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Post your Feet Pictures! (AKA: Good Hoof Stuff Every Horse Owner Should Know!)

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        • I have never had a horse abcess before, is this an abcess getting ready to pop? Some sort of blister due to uneven pressure? This is new, as of this morning...
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          • I appreciate any help I can get here--
            Thanks,
            Nikki
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            • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nikki3:
              ....Well the last time he was here, he cut my mares rt front so short that (with shoes on) her frog was touching the ground.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
              Check back a few pages for the new hoof balance information. Also www.hopeforsoundness.com trim tutorial. Both indicate that optimal function requires that the frog touch the gound...however, there is a right way and a wrong way to accomplish this.
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>She was foot sore for a good two weeks (first all the time, then only when the ground was frozen) Then we had a few weeks of relative calm.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
              This, obviously, was not the right approach for getting the frog to touch the gound...sounds like he cut her too short. What you experienced was common.
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Due to the weather I did not ride during this time, but I turned her out and put her up each day, and she was fine. As the feet started to grow back in, they did not match.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
              OK, only hazarding a guess on this, but from what I can see, it seems that when the foot grew back in, that it started to attain a more correct angle. But, the thing that puzzels me is that it must have been at this angle all along...it didn't have time to grow a whole new angle in 7 weeks. Most likely, it just became noticable after this trim. The toe is still to long, but the angle is much improved over the other foot. The red lines on the right foot are the angles of the left foot superimposed. The yellow lines are much closer to optimal form....but since each horse is different, I can't say how close they are.

              The left foot is much to long in toe and low in angle. Notice the dish in the left toe? This shows that the bottom of the hoof wall is starting to flare away from the optimal parallel position with the coffin bone. I'm guessing that there is some white line separation under the shoe in the toe area. This is the same as a flare and should be removed to balance the foot. Also, notice that when a parallel red line is placed on the heel that it fails to match up. Although not every foot has exact matching angles between toe and heel, they should be similar...closer than these.

              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Monday (a little over 7 weeks since last trim) I go out to the barn and she is lame, swollen right leg, although not hot. Hoof is warm, not hot. It was quite muddy, and I think she twisted/ stepped funny. Anyway I rubbed the leg down and kept her in that day. By evening the swelling was down, leg was tight and she was not as lame. By the next morning she wasn't "lame", a little off, taking smaller steps than usual, but no obvious favoring of either limb. That is how it stands now.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
              Sounds like another option might be an abscess. If her angles were radically changed, foot cut to short, and/or weather conditions were unfavorable (to wet or frozen), then these could all contribute to abscessing. Also, the coronary band problem could either be the abscess trying to break out, or an injury from playing or banging into something.

              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Farrier comes tommorrow, and I am going to have to say something to him- right now I am inclined to just have him pull her shoes (she only has them on the front) and leave her barefooted until I find a new farrier. Am I over reacting?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
              Pulling her shoes and getting the feet to come into a more natural form may be a good thing, but can't say without having been there. I can understand your concern. As far as over reacting...that depends. The form of the feet can be easily changed for the better. However, finding someone who understands how to do it may be a problem. It probably isn't this guy.

              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The things that concern me the most are 1) the feet clearly do not match 2) the rt front frog has went from a wonderful springy triangle to a shriveled, shedding one and 3) rt coronary band- what is that??? (see pics)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
              The feet can be taken back to better form so they "look" alike. However, if you are considering that the left is the better form, it is not.

              The heels and toes are too long on both. In the sole pics you can see that the distance from optimal heel placement (which you have not obtained) to the widest part of the foot and then from there to the current point of breakover is about equal distance (black lines/red arrows on side). The red line on the sole indicates where your current heel placement is...it should be moved back to the black line or the widest part of the frog (where the straight edges turn into the rounded part). The blue line shows where optimal breakover should fall...based on what I thought was the toe calous in the picture. This calous protects the tip of the coffin bone and can be used as a landmark for determining point of breakover.

