I have been following vtshale's thread and didn't want to hijack it. This horse has just been diagnosed with navicular and for various reasons (diagnosis took a while, etc.), we have been holding off on the trim until a new new farrier can come out. So he is over a month overdue (I checked with the vet and he said it could wait). I'm pretty sure these heels are grossly underrun but just wanted to make sure. Is there anything else you see?
As a newish horse owner (5 years), there's been so much to learn, and I was saving feet for last. I guess I should have learned about them much sooner.
This is a 6 year old TB and, from the pictures I have from when I got him as a late 2 year old, his feet didn't look like this and he had a decent and not sloping heel. However, he had a problem keeping shoes on and we went through a couple of farriers and we have had the current one for about two years. He had a bout of lameness about a year ago, had stall rest and improved and then went lame again about a month ago. At one point, this farrier wanted to put egg-bar shoes on him and I agreed, but he never got around to it. Not knowing anything about it, I didn't question him.
The other question I had was that I read in my lameness book (Manual of Equine Lameness) was that in some horses, low heels are hereditary. Does that mean that nothing can be done about them?
Long, run forward hoof. The heel is working it's way towards being very undderrun. Not too bad, since there is still lots of height, which leaves more room for correction. Also, the one hoof shown is very unbalanced side-to-side....see how uneven it is? The frog is what really stood out to me, you can clearly see one side of it is lower than the other.
And, you need a bigger shoe...way too small! Good luck, I really hope you find a good farrier! It shouldn't take too long to fix these hooves if you do. :-)
"On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."
Thanks! I understand by this that the underrun heels are not terrible.
No, not terrible, but the soles are pretty flat. Looks like a soft foot. A good candidate for Durasole.
Would the fact that he is short shod and fit to the toe flare be a way that the farrier is dealing with this gelding's great propensity to lose shoes?
Yes. Short shoeing is one of the ways farriers attempt to keep horses from stepping off shoes.
Could it be contributing to the navicular?
Short shoeing can contribute to corns and heel bruising, which manifests symptoms similar to navicular and once a horse starts landing on its toes in order to avoid heel pain, then the deep flexor slamming into the navicular bone is going to become a problem.
Interesting article, Tom! The gelding has shown the beginnings of these lesions in the x-rays (hence the diagnosis) but does not land toe-first yet or show any of the other classic symptoms. And after he recovered from the first lameness, he was sound and in light work for about three months, when he became lame again. His lameness (in the foot shown) is most evident in a circle at a trot when the foot in question is on the inside.
It was mentioned that bull nose can indicate negative plane, BUT bull nosed can and more often be caused by the farrier setting the shoe bacjk or under the toe and then filing the hoof wall to the shoe. Thus causing a roundness of the wall looking and being called bull nosed.
Ricks advice to contact Ken Norman was some of the best advice in finding a good farrier.
Mark Schneider is also one of the top Farriers in the state of Vermont.
Ken is a graduate of Kentucky HorseShoeing School under Mitch Taylor well know clinician and farrier world wide.
Mark is a graduate of Cornell University Shoeing course and was taught under Micheal Wilderstein World class farrier and instructor.
Hi Patty S. ,Tom B., Rick B.
Advice from these farriers can't get much better. I admire them all for their skills and knowledge.
my 2 cents worth
Founder of Vermont Farriers Association
40 plus years shoeing
now located in Alvin Texas semi retired