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What do you think of this foot/pastern?

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I tried to get some pics of my guy today while he was in the pasture. Not the best pics since I was on my own so if they're not serviceable I can try and grab more tomorrow. Also, there is literally no pavement at the barn 馃槵

He was trimmed 11/17 which was before all of these pics and has been barefoot his entire life. Trimmed about every 6 weeks right now and ~2 years old.

Backstory: He has a habit of sometimes standing on the toe of his left front foot which makes him look very upright (I think). So I'm curious about the overall angles of his hoof/pastern from people who know far more than I and what could be causing him to do this and almost exclusively on that foot. No known injuries and no lameness. I also recently found out the farrier has only been trimming his feet in his stall where lighting isn't the best. Farrier has lots of experience with barefoot trims and has worked at this barn for many, many years so I'm more suspicious of conformation than farrier work. TIA!


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I tried to get a pic of the back of his heel and he was...not very cooperative. I don't know if the white spot is (old) injury related or not. I can touch it and he's no more sensitive to me messing with his left front heel as his right front.
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His angle is definitely off, but without seeing the underside of his hoof it is really hard to read. If the farrier is actually quite good, like you say, then maybe he鈥檚 just somewhat clubfooted. I鈥檝e known a clubfooted horse that looked awful, but he always had good care taken of his feet and stayed sound working hard to a ripe old age. I mean, last I saw he was still at work and still sound, and he鈥檚 been around forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
His angle is definitely off, but without seeing the underside of his hoof it is really hard to read. If the farrier is actually quite good, like you say, then maybe he鈥檚 just somewhat clubfooted. I鈥檝e known a clubfooted horse that looked awful, but he always had good care taken of his feet and stayed sound working hard to a ripe old age. I mean, last I saw he was still at work and still sound, and he鈥檚 been around forever.
Thanks! I鈥檒l grab some underside pics tomorrow. Assuming the underside looks ok do you think lowering the heel a little would help stretch those tendons and relax the angle? Genuinely ignorant on mitigating club foot.


Did he experience some kind of metabolic event? I wonder because of the drooping 'ridges' on his feet, especially that one that looks club footed. Pasterns look nice.
Not that I鈥檓 aware of鈥e started to get pretty skinny as a fresh yearling due to some massive growth spurts so we had to up his calories. We鈥檝e since backed him off calories as his growth/calorie needs have decreased. He鈥檚 been on a balancer (Pro Elite) and the vet鈥檚 only said to keep doing what we鈥檙e doing when they checked him this summer.

ETA: I worked with a vet regarding his nutrition when we had to increase calories.
 

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Ok...you've got some feedback on hooves...
The massive growth spurts can lead to issues further in their years...

I have to wonder if the large growth spurts is what makes me say.....
I see something wonky in his knees and above the hooves/pasterns and I question even that but it can and could be a partial answer of why he stands on his toe "resting" it sounds.
His legs look " ?? " to me and since they are connected to those feet also need part of the farrier addressing the animals trim in bright light to make the correct choices of where to cut off and where or if to sculpt.
Could a bad trim be causing the stance that bothers me seeing it.... IDK honestly Or I am seeing something not their is absolutely a possibility too...

Expanding on the legs though...
The entire left leg looks off to me, something is not right and happening but I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis is for sure.
With that that then makes the right leg look weakened to my eye and a weak tie-in at the knee again going to affect a trim.
Your farrier should be taken to task, not verbally but now your presence is on-hand so you can be sure he is taking the time and doing his best for your horse every time its trim time.

Have you spoken to your vet about your concerns since it seems your vet has given sound consult several times with what you were facing.
Never be afraid to ask a question trying to learn from a good farrier/trimmer and your vet.. They would love to educate their clients so we value them more.
When questions are asked respectfully and inquisitive tone of voice are often met with lots of information shared, so I learned and better understand I've never been disappointed in not being given answers to...;)
If your farrier/trimmer has issue with you asking/questioning to learn, to me you have more problems that realized..
馃惔... jmo....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok...you've got some feedback on hooves...
The massive growth spurts can lead to issues further in their years...