              The frog problem appears to be from contraction. The green line between the heels shows how much small that space is than the one on the other foot...much closer to ideal. The heels of that foot appear to be coming in toward the frog and are even tighter than the shoes. Speaking of shoes, if this is time for a reset, I can see quite a bit of hoof wall over the edge of the shoe. Considering it has only been 7 weeks, this seems like the shoe may be to small for the foot. The foot is probably one of those "in between" sizes and the farrier selected a small shoe and fit the foot into it, rather than altering a larger shoe to fit the foot. I must add on this comment, without being there, it is difficult to determine what happened, so this is just a guess. It could also be that the foot grew excessively in that time.

              The other foot is also about 1/2 1/2...again from the current point of breakover to the optimal heel placement. However, to accommodate function and correct alignment and weight bearing, the rear of the foot should have more weight bearing surface. Ideal goal would be 1/3 2/3 (front/back).

              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>also- I apologize in advance for posting all these pics, I need help.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

              That's ok Nikki...we like pics Hope this helps you with your farrier. If you have questions maybe we can get them answered before he comes.

              Geezzz....keep forgetting to add the pics.
              Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
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              • WOW, Fran's here.
                Welcome to the COTH BB.Thank you for the info on the Tuffs Natural Hoofcare Conference.
                Regards John

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                • Hey, John (I think I know which John from Ontario you are) and everyone,

                  I really enjoy reading the Chronicle forums but have a terrible time posting. I have to quit out of IE and open Netscape and then the type is too small to read.

                  One thing these 24 pages have shown me is the wide range of shoeing styles we have for normal horses. The feet you all have posted are "real feet" not the picture perfect ones I see all the time at conference presentations.

                  One thing I like seeing is that so many of the shoes and nail heads do show wear, meaning that these horses are being used. It has been miserable here all winter and few horses are getting ridden on any surface that would wear the shoes, though some of the indoor surfaces can be really abrasive to the wall.

                  In my job, I get to hang around with some terrific farriers who are sooooo good at what they can do for lame horses. But I keep my horse in a "real world" boarding barn where farriers are nailing on out-of-the-box St Croixs and a good number of th e horses are unshod. Most of the horses have a resale value that is roughly equivalent to a year's worth of farrier bills at $100 or so a set. They're ex-racehorses, QHs, Morgans, you-name-it, and maybe their average age is a bit high...

                  That said, there is relatively little lameness other than pasture cuts and the like. These horses are ridden over rough, rocky trails and on deep sand on the beach and most are weekend warriors who aren't in great shape. It amazes and delights me how sound they are, espe cially because so many have conformational faults and/or clubby feet.

                  The farriers at this barn aren't superstars, and I don't think any except mine is AFA certified, and none of them have big shiny trucks. If you went to a conference and looked at these horses afterwards you'd think "wow, those toes are long" or "wow, why so many nails".

                  There aren't any NB shoes in use, no Equipak or impression material, very few pads, etc., although most the barefoot ones use or have on hand Old Macs, a great new product (in my opinion).

                  They're just horses, and lots of them would be en route to French dinner tables if their owners tried to sell them. And the shoers and trimmers are just doing their job and seem to understand the value of the horse and the budgets of the owners.

                  It's a beautiful thing when it works for the owner and the farrier and most of all for the horses.

                  I know we all think that our horses could be balanced a bit differently or we worry about that dish in the toe or high-low fronts, but if your horse is sound and has been for a while, you are so lucky. I hear from people every day in dire straits in the most expensive barns and in the most forsaken corners of the globe (even an owner of a foundered horse in Iraq the other day who wonders how to evacuate a lame horse). They feel helpless standing by as their horses suffer.

                  Yeah, if your horse is sound, don't change too much. Hug your farrier, and pat yourself on the back.

                  Thanks for letting me see what's under your horses. It's been an education for me, too.

                  Fran Jurga
                  Hoofcare & Lameness: Journal of Equine Foot Science
                  and "Hoofcare Online" e-newsletter
                  www.hoofcare.com…
                  Fran Jurga, Editor, Hoofcare & Lameness Journal, The Jurga Report, etc.
                  www.hoofcare.com and www.hoofcare.blogspot.com
                  Tweets on horse hoof / health news : www.twitter.com/franjurga

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                  • Hey Fran, yeap it's me.
                    Are you coming up for the Ontario Farriers Convention April 11 & 12 in Guelph? Bob Racich abd Mike Pownall are on Friday and Myron is on Saturday.
                    Regards John

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                    • Making not so great feet better...

