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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the years I have tried many, many farriers. We finally found one that we liked and enjoyed three peaceful years, but over this past winter he was hurt and has stopped trimming.
I went back to one of our old farriers but she tends to rasp the toe starting 2/3 the way up the hoof which strips the wall off and causes some serious cracks.
I found a new guy who does "barefoot trimming", leaving the sole to form a callous. I've liked the concept however he has trimmed them 4 times (every 6 weeks) now and all of the horses have been tender or outright lame these last two times he has trimmed (like seriously, I've been waiting for an abscess to blow on some but that never seems to happen, they're just that sore...)

ONE horse who has always had the worst problem feet I have pictures from today and some from two years ago. I know they should be taken freshly trimmed so I apologize. Even if anyone can weigh in on do they look better in the old photos or currently?

Today, 4 weeks since last trim:












Two years ago photos same horse next post..... Thank-you.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, these are the old photos. Better or worse? Again I'm sure he was about 4-5 weeks post trim, sorry. Its all that I could find to compare.









X-rays around that time

 

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Well, I'm not an expert on hooves, but it would be hard to be worse than those hooves in the old photos. So by default I have to say the new trim is better. Seems like the flaring is better and, of course, those terrible cracks are gone.
 
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Don't see much improvement on any of the photos posted. Long toes long under run heels and flares big time.

Seems this is the case with so many farriers...hard to find farriers who actually do good work. I've been down this road and it's very frustrating. I finally have a Farrier who does really GOOD trim shoe job.
 

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I am not judging the farriery. I do not think it is reasonable to do so from these pics & info. Hooves are obviously overgrown, which may be normal for him for 4 weeks out, don't know what the guy started with either.

There are definitely *questions* particularly if multiple horses have been lame post trim(still not necessarily his fault, but...) - what has he said/done about that? What have you? Have you had a vet to them?

I wouldn't necessarily judge rasping the surface of the walls that far up either. Imo it is generally best to avoid this, but could potentially be helpful/necessary in some cases. It is not the cause of cracks either.

Diet, nutrition & environment/wet footing, and whether you put stuff on his hooves can all be big factors in hoof cracks(esp 'surface' cracks, as some look) along with mechanical factors.

So, I will just tell what I see... overgrown hooves with long toes & high, run forward heels. If he is not able to trim often enough those things arent nec. farrier fault and run forward & high heels do take time to fix. Hard to see much of anything underneath, with all the black stuff - is that dirt or thrush or...? Frog heels do look thrushy & with them raised so high that's not surprising. Can't tell if those cracks have been cleaned out/opened up at all, but I'd say they probably need more, along with topical treatment, if you're not doing that. And if they are fast growing - he has trimmed well but they have overgrown since, then the horse needs trimming more frequently.

Are they just wet, or have you oiled them or such? If so, don't! This doesn't help, but if there are cracks or other 'compromises', oiling will do further harm in softening horn & sealing in the anaerobic bugs to provide them a cushion environment to thrive!

Fwiw pics from 3 years ago look to me worse in some ways but not in others. Cracks are not treated. Long toes, flared quarters, massively overgrown bars, lateral imbalance... looks like his left fore may poss need to be a bit higher heeled than right though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OH wow thank-you for the input all.

He had x-rays to check for navicular in the LF. He has an old injury and is only occasional/light riding sound. The x-rays were also to help a new farrier at that time. I just included them here for whatever its worth...

I am not judging the farriery. I do not think it is reasonable to do so from these pics & info. Hooves are obviously overgrown, which may be normal for him for 4 weeks out, don't know what the guy started with either. Understandable. I know the pictures are terrible and that they are best directly after a trim, especially for a farrier critique.