I have to wonder if the large growth spurts is what makes me say.....
I see something wonky in his knees and above the hooves/pasterns and I question even that but it can and could be a partial answer of why he stands on his toe "resting" it sounds.
His legs look " ?? " to me and since they are connected to those feet also need part of the farrier addressing the animals trim in bright light to make the correct choices of where to cut off and where or if to sculpt.
Could a bad trim be causing the stance that bothers me seeing it.... IDK honestly Or I am seeing something not their is absolutely a possibility too...

Expanding on the legs though...
The entire left leg looks off to me, something is not right and happening but I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis is for sure.
With that that then makes the right leg look weakened to my eye and a weak tie-in at the knee again going to affect a trim.
Your farrier should be taken to task, not verbally but now your presence is on-hand so you can be sure he is taking the time and doing his best for your horse every time its trim time.

Have you spoken to your vet about your concerns since it seems your vet has given sound consult several times with what you were facing.
Never be afraid to ask a question trying to learn from a good farrier/trimmer and your vet.. They would love to educate their clients so we value them more.
When questions are asked respectfully and inquisitive tone of voice are often met with lots of information shared, so I learned and better understand I've never been disappointed in not being given answers to...;)
If your farrier/trimmer has issue with you asking/questioning to learn, to me you have more problems that realized..
馃惔... jmo....
I鈥檒l see if someone can help hold him tomorrow for better pics.

I became a little skeptical of that foot this past summer when he was still a yearling. I noticed him resting weight on his toe one day and I asked my trainer if he was suddenly club footed. They said no, at the time, and it was just the way he was standing. We moved him around the area to check and got a square halt and he wasn鈥檛 doing it anymore. Maybe a month after that I noticed some very mild lameness and, being terrified of OCD given his rapid growth, I called the vet for a lameness check and told him what was going on since his last visit in spring. I tried to schedule it so my trainer could also be present but it just didn鈥檛 work out. So he did a flexion test and had me lunge Pony (lol lunging a yearling). Of course he wasn鈥檛 lame that day. The vet was happy with all of his joints, including knees, fetlocks, and stifles and didn鈥檛 think x-rays were necessary (and I told him I would happily consent to them). We didn鈥檛 weight tape him but vet was happy with the weight he had gained. I haven鈥檛 called them back out since鈥et.

I was actually, surprisingly, physically present at his last trim. I had honestly forgotten about the left front hoof issue so I didn鈥檛 press him on that. I did ask him his overall opinion on his feet, whether he was seeing anything that needed addressing, etc and he said nope - Pony has good feet and shouldn鈥檛 need more than trims for the time being. I鈥檓 debating on asking the BO to push Pony forward on the farrier schedule so I can get time for the farrier to do a more thorough evaluation?
 

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I went and looked at the leg @horselovinguy, and I didn鈥檛 see what you see, but I鈥檓 not claiming to know anything about conformation.

I don鈥檛 know the answer about club footedness. @dustyk maybe will come give advice, or @wvfarrier. I think sometimes if you try and force a hoof into the correct position you damage the tendons. Also, if his heel is as short as it is possible to go, there鈥檚 really nothing that can be done.
 
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Likely it is just a white mark. I have a couple with small white spots at the coronet.
 

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I don't see a club foot there, but there is definitley an issue. I would lower that heel very gradually.
I also wonder if he has had a metabolic issue or if he possibly spiked a high fever at some point.
Are the ridges in his foot a consistent distance apart, or are they wider apart at the heel??
If you observe him grazing is that foot the one that is usually out in front of him???
 

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It does "appear" slightly off but not clubbed. I would suggest leaving the toe a little longer and knocking the heels down if possible. Another option is to shoe him with the toe extended out a 1/8" or so. Radiographs would give you a better idea of what position the 3rd phalanx is sitting in.
 

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Possible its a slight club. Dishing is always part of it. I would start in lowering those heels. Not all at once! The heels need to be brought back to the widest part of the frog.
This foot is manageable, but you'll always have to be on top of it. Frequent trims, from a competent farrier are part of your future.
 
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