                      My horse was started saddleseat at a fairly young age. This means they shod him and grew his feet long when he was about two. Because of this his feet never had the opportunity to develope and spread. His toes are always very long and it is nearly impossible to get them short enough and his angles aren't that great. This causes the feet to be thinner at the toe so it is more brittle. He has good feet (as in the actual tissue is very healthy) but because of the way they grow they are not as strong as they could be.

                      Are there any shoeing/not shoeing tecniques that might help his feet be less like this?

                      I will try to get pictures but I probably won't be able to until next weekend...

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                      • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by slb:
                        The reason they continue is that they are instructed that shoeing and traditional trims (whatever that means) have damaged the inside of the foot (even if it isn't that evident on the outside) to the point that it will take 1 or more years to completely heal.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                        Ok...here's the funny thing: We have a "Strasser Follower" at my barn. Her horse has a rotation in the right coffin bone, and she is convinced this will "fix" him. Well, I pulled the shoes off my pony this winter, because he was on Vacation while I concentrated on my three year old. The pony is sound as a dollar. Here's the kicker: She says to me the other day "she noticed bruising on the pony's back feet (he has pink backs) and this is because of the hoof being able to "heal itself" without the damaging shoes.

                        I just smiled and nodded, as she was pointing out all of the "healing" going on in his little hoofs.

                        Guess what? This pony NEVER had back shoes on in his life! All the "healing" without shoes musts been spontaneous from just removing the front shoes? All I know is her horse is still dead lame after 9 months of this -- and the blacksmith actually had him sound with pads and a heartbar shoe.

                        **&gt;&gt;It's not bragging if you can back it up!&lt;&lt;**
                        Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org

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                        • GREAT THREAD!! I can't believe I've missed it for so long. I'm in a constant quandry over my horse's feet and wondering if he's "right." We pulled his shoes for awhile based on advice from the vet school and he grew much more foot in seemingly the right place (how's that for technical insight) but was off and sore for at least two weeks after every trim, so I was riding 3 weeks out of five -- not very promising. Now he's back in shoes, I've had him shod (front only) 3 different times, by two different farriers and his feet have looked quite different between the two farriers. I just read all 24 pages and am heading home to look at his feet through new eyes. I'm sure I'll have questions and will post photos as well, but have to say up front that I'm just so thrilled to have found so much to refer to here and to now have people to ask.

                          Bensmom -- my hat is off to you for how you've studied and thought through your horses' issues and the photos and xrays have been very informative.

                          slb -- wowsa, you know some stuff!! But even better you explain it incredibly well and the visual aids with the lines and whatnot are invaluable.

                          Thanks guys; I'll be back to pester you with questions....
                          If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

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                          • Fran raises some interesting points. And, I would have to agree....to talk about obtaining optimal hoof form is easy and one thing...to actually do it, is another

                            Even the most skilled farriers (especially the most skilled) will tell you that they rarely, if ever attain that optimal form, but that is the goal that they are always striving for. With the foot being a living, changing thing, fomulated by every change in body, management and environment, there is little that can be done to realize that "picture perfect", optimal form. However, to ignore the benefits of attaining it, or write off the principles that guide us toward it, is to dismiss our duties as horseowners...but, its evident that's why we are all here discussing this...because we all care and want to be better horseowners.

                            At most times during the year you can see my horses with toes to long, or heels to high, chips and some cracks where flares are being naturally removed...ok, so when you're the farrier's horses its hard to get an appointment! But, they don't have underrun heels, or totally unbalanced, misaligned feet. They are generally barefoot and self-maintaining, so depending on the conditions of the ground and how overdo for a trim they are, at any time they may be looking anything but optimal...don't actually have any that ever does look optimal...maybe one on trim day. But, they all ride anywhere sound, and that is, as Fran pointed out, an important issue.

                            However, on that note, I would also remind everyone that lots of horses go sound for years in long toes,underrun heels with contraction, and misaligned, unbalanced feet...but I also see so many posts that ask why is my horse lame...he never used to be? Why do I need joint supplements, chiros, and massage for my horse at age 5-10? Why does my horse look old at age 10? Why does my horse stumble, interfer, refuse to jump, or perform certain moves? Why does he have wind puffs, tendonitis, or other worse things wrong with his legs? How did he get ringbone or navicular?

