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Shoe/foot/farrier advice?

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  • Shoe/foot/farrier advice?

    I cannot keep shoes on my horse.
    (7 y.o., OTT 6 months).

    He wears standard steel "eventers" and pulls the fronts off with his hinds constantly--as in, he's probably never kept a single front on more than 2 weeks, and seems to alternately pull the two. I've been on him 5 times in 2 months, the rest of the time just waiting for the farrier.

    Has anyone else been through this, and did they find they had a foot issue, or a farrier issue?

    Details
    - He has a short back and long legs, and just catches the heel of the front with his back toe.
    Probably 30% of the pulls are under saddle, the rest turned out.
    - He of course wears bell boots 24/7.
    - His feet typical OTTB--thinnish walls, but otherwise pretty good--not out of the ordinary. His hind feet always look lovely.
    - Without shoes his feet break up a bit, but they also grow very quickly. However, he's not comfortable to ride/train without shoes.
    - The farrier has increasingly worked to shorten the toes (both in front and behind--standard for OTTB but maybe more aggressively for this guy due to this issue), has set the fronts a little more forward than ideal to try to help with this, and has set the hinds far back, most recently adding a tiny bit of trailer.

    A couple things I have NOT tried:
    - Confining him--I let him stay out as much as weather allows, which he clearly loves, but he does move around a lot out there.
    - Specific hoof supplements--he's on a general multivitamin and I condition with Corona/Keratex as conditions dictate, but it seems like more of a mechanical prob than a hoof quality prob.

    My farrier is coming out again tomorrow and I'm just trying to think if there's anything I can suggest to break this cycle.

    Any suggestions or experiences welcomed!
    Thanks

  • #2
    pulling front shoes

    Hi Beam,
    I've been in similar situation to yours - my OTTB started to be trimmed by a good farrier - it took us 3 5 week apart trims to properly shorten his long toes and in the process he pulled his own front shoes - pretty much next day after they were put on...
    Always in trot under saddle - I was similarly frustrated, my farrier shoes hot, 2 clips, pretty tight steel shoes, my guy wears #1.
    My horse wears rubber pull on bell boots that reach the ground in the back.

    He stopped pulling his shoes after about 3 trim cycles and after 3 weeks of regular under saddle flat work - so I believe the ground work makes difference too - the horse getting rounder in his back and he places his feet evenly now and is more balanced and stronger.

    As for supplements I've been giving all my horses extra biotin for hoofs - we live in wet FLorida, disaster for turn out horses' hoofs - also the German Pedocan hoof gel - it makes the hoofs really water proof but not brittle like some other products...

    Good Luck

    Comment


    • #3
      Okay.
      I will P-off every farrier known to man here, but my HUSBAND is one, so here we go.You are looking at a trimming-balance problem, and a shoe not w orking problem -- add to that the lost time when he loses shoes, the torn up foot without the shoe, and it's just a total mess, isn't it? Boy BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, Have the t-shirt, the coffee mug, the cap, the totebag, you get the picture.

      Bottom line, your horse needs more drastic action by your farrier. He's on the right track but he's got to do a couple things to make even more of a difference. I have short backed long legged types and they are prone to grabbing fronts. Even better balanced horses with super conformation can pull off shoes regularly if they aren't properly balanced and shod for success.

      First - the hind feet.
      Shorten the toes, square the toes, and set the shoe back under the foot slightly to shorten the path behind. And when I say square it -- I mean SQUARE it. These guys are chicken to use that rasp. Racehorse shoers know that unless you make a difference there's not much point in wasting the sweat.
      Fronts - can't run them out past the heels. I know you want heel support for jumping horses but those that keep grabbing them are a worse evil! The heels of the shoe must be beveled so that a grabbing hind hoof will slide off, and they must be turned under (or in would be a better word picture), and they have to be shortened. Roll the toe of the front foot, too, in order to break it over faster. Clips are a must. You may need to go to another shoe other than Eventer up front and here's why -- the nail holes are centered on those shoes, making it by necessity placed to the outer edge of the foot in order not to sink nails into sensitive laminae. Are you with me here. That makes the shoe by design set out on the edges of the useable wall area, and makes it vulnerable to be pulled off - unless your farrier uses his Y chromosome and just nails him in the meat anyway. Big nails and clips just don't keep one of these on a horse that is a chronic puller. I have HAD to go to a different shoe as much as I wanted to keep him in an eventer, I just couldn't deal with the time off!

      I would go to a different shoe with nail holes set to edges of the shoe or more choices for nailing, a smaller nail and more of them closer to the toe, and the big thing is balance that foot and balance the hind foot at the same time so that you will be shortening that stride, speeding up the front and your horse can MISS the front shoe as he steps.

