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View Full Version : Yearling toeing out...too late to correct?



luvmydutch
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:12 PM
I had a new, well-repected, blacksmith out today to trim my 18 month old filly. He pointed out that she is wearing the inside of her hoof wall significantly more than the outside...but he says "it's a conformation flaw and it won't affect her" in the future. I bought this filly as my top level dressage prospect, and am quite nervous that he found this flaw in her front leg, as it indicates she is toeing out. At 18 months old is this an issue that could be resolved with corrective trimming or is my dream horse going to have a slightly crooked leg? Pictures to follow soon...

LMH
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:23 PM
Does she toe out from the shoulder? knee? Pastern? One or both legs.

Could it be a trim issue?

Several of my babies toed out when young-as the developed and widened through the chest, it corrected.

Cashela
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:34 PM
I was given a yearling who toed out bad, working with my farrier has him straightening out.

caballus
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:34 PM
I agree with asking if this is a trim issue. If it is and its not corrected then it *could* affect your horse for life. The hooves develop during the 1st 5 years of the horse's life; the knees close and are developed at 4 years old; the back not until 5 - 8 depending on the size and breed of the horse.

There are ways to tell if your horse's hooves are balanced and leveled correctly. Go to www.barefoottrim.com, click on EDUCATIONAL then look for the article on "Balance". Take a good look at the 'landmarks' that are noted there then compare with your filly. The 'hairline tells its all', ~Lyle Bergeleen -- and truly, it does. It is maleable so any adverse pressure under the hairline will be evident as the hairline becomes 'jammed' with excessive pressure in one spot or another.

without seeing photos of the hooves then its hard to say just *what* the problem might be.

I would also note that movement is paramount for healthy development of the hooves and lower limbs -- let your baby run and jump and play and m.o.v.e!! All day ... turnout. Even 24/7 with the dam if possible.

luvmydutch
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:39 PM
The foot in question is her front left...here is a picture of her two fronts I took right after the blacksmith left this morning.

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h312/earth2283/Picture014.jpg

Another angle

http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h312/earth2283/Picture015.jpg

luvmydutch
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:39 PM
Thanks for that link caballus...she actually is out 24/7 with a run-in shed on about an acre :)

JB
Oct. 17, 2009, 06:11 PM
Hard to say for sure from those pictures - could you get one showing her standing squarely, at least from the chest down?

It's normal for a youngster that age, even a bit older, to toe out to the degree she appears to be, as long as it's the leg that's out, not just, say, from the fetlock down. As they age, the chest widens, and that straightens the leg.

But even if this is her destiny, to be toed out forever to this degree, it doesn't look like nearly enough to be a major concern. But, that's just based on that first picture, which really isn't showing the whole picture :)

luvmydutch
Oct. 17, 2009, 06:17 PM
Thanks JB, i'll snap a bunch of pics of her front end tomorrow so you guys can get a better look. I, personally, can't even see what my blacksmith is talking about...I think it's subtle and can only be noticed in how her hooves wear. I'll see if I can get some hoof shots also. You guys are making me feel better already.

Dune
Oct. 17, 2009, 10:45 PM
Oh gosh, I didn't think she looked bad at all. :confused:

Guilherme
Oct. 18, 2009, 08:14 AM
What you need is a vet. opinion. Some "toeing out" problems can be treated this late but some can't. With the latter issues if your farrier starts messing with the leg it can induce other, serious problems.

Ask me how I know. :(

Again, get a vet. exam and opinion before you let anybody mess with the foot.

G.

caballus
Oct. 18, 2009, 08:24 AM
It appears to me that perhaps the outside wall is higher than the inside - a very common reason for 'toeing out'. Can you get a photo that is straight on the fronts with the camera, literally, sitting on the ground? (You may have to do this individually so you don't get the angle from the toeing out. You want the camera lens to be at a "T" to the hoof.) That way we can get a good view of the hairline and the hoofwall from the front. Thanks.

Bluey
Oct. 18, 2009, 08:26 AM
If the bony colum is straight with itself, which it looks there and she is not in at the elbows or that slight deviation starts at the knee with maybe other, like tied in behind the knee, or bench knee, I would not worry.

Many yearlings toe out just because they have not developed width yet.
Those that are flat between the front legs and very straight some times end up pigeon toed.

Slight deviations are not always bad, if the rest of the horse is balanced with that.

One hoof seems to be smaller than the other, which also may not mean anything as far as serviceablility.
As a farrier, you don't really want to "correct" what nature gives you too much, but you still can some at this age, if it seems necessary, as some remodeling is still going on at the skeletal level.
Just be sure that you won't twist something out of balance somewhere else.

I would have your vet look at her, since the farrier brought this quesion and get a second opinion.

By the way, knees close right around 24 months, not four years.
At the race track, many years ago, we x-rayed some two year old's knees and I don't remember ever having one over 24 months still with knees where the growth plates had not closed, although we heard from our vets of a few that took another couple or three months longer.

EqTrainer
Oct. 18, 2009, 09:53 AM
Agree that a lot of young horses toe out until their chest spreads.

However.. toeing OUT is one of the more disturbing lower limb faults in a sport horse. I trim quite a few horses who were halter horses as yearlings/two year olds and they toe out now because they were trimmed to look straight no matter what. They DO have issues because of this, there is no point in pretending that they don't.

Personally I'd want some film - and to be sure that my farrier was not trying to "correct" this by leaving something high and something low - IMO it's playing w/fire - better to trim for a balanced foot based on the live sole plane and let the cards fall where they may.