There are definitely *questions* particularly if multiple horses have been lame post trim(still not necessarily his fault, but...) - what has he said/done about that? What have you? Have you had a vet to them? He has said that they will/may be lame until they build more sole. He left a couple, this gelding in particular, a little long last trim because hes been SO sore.
As far as what I have done, we do not have hours in the day... This has been years. Like, all of my horse owning years and I do not even know how many farriers. I give each a 6-12 month period of time to make corrections. This gelding is 14 now and hes never had not underun heels, never had a healthy frog, always had the cracks. They're the worst they have ever been now. I have changed feed, farriers, had a vet look at him and other horses, he has been x-rayed a few times. But the vet that we use is 2+hrs away and cannot help with a farrier suggestion, this isn't a vet issue its a farrier issue and its all of my horses so its just a never ending depressing cycle.


I wouldn't necessarily judge rasping the surface of the walls that far up either. Imo it is generally best to avoid this, but could potentially be helpful/necessary in some cases. It is not the cause of cracks either. Other farriers have been horrified after she has trimmed. Is this in fact OK? She rasps clean off the whole top of the hoof. Others have told me that weakens the wall and allows the cracks.

Diet, nutrition & environment/wet footing, and whether you put stuff on his hooves can all be big factors in hoof cracks(esp 'surface' cracks, as some look) along with mechanical factors. I have made MANY diet changes over the years and followed many vets, farriers and the likes advice. But nothing has ever changed their hooves. During the winter the horses eat a nice timothy alfalfa mix hay and a Essential K, CoolStance, Flax seed meal and a little kelp. During the summer they graze and are fed a much lighter supplemental ration. I've tried magnesium, I've tried biotin, Coolstance, various grains, NO sugar diets, I've tried pretty much anything and everything people have suggested. Switching hay, no grain, yes grain, more coconut, no pasture, yes pasture, ration balancer, nope try oats, nope try (insert here)... I've owned horses for almost 20 years so this has been done slowly over many years - with this gelding we've had him 14 years. No feed change has helped his feet. I've never noticed changing feed to help any of their feet.

Our pastures are high, dry and sandy. He is not standing in anything wet.


So, I will just tell what I see... overgrown hooves with long toes & high, run forward heels. If he is not able to trim often enough those things arent nec. farrier fault and run forward & high heels do take time to fix. He likes to trim every 8+ weeks. He said that trimming to often weakens the hoof wall. This was news to me, but like I said with each new farrier I try to just go with it and let them do their job how they want. If and when it doesn't help. I look for the next guy. I am out of next guys though... :frown_color:Hard to see much of anything underneath, with all the black stuff - is that dirt or thrush or...? Frog heels do look thrushy & with them raised so high that's not surprising. Can't tell if those cracks have been cleaned out/opened up at all, but I'd say they probably need more, along with topical treatment, if you're not doing that. And if they are fast growing - he has trimmed well but they have overgrown since, then the horse needs trimming more frequently. The cracks were opened up.

Are they just wet, or have you oiled them or such? If so, don't! This doesn't help, but if there are cracks or other 'compromises', oiling will do further harm in softening horn & sealing in the anaerobic bugs to provide them a cushion environment to thrive! This explains why the cracks, though opened up have gotten much worse? This farrier had me using coconut regularly on all of our horses bc he said the feet are dry (we have sandy soil). Like I said, I try to just use each new method at me but all I've got is a big list of wrong ideas I think... and horses who cannot walk :frown_color:

Fwiw pics from 3 years ago look to me worse in some ways but not in others. Cracks are not treated. Long toes, flared quarters, massively overgrown bars, lateral imbalance... looks like his left fore may poss need to be a bit higher heeled than right though.

I've used thrush buster, tea tree oil, one farrier said hydrogen peroxide, another bleach (I skipped that), another alcohol, another lightning something I forgot its name, another suggested something else that I've forgotten the name of but they needed to soak with it in a boot for 45 minutes and it was quite pricey, but also did not work to cure the cracks on this horse or any of the others.
 

