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How do top farriers get hunters moving their best? UPDATE: Pics on bottom of P.1

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  • How do top farriers get hunters moving their best? UPDATE: Pics on bottom of P.1

    Apologies if this has been covered -- I did a search and saw nothing, but I may have been using the wrong words.

    My current farrier is good techinically. But he does not do hunters. He is willing to take direction (whew!) but I am unsure what to tell him.

    All I know is that George is not moving as well as he did last winter with another farrier. He has the potential to be a hack class winner (and has won BIG hacks) but not anymore.

    I know there are farriers who charge $200 - $300 a shoeing and are supposed to be magicians in getting a hunter to move at the top of his potential. But, WHAT is it they are striving for, from a technical standpoint?

    Low heels? Quick breakover with a shorter toe? Just what is IT that makes a good horse move better?

    If I need to be directed to a thread that has discussed this topic ad nauseum, please feel free to do so.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken

    [This message was edited by Lord Helpus on Feb. 23, 2004 at 08:33 PM.]
    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

  • Original Poster

    #2
    Apologies if this has been covered -- I did a search and saw nothing, but I may have been using the wrong words.

    My current farrier is good techinically. But he does not do hunters. He is willing to take direction (whew!) but I am unsure what to tell him.

    All I know is that George is not moving as well as he did last winter with another farrier. He has the potential to be a hack class winner (and has won BIG hacks) but not anymore.

    I know there are farriers who charge $200 - $300 a shoeing and are supposed to be magicians in getting a hunter to move at the top of his potential. But, WHAT is it they are striving for, from a technical standpoint?

    Low heels? Quick breakover with a shorter toe? Just what is IT that makes a good horse move better?

    If I need to be directed to a thread that has discussed this topic ad nauseum, please feel free to do so.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken

    [This message was edited by Lord Helpus on Feb. 23, 2004 at 08:33 PM.]
    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

    Comment


    • #3
      LHU-my farrier posts on COTH every now and then---i will let him know you posted this and see if he can advise-he is awesome and *even* has a sense of humor---I was Iming with him tonight and told him browns feet needed to be trimmed and maybe shoes all the way around and asked him what he thought. he said "i dunno, call a farrier"

      he just told me tonight that if a horse actually has feet done correctly and they arent bothering/hurting them, its amazing how much more they can concentrate on the task at hand. what a concept. but he also acknowledges that a horse can only do what the horse can do---$500 farrier work isnt gonna make the horse do it if it doesnt have the ability----bottom line-he doesnt promise pie in the sky BUT he also says the feet make the horse and he does his damndest to help the horse reach its potential as far as the feet issues are concerned

      anywho Missusismyap is his screen name--maybe read some of his posts to get a sense of his knowledge and humor to see if maybe ya think he could direct you

      molly
      *member of just about every clique*
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      http://www.lulu.com/mavw1971
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      Comment


      • #4
        There is no special shoeing for disciplines-you will get the best movement when the horse has a balanced foot-so the question is WHAT is a balanced foot?

        Short heels-not long underrun heels. Short toes-not long and run out in front.

        Flares MUST be addressed-you don't want this bell shaped foot that has become so popular to create a "bigger" foot.

        The foot, in proper balance should be wider than it is long-nice wide frog...with a breakover not far in front of the apex of the frog.

        The best advice I can give you is to visit the barefoot trim sites-even if you choose to use shoes, the trim and shape of the foot is well described in these sites.

        http://www.ironfreehoof.com
        http://www.barefoothorse.com
        http://www.hopeforsoundness.com

        When you find yourself on the edge of a cliff, a step backward is progress

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, LMH...while what you say is an ideal, I can't agree with that that there is not a different approach for different disciplines. The reason I say this is that hubby lost all the WP show horses in a large barn. He is still requested to trim everything not WP, including halter babies. But, the big kids need to move with little short strides and a natural foot just doesn't promote that...it needs a higher heel. Another farrier that I know is specifically requested to do Paso Finos....the reason, he has a problem with trimming too close (I often see him in the tack shop buying EZ boots for customers with sore footed horses}. The "ouch" gets that fino gait extra points on the sounding board. Drafts shown in harness are typcially shod in Scotch shoes. These are very square looking and the foot is allowed to flare to fit it...enchancing the size of the foot (as you noted above) and stretching the lamina so that they walk like they are on hot coals. Looks spiffy in the showring to see those big feet set down and picked up so high, so quickly. And, don't get me started on the gaited crowd with pads and stacks. So, from a show person's perspective, there are different trims for different diciplines.