      Consider the victory aluminum race plate even, something that will allow you to nail a lot towards to the toe, cut the heels off, bevel them, and do grind off any grab if you get a shoe with one. You need to keep a shoe ON at this point so ditch the Eventers, I'd think. I would go with a light light shoe because it will protect the wall without being so heavy that it will change and slow down the breakover.

      Good luck explaining this to a farrier with a Y chromosome problem! But I think your guy is on the right track here, just need to get even more drastic.
      Also, the INSTANT he's done shoeing I hit the nail holes with the hoof saver gel, leave them in cross ties til it dries, do NOT turn them right out, work them first or leave in stall a day, turnout w/ bell boots and by themselsves to avoid a jump./run pull off.

      I think there is a nice illustration for this on a one-page article published one time in Practical Horsemen. I actually have it posted on the bulletin board in my tack room -- Doug Anderson may have written it and it's illustrated nicely.
      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

      Comment


      • #4
        rethread maybe your husband should pitch in - farriers are very specialized and to us horse people very important profession and we would like to hear from them rather then from wifes ;-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Last year my TB didn't seem to be able to hold a shoe for more than a couple of weeks (even on a 4.5 week shoeing schedule). His hoof walls were crumbling due to a very wet spring.

          Last fall I pulled his shoes and put him in hoof boots. I hunted him in hoof boots, jumped him in hoof boots, etc. In fact, we never missed a hunt!

          This spring his feet look great. I haven't put shoes back on yet. Most of the time I can now ride him barefoot but for hunting I put boots on him.

          I know you event and that boots might not appropriate, but man it has been a life saver for me and his feet look great!

          BTW -- I jump him xc in the boots all the time and its not been a problem.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the advice all!

            Yes, it's really frustrating. I know that proper work/musculature will help him carry himself better, but he hasn't gotten much work standing around with a diaper and duct tape on his foot for months.

            Not to mention that I had hoped to ride/train him, such that 6 months off the track he'd be doing something, as opposed to standing around.


            My farrier is quite young, but what he lacks in experience he absolutely makes up in willingness to try new things, work with you, work with your vet, etc., so he's not one who has the stubborn streak (yet!). I think if I had a great idea he'd be happy.

            I will check with him if he was the victory aluminum racing plate (I don't know if he shoes race horses). The 2 shoes he has mostly used on my guys have been the eventers (we started this horse in an aluminum, then went to steel, but neither has stayed on), and the "Natural Balance" which has kind of a squarish look and I don't think has been on this horse. I'll find out what he has though.

            Bogie, when you say "hoof boots" do you mean easyboots? Or something else? Did you hunt in all 4 or just fronts?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Beam Me Up View Post
              Bogie, when you say "hoof boots" do you mean easyboots? Or something else? Did you hunt in all 4 or just fronts?
              I use Cavallo boots although I might try the easyboot gloves.

              The Cavallos stay on and although they look clunky to me, my horse doesn't seem to care at all. Some hoof boots even allow you to use studs!

              I hunt with four boots on very rocky territories; just front boots where it's softer.

              This spring I found that I can ride him barefoot for most schooling rides. and he was very comfortable barefoot all winter.

              I have thought about putting shoes on him for the fall season since it's longer but I have to say that I'm having a hard time thinking about putting nail holes in his hooves now that they look so good.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does he have long toes in front? His breakover up there could be delaying his front foot getting off the ground. When trimming, however, the toes need to come back-- i.e. the leading edge needs to be trimmed. The hoof should not be thinned from the bottom, which is the mistake that many farriers make. AND-- this is counterintuitive-- his heels cannot be too long either. They, too should be rasped so that they are back under his leg.

                Not a farrier or a farrier's wife so this advice might be worth what you paid for it. This is all just IME.
                SportHorseRiders.com
                Taco Blog
                *T3DE 2010 Pact*

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a very similar problem with my OTTB...but add in crazy amounts of abcesses (I'm talking soaking/treating 3 feet at a time once). My farrier and vet did all they could to shoe him in a way that he wouldn't pull them so much, but no luck. I was missing more days of riding then I was getting to ride because my horse was constantly pulling shoes. It was intensly frustrating.

                  Glue on shoes were our saving grace. I can not say enough good things about them. The abcess problem all but disappeared, shoes stay on for 5-6 weeks in the summer and 7-8 weeks in the winter. His feet look AMAZING. I use the Sigafoos Series I. There is tons of info/articles etc at Sound Horse Tech --- http://www.soundhorse.com/ My OTTB had glue-ons up front and nail ons behind when he was competing/working a lot. Now that he is semi-retired he is barefoot behind with glue-ons up front. He has been in glue-ons for 4+ years.

