We are experiencing some toe-dragging since our chiropractor readjusted us on Wednesday (and by readjusted, I mean put sacrum back in correct balance and unlocked the entirety of the lumbar spine from being tight to hold the sacrum from shifting too much...). From the knees up, my horse looks absolutely fabulous while moving. He is swinging, feels good underneath me... Except yesterday Trainer said "He's dragging that toe."
Last fall when we started amping up our work schedule, it became evident how weak his stifles were - in particular the left one. We did Adequan and a slew of ground pole exercises and the problem sorted itself out.
In March we moved to a new barn, new horses, new terrain (read: hills) and now we are about 2 months there and the left hind is dragging slightly. Yesterday it was much worse, almost looking like he was just too sore to lift the leg and fully swing. Today it was just a few steps here and there where the toe hit the top of the indoor footing.
Upon closer inspection (again, his movement is looking NICE except the toe thing), I did notice that the hind left hoof looks different. The three other hooves look normal, round, a bit healthier at the top due to the increase in grass [yay!] but nothing bad.
It is definitely longer on the inside than the outside, and I am going by previous experiences that the adjustment will leave him landing far more balanced on that hind foot - however, the rings that only show on the inside? Any ideas? Anyone seen anything like this?
The inside of the hoof is concave, outside is convex, judging by the shot from behind. So possibly the rings are from the pressure of the hoof 'collapsing' inward due to overall imbalance.... Or, possibly, there were rings on both sides but farrier rasped the outside smooth and left the flare on the inside for some reason. The hoof looks very long at the toe and narrow....
In general he has narrow feet (TB) but this one is about 1/2 a shoe size smaller than every other one. Up until his adjustment Wed, I believe he was putting the weight on the outside of that left hind, as opposed to evenly across the foot.
Since it was longer on the inside he was probably landing inside first then rolling over to the lower outside, hence the convex appearance.
If he's toe dragging it could be stifle, hock, hips..... If he's rolling to the outside to compensate, I'd trim him as short as possible (length = leverage), shoe with an outside trailer (to support the outside so he doens't roll over on it) and square toe (for straighter breakover) and use a sole support system (equimesh 'pad' filled with equipak to ground level most likely) to improve circulation and encourage the hoof to expand.
Is that a quarter crack on the outside? Do all the toes look like that? It is an odd shaped hind for sure, but hard to tell without more detailed pics as the previous poster said. From the curvature of the growth lines it appears that the bars are jammed up which causes pressure and can lead to lameness.