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  1. #1

    Default Please give opinions on these hooves and x-rays

    Hi all. You guys probably remember me from the 'scary conformation' thread (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=177476). I am having the vet out Thursday to go vaccinations, so I will talk to her about his issues, but I wanted to post some pictures of his hooves for critique. I just got a new farrier/trimmer (she shoes, but he goes barefoot) and want opinions on her trim. Here is what my old farrier says about his gait abnormality and his X-rays (these x-rays are about 3 months old, and of his RF.)

    http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...sidemarked.png

    Here's what she says:

    If you look at the coffin joint, you can see that
    the short pastern (P2) is not articulating properly with the coffin bone
    (P3). It's not "snuggled in" to the joint. This is what's causing the
    popping when Tango walks on his toes. With his heels lowered, he should
    begin to realign this joint so that it's more normal.

    If you look at the radiograph I marked with red lines, you can see the
    following:
    The bottom line is the bottom of Tango's hoof (I can only guess because the
    vet didn't place a metal tag there to tell us where the soft tissue ends.)
    You can see the shadow of his bulbs at the back.

    The second red line is where I think the bottom of Tango's coffin bone lies.
    You can see it as a shadow just above the line. It's light (or radio-opaque)
    because the bone is thin here, and most of the x-rays go though it and are
    not recorded on the film. You can see how the high heel causes Tango's bone
    to be out of alignment. The first two red lines should be about parallel.

    The third red line is where most people think the bottom of the bone is
    because it's so radiolucent. It's actually where the bone is the thickest,
    causing the X-rays to be recorded on the film as the whitest areas.

    I've also placed arrows down the center axis of P1, P2, and P3, the
    phalangeal bones (long pastern, short pastern, coffin bone). These arrows
    should be more in alignment. They are not because the heels are so high.
    Also, notice where the navicular bone is just in back and above P3. It
    should actually be lower and more a part of the joint than it is. That's
    also because of the high heels and the way the joints are being forced out
    of alignment by Tango's toe-first landing. Having this bone out of alignment
    can cause real trouble over the long haul as it causes the tiny but
    important impar ligament to be stressed and even damaged. That's why we have
    to get those heels down.

    Here is my farrier's trim report that she shared with me.

    6/9/08: The gelding has an abnormality in the way he places his right forefoot, with an apparent “catching” of one of his tendons so that the heel “pops” down as the pastern moves from flight to stance at the walk. The gait anomaly, a condition only recently observed, is not apparent at the trot.
    The heels were lowered to encourage a heel first landing. The dorsal walls were made passive to move break-over back. After the trim, “popping” seemed to lessen when the horse walked, but it’s hard to tell if this improvement was a result of trimming, for the horse may have developed a habit of popping its heel down into the thrust phase. Observation the next afternoon revealed that the horse does not pop his heels at the slow walk. I suspect that the dorsal wall is too short, creating a too steep angle. If the condition continues, I recommend that an MRI be taken to examine the ligaments and tendons of the pastern and coffin joints.
    Other than the gait problem, the gelding’s hooves are extremely healthy with well-calloused, robust frogs and straight walls. Very little trimming was required on the back feet, which indicates that the horse is well exercised and maintaining hoof structure.

    9/5

    Trimmed Tango. Walls were very long, with both front feet showing significant breakage, especially in the quarters. Took the heel of the right front (clubby) foot down to 1 & 1/8th inch. There was no difference in the way the coffin joint appears to be articulating. Advised the taking of radiographs, which was done the next day. Dan Cocoran diagnoses a club foot, but since the coffin bone does not appear to be deformed, I am not sure. The radiograph does indicate that P2 is articulating with P3 in the way shown on the Gene Ovnecik tape for a severe toe landing. Talked to the owner about that.

    9/26 Retrimmed Tango, taking his right front down to the widest part of the frog on the lateral side, it appearing to be a little higher from the side than the 1 & 1/8th inch measurement would indicate. When he walks hitting toe first, the snap of the pastern occurs; when he hits heel first (about every fifth step), the snap is absent or not as apparent. I will continue to lower the heel.