                            We also have lots of backyard trail horses in our area and farriers with anything but shinny trucks (some don't even have trucks)...and horses that go everywhere sound. But, generally, the feet aren't too bad looking...not sure how or why that happens...many of the shoers around here haven't even been to school...maybe that's why. They wouldn't know optimal form if you asked them, they wouldn't agree on how many nails or what size is optimal either. But, they are getting the job done and their customers like them, 'cause their horses walk away sound...never lame. But, they also don't ask much of their horses either.

                            So, there is a lot to be said for those who attempt to do a good job...realizing it or not...and those who just don't "get it". Regardless of if they "get it" or not, the majority of farriers are out there to help horses, not harm them and should be commended for their efforts. I, for one, would not get under a horse 5-7 days a week (not even 1) for a living...to much like work!

                            Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                            December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                            Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

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                            • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ponio:
                              _Making not so great feet better..._

                              My horse was started saddleseat at a fairly young age. This means they shod him and grew his feet long when he was about two. Because of this his feet never had the opportunity to develope and spread. His toes are always very long and it is nearly impossible to get them short enough and his angles aren't that great. This causes the feet to be thinner at the toe so it is more brittle. He has good feet (as in the actual tissue is very healthy) but because of the way they grow they are not as strong as they could be.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                              Ponio...this is a good subject to bring up here. There is some question about returning the hoof to optimal condition if the underlying structures are damaged. Sometimes horses raised in stalls or soft paddocks with little turnout as foals...or for other reasons...develop misshapen coffin bones and support structures like the lamina and digital cushion lack integrety. Bowker even noted in his studies that there is a particular "ledge" that projects out from the lateral cartilages in some domestic horses with generally good feet (like Arabs) and not in those with poor or misshapen feet (like Standardbreds). To put it in terms relative to optimal function: "The foot hits the ground. The bars of the heel come up, hit the axial projection of the lateral cartilage (a tiny shelf of cartilage that sits under the digital cushion in many good-footed horses), which in turn collides with the digital cushion. Blood is sucked up and back from the front of the foot to the blood vessels in the cartilage. Healthy feet have thick cartilage with complex venous networks to transmit and dissipate energy. Unhealthy feet have thin cartilage, might lack the one-piece "shelf" under the digital cushion, and have blood vessels on the inside edge of the cartilage instead of imbedded in it."

                              So, try as we might to restore optimal form and function to a horse that has sturtural deformitiies, it may not happen. But, the question here would be, should we try? From what I have seen, in general, yes, most horses benefit from it...some even regain the majority of optimal function. However, as with humans, there is no cure-all for anything...and words like always and never (and maybe even optimal) are scary and maybe shouldn't be in our dictionary!

                              Ponio...we eagerly await your pics and will try to give you our best "guess" and only hope that we can give you some ideas to help your horse...

                              Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                              December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                              Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

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                              • Debbie...I hope that was a promise and thanks for the words of support. Yep...Bensmom (and some others) have been great throughout this thread...don't think that I have ever had to think so hard about answering questions.

                                Big Thanx to Martha for starting it! It's the longest and best foot thread that I have ever been on...and with little disagreement Not saying I want everyone to agree with me either...and would enjoy the mental exercises involved in debate. But, discussion is just as helpful and generally less emotional.

                                COTH forum rules

                                Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                                December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                                Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

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                                • Oh no, you guys let this slip on to the second page....

                                  Bump....

                                  Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                                  December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                                  Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

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                                  • JJ&lt; 8 YO QH , used solely for trail/goofing off.
                                    Told the farrier to rocker the front toes, got this instead. His legs are a mighty fine mess from hell, heels are crushed and underrun---now I'm looking at squared forehooves, too. Oh Goody.

                                    If he was yours, what would you do? This is the BEFORE Picture

                                    "Shoot me now! Shoot me now!"
                                    Bugs Bunny
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                                    • this is the after.

                                      "Shoot me now! Shoot me now!"
                                      Bugs Bunny

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                                      • here's the after

                                        "Shoot me now! Shoot me now!"
                                        Bugs Bunny
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                                        • and JJ LF sole

                                          "Shoot me now! Shoot me now!"
                                          Bugs Bunny
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