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  1. #1
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    Mar. 10, 2006
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    Default White Feet and the Juvenile

    Myth or Fact...that white feet are not as strong or dense....I own two coming two year olds one is black with all black feet. No issues. The chestnut has four whites and seems to be always with some issue. Nothing major, but constant vigilance seems to be the answer. So far we are doing regular trimming every 7-8 weeks. At one point, one of the front feet was up in the heel and the other long in the toe.. and this is just from trim to trim... nothing drastic, just out of balance... so trimming correction....fine for the next two trims...now she is starting to wear a bit on the inside wall so the foot is getting off balance again. Is this related to growing? Do I have a less than sufficient farrier? Naturally she is pretty correct so am wondering why this is occuring. Will this balance out in time? Is it wise to force the foot to straight every time. I am asking because I know if you are doing corrections it is best done early. Just concerned. There are no issues of lameness just asthetics and concerns about maintaining the best possible base to build on later. Suggestions? Advice appreciated.

    I am trying to avoid shoeing as an option at this point since we live in the frozen north and turnout often has ice patches here and there. I think since she is growing and changing so much this is not necessarily the answer. Thoughts? Advice?

    Are their dietary supplements that help? Anyone feed gelatin as a hoof supplement? This was recommended but am investigating as at this age, she likes what she is eating now and is highly suspicious when I bring change to her diet.

    I want to keep my little Diva in the style she feels she deserves. lol
    Last edited by Hocus Focus; Mar. 28, 2014 at 05:29 AM.



  2. #2
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    Default

    Very much a myth.

    The high/low issue you're seeing is either genetic, or it's a result of a body imbalance. IMHO, 7-8 weeks between trims is too long for those feet, as the heels of the high foot grow too much, and the toe of the low foot grow too much. 4-5 weeks would be MUCH better. The longer those feet stay more mismatched as the cycle goes on, the more they are adversely affecting the body.

    You will also want to do a regular check of standing behind and above her and watching the shoulder development. The upright foot shoulder may start to atrophy a bit, while the low side may hypertrophy. A regimine of good chiro work and good massage work, in addition to trimming the feet more often, can mitigate that. Then, work under saddle in a year or 2 can further help keep those differences minor. You don't want to suddenly find the 3yo has a huge difference in shoulder muscling, and have to deal with how to fit a saddle to that.

    I can't speak to the farrier's competence, not even seeing the feet, but it does make me sad that he hasn't either noticed this difference enough at 7-8 weeks, or hasn't noticed and suggested that trimming be more frequent at least for a while. He may be trimming them perfectly well each time, but given what you are seeing in their changes fairly soon, he should have said something about a shorter cycle.

    What are they eating now?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  3. #3
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    Default

    Very much a myth.

    The high/low issue you're seeing is either genetic, or it's a result of a body imbalance. IMHO, 7-8 weeks between trims is too long for those feet, as the heels of the high foot grow too much, and the toe of the low foot grow too much. 4-5 weeks would be MUCH better. The longer those feet stay more mismatched as the cycle goes on, the more they are adversely affecting the body.

    You will also want to do a regular check of standing behind and above her and watching the shoulder development. The upright foot shoulder may start to atrophy a bit, while the low side may hypertrophy. A regimine of good chiro work and good massage work, in addition to trimming the feet more often, can mitigate that. Then, work under saddle in a year or 2 can further help keep those differences minor. You don't want to suddenly find the 3yo has a huge difference in shoulder muscling, and have to deal with how to fit a saddle to that.

    I can't speak to the farrier's competence, not even seeing the feet, but it does make me sad that he hasn't either noticed this difference enough at 7-8 weeks, or hasn't noticed and suggested that trimming be more frequent at least for a while. He may be trimming them perfectly well each time, but given what you are seeing in their changes fairly soon, he should have said something about a shorter cycle.

    What are they eating now?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  4. #4
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    Apr. 1, 2003
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    Cocoa, Fla
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    Default

    Myth - My all white walled hooved mare has MUCH better feet that my black Hooved mare! harder, less issues (she goes barefoot)!
    Sandy in Fla.


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  5. #5
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    Jan. 4, 2011
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    Default

    Myth. It's just pigment.

    I agree I'd shorten the trim cycle. I was on 3 weeks with one of mine until recently, now she's gone to 4 weeks. I think 7-8 weeks is too long between trims if there's something you're looking to correct.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    I think, from personal experience, that white hooves are a FACTOR, not the only one, but a factor in hoof issues. Dr. Sam an except vet in Camden, told me it is true that white hooved horses have more hoof issues than do black hooved horses. And he worked on Cloudy. Now another factor with Cloudy is that he's from europe, and WBs over there, with the except of the trakehners, have historically (or historically when they get mushy and I freak.) bad hooves. Hattie is a domestic trakehner with 2 white hooves, and she has the hard arab hooves and no problems. Cloudy has 4 whites and is from germany. I got him when he was a callow youth, and now he's old, but still has the hoof issues if he doesn't get his crossapol applied. 'He has to have crossapol on his hoof walls and soles, to stand up to the SE GA swamp pastures. I grew up with black hooved horses and had no issues except for the occasional thrush. VTW crossapol is the answer to hoof softness. It costs a lot and requires that you follow directions and keep it on hooves, but it works.



