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  1. #21
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    The horse in the picture I posted has a history of a club foot since it was a foal. It got contracted tendons which caused the club foot and was therapeutically shod. Obviously it did not cure the problem. I've got the heel much lower since I've been trimming it and the horse is a lot more comfortable and back in work now. This owner has had her horse given body therapy, chiropractics, and has done all of that. I just don't believe that in every case, a club foot can be cured.

    Xrays show that there is perfect alignment of that coffin bone to the hoof wall and it is naturally at a steeper angle than the other hoof which is normal. I really doubt it's "curable" at this point short of cutting ligaments and doing surgery which this owner is not willing to do to a 4 year old performance horse that is sound and in work with one foot just steeper than the other. .



  2. #22
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    Nov. 18, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    The horse in the picture I posted has a history of a club foot since it was a foal. It got contracted tendons which caused the club foot and was therapeutically shod. Obviously it did not cure the problem. I've got the heel much lower since I've been trimming it and the horse is a lot more comfortable and back in work now. This owner has had her horse given body therapy, chiropractics, and has done all of that. I just don't believe that in every case, a club foot can be cured.

    Xrays show that there is perfect alignment of that coffin bone to the hoof wall and it is naturally at a steeper angle than the other hoof which is normal. I really doubt it's "curable" at this point short of cutting ligaments and doing surgery which this owner is not willing to do to a 4 year old performance horse that is sound and in work with one foot just steeper than the other. .
    Personally I'd say that - from that photo - both hooves are too steep - and certainly the growth lines indicate the LF heel isn't being loaded.

    Alignment of P3 to the hoof wall just means there's no visible separation - yet. But if the pedal bone is sitting at too steep an angle there has to be an unnatural loading on the toe - and depending on the horse's build, way of going, work living conditions etc, chances are it will cause problems eventually.

    And as to 'naturally' steeper - as BTR says, its rare for a congential deformity to cause this - mostly it's acquired.

    Muscle contracture in young horses usually responds well and pretty quickly to therapy - as long as the horse has a comfortable heel to drop back onto. In your horse's case, if it has a comfortable heel and adequate toe height - at 4 years of age it should be able to regain a normal hoof form - without resorting to surgery.



  3. #23
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    Daydream, tendons really cannot contract - that's unfortunately a myth that won't die. If the flexor tendon would be indeed too short, you would not get an improvement with trimming.

    Do you have any further history on this horse, like was he able to extensively run as a foal or was he pushed as a halter horse with little movement? He looks like to me like a QH halter type horse.

    Although I do not agree with Dr.Rooney on everything, he does confirm many observations (and possible root causes) I have made in clients' horses:
    I have not encountered reports of stumpy foot in Standardbred horses. Yearling tendon shortening does occur in Standardbreds. Since Standardbreds share genetic heritage with a number of other breeds which do have stumpy foot, one can speculate that it is the singular attention and care given to the feet of many of these horses which could be the protective and/or preventive factor.
    Further to that point, anecdotal evidence suggests that stumpy foot is more common in horses used for purposes other than racing. That could be related to the more frequent trimming and shoeing of racing horses, both Standardbred and Thoroughbred. Racing horses are exercised and examined frequently and kept in usually thinner condition than is typical of weekend and show horses. Hood et al 1997, showed with force plate studies that horses over time tend to bear weight preferentially on the left or the right side and tend to shift weight on the diagonal. They suggested this could be related, presumably, to genetically determined “handedness.” Horses predisposed to stumpy foot of the right fore, for example, could be bearing more weight for more of the time on the right fore and the left hind since weight on the leg is a factor in the early stages of the development of stumpy foot.
    Owen (1975) observed the development of stumpy hoof conformation in foals confined for long periods to horse boxes during bad weather. The foals obsessively pawed the ground, wearing away the toe and so producing the high hoof angle which allowed shortening of the deep flexor tendon. Again, though not specifically discussed by Owen, these foals would stand back on the large angle hoof and exacerbate the condition as described above. Lungwitz (1910) mentions lack of attention to trimming the feet of foals running barefoot as a causative factor. This is akin to the Owen’s cases.
    http://www.anvilmag.com/farrier/910f1.htm



  4. #24
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    Feb. 8, 2002
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    My questions were still not answered and I have yet another. What is your definition of "clubby" versus a true club foot?



  5. #25
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    It's a WB and no it was not "pushed." It also is badly back at the knee so her conformation is not the greatest.

    Here is what her hoof used to look like..THAT George is loading the toe...and was due to her previous hoof care provider. The hoof xrays as a true club.

    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l2...uss/LF3-24.jpg

    About six months later with gradual correction:

    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l2...ss/WBclub1.jpg

    My point in posting these pics was not to take the discussion OT and discuss how to correct a "club" foot but to show a "normal" coronet band. I think the pics illustrate that OK.



