a solution is to get your vet and your farrier together to discuss what to do. Always remember that people can talk a lot of talk, but it is very hard to find a good farrier.
While barefoot is one option, for a competition horse it is a very, very hard decision to make because it does basically mean that the horse needs to be laid up for 3-4 months. I would definitely get a corrective farrier with experience working on competition horses out to discuss your options with your vet. One product that I have heard a lot of good about that can allow the horse to be "barefoot" but still allows work in good footing is Equi pak. You may have to sell your first born and I know some farriers don't like it but I know people that have had advanced level dressage horses in the off season, still training with this stuff when the other option is basically to take the shoes off and throw the horse in a field until the feet are under control.
But really, this needs to get taken care of now. I would call your vet and try to get him out on the same day as your farrier.

Good luck!
 

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While barefoot is one option, for a competition horse it is a very, very hard decision to make because it does basically mean that the horse needs to be laid up for 3-4 months. I would definitely get a corrective farrier with experience working on competition horses out to discuss your options with your vet. One product that I have heard a lot of good about that can allow the horse to be "barefoot" but still allows work in good footing is Equi pak.
Anabel, I think a horse would only need to be laid-up for so long if there is a serious issue. And if there is such a serious issue, then better 3 - 4 months now than a year with a potentially chronic isssue that forever has to be managed. I don't think that is the case here though it is hard to tell with just a couple of pics.

As for Equi pak -- isn't that the stuff that seals off the entire sole? If so, I would be careful with it. Sounds like a means to thrush rather than a means to an end.
 

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There are other options too for horses that need shoes but also need to let the hoof grow some without the trauma of having shoes nailed on.

*Now keep in mind that I don't know much about these products since I have never used them, I just did a search for alternative options*

There are glue on shoes
Anvil Brand Shoe Co. - Mustad Easy Glu #00
Glue On Horseshoes by Sound Horse Technologies
Renegade(R) Pro-Comp Glue-On (though I am not sure I like the fact that these have a solid sole.

And here is the Equipack that anabel mentioned
 

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Anabel, I think a horse would only need to be laid-up for so long if there is a serious issue. And if there is such a serious issue, then better 3 - 4 months now than a year with a potentially chronic isssue that forever has to be managed. I don't think that is the case here though it is hard to tell with just a couple of pics.

As for Equi pak -- isn't that the stuff that seals off the entire sole? If so, I would be careful with it. Sounds like a means to thrush rather than a means to an end.
Farriers that I have talked to about hoof balance issues and re balancing them barefoot have mostly all earmarked 3 cycles of trimming to really fix the issue. Being that this is a competition and not a pleasure horse that does basically mean that he is laid up for that period as work performed by a dressage, jumping or eventing horse (and probably most other performance horses, I don't have experience with others though) is strenuous enough to require shoeing. Basic walk trot and canter is all that can really be done without shoes and the first cycle without them the horse is usually just sore.

There are risks with any type of farrier work. You can get hot nails and poorly fitted shoes with traditional shoeing. The key is to mitigate the risk by applying the product correctly and on a freshly trimmed and clean hoof. Plus I'm sure the horse is stabled in clean bedding and turned out on in suitable pasture.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for your help and input and going out of your way to help.

I shot pics to my vet via PM on Facebook and she replied about the abcess and the crack is ther due to that. She doesn't know much about hooves and angles and it is not her specialty, but that the cracks are superficial. She said that I should go with what my Farrier says because he is the professional in this department and deals with hooves on a daily basis, where she does not.

I showed the pictures to a friend who is a barefoot trimmer on facebook and she saw old flaring, and explained that the crack in the front right was due to pressure on his toes, and the other because of the abcess. She saw nothing "serious" or anything to be all up in arms about. She expalined that Nelson's feet want to naturally grow forward because he lands toe first. She said that is very common and she see's this often. The old flarring takes a long time to fix, she explained it is a continuous ongoing process that can take many trims to correct, but it sounds like my farrier is addressing it and working on correcting it.

She said she has seen worse and Nelson looked bad because he was due for reshoeing. She didn't think his feet were concerning. She said that his feet look a hell of alot better than what they did with the previous Farrier, and she can see that a nice new hoof wall is growing down, with a tighter connection with less flare. She said she has a good feeling that my Farrier is doing a good job.

My Farrier called me when he was done Nelson and pretty much said exactly what my friend said. He explained why he used the wedge pads, was because again, Nelson's feet want to naturally grow forward and land on his toes. The wedge pads were there to manipulate the heels to come back to where they need to be, so he can get he angles right. The wedge pads did their job, and he removed them. He too said the same thing about the cracks and that they were superficial.

