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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2009
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    116

    Default Farriers, I could use some help, Flat soles = founder?

    I could really use some input here because it seems I am getting many different opinions about a horse I purchased. Here is the scoop:

    16yr old KWPN gelding, Grand Prix dressage horse, most likely never has been a jumper. Imported recently into the USA. The horse came with front pads and aluminum shoes with clips. Here is whats going on, According to one farrier, we need to get rid of the pads and aluminum shoes and put iron shoes on without pads.

    The other farrier is saying if we take the pads off, because the horse has really flat soles will go lame in no time, and the horse most likely has a history of founder. The horse has really crappy hoof walls and the first farrier felt that having straight shoes without clips is the way to go. The other farrier felt that having clips and at least some leather pads to get past the crappy hoof problems until we have a hoof wall to work with.

    I am very concerned because of course I do not want the horse to go lame, but no one is seeming in agreement on the best course of action to take. The second farrier sounded way more logical than the first, saying that the coffin bone will get inflammation due to flat soles. I am not a farrier but that sounded logical to me.

    The horse is currently flat shod without pads, without clips, and keeps loosing shoes with the first farrier (who I started using with reluctance)

    Help....... BTW the horse may be starting to show some ouchiness on the right side.

    This is an older GP horse, it is very likely he has some arthritis somewhere also that could cause some ouchiness from standing in his stall too long.

    Thanks for any input you could provide.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    6,727

    Default

    1. get sugary crap out of his diet NOW
    2. Get radiographs taken, seriously $100 will tell your farrier and you ALOT
    3. Stick to what makes the horse sound
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    Default

    What does your vet say?

    I have never heard that "flat soles = founder" from a vet.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2009
    Posts
    965

    Default

    I am really impressed with Natural Balance Shoeing. I would suggest taking a good look at this site and see the list of certified farriers in your area. Also, if the horse has been in pads and now is not, it will take some time to build up toughness, but you might have to deal with bruising

    http://www.nbhoofcare.com/



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2001
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    15,232

    Default

    Flat soles can be from poor hoof form and be elevated from poor diet (high sugars).

    Rads would help knowing exactly where the coffin bone is.

    Laminitis is one thing-but a true rotated founder usually shows up in a deviation from the new growth on the hoof wall as compared to the old.

    Either way, flat soles, losing shoes and arriving in pads flags the need for more information in my book.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Location
    NJ
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    732

    Default

    Steel is a much better choice than aluminum. Whether or not to use a pad would be a time of shoeing decision. Flat soles aren't going to cause inflammation. Short feet and/or thin soles might lead to inflammation. It's tough to offer any other advice without seeing the feet.
    Eric Russell CJF



  7. #7
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    Apr. 7, 2005
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    With a dog named Rockstar
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    Default

    If the horse came sound, you (or farrier) changed something, and know he's not sound...
    "If it aint broke, dont fix it"

    I would imagine he would have been prepurchased and radiogrpahed at purchase. What'd your vet say about the feet rads? That would be the best way to judge previous founder, not just guessing.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2009
    Posts
    116

    Default

    I have radiographs. The horse was only pp'd about 3 months ago, and the vet who did the pp said that the horse looked in excellent condition (which is very very true) and I am looking at the rads myself and I do not see an issue. I had hocks, and front feet done.

    I was totally expecting, and understand the risks involved with purchasing an older horse. I want him so that I can learn how to ride GP. I do not mind spending the money to keep the horse sound.

    My current vet however has not seen the radiographs. I will share them with the farrier (which one I am still uncertain about) and the vet if any issues arise........ which really haven't..... quiet yet, but as you can imagine as someone who has purchased, knowingly, an older horse, I am going to be acting very vigilantly to ensure that he remains sound.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
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    Little Rhody
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    3,883

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    Quote Originally Posted by wbhorseusa View Post
    I have radiographs. The horse was only pp'd about 3 months ago, and the vet who did the pp said that the horse looked in excellent condition (which is very very true) and I am looking at the rads myself and I do not see an issue. I had hocks, and front feet done.
    How much sole depth? Was that measured and noted?



  10. #10
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    Dec. 9, 2005
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    North East, MD
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    A horse who has sunk (foundered, but not necessarily rotated) can also have flattened feet. Doesn't mean your horse has done this, but you asked the question. Not every vet seems to notice whether the P3 is sitting low in the hoof capsule. It would be a specific question to ask.

    Seems to me that if the horse was comfortable in the former shoeing package and isn't now, perhaps he needs the pads. Also, perhaps they used the clips because they had problems keeping the shoes on without? Strictly on what has been said to you by your farriers and the fact that your horse is less comfortable with the current shoeing package, I'd go with the guy who wanted to keep the horse comfortable. This isn't a scientific opinion, just how I'd be thinking.

    I agree to get as much sugar out of the diet as possible, including looking into what hay you are feeding. Some horses are more susceptible to sugars than others, so it is a good place to start while you are looking into shoeing options.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2006
    Location
    Vancouver
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    197

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    From a rider of upper level dressage horses I am with all of those that say "If it ain't broke don't fix it". If the horse was doing well with what he had I would NOT do anything drastically different, certainly not on a 16 year old GP horse. If there are things that need to change (and his feet may very well change as he is on new soil, feed etc) than it should be done gradually to allow his body time to change and adjust. Anything else IME = lame horse. Also IME it's always a bit of a game keeping these older guys happy, if what his previous owner was doing was working that well, I would be very reluctant to change it. Good luck and congratulations on your buy, what a WONDERFUL opportunity for you!!