  6. #26
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    Dec. 9, 2005
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    Jambing in the Coronet Band: It might help to think of a the hoof wall as soft tissue. Walls that are too long at the quarters will push upwards on the coronet band. If the wall is relieved there (some refer to it as scooping the qarters), the hoof wall settles back down and the coronet band straightens out. I'm not a shoer, but I've seen it recommended for farriers who encounter jambing of the coronet to trim the hoof and allow it to settle while trimming the other feet. Then reevaluate before applying the shoe.

    I've seen this problem in the coronet at other spots besides the quarters, depending on where the walls are imbalanced. It's one of the things we look for when evaluating feet before we start working on them.

    Club Feet: Dr. Rooney has a good article on horseshoes.com: http://www.horseshoes.com/advice/ana...4/clubfoot.htm

    Personally, when I see mismatched feet I like to look closer before deciding whether it is a club foot or simply has too high a heel. The pics DDB just posted, though, are pretty obvious. There are some signs upon closer examination that a foot isn't going to remodel exactly how we'd like with trimming. One thing I've noted about club feet is that the frog is often some distance from the heel bulb. It should start just below the bulbs. But on "clubby" feet, it often starts some distance below it.

    Another difference is that a foot with too long a heel (one that grows upright, not forward), chalky sole can be removed at the seat of corn to nearly normal heel height. I don't usually trim that far in one shot, since it could cause the horse discomfort and I like to give his legs time to adjust to a lower heel. With club feet, the sole that can be exfoliated does not go nearly as far, which means we have a deeper collateral groove.

    Also, the bars may be more robust on a club foot. I've seen what looks like bars growing all the way around the frog, depending on the severity of the club foot. The steep ones seem to have bars that grow all the way around. I don't know exactly what causes this around the apex of the frog where there shouldn't be any.

    With a hoof that simply has a high heel, a good trimmer can do wonders. With a club, I personally don't believe we can "fix" it through trimming. The problem lies higher, and the club is a symptom of the problem. For each horse, the reason for the formation of a club foot can be different. I've seen them happen in racehorses after an injury to the leg or shoulder. "Something" causes the DDFT to pull the P3 in that foot to point downward and grow a high heel. You'll see lots of theories about what causes them, but keep in mind that they are theories and not fact. Facts can be proven, but many theories cannot.

    Disclaimer: I'm a trimmer with 4 years of experience. Not a veterinarian. I took a traditional farrier course (used Butler's book as a text) and learned the basics and shoeing and trimming in order to trim my own horses. When I found that the trim taught didn't work well for my flat-footed OTTB's, I researched the barefoot trimming protocols until I found what worked for my horse. It turns out that those ideas also work for many other horses. I offered to trim horses for a few friends, and then a business grew through referrals.

    IMHO, if one is going to listen to opinions from people on the internet, it is important to know what their level of experience is and where they got their education about hooves. Come to think of it, if one is hiring somebody to work on one's horse, the same questions should be asked.
    Last edited by matryoshka; Nov. 28, 2008 at 09:58 AM.



  7. #27
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    Here is what her hoof used to look like..THAT George is loading the toe...and was due to her previous hoof care provider. The hoof xrays as a true club.

    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l2...uss/LF3-24.jpg

    About six months later with gradual correction:

    http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l2...ss/WBclub1.jpg
    Nice work! - I'll be working on a similar case this morning - 16.1 h QH with very upright conformation and literally 4 inch front hooves, now diagnosed with navicular. He wore egg bar shoes for many, many years, while the heels were not trimmed down as they should.



  8. #28
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    Dec. 9, 2005
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    Default Some club-foot pics

    Here's a horse I worked on last summer. He was here for 3 months and I could not get him sound. It turns out the lateral wing of the P3 on the club foot had been fractured at some point. My understanding is that he stumbled over a jump and came up lame, and I'd guess that is when it happened. The horse had been shod in a way to try to make the hooves match in length. Horse was being used in lessons even though he was off--beginner riders apparently can't tell the difference. The instructor sure should have known! The horse had pulled the shoe on the club foot a couple of days before these pics were taken.

    I don't have "after" pics to share. As I said, I could not get him sound. He also had lateral rotations in the joints of the leg. Note that the joints are not alligned in the pic from the rear. The heel decontracted for me, but that's about all I could accomplish. He also had a bad abscess which had resolved just before he left. He went to a place that had access to Dr. O'Grady. Last I heard, I had been blamed for the "contracture" of the DDFT.

    I'm sharing because it is a good pic of a club that also shows the bottom.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #29
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    matryoshka those are great (though sad) pics of why it's so important for us to balance our trim and keep the heels level...poor horse. And poor you. Always gotta be a scapegoat somewhere...sorry you were it.
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.



  10. #30
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    Oct. 14, 2008
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by matryoshka View Post
    The horse had been shod in a way to try to make the hooves match in length.
    To shoe a horse with a club foot, the club foot should be equal to the sum of the good foot, ie, if the good foot is 5"x 5" the club foot should be shod @ 41/2" X 51/2".