There was a barefoot trimmer at the barn today, she was there doing clients horses and took time out to look at Nelson and said my Farrier is doing a great job in taking care of Nelson's feet. There's old flaring, but she said it looks like my Farrier is addressing that. She said the same thing about Nelson's hoof growth, wanting to grow forward because he lands toe first. She liked where his heel is now. She said Nelson looks like he's been doing well thus far and will continue to. He's moving well, there is no sign of discomfort. She said it looks like my Farrier is doing a competant job with his feet. She said the same thing about the new wall coming in and said there's no "concern".

I was advised by both Barefoot Trimmers to get Oil Of Oregeno to put on the cracks, once a week to help the healing process and to prevent anything from getting in there. She also said the cracks are superficial.

So I'm pretty happy with the advice and help I got and pleased that other professionals were pleased with where my farrier is bringing Nelson's hooves.

Thanks again everyone.
 

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Thanks for the info MIE. Truly it's hard to see things from pictures. I would not have said the crack to the coronet was superficial, but pictures DO lie.

The only other thing I can comment on then is perhaps ask your farrier about keeping the nails tight between visits. I don't know anything about that; maybe there is something that can be done.

I still would encourage you to learn more about this if you have time. It's easier to talk with our professionals if we have more info to ask questions.


Anabel -- 3 trims to rebalance sounds reasonable. (It can be anywhere from 1 to ??? trims to rebalance.) Not being able to compete without shoes does not sound reasonable. But to each their own. I know I have to keep my mouth shut at many shows because I am appalled at the state of some competition horses hooves. The drafts I saw a couple of weeks ago were absolutely pitiful: flaring so bad that the bottom 1 inch of hoof all the way around was almost parallel to the ground :(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks NorthernMama

What causes the nails to become lose between appointments? Were they more suseptable to becoming lose because of the wedge pads that were put on? I would assume because his walls are brittle? Would applying a topcal like Keratex help?

He is already getting Farrier's Formula, but I wonder if that really does the job that they claim, or am I wasting my money?

The ingredients for both feeds he is getting is:

Purina Equine Senior

wheat middlings, dehydrated alfalfa, cane molasses, ground peanut hulls, dried beet pulp, dehulled soybean meal, ground soybean hulls, stablilized rice bran, soybean oil, wheat flour, vegetable oil, ground corn, flaxseed, calcium carbonate, salt thiamine mononitrate, citric acid, l-lysine, choline chloride, iron oxide, propionic acid (a preservative), ascorbic acid, vitamin E supplement, sorbitan monostearate, biotin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin E, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, anise flavor, fenugreek flavor, vitamin B-12 supplement, niacin supplement, tocopherols (a preservative), vitamin A supplement, xanthan gum, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, magnesium oxide, cobalt carbonate, ferrous carbonate, vitamin D3 supplement, manganous oxide, dl-methionine, sodium selenite

I am thinking I might change him to this other Senior product that TSC sells:

Nutrena Life Design Senior

wheat middlings, dehydrated alfalfa meal, peanut hulls, ricebran, cane molasses, soybean hulls, rice hulls, dehulled soybean meal, dried plain beet pulp, corn distillers dried grains with solubles, brewers rice, yeast culture, ground flax, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, dl-methionine, salt, natural and artificial flavors added, lecithin, magnesium oxide, manganese sulfate, manganous oxide, ferrous sulfate, ferrous carbonate, copper chloride, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, zinc sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite, zinc methionine complex, copper lysine complex, manganese methionine complex, cobalt glucoheptonate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product dehydrated, enterococcus faecium fermentation product dehydrated, dried whey, linseed oil, casein, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), niacin supplement, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, iron oxide, d-calcium pantothenate, soybean oil, calcium propionate (a preservative), ascorbic acid

~~~~

The latter seems to have much better ingredients eh?

Here is the Purina Ultium he is getting:

Dried Beet Pulp, Wheat Middlings, Stabilized Rice Bran, Ground Soybean Hulls, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Oat Hulls, Ground Corn, Soybean Oil, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Flaxseed, Dried Whey, Calcium Lignin Sulfonate, Cane Molasses, Salt, DL-Methionine, Thiamine, Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Iron Oxide, Natural Flavor, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Selenite, Choline Chloride, Cyanocobalamin, Nicotinic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Tryptophan, L-Threonine, Vitamin A Acetate, Ferrous Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Magnesium Oxide, Riboflavin, Cholecalciferol, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate.

He gets his mineral/vit blocks in his stall and out in his pasture and they are in his paddock. He is out on 80 acres of pasture all day, and in his 3 acre paddock at night where he stuffs his face into a round bale.

I would like to think he is getting the right nutritional balance he needs, but I am no Equine Nutritionist.

I'm buying some Oil Of Oregeno as suggested to me by both Barefoot Trimmers, to put on the cracks once a week. They said even though the cracks are superficial, bacteria can still get in there and make things worse, and I want to prevent that. I wonder if soaking his feet in warm water and epsom salts would help?

I am most definately going to be working towards educating myself on hooves and hoof angles and hoof health. This is a department where I am "lack thereof" and need to be more ontop of things.

I appreciate your help :)
 

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What causes the nails to become lose between appointments? Were they more suseptable to becoming lose because of the wedge pads that were put on? I would assume because his walls are brittle? Would applying a topcal like Keratex help?
I don't know why some nails stay tight and others don't. You'll have to ask your farrier or maybe Kevin's horses will chime in if he is still here. I think he was/is a poster that knows more about shoeing. As for applying a topical - topicals will not help hoof wall that is already grown. You must wait for new healthy wall to grow down and ensure as best as possible that the old wall below that doesn't weaken the new growth. This is done through proper trimming and, like you say, preventing infection. So, I would be inclined to brush on only something like ACV daily (it won't hurt and might help), but maybe even a 50/50 bleach/water or peroxide once a week. I wouldn't go too often with the bleach or peroxide as they can do damage to good tissue also. There are products that you can massage into the coronet to help stimulate and promote healthy growth. I have used these products with some success. When you look at my horses' hooves, you can see about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of a cuticle like growth now. When they first came here, they didn't have that. If they have issues, that growth seems to be the first indicator to me.

He is already getting Farrier's Formula, but I wonder if that really does the job that they claim, or am I wasting my money?
I don't know what is in Farrier's Formula. I'm sure I've read about it on this forum though. Maybe do a search. A good supplement for hoof and hair is biotin, which I didn't see in the list of ingredients you provided. And yes, I agree that I think the second product seems better -- more rice based which will keep weight on your older horse, IMO. But, I am not an expert on that either. You probably know more about that than I do.

I'm buying some Oil Of Oregeno as suggested to me by both Barefoot Trimmers, to put on the cracks once a week. They said even though the cracks are superficial, bacteria can still get in there and make things worse, and I want to prevent that. I wonder if soaking his feet in warm water and epsom salts would help?
I'm not familiar with Oil of Oregano. As long as it doesn't seal the hoof, I'd try it. How water soluble is it? The problem with most topicals is that they seal in all the bad stuff along with any good. So, the bad takes over :(Those products that stay on forever aren't a good idea in my books. As for soaking, lots of people swear by it. I have hardly used it. Maybe loosie has comments on that. Something else you might consider is scrubbing his walls with dishsoapy water, then rinsing well and drying before putting on your OoOregano. I would also try to focus the OoO on the cracks only, as best as possible, rather than paint it on the entire wall. Or try the ACV.

I'll see if there is anything in my books about soaking. If I find something I'll post back later today. Must be off to work now...
 

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MIE -- I didn't find anything specific about soaking in epsom salt-water for cracks. I'd try it a couple of times over a couple of weeks, but pay close attention. I'm thinking that while it may indeed help with bacteria/infection, it might also be a negative impact on the cracks themselves.
 

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I can't comment on trimming, but with feet that cracked up , the LAST thing they need is water. Those nail holes are so big and nails are so loose because the hooves are constantly expanding and contracting with between the mega dry summer we had combined with being hosed off after exercise. My horse had the same problems this summer to a lesser degree. If you have bathe your horse, slather vasoline on his hooves first to keep the water out. After the next shoeing, pick up either a wax ring they sell for installing toilets or a thing of wood putty and keep the nail holes covered. Purchase a product called Hoof Alive. It's about $38, but well worth the money. It conditions and protects the hooves from moisture while still letting them breathe. It literally fills in old sand cracks and holes. I've only used it for 6 weeks and cannot believe how useful a product it is. If you have a few weeks between events, maybe leave the shoes off completely for a few weeks and use Cavallo boots or something similar to cushion his feet and allow the hooves to grow in a bit before putting shoes back on. Just remember, WATER BAD. Keep them dry but conditioned. None of that slather on hoof oil tar stuff. It just makes them mushy. Good luck.
 