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A lot of old timers leave mud around the water trough so the feet get wet whenever the horse comes to get a drink. Others in wetter environments may disagree, but it will add back natural moisture being sucked out of the feet in your dry sandy soil. I also agree to not rasp so high as the hooves have a thin protective layer that retains the natural moisture.

Toe needs to be shorter for better breakover and less stress to pull cracks apart. Heels need to be shortened and facing the ground. The frog has wasted away and needs to meet the ground to do what it is intended to do.
 

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He has said that they will/may be lame until they build more sole. He left a couple, this gelding in particular, a little long last trim because hes been SO sore.
If a horse is 'low grade' or 'sub clinical laminitic' for eg, they may well be a bit tender immediately following a trim, through no fault of the farriery. Even so, I would not just accept this and (even if other probs persist in causing the 'SCL') you can avoid or at least minimise this by adjusting the trim, &/or trimming less, more frequently - IMO it is generally only an issue for horses left to overgrow between trims, while if they're *maintained* with a rasp frequently enough, they don't have the issue.

But it sounds like, regardless of whether they are 'SCL', this is more than just a little tenderness immediately post trim anyway. So I'd definitely be looking for better answers and while it's still possibly not his fault(not enough info still IMO), I'd personally be putting his visits on hold until you get to the bottom of it.

Padding your horse's feet - even with baby diapers or foam duct taped on if you're desperate - if/when they become lame or they need to be on hard ground, should alleviate the discomfort & prevent further damage from thin soles. If their soles are that thin, they're at risk of serious bruising & abscessing if not protected.

I meant 'what have you done' specifically about the horses being lame after trimming? I hear you, that you've been trying everything & frustrated otherwise. Especially the 'out of next guys' sentiment. Unfortunately yours is not an uncommon experience... I also don't think I was clear regarding the rasping the wall surface... Generally I believe it is not necessary or desirable to do this. But not knowing exactly what/how she did or why, or what state the feet were in, I just wouldn't be saying it was necessarily wrong. And while I do not believe doing this will cause cracks of itself, the outer layer of hoof which grows down from the coronary border is harder, impermeable(if not compromised) and the softer inner wall material is indeed more easily invaded by infection if the outer layer is compromised/cracked... removed.

He likes to trim every 8+ weeks. He said that trimming to often weakens the hoof wall.


You can often get away with trimming horses that infrequently, without issue, particularly if they're already healthy & getting lots of barefoot exercise, to wear the excess away. But when hoof walls are allowed to become overgrown between trims, THAT is what weakens walls the most, as they distort, flare, separate, crack under pressure... Because they're not built to be a major support structure. At the end of the day, they're just toenails.

And it's also been shown (I think Pete Ramey had a good article on it) that thin soles will not *begin* to grow better, thicker, until the walls have grown out healthily, without 'stretching' or other undue pressure to the laminae. It's also vital, IME, that if you want to effect changes, particularly to run forward heels & such, trimming little & often(say 3-4 weekly) to gradually, continually improve the situation, whereas leaving hooves to overgrow between trims often sets you back to 'square 1' each time. You may still be able to prevent the prob getting worse, but it's difficult/impossible to improve things on each trim.

This explains why the cracks, though opened up have gotten much worse? This farrier had me using coconut regularly on all of our horses bc he said the feet are dry (we have sandy soil).
If they're not being treated effectively, and they've also been sealed up, yes, that's a problem. Horses evolved in semi arid environs - their feet are meant to be dry on the outside! And remember, if the outer wall is not compromised, it is impermeable anyway, so oil, water, whatever, will only sit on the surface, it doesn't sink in, or help the moist inner wall stay moist.

Yeah, lots of people have a range of different ideas, opinions, knowledge... and if you just try everything without analysing it, I think the law of averages is likely to show that you'll end up trying a lot of rubbish, along with the helpful stuff. And as farriers are just people, and in many places it's not even a regulated profession, so there's not even a guaranteed 'base knowledge', how are you to know who's worth listening to? So I think it's vital for owners to educate themselves as well as possible about hooves, lameness, etc. To that end, the thread link in my signature line is one place to start.