  11. #31
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    Mar. 10, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter026 View Post
    To shoe a horse with a club foot, the club foot should be equal to the sum of the good foot, ie, if the good foot is 5"x 5" the club foot should be shod @ 41/2" X 51/2".
    Are these numbers and advice straight from the horse's mouth?
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  12. #32
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    Thanks Melelio. I deserve criticism for ever taking on this horse. I did not know enough and I should have had rads from the get-go. Definitely made mistakes, poor horse. I also found out that hoof boots don't work well on club feet like this and he'd go through a pad in one day. I never expected to get him sound enough for riding, but I thought I could get him pasure sound long enough to grow out the lamellar wedge and decontract the heels. Got the second two goals, but totally missed on the first. Poor horse.

    What I learned was essential: do not muck around with things I do not understand (I thought I did when I started with him). I hope Dr. O was able to help this horse. If I hadn't been blamed, I would have kept up with his progress. If I'd been close enough geographically, I'd have taken my lumps and asked to be present when Dr. O evaluated the horse and for subsequent farrier visits. Didn't work out that way.



  13. #33
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballus View Post
    Are these numbers and advice straight from the horse's mouth?

    These are an example,it does not have to be the exact measurements I put up, as long as the sum of both feet are equal the horse will be more balanced.

    Your sarcasm and ignorance is duly noted



  14. #34
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    Feb. 18, 2006
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    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by matryoshka View Post
    Last I heard, I had been blamed for the "contracture" of the DDFT.
    What mental giant was responsible for that accusation?

    Thanks Melelio. I deserve criticism for ever taking on this horse.
    No, you don't.

    I should have had rads from the get-go.
    It would have been a good idea. Did you ask for them? If not, you've learned a valuable lesson.

    Definitely made mistakes, poor horse.
    We all make mistakes. Its what we learn from them that defines us.

    I never expected to get him sound enough for riding,
    Why?

    No reason to beat yourself up over this anymore. You've learned some valuable lessons and horses you work on from now on will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

    Just remember that axiomatically, in life we win a few, loose a few and some get rained out...........



  15. #35
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    Thanks Rick. Failure is a harsh teacher. What I heard is what the owner thought from what Dr. O said. So it wasn't directly from O'Grady. I don't know whether he looked at any of the pics I sent along so he could see the "starting" point. I could have asked him myself at the Wellshod clinic, but I chickened out. It was over a year ago anyway. And I DID learn a lot. This horse's "live" sole was not level. The lateral side hit first, hard, then he'd pronate. Nothing I did could get him close to flat, and I probably took him too short trying to accomplish it. Won't do that again.

    The horse's posture indicated he had some other issues, possibly because of long-term unsoundness on the bad foot and continued use in riding lessons (jumping, no less). At the point I had the horse, I didn't know an osteopath. She could have helped with the body soreness.

    I'll be sending you pics soon of a filly with 4 club feet. She's up on her toes in the back end--dorsal walls are vertical. Mustang yearling that was badly malnourished (freshly weaned) when purchased from the BLM last year. You can add those pics to your collection. I talked to a veterinary surgeon about her, and he doesn't give good odds for getting her comfortable on those hind legs.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter026 View Post
    These are an example,it does not have to be the exact measurements I put up, as long as the sum of both feet are equal the horse will be more balanced.

    Your sarcasm and ignorance is duly noted
    My point being, what if the HOOF tells you something different? Will you follow what the hoof is indicating or will you follow your equation?
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  17. #37
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    The figures appear to be related to total surface area amount vs balance relating to angles. My concern would be that the 5 1/2" exceeds the other foot by 1/2" and may or may not "balance" the timing but that the extra 1/2" would stress the toe of the steeper foot.

    Tree



  18. #38
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    The horse in the pics I posted had a nasty lemellar (sp?) wedge. I don't like when the dorsal wall doesn't hug the coffin bone--other than that condition being painful, he's got less laminar surface keeping the P3 attached to the hoof.

    Also, even though the horse did not head-bob at the walk, his footfalls were uneven. When I trimmed him, his footfalls would get more even, but I couldn't get him sound. He would head bob on a circle, both directions but worse when going left (club foot is LF). He felt uneven on a straight line (I rode him before I took him on).



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballus View Post
    My point being, what if the HOOF tells you something different? Will you follow what the hoof is indicating or will you follow your equation?
    You don't have to believe me, but this is the equation reached by such exalted Farriers as:

    Simon Curtis FWCF
    David (Slim) Symons FWCF (Hons) Who trained me by the way in the early 70s
    Both of these Farriers are recognised the world over for their expertise



  20. #40
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    I was out of town with no computer-wow did this go astray!!! Anyways, to those who answered my question (and some did) thanks a bunch. it gives me some info for when I talk to my farrier.
    Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



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