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Again, emphasising that I appreciate this is just my opinion & experience, that I don't expect everyone to hold it, let alone follow it without learning about the principles, to get some idea of who's opinions, 'expert' or otherwise, may be worth considering...

get your vet and your farrier together
Agree thoroughly *IF* you have ones that really understand what's going on. Unfortunately it seems that MI needs to keep looking. Perhaps MI your vet can refer you to another who is knowledgeable about hooves? She's probably likely to be able to find you someone I would think? And a 'hoofspert'<G> vet is likely to know of some good farriers too, you would hope.

decision to make because it does basically mean that the horse needs to be laid up for 3-4 months. ....allow the horse to be "barefoot" but still allows work in good footing is Equi pak.
The 'laying up' is not generally the case, except in very severe problems. Generally a horse can work just as well, if not better with standard boots or such. Generally the more exercise the sooner, the better.

I too have heard great things about Vettec products, tho they're a bit too expensive over here for me to speak from experience ATM... I have corresponded quite a bit with Vettec about their products and understood the EquiPak was really to be used with shoes tho, not tough enough to stay on for bare feet. Their Sole Guard, however, is designed to be used to go the distance on bare feet. And NM, btw, they make an 'Equipak CS' which is infused with copper sulphate, which is specifically for treating & avoiding thrush. They actually sell kits of one of each & advise for horses susceptible to thrush(should treat active infection first), you apply the CS around the frog & heel and the Sole Guard over the top.

Being that this is a competition and not a pleasure horse that does basically mean that ..... is strenuous enough to require shoeing. Basic walk trot and canter is all that can really be done without shoes and the first cycle without them the horse is usually just sore.
Perhaps this is true from a shoer doing 'barefoot' perspective, but IME it is not necessary. No, generally performance horses do not need horse shoes just because of what they do. No, 'basic' w/t/c is not all a barefoot horse, or a horse without shoes can manage(You'll find plenty of examples if you look, of high performance bare foot horses). Aside from uncommonly seriously lame(already) cases, the horse should not be sorer(should also be adequately protected for work he is not up to bare) after the first trim, unless he was already lame. I consider it generally(there are of course exceptions to everything) farrier error if a horse is not at least the same if not better, after a trim, shoe pull, whatever, than he was before.

I shot pics to my vet via PM on Facebook and she replied about the abcess and the crack is ther due to that. She doesn't know much about hooves and angles and it is not her specialty, but that the cracks are superficial. She said that I should go with what my Farrier says because he is the professional in this department
Oh, I don't recall you mentioning the abscess on that hoof sorry. It does look like there's one burst there, but I didn't know whether was a before or after thing or just part of the general infection of that crack. The abscess is likely one symptom of the problem & may have been a sort of 'final straw' for the integrity of the hoof in that area. But what of the other cracks, the one bad one in the other foot & the smaller mid way cracks?

While I don't see this sort of problem(based only on those pics & what you've told, so by no means more than guess based on experience) as major and with the right care the hooves could be soon healthy, I also wouldn't call them 'superficial' cracks either. My big problem with the above is that she has told you she knows little about hooves and yet she's willing to 'diagnose' through a few pics that the problem is superficial & to trust your farrier because he's a farrier. Yes, he does work with hooves full time(I suppose) but is that all she's judging his 'expertise' on? If so, IME that's FAR from a reasonable presumption, given how many bad farriers are kicking around & that it's not her field at all.

She expalined that Nelson's feet want to naturally grow forward because he lands toe first. She said that is very common and she see's this often. The old flarring takes a long time to fix, she explained it is a continuous ongoing process that can take many trims to correct, but it sounds like my farrier is addressing it and working on correcting it.
I don't understand how she/farrier has arrived at the premise that Nelson's feet want to naturally grow forward or that it's because he lands toe first, or that your friend got that from this information only(?). Toe first landings, generally due to heel sensitivity are a common problem. I am interested to know how you think your farrier's addressing it by putting him further on his toes with wedges, etc? But it has occurred to me I may have it wrong, because maybe the 'wedge pads' are also/actually wedgelike frog support pads? Can see how they're helpful. Just personally think that approach is also best done without shoes.

That all said, if after doing your homework you decide that shoes with pads, whatever, is the way to go, if the nail clenches come loose, you can always hit them down gently with a small hammer if that's all that's wrong. Get your farrier to show you if you're unsure. The nails are probably looser because of the pads, them being a yielding, compressable material. That's OK, but they're best kept tight, so keep an eye on them. I believe it's important to know how to remove a shoe if you keep shod horses, as bad injuries can result from loose or overgrown shoes, and your farrier should be happy to show you how to do these things, along with learning what you're seeing in the hoof & what signs to pay attention to.

Regarding the feed list you gave, so far as I'm concerned, not sure about the value of wheat middlings & peanut hulls, not looked into them, but personally I wouldn't feed anything with molasses(in the top % ingreds for the Senior feeds!), wheat flour, corn or distillers grain. or other grain without very good reason either.

Diet & nutrition seem to be another one of those minefields of opinions! I personally choose to use a (independent of feed co's) nutritional service who have the scientific information to show why & how certain diets are good, bad or otherwise. I subscribe to a mob called feedxl.com who also have a great program for balancing nutrition & analysing the diet of individual horses & situations (cheap too & well worth a look IMO).

Anyway, hope my feedback's helped, not hindered:wink:, & given food for thought to your choices. Interested to see further pics if you want to post them.
http://www.horseforum.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=754829#ixzz10LxgHX59

 
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