                  One note....give them a chance. It seems normal for a horse to pull off the first set within 4 weeks. So don't be surprised if that happens. Just replace them and the second set and after always seems to stay on.

                  Other things I have found to help instead of glue-ons include:

                  Painting the hoof wall/sole with Iodine (the real stuff)
                  Applying wax (toilet ring wax is awesome...and cheap!) to the wall before the hoof gets wet (turn out, bathing etc)
                  Turn out only after the dew has dried (no night t/o)
                  Keeping bathing to a minimum
                  Good quality bell boots (fit a little on the large side)

                  I also have my OTTB on a hoof supplement. He has been on it for at least 12 years. I don't know if it actually helps or not....but I'm half way afraid to take him off it.

                  If you need more info on glue-ons feel free to pm me. Also, Sound Horse is great at answering questions and they 100% stand behind their product. My farrier screwed up the first shoe he put on my horse (it can be a bit tricky the first time, but it gets easier....I'm a "professional Hoof Wrapper" now). They sent us a replacement shoe because they were happy another farrier was using the product and wanted to encourage it.

                  Good luck...I know it can be frustrating.
                  Brae Mont Farm
                  www.braemontfarm.weebly.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                    Okay.
                    I will P-off every farrier known to man here, but my HUSBAND is one, so here we go.You are looking at a trimming-balance problem, and a shoe not w orking problem -- add to that the lost time when he loses shoes, the torn up foot without the shoe, and it's just a total mess, isn't it? Boy BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, Have the t-shirt, the coffee mug, the cap, the totebag, you get the picture.

                    Bottom line, your horse needs more drastic action by your farrier. He's on the right track but he's got to do a couple things to make even more of a difference. I have short backed long legged types and they are prone to grabbing fronts. Even better balanced horses with super conformation can pull off shoes regularly if they aren't properly balanced and shod for success.

                    First - the hind feet.
                    Shorten the toes, square the toes, and set the shoe back under the foot slightly to shorten the path behind. And when I say square it -- I mean SQUARE it. These guys are chicken to use that rasp. Racehorse shoers know that unless you make a difference there's not much point in wasting the sweat.
                    Fronts - can't run them out past the heels. I know you want heel support for jumping horses but those that keep grabbing them are a worse evil! The heels of the shoe must be beveled so that a grabbing hind hoof will slide off, and they must be turned under (or in would be a better word picture), and they have to be shortened. Roll the toe of the front foot, too, in order to break it over faster. Clips are a must. You may need to go to another shoe other than Eventer up front and here's why -- the nail holes are centered on those shoes, making it by necessity placed to the outer edge of the foot in order not to sink nails into sensitive laminae. Are you with me here. That makes the shoe by design set out on the edges of the useable wall area, and makes it vulnerable to be pulled off - unless your farrier uses his Y chromosome and just nails him in the meat anyway. Big nails and clips just don't keep one of these on a horse that is a chronic puller. I have HAD to go to a different shoe as much as I wanted to keep him in an eventer, I just couldn't deal with the time off!

                    I would go to a different shoe with nail holes set to edges of the shoe or more choices for nailing, a smaller nail and more of them closer to the toe, and the big thing is balance that foot and balance the hind foot at the same time so that you will be shortening that stride, speeding up the front and your horse can MISS the front shoe as he steps.

                    Consider the victory aluminum race plate even, something that will allow you to nail a lot towards to the toe, cut the heels off, bevel them, and do grind off any grab if you get a shoe with one. You need to keep a shoe ON at this point so ditch the Eventers, I'd think. I would go with a light light shoe because it will protect the wall without being so heavy that it will change and slow down the breakover.

                    Good luck explaining this to a farrier with a Y chromosome problem! But I think your guy is on the right track here, just need to get even more drastic.
                    Also, the INSTANT he's done shoeing I hit the nail holes with the hoof saver gel, leave them in cross ties til it dries, do NOT turn them right out, work them first or leave in stall a day, turnout w/ bell boots and by themselsves to avoid a jump./run pull off.

                    I think there is a nice illustration for this on a one-page article published one time in Practical Horsemen. I actually have it posted on the bulletin board in my tack room -- Doug Anderson may have written it and it's illustrated nicely.

                    Thankfully I have a farrier that does just that!!! I want to hug him now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My farrier has taken to "spooning" my horse's heels on his shoe. We watch carefull to make sure he's not developing calluses, but he was pulling like crazy. He bring the heel of the shoe out to where we both want it, plus some, then turns that "plus some" up at an angle, so he gets the heel support but nothing to grab. It has been working- my guy is 11 and has had the same issue since I started shoeing him, so this has been the best thing we've tried. We're playing with aluminum now to see if we can trick him into not overreaching... time will tell.
                      Big Idea Eventing

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would get him on a hoof supplement and at least get that going for him. It made a BIG difference for Vernon of the sensitive feet. It takes a while to gain the benefit, but it is worth it.

