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Help, horse rubbing the inside of her front legs

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  • Help, horse rubbing the inside of her front legs

    What type of boots can I put on my horse who rubs her inside of her front legs in the fetlock area? On longer trail rides she keeps getting sores about the size of a dime.

    Obviously this must not be comfortable for her. I'd like to protect her legs. I have a pair of old professional choice boots but that seems like over kill as do splint boots. Would fetlock boots work?

    What would be best for trail rides where we are covering varied terrain, meaning mud and water crossings?
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

  • #2
    First question would be why is she rubbing? Is it the way she is built??
    The Galloping Grape
    Warrenton, VA


    • #3
      Originally posted by GallopingGrape View Post
      First question would be why is she rubbing? Is it the way she is built??
      sure its not her nose mouth area and you havent notice

      check her teeth and mouth as i doubt its her legs if in doubt call a vet and get her checked as it could be a tons of things
      pollen allggy for exsample

      if in doubt call a vet rather have a vet oout for nothing or find a cuase rather than guess
      Last edited by goeslikestink; Jul. 23, 2010, 06:58 PM.


      • Original Poster

        Honestly? I have no idea why she is rubbing. She is pacey, could that be why?
        Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

        Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.


        • #5
          then check shes not got a puncture wound or a bite if in doubt call a vet as it could be tons of things


          • Original Poster

            goeslikestink, I think you might be a little confused by my post. My horse is rubbing her two front legs together somehow when being ridden and it is causing sores about the size of a dime mostly on her right leg. I know she does it mostly on our longer trail rides rather then the shorter ones. I will just use splint boots on her and next time I am out with someone I will have them watch her move to see if we can figure out why she is doing it.
            Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

            Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.


            • #7
              I've never seen a horse rub it's front legs together, but some horses are prone to kicking one leg with the other, especially when going faster or doing more complex maneuvers (or maybe on certain terrain, for example). That's partly what those protective boots are for. But sometimes it's something a good farrier can make an adjustment for - he/she can look at how the horse moves and sometimes make minor adjustments to change how the legs swing. BUT that needs to be done with thoughtful attention to conformation etc. so it doesn't cause other problems. When you watch your horse walk normally (like someone leading him) do the front legs swing really close to each other?


              • #8
                Sounds like interference marks. When I get these, they are usually caused by the opposite hind during extended trot. If you have livestock markers, use a different color marker in the appropriate area on each leg, then go ride - you'll be able to identify which legs are causing the marks as they will rub off some of the livestock marker. Once you identify the method of interfering, you can take steps (if possible) to correct it (sometimes it is related to hoof issue - trimming or shoeing). However, some horses just move in a way that it just happens; it happens on occasion with my mare only in sandy conditions). If that is the case, they make interference boots to protect just that area. They are considerably smaller than splint boots.

                How old is your horse? My mare interfered quite a bit when she was green, but rarely does it anymore.


                • #9
                  Hi Cashela, I have a mare that is a 'rope walker'. Meaning when you watch her walk from head on she places each front foot in front of each other, like she is walking on a tight rope. Since she does this, she rubs the inside on her fetlock. Only on one side too. So to protect her, I have her wear the Professional Choice splint boot that covers the fetlock. (actually they are knock offs) Yes, it looks like overkill, but it protects her from getting a bloody rub.



                  • #10
                    I'm with KarenC... unless of course your horse is a ropewalker as mentioned by Amymcree. Sounds like interference from the hind end.

                    One thing you may want to look into before resigning yourself to boots is to talk to your farrier. Your horse's hoof trim may be out of balance.

                    Last year as I was starting to seriously condition my mare for distance rides, she started forging & pulling front shoes - a few times less than 48 hours after being shod! (I was so embarassed calling the farrier those times... dunno why, as it wasn't MY shoeing job failing! ) Finally he realized that my gawky long-legged mare needed degree pads to help her get those front hooves out of the way of the hind feet. BINGO, no lost shoes at all ever since.

                    Not what you're describing of course, but there may well be something that a good farrier can do to help your horse.


                    • #11
                      Does she toe out at all? My last gelding was a bit duck footed in front and so had a tendency for his front feet to swing in instead of straight. On uneven terrain or working in too small of a circle he had a tendency to interfere slightly and leave marks on his fetlocks.

                      Our farrier worked a bit to get his feet better balanced and that helped some. But, the best option was to put him in sport boots (I use the Pegasus ones) when I thought there was a risk.

                      Just a thought.


                      • #12
                        A horse that paddles or wings will paddle or wing even more if shod or booted. They will do so less if barefoot. You want leg boots that will just cover the area that is being hit with the other front foot. Sounds like ankle (fetlock) boots would be the ones you need to use. You want to pick a boot that has a tough leather patch over a padded area. Some ankle boots have very thin suede leather which wears through very fast, like the SMX ankle boots. I suggest the value priced Toklat boots. They have a thicker leather, a nice bit of extra padding under the leather, they don't pick up burrs and seed like the SMX boots do and they rinse clean easily.

                        I wouldn't normally recommend having a farrier try to change the way the horse moves unless his trimming is the cause. I know a farrier who will never touch my horses who is the cause of lots of leg and movement problems. He refuses to remove flares when trimming horses and I've watched as his poor trimming gradually causes the horses to become pidgeon toed. Horrible work, but there are farriers who tend to neglect those hoof flares on barefoot horses. Growing flares can cause a horse's legs to turn at the ankles, causing paddling and eventually arthritis and unsoundness in the ankles. So do analyze the farrier's work and ask other horse owner's opinions too.

                        Bonnie S.


                        • #13
                          My horse toes out on his RF and subsequently knocks the inside of his LF fetlock pretty regularly. I had him in SMB Elites for a while until he wore a hole through the neoprene at his usual knock spot, so I switched to ROMA hard-shell open front boots. Cheap (about $25 a pair, less if you hunt around), easy to use, easy to clean, and they do the job nicely. (There is definitely lots of scuffing, but he hasn't worn throufgh a pair in 1 1/2 years. He wore through the SMB's in about 6 months.)
                          *friend of bar.ka

                          "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                          • #14
                            I think the how they step has a lot to do with how their trained. I would recommend getting him or her on a supplement like Powerfull by Usplabs. It worked for me!


                            • #15
                              I think the word "'rubs" is misleading a little. She's probably interfering and causing the dime sized sores. Does she turn out at all, look carefully, she may also toe out more on one than the other. Horses that turn out or toe out are very prone to interfering.

                              If you want to try boots, find ones that are vented and don't heat up the tendon. She will interfere more as the ride goes on because she's more tired.

                              I hope this helps, I did CTR for almost 20 years and my first gelding was a monster for interfering.

                              In my old age I decided to do something else and now event at low levels, so I use boots now every day for protection.
                              RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                              "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."