  7. #7
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    Myth. I have 3 horses with all white feet. In fact all of them are all white.Mr. Studly has feet like rocks. His sister didn't have such great feet,but after putting her on a feed supplement she now has good feet too.The 2 black colts with 4 white socks? feet like rocks.


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  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    I think, from personal experience, that white hooves are a FACTOR, not the only one, but a factor in hoof issues.
    It's pigment. How does pigment affect hoof quality?

    Now another factor with Cloudy is that he's from europe, and WBs over there, with the except of the trakehners, have historically (or historically when they get mushy and I freak.) bad hooves.
    According to whom? Bad feet are a product of breeding. Period. Environmental issues can cause problems with genetically good feet, and make genetically inferior feet a nightmare.

    A good environment can make genetically inferior feet as good as they'll get, even if they still need shoes to hold up to work, and can remove the requirement for shoes for genetically good feet.



    Hattie is a domestic trakehner with 2 white hooves, and she has the hard arab hooves and no problems. Cloudy has 4 whites and is from germany. I got him when he was a callow youth, and now he's old, but still has the hoof issues if he doesn't get his crossapol applied. 'He has to have crossapol on his hoof walls and soles, to stand up to the SE GA swamp pastures. I grew up with black hooved horses and had no issues except for the occasional thrush. VTW crossapol is the answer to hoof softness. It costs a lot and requires that you follow directions and keep it on hooves, but it works.
    That doesn't mean European-bred horses have worse feet than American-bred. He simply has genetically inferior feet that require external help to stand up to soggy ground. Put him in Arizona, and most likely many, if not all of his issues would disappear.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  9. #9
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    Mar. 11, 2006
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    Default

    I have a breed with a high predominance of sabino markings and as a result I have had many, many white feet. I have not had anymore issues with white feet as compared to any others. I too have two two-year old juveniles. They are related on their sire side. Both dams have excellent feet and coincidentally both have all black feet. The sire has both hind feet white and has never had any issues. He is coming 8 and working at third level. Of his two daughters (the aforementioned), one has 3 white feet, the other has all black feet despite having white hind pasterns. Both are barefoot and sound with perfectly shaped feet that require little trimming. I agree with the others that hoof horn health and quality is based much on genetics though do not deny that nutrition and management can either enhance or detract from that.
    Ranch of Last Resort
    www.annwylid.com


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  10. #10
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    Aug. 14, 2008
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    Default

    Myth. I have had two mares with four white feet. Never had a problem with them, never sore in the winter when shoes are pulled. My shoer even has said, the black feet have the same bruising, you just see it on white feet. Its really the conformation of the foot, not the color.
    Lilykoi


    Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare



  11. #11
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    Default

    Well, since Cloudy has both Samber and Inschallah close up (and Samber's hooves lasted about 33 years), and all that War Relic/Man o'war blood (european breeders import TB studs btw). and since the european WB books do say that the WBs, except for the traks, have softer hooves, I'll stick with their analysis of white hooves. And of Dr. Sam Tetterton's beliefs.

    And he was on a white sand stable/800 acres for 6 months. Wore his hooves down to nubs like sand paper when his farrier thought he could handle sand and was out of the mud. Genetically, he should have Samber and Inschallah and War Relic's hooves.



  12. #12
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    Default

    Where on earth do "european WB books" say that their WBs have softer feet??

    This isn't about beliefs or opinions. This is about biology.

    Why should he genetically have Samber's and Inshallah's and War Relic's feet? There are many more horses in his pedigree than just those 3.

    By that logic, my TB mare should have been a shoe-in for winning - she's a granddtr of both Storm Cat and Pleasant Colony
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  13. #13
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    Default

    Agree with the rest: myth. My former UL mare has two left white feet and two right black feet. The left (white) front was always her better foot, the right (black) front her weaker foot. It had nothing to do with color, it was all about structure. Her right foot is her "forward" foot, and has a tendency to get underslung. The left foot is better balanced and more upright.

    Of course white feet will show bruising and defects more readily than a dark foot. Dark feet have the same issues, it's just not as apparent to the naked eye.

    Nutrition, genetics, use, and farrier work are what determines hoof quality, not color.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



  14. #14
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    Mar. 10, 2006
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    New Minas, Nova Scotia
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    Default

    [QUOTE=What are they eating now?[/QUOTE]