    Here is the new farrier's trim vs. his old trim. (OLD OLD, not the above farrier's trim. This is his trim from a rather bad farrier, before she trimmed him, compared to the new farrier's trim. Old (6 months old) on the right and new on the left.

    LF: http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...ts/TangoLF.jpg

    RF: http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...ts/TangoRF.jpg

    LH: http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...ts/TangoLH.jpg

    RH: http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...ts/TangoRH.jpg

    Other notes on him: He paddles slightly with the LF only, not consistently. He lands toe first on the RF, "pops" the pastern, and lands on his heel - I tried to videotape this for you guys, but it didn't show up in the video - I guess it was too dark. This is only at the walk. New farrier thinks he might be 'out' somewhere that's causing this, and to get him to a good chiro. He grazes with his RF way out below him. His RF forearm is more muscled than the LF, though his RF is the more upright, narrow hoof. He is quite back at the knee on the RF.

    Thanks. Any thoughts on him and his trim are appreciated.
    Last edited by downthecenterlinetheycome; Dec. 3, 2008 at 06:00 PM.



  2. #2
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    Anyone? I would really love some help evaluating his feet, and this new farrier. Does this trim seem competent to you COTHers?



  3. #3
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    I'd say that is a fairly nice trim. I might tweak a few areas but I think what's been done should begin to help your horse's situation. You'll know in the weeks and months to come. Your horse does have some contraction in its bulbs. I think your new trimmer/farrier has trimmed the bars enough to encourage them to begin to widen out (decontract). Again though, something you should be able to note in the coming months.

    There's another thread showing a horse with a steeper front foot and as I was looking at your horse's feet, I thought how ironic that your's has the RF steeper while it is the other horse's LF. Swap limbs and they'd have a matched pair.

    Tree



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    Thanks Tree. Do you think his hooves are now to oval-shaped, rather than round? She seemed to trim it more like you would a shod hoof, making it more egg-shaped.

    Also, do you think we should continue to bring the RF's heel down, or keep it where it is and not try to make it more like his other hoof? He IS very back at the knee on that leg. Also, his RF forearm is more muscled than the left; isn't that contradictory to the common theory that the wider, less upright hoof bears more weight, and the narrower, upright hoof less?

    Do you think it's feasable that he could have something wrong chiropractically that's causing the gait abnormality on that foot?

    That's funny. But WHICH hooves would you swap? Do away with the upright ones, and chose the flatter, wider ones to keep as the matched set? :P Joking.



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    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    Thanks Tree. Do you think his hooves are now to oval-shaped, rather than round? She seemed to trim it more like you would a shod hoof, making it more egg-shaped.
    With the amount of contraction your horse has, it would alter his feet to being more narrow. The round shapes they had before were not true to form. If you'll look back at the sole shape outlines in the older pics, you will see they weren't really rounded, it was just the flared quarters making it appear like they were round. Heck, even the hinds were round and hinds ought not to be round.

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    Also, do you think we should continue to bring the RF's heel down, or keep it where it is and not try to make it more like his other hoof? He IS very back at the knee on that leg. Also, his RF forearm is more muscled than the left; isn't that contradictory to the common theory that the wider, less upright hoof bears more weight, and the narrower, upright hoof less?
    If the coffin bone dorsal plane remains as it was in the previous x-ray, you should definitely lower the heels of the RF because that coffin bone wasn't abnormal in shape or angle (dorsal plane line angle, that is).

    He may be back at the knee due to the improper hoof balance. You can watch for signs of improvement if that is indeed the case. I've seen it happen before so it's possible. I suspect the muscling formations of the RF are the result of the high heels too. Have you noticed if the right shoulder is at a steeper angle than the left shoulder? In order to maintain tension balance in the tendons of his right leg, he would have to "hunch" or shift that shoulder towards a steeper angle....matching that of the hoof, really. It takes muscular effort to do so so it would make sense that the musles on that side are more pronounced/developed. Again, watch for changes there...like that side resuming a similar shape to the left side.