I've used thrush buster, tea tree oil, one farrier said hydrogen peroxide, another bleach (I skipped that), another alcohol, another lightning something I forgot its name, another suggested something else that I've forgotten the name of but they needed to soak with it in a boot for 45 minutes and it was quite pricey, but also did not work to cure the cracks on this horse or any of the others.
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There are all manner of topical treatments that can be effective to kill 'seedy' bugs. They can be bacterial, fungal or protozoa, so a 'broad spectrum' antiseptic, and one that isn't deactivated with air, dirt, moisture(because you tend to find those on hooves!) is best. Generally, so long as infection isn't into live tissue, 'heavier' chems are fine. But IME topical treatment alone only tends to work with shallow infections, in more 'ideal' environs. Generally it takes a 'joint approach', because otherwise, you can't get deep enough to treat it all, &/or mechanics or such are perpetuating cracks, so the seedy just reinfects.
 

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It sounds like you've been given a lot of dietary advice. Something I will point out is that your Essential K is a good ration balancer, with copper, zinc and biotin for the hooves, but they'll only get the appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals if you're giving the horses 2.2 lbs (1 kg) every day. That is what the label says on the bag. If the horses are on pasture currently and not able to eat 2.2 lbs of grain without gaining weight, you might consider switching to a multivitamin instead. For example, you could give a cup of Horseguard Trifecta to a 1,000 lb horse and still give the horse all the copper, zinc, biotin, vitamin E, and all the other essential vitamins and minerals needed without all those extra calories.

If you're only feeding vitamins and minerals in the winter, the hooves will only start to show the benefit before you stop giving them again. It takes around six months for biotin, copper and zinc to show improvement in hoof quality.

What can be tricky about the seedy/cracks/white line disease is that as @loosie said, it takes a combination approach. You need the hoof minerals in the diet, the trimming that brings back the toe and balances the hoof to relieve stress and open up any infected spots to air, and sometimes the combination of soaking and products applied as well.
Sandy soil can be difficult because it brings organisms inside the hoof and works them up into the cracks. My friend recently had to have her horse's hooves trimmed very short to get to the bottom of some white line disease that developed in some small cracks. The sand made the WLD much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank-you again.

TeeZee we have a pea gravel "pit" near the water tanks (left over from when I tried the "paddock paradise" method years ago - yepp, I've tried it all) I could hose that down... hmmm...

Loosie, I have read a few of the websites in your signature over the years. I will look at the ones that I have not seen, thanks.

I agree gottatrot! About the combination of dietary, topical and farrier. I have just burned out on spending money on supplements and waiting for elaborate foot soaks when I feel that no matter what I do if the farriers continue to leave high heels, under run heels and loooong toes, it doesn't matter what I am feeding them or soaking them in. Sigh.

I looked into trimming them myself at one point and set about to learn. But there was noone to teach hands on properly and I do not understand how to get the toes back myself... that and I have some lower back issues which prevent me from trimming 5 horses.

The gelding in the photo, his poor frogs have never touched the ground.

Loosie I agree with trimming more often to correct. I have had a hard time getting farriers to want to come out once a month. This guy was the first one that has said to me that its "bad" to trim more often.

This is NOT my horse but a photo I found online. This is what I meant by rasping the outer hoof. She does half of her trim on a stand with a rasp to the outside. She does this to get rid of flares. She does leave long toes too somehow. The lighter colored feet end up all pink and bruised. She doesn't just seem to do this to aggressively go after a flare but always. I did not think this could be good so we switched from her.


Here is another of my horses. Trimmed by the same guy the past 4 trims. This is 10 days post trim after a bath a couple of weeks ago. She was NEVER lame before, but has been lame since he trimmed her this last time. One of the ones that I have been waiting for an abscess maybe from? But so far no.. its been 4 weeks now. She was sore in the front, lame on the left. Now shes just sore.









