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need opinions on a young mares feet

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  • need opinions on a young mares feet

    I have a young mare not 3 till Feb who has developed some issues. I had the feet xrayed and because I am not familiar with xrays I would love another opinion on what you see. I have been given opinions from our vet and farrier but would also like outside opinions from other horse people. Tell me what you see and what the prognosis would be for this mare down the road. I am looking at possibly breeding her to get a foal out of her before deciding on any other course of action.

  • #2
    I'm always so hesitant to comment on feet - I am no expert. I'm just a horse owner who has dealt with some issues and I have learned a few things along the way. Sometimes, I learned the hard way, and it breaks my heart. I am no professional - just someone on the internet trying to help.

    You don't give us much background on the mare, and I am really curious to know what your vet and farrier say. My guess is that it wasn't good news or you would not have found yourself here. My guess is she is not sound, or there would be no x-rays. I'd be interested to know more of her history.

    I had a horse with similar rads. It took a long time to get him comfortable. He was also retired early (age 16) with arthritis that we think stemmed from the fact that his feet were so imbalanced for so long. (He was 6 when I got him, had minimal hoof care when he was young, and I didn't know enough in the beginning to be able to advocate for better care for him)

    There is a lot going on here. I see a negative palmar angle and a broken back bony column from the lateral views. Your mare's straight views also show significant imbalance. If I am reading the rads correctly, she is a bit toed in. Toes are long, heels are not supporting the hoof, looks like some of the back of the foot is under-developed. Mine was very similar, but he'd been that way so long, he also developed some pretty nasty side bone.

    Its hard to say if she started out toed in and that is leading to some of the imbalance or if she didn't get the right care at some point and imbalance led to the conformation issues.

    Either way, those look like painful feet, and she needs competent care. You are consulting with a farrier and vet, so you are on the right track. She needs to be kept at a reasonable weight. If she can tolerate it, combined with proper foot care, the best treatment is correct movement. You should find the best farrier/vet team you can and follow their advice. It is going to take a little time and skill to get her all fixed up. Her feet didn't get like this over night, and they won't be a fast fix, either.

    Most importantly of all, PLEASE do not breed this mare until she is sound and her feet are fixed. Consider that if her feet are a product of genetics, her foal is most likely to have the same problems, so she may not be a good candidate for breeding at all. Also, the extra weight and stress of the pregnancy, even if she is sound right now, is not going to be good for her. Waiting to help her is cruel. I don't think you are cruel, or you wouldn't be asking for help.

    I wish you luck. I hope you post more on her. I'd love to follow her progress.


    • #3
      Can you provide us photos of her feet from all angles and sole shots? I also question how much of her problems

      are caused by neglected farriery and how much is genetic. Honestly, it looks as though she needs significant

      work on her feet to properly balance them.
      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


      • #4
        Do you have the RF DP?

        Was he moving during the x-rays or are his pasterns really that upright?

        Upright pasterns, broken back coffin joints, Valgus (knock knee) either at the knee or fetlock.

        What's your vet and farrier say?

        X-rays are just a momentary snapshot, if the horse was moving or not standing square it throws the entire picture out the window. Your vet and farrier, being there, can see the horse and make up for movement and not being square.

        Last edited by eruss; Dec. 26, 2018, 07:42 PM.
        Eric Russell CJF


        • #5
          I would definitely want to see pictures from the front of the LF leg, both of them actually, with the horse standing square. Stand back enough to get both legs and the chest in view.

          I see long toes, with the RF being worse, underrun heels, and flat to negative P3 which I would guess is the cause of her issues. That doesn't happen overnight, but it definitely starts making horses sore.

          Whether this is 100% a farrier issue, or just a not well managed genetic predisposition, or a not well managed situation that arose from a poorly developed back of the foot (due to, say, inappropriate movement up to this point) that isn't supporting it, would be a deciding factor as to breeding her. If this is anything but poor farrier work, she should not be bred.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            These are rads from a 3yo (actually, a not even 3yo)?

            Do not breed her, please. Unless you know her care history and come to determine that her foot issues are directly the result of poor farrier work, this mare is not breeding material.

            I am really, really not a fan of breeding anything that hasn't proven its athletic ability and propensity for soundness over the long term, but that's a different soapbox.

            The one image of the posterior view of the left front with the pretty significant broken bony column is particularly concerning - this is screaming sheared heels and needs to be dealt with ASAP.

            Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.


            • Original Poster

              She was sold to me at 18 months old. She's Arabian. I had her at a friends place after purchasing her and NO I did not get xrays before I purchased her, I had asked the owner/breeder if she had any leg or feet problems and she said NO. I took her at her word (big name farm) My friend told me she was doing this weird knuckling over when she got tired and as I did not know what she was talking about I just had the farrier try to fix her long toes...she would not let the farrier touch her, fought the whole time. So I ended up bringing her up North to New York state to another friends farm and she worked with her, got her confidance and finally got her to allow the farrier to do her feet. He did not like what he found. So I had the vet do those xrays (I wasn't there so didn't see if it was on flat ground etc) The vet didn't like the looks of the xrays either. They agreed not to breed her for a while...see if exercise and good farrier care would help her. I believe the owner/breeder knew the filly had contracted tendons as a foal (she didnt' have any foal pictures to show me) and that maybe once she was over a year old she looked fine, so she turned her out on pasture. I think maybe she was lacking in vitamins/minerals and grew too fast. She is over 15H and not turning 3 till Feb. She doesn't seem to be in any pain as per my gf constant watching of her (she gets excellent care at my gf farm now) but I am not sure what the prognosis would be for her as a future riding or broodmare. Its not genetic as her Dam and Sire don't have any feet problems.


              • #8
                The pictures really need to be closer up. The RF looks quite awkward in several pictures but I can't tell if those are artifacts of an awkward stance.

                Knuckling over in front? That's not cool. If it was behind, that could be attributed to a slipping/locking stifle.

                It's not enough to look just at the dam and sire for breeding quality - look back several generations.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  Carpus Valgus which shows in the hoof capsule. Looks like some superficial flexor issues. IDK about breeding her unless there's some miracle and she grows out of it.

                  The right front toe is run forward a bit. Other than that they look like normal toes on a low angle foot.
                  Eric Russell CJF