    Oh and by now you may already realize the answer to your question about that theory. It's not how much weight the horse is carrying but rather the difference in the angles of the limbs....steeper foot, steeper shoulder...more sloping foot, more sloping shoulder. Of course, there can always be exceptions to anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    Do you think it's feasable that he could have something wrong chiropractically that's causing the gait abnormality on that foot?

    That's funny. But WHICH hooves would you swap? Do away with the upright ones, and chose the flatter, wider ones to keep as the matched set? :P Joking.
    I'm sure he could have issues pertaining to this imbalance but it's more than likely that those would clear up once his hoof is corrected...provding he is comfortable weighting the heels of that foot. But like I said before, I think your trimmer had done an adequate job with the bars to get him heading towards the right direction. He may not need any adjustments once that RF is right on.

    Oh, take your pick. Personally I would take the lower angled feet as they didn't look too flat to deal with. Otherwise, the RF of your horse looks like a simple fix, bone structure-wise.

    Tree



  6. #6
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    OK, thanks for clearing that up. So you think the gait abnormality might go away after we fix his feet?

    Could you explain to me contracted heels? I see the difference between the pictures, but I'm having trouble seeing much because the 'before' pictures were taken from an odd angle, so it looks like the heels are sprawling over the bottom of the foot if that makes sense... The hoof was not flat, parallel to the camera in the old pics, it was closer to his heel.

    Thanks again!



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    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    OK, thanks for clearing that up. So you think the gait abnormality might go away after we fix his feet?
    It's certainly possible. Think how well you'd gait if you wore a high heeled pump on your right foot and a running shoe on the left.

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    Could you explain to me contracted heels? I see the difference between the pictures, but I'm having trouble seeing much because the 'before' pictures were taken from an odd angle, so it looks like the heels are sprawling over the bottom of the foot if that makes sense... The hoof was not flat, parallel to the camera in the old pics, it was closer to his heel.

    Thanks again!
    Contraction means the heels are being forced inward towards each other. His bulbs are involved too as they look like 2 humps. If you see sole views of less or non-contracted hooves, note how far apart the bulbs are and how broad/rounded they will be too. Ah, know if an example in here now...check out Secret Storm's thread..."Please look at my horse's feet". Her horse's feet are far less contracted.

    Hope that helps and you're welcome.

    Tree



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    I essentially agree with Tree, but man, it looks to me as well that the heel bulbs were farther apart in the old photos, although the quaters were generally left too long. However, photos can be deceiving too.

    This horse is left sided, inidcated by the wider and flatter LF because it generally takes more load than the RF, which therefore tends to grow more upright. You will most likely find more muscle development over the horse's left shoulder also, another sign that this side is dominant. He most likely also prefers the right lead canter , which would be another clue to his left sidedness.

    Your horse's unevenness is pretty significant side to side, meaning he relies too much on his stronger side. It would be beneficial to strengthen the weaker right side more, for obvious reasons, but also to help distribute the loading of the front hooves more equally



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    I essentially agree with Tree, but man, it looks to me as well that the heel bulbs were farther apart in the old photos, although the quaters were generally left too long. However, photos can be deceiving too.

    This horse is left sided, inidcated by the wider and flatter LF because it generally takes more load than the RF, which therefore tends to grow more upright. You will most likely find more muscle development over the horse's left shoulder also, another sign that this side is dominant. He most likely also prefers the right lead canter , which would be another clue to his left sidedness.

    Your horse's unevenness is pretty significant side to side, meaning he relies too much on his stronger side. It would be beneficial to strengthen the weaker right side more, for obvious reasons, but also to help distribute the loading of the front hooves more equally
    This is what throws me for a loop, actually. His RIGHT shoulder is more muscular, not the left. His RIGHT lead sucks, not the left.

    Is my horse just weird, or what?



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    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    This is what throws me for a loop, actually. His RIGHT shoulder is more muscular, not the left. His RIGHT lead sucks, not the left.

    Is my horse just weird, or what?
    No, he's not weird. He's just uncomfortable extending a high heeled foot...which is what he would have to do if he were on the right lead. Watch him graze and see if it tends to keep that right foot back under him....scissor leg position....and the left one out in front.