Stacie
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:12 AM
Agree with all those who say that toeing out is normal in youngsters. We had a 3 year old perch cross who turned out until she was 4 and her chest finally filled out :lol:
However, if you are concerned, find a vet who specializes in leg and foot conformation and have some films done.
We have a Hanoverian filly where one leg turned out at birth. A well respected vet said she'd be fine. Repeatedly. Had another vet out for an unrelated issue when the filly was 15 months and the FIRST thing she says is "We have to get that knee fixed". <sigh>
Had some films done and yep, the knee needed to be fixed. Used an excellent group called Dynasplint. Cost all of $450. The splint needs to be applied everyday for a month.

luvmydutch
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:58 AM
If the toeing out isn't visible to the naked eye...and can only be observed because she is wearing the inside of her hoof more than the outside...is it severe enough to warrant x-rays/possible dynasplint? I'm so nervous, but I don't want to spend $500 on having the vet out/ x-rays done if I am just over-reacting...however if the observation in her hoof wear is enough to warrant enough nervousness to have my lameness/leg vet out...this horse is too valuable not to do so. Let me know what you guys think...thanks so much.

JackieBlue
Oct. 18, 2009, 12:42 PM
"The Voice of Dynasplint" piping in to say that she doesn't look to be in need of splinting from the fetlock down. When you can, please post a couple of pics that show her front legs from the upper chest down at least and a full profile of her front end. But from what I see in your first 2 photos she looks like a baby in a growth phase. 'Nothing big to worry about there and I'm not in favor of remodeling joints that aren't in need. Just keep in mind that NOBODY is perfect and all bodies compensate for their own little idiosyncracies.

luvmydutch
Oct. 18, 2009, 01:07 PM
Thanks JackieBlue...I was going to head down to the barn today and snap some more pictures, but it is pouring rain here and i can't talk myself into leaving the house hehe. Hopefully I'll have some more photos tomorrow afternoon. thanks so much for responding!

EqTrainer
Oct. 18, 2009, 01:13 PM
I would ask the farrier if he feels it is due to her previous trimming or if the wear is conformational, or if it will take him some time to determine that.

luvmydutch
Oct. 18, 2009, 01:19 PM
He felt it was "something that wasn't caught from trimming when she was younger" and is now a "conformation flaw"...the last thing you want to hear that your priceless baby has eh?. I'm not entirely sure he's an expert when it comes to young horses ... and i'm not convinced she has an actual "flaw" as it is completely indiscernible to me. I'm going to post some photos for you all to see what I'm talking about tomorrow. My boyfriend and I have been trying to decide whether to have the vet out or not as she is an investment for us.

animaldoc
Oct. 18, 2009, 01:28 PM
But like others said - need a photo from chest down and a video of her walking straight at the camera would be helpful too.

She's way too old for splinting etc to do anything, if there was anything that could be done, it would be surgical BUT most yearlings are a little valgus (toed out) and like others said, as their chest widens and they mature, it will correct. In fact, you don't want them to have perfectly straight legs at that age because then as they mature they will actually toe in.

JackieBlue
Oct. 18, 2009, 01:28 PM
He felt it was "something that wasn't caught from trimming when she was younger" and is now a "conformation flaw"...the last thing you want to hear that your priceless baby has eh?. I'm not entirely sure he's an expert when it comes to young horses ... and i'm not convinced she has an actual "flaw" as it is completely indiscernible to me. I'm going to post some photos for you all to see what I'm talking about tomorrow. My boyfriend and I have been trying to decide whether to have the vet out or not as she is an investment for us.

As much as we hate to admit when looking at our own future stars, they ALL have conformational flaws. Some affect performance, some do not. And therein lies the rub. I don't see anything in the photos posted thus far to indicate functionality or soundness issues, which is what really matters at the end of the day. And at her age, overall balance and correctness are much more telling of her future structure than individual joints and characteristics.

JackieBlue
Oct. 18, 2009, 01:38 PM
But like others said - need a photo from chest down and a video of her walking straight at the camera would be helpful too.

She's way too old for splinting etc to do anything, if there was anything that could be done, it would be surgical BUT most yearlings are a little valgus (toed out) and like others said, as their chest widens and they mature, it will correct. In fact, you don't want them to have perfectly straight legs at that age because then as they mature they will actually toe in.

She absolutely is too old for static splinting (PVC and the like), but dynamic splints are a different prospect altogether and do not rely on the activity of growth in the long bones. While younger animals will respond more rapidly, bone is definitely affected by the forces applied to it in young and older horses. I wouldn't attempt to influence congenital malalignment of a fetlock in a horse older than 2 with a dynamic splint because of compensatory development elsewhere in the body by this time, but we've had success in horses before their second birthday. We also have success in treating acquired angular limb deformities even in mature animals as long as Dynasplint therapy is initiated within a reasonable time from onset of the deviation (within 6 months is optimal).
That said, I've found fetlocks to be more challenging to correct (takes longer) than knees and varus deviations (bowing out, bow legged) to be much more detrimental in the long term than valgus deviations, which is what the farrier seems to have suggested this horse has. Photos of the legs including their entire length will aid in determining if there truly is a component of angular deformity in the legs, but I'm inclined to think they're pretty okay based on the first set of photos. Slightly valgus fetlocks and upright medial hoof walls are pretty much the norm for babies.

Rick Burten
Oct. 18, 2009, 04:33 PM
Well, In the photos, the left leg shown is inside a vertical line dropped from the knee down. However, since the horse is standing on uneven, unlevel, yielding ground, you can't tell if its conformational, trimming error, or just due to where she is standing.

For the purpose of evaluations, horses should be standing squarely but relaxed on a flat, hard, level surface such as concrete or asphalt. The horse should not be posed, but its centerline from the poll to the dock should be in a straight alignment and the head should be held naturally.