Is the concept of keeping the hoof wall from touching the ground correct? I have had this farrier and two others state this method. He said if the wall is kept this far off the ground the foot has to grow sole and it keeps the wall from flaring so the flares will just grow out.
 

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Massively overgrown bars, pushing up into the foot. Along with overgrown looking heels. Yes, this one's toes don't look that long, but I hope it's obvious to you - is for me - the angle the toes 'want' to be on. Pointing too sharply into the ground.

Only on my phone, so not good detail to pics & only got the straight on sole pics, so... but the soles don't look obviously way thin to me. Not sure that's the major issue.

Re removing walls from the ground... depends what you mean exactly. They are not a major 'support structure', but they do still help, to a degree. Also dumping a horse onto very thin soles can be... very unhelpful. I dont believe quarters or bars should be part of active weight bearing at all tho. And flares/long toes, as they have already distorted from pressure need to be 'relieved' in order to grow down unimpeded from staying well attached. So... I certainly wouldn't do it all round - tho the back half of the foot is desperate for a good trim - but I would 'roll' the toe walls pretty much off the ground. The elpo site has some great info on specifics & whys & wherefores of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank-you! I have much to look into and look at. I really appreciate all of the links you've all posted...

Is this heading in the right direction at all? This is the 2nd horse.
Do you suppose the crack on the left heel is where an abscess came out, or from her long heels in general? How does one bring heels back? Taking them down to just a hair above frog height every couple of weeks is the extent of my knowledge...
The bars must have been causing her a lot of discomfort. Just what I did here made this horse walk sound on cement! Shes been padding gingerly down the barn isle for weeks.

I will also put them back on Essential K for the summer.









 

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Wow, what an obvious change from just relieving bars! Hopefully that solved one horse's problem!

Her heels look low enough but a bit forward, if where I've drawn the red line is the the heel platform. You can bring the heels back, without taking them down more, by bevelling them back towards the green line. And the line at the toe is where I *imagine, roughly & conservatively*(can't measure properly from that pic) 'breakover' should be. You can work that out properly from the ELPO stuff.
 

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I have never seen a heel-hoof wall rounded/rolled up toward the heel bulbs as in the 4th photo. The entire hoof wall traveling surface should be level. If the intent was to "lower" the heel - or fix "under-run" heels, rounding at the back does not achieve that.


Subsequent to the error in rounding the heel-hoof-wall under(?!), the toe-hoof-wall is even more "slipper" or "clown-shoe" long. The toe-hoof-wall is still SO long underneath and flared on top, that this horse may be excruciatingly heel-sore, and the long toe-hoof-wall may either crack under pressure of not being able to "roll" forward as she moves, or the pressure may gradually pull the laminae apart (laminitis/founder).


- Yes, it's vital to get rid of flares, but one must also remove excess hoof wall length underneath, all the way around, and balance the hoof to a FLAT traveling surface.
- The front slope of the front hoof will match the angle (often around 45-degrees) of the short pastern bone.
- The hind hoof angle is even more upright, but goes with the conformation of the horse when standing at comfortable, balanced rest.
- The front hooves beg a carefully executed "Mustang roll" at the toe. This will help her move forward, rather than awkwardly clunking forward over a long, stiff clown-shoe toe.
- The hind hoof is never Mustang rolled. The horse needs that edge in stopping from speed or downhill.


Look at my coffin bone avatar photo at left, and know that THAT is what is inside the hoof, (along with a lot of blood vessels, soft tissue, tendons, digital cushion, etc.) and if the outer shape of the hoof wall is way out-of-wack from the shape of a coffin bone, the trim still needs tweeking. Most angle tweeking will take gradual repair over many trimmings, by an expert who has seen the inside of the horse's hoof. Many farriers and trimmers have not.