    If this still seems weird to you then go try that yourself....got get any high heeled shoe you own (preferrably with a strong heel), and put the right one on and then take a comfy tennis shoe and wear the left on. Now, go find a suitable place, inside or out, and canter a right circle on the right lead and let us know how long you lasted before wishing you could change leads and direction!!!

    Tree



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    That would concern me because this could potentially mean he's compensating for something. I have yet to find a horse where this principle does not apply. The dominant shoulder is usually more developed combined with a flatter hoof on that side and turning better into the opposite direction. Below is a good example - a very right sided TB mare:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ulders0014.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...a/Eliza026.jpg



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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    That would concern me because this could potentially mean he's compensating for something. I have yet to find a horse where this principle does not apply. The dominant shoulder is usually more developed combined with a flatter hoof on that side and turning better into the opposite direction. Below is a good example - a very right sided TB mare:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...ulders0014.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...a/Eliza026.jpg
    Does that horse come with x-rays? If so, what did the coffin bone connection look like and what shape were the tips in?

    I think it is the chicken and egg thing and we've made two different choices as to what came first.

    The musculature cannot be the same if the limbs have two different foundations...foundation meaning, hoof. And I agree with you that the horses are compensating but it has more to do with two differently angled/shaped feet. What remains the unknown is how or why the feet became that way. It may have started with heel pain in the now steep foot or some sort of bodily injury that prevented the horse from fully weighting that leg. Either way, what you have are two different feet and it is the unnaturalness of each that you must deal with if you ever hope to correct what's going, providing it is now just a hoof issue and nothing more.

    Tree



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    I don't know anything and shouldn't be posting but I really like this trim. The reason I'm posting is I have found alot of barefooters, in my area and what I see from pictures, tend to make the toes too long.

    I have switched from local barefooters back to a traditional farrier because of the toes too long thing. My horse moved very peculiarly and uncomfortable with his toes long. Now he moves much better and his feet are super. I will get some picts to throw out there....(My horse is also seen by a chiro.)

    I like this trim because everything lines up from the side and he even did that little roll around the hoof edge.

    I read through your post and am a little confused, does he move better as he is trimmed now or previously?
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    Yes, he scissors his legs when he grazes extremely, to the point that that RF is almost back under his stifle.

    What kind of thing could he be compensating for? An injury?

    I've heard a lot of different opinions; take the hoof down vs. leave it like it is, or you'll wreck his soundness, it's his way to compensate. But what is he compensating for? Shouldn't we fix THAT? Could it be the extreme back - at - the - knee conformation? (It's severe.)

    His Right Lead canter is past weak; it's just alien. Different trainers have described it as 'scary' 'unnerving' 'weird'. He finds it easier to canter with me (85 lbs) versus my trainer (110 soaking wet), even though she's a better rider. Could it just be fatigue from extending that upright foot? He can only go a couple strides right lead before diving on the forehand and breaking gait.

    Pines: There is so significant difference in his movement. The trims shown are 5 months apart, and the in between farrier did a trim similar to this farriers, though she left his hoof a little rounder and took less with her knife. I would have stayed with her, but I moved.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    Does that horse come with x-rays? If so, what did the coffin bone connection look like and what shape were the tips in?
    God I wish - I wish they's take her out of shoes already - she was very overdue for a trim at the time.

    The musculature cannot be the same if the limbs have two different foundations...foundation meaning, hoof. And I agree with you that the horses are compensating but it has more to do with two differently angled/shaped feet. What remains the unknown is how or why the feet became that way. It may have started with heel pain in the now steep foot or some sort of bodily injury that prevented the horse from fully weighting that leg. Either way, what you have are two different feet and it is the unnaturalness of each that you must deal with if you ever hope to correct what's going, providing it is now just a hoof issue and nothing more.
    Tree
    I have tons of photos that support the side dominance connection and it has been consistent in every single case I have worked with (I always check). If I'd find an anomaly like this, I'd be worried about something in the musculo-skeletal system that may be responsible for a switch like this. Many times too I have come across cases where the owner thought it was the opposite, but then further investigation and having the horse move showed that the owner had it mixed up.