                        Otherwise, I don't have anything substantial to add on shoeing him. retread's suggestions are great. Also, don't be afraid to ask the boss for his thoughts...he was a farrier for a long, long time (until his back told him to choose riding or shoeing...he couldn't keep doing both!).

                        You have to keep shoes on him because I want to see him again!!! He's such a cutie!
                        Amanda

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd agree with investing in some boots -- I evented in my EasyBoot Epics (you can stud all the EasyBoots, if you are a stud person) for a while till we ended up having to go back to shoes due to a farrier problem. But having the boots, even if you don't go barefoot, means you can slap a boot on when he pulls a shoe and keep him in work instead of just standing around waiting on the farrier.
                          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                          We Are Flying Solo

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tbsrule View Post
                            rethread maybe your husband should pitch in - farriers are very specialized and to us horse people very important profession and we would like to hear from them rather then from wifes ;-)
                            That was him. He doesn't type.
                            Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                            Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Retread! My hubby is a farrier too and he doesn't type either- but like yours, he is good at dictation

                              Eventers now seem to be trying those funky looking standardbred overreach boots- the kind that fit snugly around the coronet band and base of the heel- rather than the traditional bells-they protect from grabs and pulled shoes, a common problem among standardbreds- fad? functional? Anyone know?
                              Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!
                              MidAtlanticHorseRescue.org

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I wish I were married to a farrier!

                                Anyway, thanks all for the suggestions.

                                For an update, the farrier came out Sat and decided that after the latest pull there wasn't enough wall to nail back into, thus he is getting glue-ons (farrier didn't have appropriate equipment on him, so Tuesday). Unprovoked, I'm not sure what brand, I will find out.

                                I do think that perhaps a fear of taking off too much front heel support on the shoes has been holding us back and we may need to be more aggressive.

                                As far as hoof supplements, does anyone have a favorite? It makes sense that the hoof growing now takes a year or so to reach the ground, so might as well get the process underway.

                                YB, I didn't know he was a former farrier--I will get his opinion next time he sees him. And yes I really hope to keep some shoes on him and get going. It's getting ridiculous.

                                Thanks all!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Farrier's Formula. There's a lot of them out there, but I have yet to find one that works as well.

                                  I totally feel your pain with this. Vernon was HELL until about 10 months ago. First we try and do the right thing by his abused racehorse feet and pull his shoes just to have the ground freeze and bruise him. Then we STRUGGLE to keep shoes on him for ages, and every time he pulled one, he'd get bruised. And then there was the few months were shoeing him took surgical like care because he would get sore so easily. AND he got a glue on shoe here and there when pasture antics would take shoe AND walls. Ugh. I get the frustration. He's still a little frustrating, but now we're just dealing with less than ideal hoof conformation and not plain ass crappy feet.

                                  He lives on Farrier's Formula.
                                  Amanda

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by snoopy View Post
                                    Thankfully I have a farrier that does just that!!! I want to hug him now.
                                    So does mine, and thankfully has an X chromosone to boot!
                                    www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                                    www.pegasusridge.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have the same horse that is a bugger to shoe if you don't do him right. My current farrier didn't listen to me the first time he did him. After coming back twice in two weeks to replace pulled shoes, he perked up and listen. Started doing all the things mention, squared toes, fullered heels turned in, etc...... now after 3 or 4 years, I think he has had to come out maybe twice to put a shoe back on afterward and I know once was because Spanks stuck his foot in the wire fence and pulled the shoe off himself. If you want, you can send me a message and I can send you my farrier's number and he can talk to your farrier. My guy is super cool about helping others out and he can explain how he keeps Spanky's shoes on to your guy.

                                      Bobbi
                                      Bobbi
                                      ~ Jus Passed My Zipper aka Spanky, 11yo QH gelding.
                                      ~ Muskogee, 2yo Oldenburg Colt.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If he doesn't have enough hoof to nail to after pulling a shoe, EquiCast might be a good idea.... you cast the hoof, then nail through the cast. We have had excellent luck with it.

                                        Sometimes squaring the back toes does not really help, as that speeds up the breakover behind and can cause the hind feet to come forward before the horse can get its front feet out of the way. Maybe leave the back feet regularly balanced and try speeding up the breakover in front more first (Natural Balance PLR shoes perhaps)? Often see that problem in OTTBs b/c they have no clue how to use their rear ends to lift their front ends.... they just plow along on the forehand, earthbound, and combined with short body/long legs shoes are bye-bye....

                                        Jennifer
                                        Third Charm Event Team

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