Online, you can find are lots of excellent photos of well trimmed hooves, as well as many horrifically out-of-shape hooves, and lots of expert information. A badly trimmed hoof will never be helped by shoes, but a well trimmed hoof can, if necessary, easily take an iron shoe or boot.


Trimming horses’ hooves starts with geometry and physics, but the end result is all heart.
 

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It seems like you've already looked into nutrition, but I wanted to ask If you have tested your hay and your horse's blood yet? Often times we can have a good basis for nutrition, but not enough or too much of XYZ due to the environmental levels of that nutrient. You'd be surprised how easily nutrition can become unbalanced. Just altering hay can cause imbalances that can cause significant changes in the quality of new hoof growth.
 

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I have never seen a heel-hoof wall rounded/rolled up toward the heel bulbs as in the 4th photo. The entire hoof wall traveling surface should be level. If the intent was to "lower" the heel - or fix "under-run" heels, rounding at the back does not achieve that.
I don't know what 4th pic you're talking about, but I presume this is addressing my last comment? I beg to differ, that while perhaps it's a relatively small factor(I don't reckon it would do anything without also addressing the rest of the hoof balance, and I was still able to (slowly) correct run forward heels before I learned that 'trick'), it does, IME, indeed seem to help, to bevel the back of the heel of run forward feet. I actually can't recall any 'science' behind that, but my theory of why it helps is just that it relieves the rearmost, crushed tubules & allows them to 'relax' down & back more easily.

the long toe-hoof-wall may either crack under pressure of not being able to "roll" forward as she moves ... - Yes, it's vital to get rid of flares, but one must also remove excess hoof wall length underneath, all the way around, and balance the hoof to a FLAT traveling surface.
I think it's a significant mistake to make the entire ground surface of the wall level/flat actually. I wonder, if you believe that should be the case, how exactly do you address long toes? How do you relieve pressure at the toe on 'breakover'? Although later you advise a 'mustang roll' at the toes(I've never before heard of theory that you should 'roll' fores but not hinds), which seems to directly contradict what you've said above. Quite possibly this is just the way I interpreted what you said, but perhaps you can elaborate then? How about quarter flares, as there generally being some arch to the sole at the quarters, trimming the wall flat from heel to toe is IME a common reason for quarters being too long & flaring.
 

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Thank you, loosie, for your comments and questions, and for the detailed and knowledgeable comments you always post.

I was referring to my 1st attached photo, copied from MoriahKoda. (not to loosie's comment)

It's hard to tell from one photo, but it appears that this hoof's frog may be bearing a large amount of the horse's weight. The hoof wall appears rounded, and I just have not seen that sort of trim.

Does my next attached photo show the beveling you refer to, loosie?

I don't have a short answer on loosie's: "How exactly do you address long toes? How do you relieve pressure at the toe on 'breakover'?"
Here goes.

First, I’ve never trimmed a severely neglected, grossly over-grown, drastically curled-up hooves, as I don't have enough knowledge. These may require x-rays to find the coffin bone and surrounding issues. Nonetheless, somewhere inside such a hoof exists the same perfect coffin bonethat the horse was born with - however displaced or moved by neglect.

Before trimming I view every aspect of the hoof. Flares? I carefully remove all flares. On front hooves, I rasp the beginnings of a Mustang roll, rounded, from underneath, no sharp transitions. This removes any visual illusion of a flare that's not really there.

Flares gone, the hoof wall now more reflects the shape of the coffin bone, but not necessarily the angle. The coffin bone wants to be ground-parallel. I can now check the front angle of the hoof wall compared to the pastern angle. A broken-back, shallow angle may indicate a faster growing toe. A broken-forward, steep angle could be a faster growing heel. (see 3rd attached image)

A healthy hoof usually takes an angle closer to the relaxed-stance angle of the pastern bones (P1 & P2).

I'd never try to quickly correct a faster-growing toe, nor a faster-growing heel. The horse could experience pain, since tendons and other soft tissue may be stretched beyond what the horse is used to - even if the excess toe or heel height was causing heel or toe pain before trimmer started.