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    Quote Originally Posted by downthecenterlinetheycome View Post
    This is what throws me for a loop, actually. His RIGHT shoulder is more muscular, not the left. His RIGHT lead sucks, not the left.

    Is my horse just weird, or what?
    Nah, your horse isn't weird My horse's left is clubby and the left lead canter is worse than the right lead.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Pippigirl View Post
    Nah, your horse isn't weird My horse's left is clubby and the left lead canter is worse than the right lead.
    If you have something like this going on, I would take a closer look at the hinds to see what might make the horse prefer the non-dominant, and usually weaker hind instead



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    Do you think a Chiropractor would be able to help him?

    Should we continue to bring the RF's heel down? He's definitely better on the left lead canter, there's no mistaking it at all. Also, he has that gate anomoly;
    he reaches slightly less on the RF and puts it down toe first and you can see a little snap/pop in the pastern. Like it gets to a certain point, stops, than pops down. Most people hardly notice it. Not seen at the trot. Hard to catch on video, would need slow motion. I can try to video it.



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    OP said: "Pines: There is so significant difference in his movement. The trims shown are 5 months apart, and the in between farrier did a trim similar to this farriers, though she left his hoof a little rounder and took less with her knife. I would have stayed with her, but I moved."

    So there were three farriers, which one did the horse move the best with? I can't figure it out from above. Was the movement the best with the second farrier? I'm just curious as I think this last trim looks wonderful but if he is not moving well with it?

    I too have another horse that grazes like your horse. He is a retired TB who was raced and showed (basically to death). I was helping him find a home, then 9/11 happened and the home fell apart. He ended up with me. I think this horse has navicular in the foot that he stretches back to his stifle. Oddly, the foot that we suspect navicular is the foot that looks the most beautiful to us. The other, which he stretches out, is a flat foot.

    He has done this all his life and was a race horse until 7 and then showed on the A circuit until he was done at 13. A question to the forum world, does a horse that grazes like this (do they call it a grazing hoof) always denote there is a problem or is it like me, I have to use my right hand to do everything?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    Does that horse come with x-rays? If so, what did the coffin bone connection look like and what shape were the tips in?

    I think it is the chicken and egg thing and we've made two different choices as to what came first.

    The musculature cannot be the same if the limbs have two different foundations...foundation meaning, hoof. And I agree with you that the horses are compensating but it has more to do with two differently angled/shaped feet. What remains the unknown is how or why the feet became that way. It may have started with heel pain in the now steep foot or some sort of bodily injury that prevented the horse from fully weighting that leg. Either way, what you have are two different feet and it is the unnaturalness of each that you must deal with if you ever hope to correct what's going, providing it is now just a hoof issue and nothing more.

    Tree

    He didn't come with X-rays, we took these ones (we have a solar view too, but it didn't scan well) 3 months ago to see what was up.

    Here are his feet 2 years ago when I got him... Not AS clubby. I had a really BAD farrier for a year and a half.

    http://s173.photobucket.com/albums/w...tion/?start=40

    Full body, before trim... Silhouette, so you can't really see his musculature...

    http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...3/IMG_0240.jpg

    5 (?) months ago...

    http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...n/IMG_1630.jpg

    Pines4Equines: It's complicated. He didn't have the gait anomoly for a long time with the first, worst farrier. Then he started doing what I described, and since the farrier sucked (wouldn't watch him move, wouldn't come out, etc), we switched to a more knowledgeable gal who does barefoot. She brought his heels down some, then wanted to take x-rays to make sure he didn't have serious problem down there. Vet says it's a club from the x-rays, she says it's not. She brought down the heel a bit more. Horse moved the same, same anomaly. Talked on the phone with new farrier. New farrier did this trim. Horse moves the same.

    So neither farrier has magically fixed this anomaly. But the question is, will bringing down the heels do the trick, or will it make him lame because he NEEDs the heels high to compensate?



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