  12. #12
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    I VERY much disagree with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." It sounds to me like the horse IS broke! Needing to be in a special shoeing package with pads to keep him sound due to flat soles and crappy hoof walls IS broke.

    Fix it. Sooner rather than later, or you'll be much much sorrier down the road when your hundred thousand dollar imported horse turns into a pasture ornament.

    No one here can help you much at all without a full set of photographs of the horse, and the feet.



  13. #13
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    Dec. 9, 2005
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    North East, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    ...Fix it. Sooner rather than later, or you'll be much much sorrier down the road when your hundred thousand dollar imported horse turns into a pasture ornament...
    My guess is that if it were easily fixed, there wouldn't be a problem at all. More sore than previously is not a good thing. Perhaps the problems will make sense to the farrier when he sees the rads.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 8, 2007
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    I have had several farriers tell me that flat soles means founder. IME, NOT TRUE!!! I had my horse's front feet radiographed twice because they had me so paranoid. Not a thing wrong with his coffin bone or positioning. Never even had a symptom of laminitis or anything. Vet told me to stop listening to this. If the horse was foundered, I think the radiographs at your PPE would have shown something. I really feel the shape of the feet are just genetics. The fact that the horse is sore means you definitely need to explore what is going on, but I doubt it is founder with clean rads.



  15. #15
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatPalomino View Post
    If the horse came sound, you (or farrier) changed something, and know he's not sound...
    "If it aint broke, dont fix it"

    I would imagine he would have been prepurchased and radiogrpahed at purchase. What'd your vet say about the feet rads? That would be the best way to judge previous founder, not just guessing.
    I agree. Changing German horse's diet can result in lots of problems. Different soils over there (better than here), different feeds, etc. And changing the shoeing method contributes to problems. I was told my horse was hot shod in Germany with steel shoes, so I went back to that method, altho BO here wanted alums on him. And I want more heel on my horses than do farriers in the SE.

    Anyone who suspects founder should have radiographs immediately. They will tell your vet if there is any rotation of the pedal bone. It's not something to wonder or guess about, it's something to find out about and take measures to remedy immediately.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 8, 2006
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    NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbhorseusa View Post
    The horse is currently flat shod without pads, without clips, and keeps loosing shoes with the first farrier (who I started using with reluctance)
    clips can help stabilize the wall (a little bit) in the same manner glue does. When horses lose shoes the foot keeps getting a bit shorter each time, the soles will keep getting flatter.

    Aluminum isn't very good for feet. It isn't very supportive and has a reaction with urine which deteriorates the foot. Most horses wearing aluminum don't have much foot to trim off at the end of a shoeing cycle for this reason.

    Those are a couple reason why you may have flat soles and we haven't even seen the trim or shoe fit yet. If we saw them we might have a couple more reasons for flat sole.

    The other farrier felt that having clips and at least some leather pads to get past the crappy hoof problems until we have a hoof wall to work with.
    This sounds like very good advice. clips may help with the lost shoes. Pads will help with the tender foot from losing shoes.
    Eric Russell CJF



  17. #17
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    Nov. 8, 2006
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    NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    I agree. Changing German horse's diet can result in lots of problems. Different soils over there (better than here), different feeds, etc. And changing the shoeing method contributes to problems. I was told my horse was hot shod in Germany with steel shoes, so I went back to that method, altho BO here wanted alums on him. And I want more heel on my horses than do farriers in the SE.
    The biggest difference between here and Germany are the shoeing styles. They like to use heavy wide web shoes. We use the lightest shoe possible to do the job. They stack heel and trim the toe down, we trim the heels down and back the shoe up. (I'm generalizing, not everyone over there or here does the same thing)
    Eric Russell CJF



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    I VERY much disagree with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." It sounds to me like the horse IS broke! Needing to be in a special shoeing package with pads to keep him sound due to flat soles and crappy hoof walls IS broke.
    Broke horse's don't compete at GP!

    Eruss has a good point. I would hope that the OP can find a farrier who's worked on a few imported sport horses and may be able to correlate what was working with what's not working now.

    Good luck, OP.



  19. #19
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by eruss View Post
    The biggest difference between here and Germany are the shoeing styles. They like to use heavy wide web shoes. We use the lightest shoe possible to do the job. They stack heel and trim the toe down, we trim the heels down and back the shoe up. (I'm generalizing, not everyone over there or here does the same thing)
    Oh you are so right! I am constantly and for years trying to get more heel and less toe from my GA farriers who aren't used to the German hoof!
    I did get great heels on my old tb mare though.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2009
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    116

    Default

    Thanks all for all the opinions, I appreciate it! Eric I especially appreciate the explanation and sound reasoning behind the clips and pads, and maybe the next shoeing going to iron shoes with clips, that makes sense.

    I have another question for you all.... due to the fact that the horse is almost guaranteed to loose the front shoes again, I have a pair of davis hoof boots that I used for another horse that has the same size hooves as this one does to remedy an issue. Is it possible to use the hoof boots on top of the shoes while riding? I would be very careful to ensure the boots were on tight and fit correctly, I am just not sure if this is something you can do with the shoes on, and if that will help ensure the shoes stay on while we are waiting for the next shoeing cycle. Crazy thought? Would this cause any extra strain on tendons etc?



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