I'd rasp a small amount at a time, over weeks or maybe months depending upon severity, maybe 2-3 times per week - removing hoof wall from under the too-long toe but keeping a natural, level surface. Balancing/leveling will, over time, will bring the coffin bone ground-parallel, and the now-stronger and tighter heels (their previous crushed forward structure having been reduced) will stand back beneath the horse instead of run-forward and painful.

On coffin bone angle: Some DVMs and practitioners have dissected, examined and measured front and hind coffin bones and have indicated that hind coffin bones themselves may be steeper than fronts. (My avatar is a front coffin bone.) This follows visual observation showing that hind pasterns tend to stand more upright than fronts. Videos of equine movement show that there is a functional difference in front vs. hind legs & hooves which helps them achieve different aspects of that amazing propulsion!

On break over and Mustang roll: I was trained to recognize the steeper angle of the hind pastern and hoof. A well trimmed, healthy hind hoof likely does not need a Mustang roll, perhaps just a bit of sharp-edge-rounding after the ground surface trim.

Note that the hind hoof has a completely different bottom shape (naturally more oval) than the front hoof (naturally more rounded). See next post for image.
 

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Thanks for indulging me Coffin! I hope our discussion will further help OP & others reading to understand more too, as well as ourselves better understand.

It's hard to tell from one photo, but it appears that this hoof's frog may be bearing a large amount of the horse's weight. The hoof wall appears rounded, and I just have not seen that sort of trim.
Yeah, the frog/caudal hoof SHOULD be the primary 'landing gear'. BUT a lot of domestic horses, for one reason or another, have weak caudal feet & cannot comfortably use their heels/frogs properly. In that situation, it may be desirable for heels(walls) to be left a tad longer &/or protection/support used under the frog. It's no good to just force the frog/caudal foot to cop the load if it's not up to the job.

Do you mean 'rounded' in that the toe appears higher in that angle pic, with the hoof sloping down at the quarters? Toe shouldn't be at all pointy looking, but yeah, from that angle, a lot of hooves will look like that, if the hoof walls have been trimmed evenly *in relation to the sole plane* all the way round, as most hooves have some degree of an arch to the quarters, they're not flat from heel to toe.

Does my next attached photo show the beveling you refer to, loosie?
It's really hard to tell from that angle pic(& with my aging eyes) but no, I'm not seeing any *obvious* 'mustang roll' except at the very toe. And there is no bevelling obvious to address the breakover. It does seem that 'mustang roll' is a term that's very open to interpretation(Patty Stiller & I had a discussion about this here when she said 'mustang rolls' were a bad thing. Seems it's all about degree, as what I understood as a mustang roll, she had no problem with, she just didn't call it that.... So, MY interpretation of the term is simply to bevel just the outer walls right the way around, simply to remove leverage on 'corners' & prevent chipping. It depends on the surface the horse works on as to how much/little you might do it, but it's only the outer wall at the ground surface.

If there is flaring, stretching, and at the toe for 'breakover', bevelling/rolling may need to be done a lot stronger, but that's different to what *I* call a 'mustang roll'.

I don't have a short answer on loosie's: "How exactly do you address long toes? How do you relieve pressure at the toe on 'breakover'?" [/quote]

Yeah that was just in relation to my imagining you want to keep the entire ground surface of the wall on a flat plane; "removing hoof wall from under the too-long toe but keeping a natural, level surface." I'm not sure exactly what you mean though.

Before trimming I view every aspect of the hoof. Flares? I carefully remove all flares. On front hooves, I rasp the beginnings of a Mustang roll, rounded, from underneath, no sharp transitions. This removes any visual illusion of a flare that's not really there.
I don't understand the last bit you said, but do you 'dress' flares on the surface of the walls & 'roll' the toes before you trim the foot? Interesting. I've actually never heard of anyone doing that. Not that it's wrong at all IMO, just that people generally trim the underside of the foot properly first, then 'dress' any flares if/where necessary to finish the trim. Depends how well it's dealt with underneath & how severe the flares, as to how much/little may be prudent to come off the surface IMO.