    JB, long story..... at the moment ....Both fillies are on high quality hay (alfalfa /timothy) mix. Water. Crushed oats with a handful of flax. They also have anytime access to salt and mineral blocks.The black always a great eater is in beautiful condition, excellent feet, super temperament, possibly my best horse ever, smart, sensible.... I don't measure grain weight but use a large scoop..so that full with a handful of flax added, all the alfalfa/timothy they will eat..twice a day... outside, they get a full bail of hay between them and plenty of water....easy horse in every regard...everything I have ever asked of her she does without question and enjoys it.... oh and when I bought her, she shipped across Canada for five days, walked off the trailer, never had a notable health problem .....and now, the Chestnut....She travelled less than 50 miles from breeder to home, nearly died from the stress of the journey...survived that...we fed what breeder recommended, she didn't seem to eat very well or even like it... so we gradually changed her to same as other...crushed oats...she loved them, gained back what she had lost during her stress... a few times she has been picky and off feed for a day or two but then right back at it...She is somewhat moody...very divaesque on a daily basis...both good to handle..we make corrections when she thinks she is a bit too too...that is going well, we have an understanding... She is particularly attentive when handling, I would say she is a very smart, reactive filly...which I like...she is growing... was born late...September filly....always dramatic... the two are very bonded and I think the chestnut needs the support of a good mate for this time in her life...another oddity, although some might consider it normal...chestnut filly nicely bred for dressage top and bottom...black filly of hunter stock....if I set up a small jump in arena the two will go and the black will just jump it without encouragement, the chestnut doesn't care for jumping ...anyway.. the experience of bringing up the "kids" can be a journey. I think this summer will make a huge difference in them. I don't like to see an overly fat young horse, nor do I like to see an overly thin one. The black has "easy keeper/ easy everything" written all over her. The chestnut will probably be an "over achiever / highly sensitive" horse. I am just trying to maintain a balance at this point and keep them both within the zone. Yes, the feet may be a result of a list of other things, but I do the best I can and listen to how this affects them on a daily basis. Hopefully it will all work out fine in the end.

    Here are a couple of images of the two fillies.

    http://youtu.be/vUZKdMNEE90
    Last edited by Hocus Focus; Mar. 29, 2014 at 09:34 AM.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EventerAJ View Post
    Of course white feet will show bruising and defects more readily than a dark foot. Dark feet have the same issues, it's just not as apparent to the naked eye.

    .
    I believe this is where the myth originated - when you trim a young horse's hooves, the bruises show on a white hoof. They don't show on a black hoof. The bruises are still there on a black hoof - but no one notices them.

    Genetics is the biggest factor, diet and care after that.


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  16. #16
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    Well aren't they just lovely!!

    If I were in your place, I would consider replacing at least the chestnut's oats with a quality growth feed, such as Triple Crown Growth, and see what happens. A large scoop of oats, twice a day, is a lot of sugar, and it may be she cannot take that, physically or mentally.

    She may just be who she is, but I see that one item as an easy thing to change and see how it makes a difference, if at all
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  17. #17
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    Ditto those who say myth. My white footed mare has the toughest, strongest feet in the barn. She showed all over FL barefooted.

    Also, ditto pretty much everything JB says. Trim more frequently to keep up with the changes in hoof balance. Consider a feed formulated for youngsters that is low in sugar.

    Last, from your description of how she handles life's stresses, I wonder if your diva might be somewhat prone to ulcers? Maybe treat her for a while and then add an anti-acid to her feed (I have used tractgard, but there are others).


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Well aren't they just lovely!!

    If I were in your place, I would consider replacing at least the chestnut's oats with a quality growth feed, such as Triple Crown Growth, and see what happens. A large scoop of oats, twice a day, is a lot of sugar, and it may be she cannot take that, physically or mentally.

    She may just be who she is, but I see that one item as an easy thing to change and see how it makes a difference, if at all
    Appreciate your suggestion. My concern is she is very easy to get off her feed and while oats may not be ideal, she eats them. When grass comes in and they are on full pasture by day would be a good time for me to try this. Shouldn't be too long now. Thanks.

    Weather permitting, they are out all day every day and on off days, they get about an hour in the indoor so when they are particularly lively, they do get the opportunity to burn it off.

    Thanks also to Mary Lou. Will try that. She had such a poor start when she arrived. I noticed whenever she was on a feed that had any corn kernels in it, she would not eat so well. Perhaps an issue with ulcers might be the real cause of the problem. Hope not, but definitely worth investigating. She has never had an issue with eating her hay, and doesn't seem overly depressed. Also likes her salt and mineral blocks. Wouldn't salt cause ulcers to burn? if they were present?



  19. #19
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    My filly has three white feet. She wore glue on's all winter because she bruised the hell out of her black foot to the point that she lost all the toe.



  20. #20
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    I get that she will eat the oats on redhead, but lacking balance in her diet I would supplement with b1 and magnesium . Lack of these vitamins increases nervous behavior . And the good news is they are cheap supplements to buy too.checking for ulcers is probably the best first step though . If she had ulcers alfalfa is the best forage as the calcium content helps.



  21. #21
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    I have no issue with the oats but always feed a vitamin/mineral supplement (in addition to quality grass/alfalfa hays) - FP is very particular about food as well (no apparent health issues), he is also on flax for past skin issues.

    Also agree that she should be trimmed more frequently, I believe when they are growing it is even more important to keep the body as balanced as possible, otherwise they compensate.

    Some chestnuts do seem to be very "sensitive skinned", in my area (rain & more rain so mud & more mud) I'd be watching her legs for irritation/infection re She had such a poor start when she arrived - this can impact their immune system for a good while.



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