View Full Version : Feet Opinions needed!

Dec. 19, 2009, 11:25 AM
Hey everyone,

I am on the hunt for a new horse and found a possible conteneder! Super athletic OTTB 3yr, 16.2h, sweet, layed back, sitting out in the field since the end of the summer, race 7 times. I love his build, and type, my only concern is that his feet seem a bit small. I am looking to aim whatever horse i get for the upper levels, and from having to deal with feet issues on my prelim horse i would like to aviod a repeat. This guy is currently barefoot behind and has fronts on but i am not sure when they were last done.

I am attaching some pics, let me know what you think!


also, does anyone have pics of good feet, or interesting/bad feet that somehow work?

Dec. 19, 2009, 12:00 PM
It's sort of hard to tell much from the pictures you posted. Without seeing his whole body, it's difficult to say whether they are small in proportion.

Also, to better assess the feet themselves, photos should be taken at ground level, directly perpendicular to the foot (such as this med/lateral (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Hoof%20pics/1255055182.jpg), frontal (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Hoof%20pics/1237512977.jpg), or solar (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Hoof%20pics/1183950958.jpg)).

I would ask my farrier's opinion on the matter. Some problems are fixable, or at least can be managed. Others are not. A good farrier can best determine what is acceptable or not.

Dec. 19, 2009, 12:03 PM
But they look well-formed, and placed nicely under the pastern I don't like to see the foot so far ahead, that a plum line down the cannon falls behind the heel. At three, his feet will grow some more, he looks to have good bone. His heels are not underrun, and I don't see flare.

Dec. 19, 2009, 12:47 PM
It is a VERY common fault of a lot of farriers to fit most horses too tightly. I can't tell you how many horses I've had come to us that were shod too tight that within a couple of shoeing cycles our farrier has gotten them up a shoe size, sometimes even two. Now, I can TELL when a horse is shod too tightly and when it just has small feet. But your pictures don't make it possible to tell.

While I don't want a horse with HORRIBLE feet, a lot of issues can often be dealt with easily by having a GREAT farrier, the horse on a good diet, using a good hoof supplement if needed (I love Farriers Formula), and being sure I don't ask my horses to run on hard footing. This particular horse looks to have what appears to be decent feet. I bet a good farrier would be able to get those feet to expand to their rightful size.

Dec. 19, 2009, 01:20 PM
Foxrun, hooves are the one thing you can do something about.
Hooves grow out! they can be worked with! Horses can't grow new hocks, or new suspensory ligaments or new sesamoid bones, but they can grow out hooves. So I always take a horse with bad feet because I can fix bad feet. Between a good farrier, a brother in law who patches quarter cracks and 40 years owning horses, I have no fear about bad feet and this guy has fine feet.

CAUTION: I can't see enough in this pix to give any sort of criticism of the shoe job and that would be an "in-person" sort of thing anyhow - gotta be careful getting internet advice about something like that from one picture showing this view.

Dec. 19, 2009, 01:22 PM
I second the idea of getting a solid evaluation from your farrier and vet.

From what the pictures show, the hooves look over trimmed (or tight as Yellowbritches described). It's hard to really know what a horse' hoof wants to do when it has been treated like a bonzai! :)

Dec. 19, 2009, 01:26 PM
Foxrun, hooves are the one thing you can do something about.
Hooves grow out! they can be worked with! Horses can't grow new hocks, or new suspensory ligaments or new sesamoid bones, but they can grow out hooves. So I always take a horse with bad feet because I can fix bad feet.

Ditto. :cool:

ETA: it helps if you 1) have a *good* farrier and 2) educate yourself on hoof health.

Carol Ames
Dec. 19, 2009, 01:32 PM
It looks like a typical "race track foot" I would be most concerned about the quality of the wall of the hoof; find a good vet, knowledgeable farrier and get their iopinion; regarding the size of foot; you realy can't say without seeing his bodu. too.I bought at auction, professional auction, a lovely:cool: 4 yo, 16.2 horse ;)who, I should have kept sand shown as a hunter myself; but, the first Peron who, tried him bought him I hid decided that his feet were too small, bone too light to event though
I bt he would havr done it easily; but, with his style and scope:eek: he was really a show horse so, I understand your dilemma; get opinions from vet, farrier and trainer; Good luck!:winkgrin:

Dec. 19, 2009, 03:28 PM
I think you can fix some things to some extent, but if he genetically has thin soles and walls you can't always fix that. Poor hoof quality can be improved but the rest you manage.

My farrier said to me once when I asked about my 2 horses' feet: "Put it this way, tf they were in a 5-mile race, Alison has a 4 mile head start". Alison having thick and strong horn and the other did not.

I would take small feet with excellent horn quality over any sized feet with thin walls and soles.

Dec. 19, 2009, 03:39 PM
PM LKF on this forum. She does a great deal of work with OTTBs and one of her trademarks so to speak, is showing "good feet" on the horses she puts up for sale...and they DO have good feet. I expect she can go into great deal on how to evaluate feet of horses coming off the track. :cool:

Here's her website...


Dec. 19, 2009, 04:28 PM
I think they look good for OTTB and agree with everyone else that a good farrier makes a difference.