So... I first trim the ground surface of the walls to be equal height from the sole plane right around, and trim bars as necessary. Then I 'mustang roll' the foot, then I address 'breakover' and any flaring underneath. When all that's done, I have the foot upright on a stand, to 'finish' by rasping the surface of the hoof to a height of about 1/4 the way up from ground surface, if/as necessary to dress the flares. There's a bit more to it than purely cosmetic value I think, but largely, if they're addressed well underneath, this last step is mostly just cosmetic.

The coffin bone wants to be ground-parallel.
That bit, I disagree with very strongly. Dr Hiltrud Strasser was, I believe the one to popularise that idea, and also rather fixed angles for the hooves. She taught that the ground surface of P3 should be ground parallel, that fore feet dorsal angle should be about 45 degrees, hinds (I think) 55 degrees. Incidentally she also taught people to just pull shoes & force a horse to go barefoot and expect 'transition soreness' for up to a year(!)

In everything I've studied since, not to mention 'practical', watching how horses travel, looking at the biomechanics etc, I believe the general consensus(among hoof-educated peoples) that the correct angle for P3 is to be raised about 3-5 degrees caudally, is correct. That horses with ground parallel P3 & 45 degree angle hooves are generally 'broken back'(as per your diagram) and there is a lot of strain on the toe, the extensor process area(proximal dorsal of P3) and the navicular/flexor area of the hoof on every 'breakover' when a hoof is trimmed that way.

A broken-back, shallow angle may indicate a faster growing toe. A broken-forward, steep angle could be a faster growing heel.
Could it not just mean that too much heel has been trimmed, too much toe left? Too much leverage 'stretching' the toes?

I'd never try to quickly correct a faster-growing toe, nor a faster-growing heel. The horse could experience pain, since tendons and other soft tissue may be stretched
Yeah agree, with regard to heel height - I wouldn't 'drop' high heels more than about 1/2" absolute max in one fell swoop. As well as tendon strains, the actual tubercles(cells) of the bone, if that state has been chronic, will have adapted their angle & so P3 would suddenly also be a lot weaker if you do stuff too suddenly. But another reason - comfort is SO important IMO & if the horse has weak heels, regardless how 'ideal' your trimming angles may be, if the horse is too sore to land on his heels, then it may actually make matters worse. So going gradually & assessing how the horse feels about his 'new' trims is also vital.

Re correcting long toes(whether or not it's because they've grown faster), there is no change to tendon, bone angle or such, and when you're relieving 'stretched' toes, all you're doing is trimming the capsule to remove undue leverage and peripheral loading. Therefore I believe you can/should do this straight away/ASAP. *of course, in some seriously distorted feet, it may need to be done in a few stages still.

On coffin bone angle: Some DVMs and practitioners have dissected, examined and measured front and hind coffin bones and have indicated that hind coffin bones themselves may be steeper than fronts.
I was unaware that was actually seriously questioned. I thought it was a 'known thing' that P3 & dorsal angles 'should' always be a little steeper in hinds. **Regardless of what may be 'ideal' though, I don't believe forcing these parameters on a hoof without question is a good move. Eg I see it a lot in OT horses, that they actually have longer toes & too low heels/shallower angles on hind feet. This, IME, is a body issue, and while careful management of hooves can help, to just change in the hoof something that comes from 'upstairs'('club foot' is another eg) is generally not helpful & can make matters worse.

A well trimmed, healthy hind hoof [/FONT][FONT=&quot]likely does not need a Mustang roll,
Never heard that theory before & I don't agree with it, if I understand you rightly. Hind hooves don't tend to become as flared/stretched at the toe than fores IME though, so maybe that's what you mean.
 
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