          But, I really do agree with you....ther shouldn't be a difference, movement should be a natural flowing one that exhibits the horse's potential, not unnaturally limits or enhances it. The best extension and fluid movement comes from a balanced trim as you described.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            What was said above sounds right. Plus, slightly sore hocks or backs can affect movement without looking "off". I firmly believe that most horses tht jump eventually need a cunean tenectomy to keep hocks sound. No push from the hock, no good front movement. Also, my vet does a side X-ray of the foot with a tack placed at the apex of the frog, then measures the angle of the coffin bone and distance from front of coffin bone to tack to front of hoof in order to make sure the hoof is trimmed so that the coffin bone lands flat. On a gelding that had some foot issues, I kept him in Natural Balance shoes during winter and changed to aluminums only during show season. On a mare that had a slightly high knee/long cannon, I improved leg sweep dramatically changing from front aluminums to racing plates with toe grab ground down. But she never was a great mover to start with - had some knee and needed the least weight possible on her feet. Just some thoughts.
            Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
            www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Plumcreek, Ric Redden also does that, only he Silly Putty's the head of a shoeing nail onto the frog --- I would think that sticking a tack into the frog is not the best thing you can do for a horse!

              And, as slb pointed out, EVERY discipline who values a certain way of going, shoes horses slightly differently.

              Race horses on one end of the spectrum ----> Tennessee Walkers on the other.

              I have been trying to get this farrier to keep the toes shorter -- and it is a monthly discussion. He says that he is rasping back to the white line and he cannot go any farther -- but the farrier last winter had his toes significantly shorter.

              Can the white line be "moved back"? I know the blood supply to a dog's toenails can be pushed back by frequent toenail clippings which causes the blood supply to recede.

              Is there an analogy to this in the horse's foot?

              Perhaps I do need a new farrier.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken

              [This message was edited by Lord Helpus on Feb. 23, 2004 at 10:34 AM.]
              "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

              Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

              Comment


              • #8
                LH-I think the point both of us are making is yes disciplines prefer different methods of shoeing-but that is what is laming these horses. It is not good work and not good for the horse.

                When I said there is no special shoeing what I meant was there shouldn't be. IF you mess with the natural balance of a horse foot you are asking for trouble-people do it all day long then wonder why Pooky is having other soundness problems.

                A horse doesn't know if he is a hunter, WP horse or dressage horse-and neither does his foot.

                A horse will move his best if his foot is balanced period-it may be too long a stride for WP folks or not sweepy enough u/s but it is how that horse should move based on his body.

                Now to answer your question , yes the white line can be moved back-but whether it SHOULD just depends on where he is now.

                The first thing to look at is the angle of his new growth-the angle of the top of his foot just as it comes out of his hairline. If you are concerned about long toes, I would about bet this angle is more upright than the angle of the rest of his hoof. If it is I would bet those toes are getting long AND almost bet the heels are following along.

                If this is the case, then the farrier should be able to recognize and start working on backing those toes up.

                As always pictures would be fabulous .

                When you find yourself on the edge of a cliff, a step backward is progress

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree that a balanced trim that allows the horse's foot to hit the ground with no discomfort in the foot, leg or elsewhere in the body will do the most for getting the best out of the horse.

                  Could George possibly be reacting to "winter?" Not the best time of year for feet. My horse's feet are showing the results of a year in wet ground - we have not had a decent dry spell since October 2002. Moisture tends to seep in around the nail holes and through the soles, making feet a wee bit softer and sensitive than normal. Just a thought.
                  Man plans. God laughs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lord Helpus, not sure if by last winter you mean a year ago, but my farrier's treatment of of Mikey's feet and the treatment he came with are vastly different.

                    Was that this farrier or the other one? I can say, we are shoeing him much shorter than he when he arrived, although he was perfectly sound and happy with his "old" feet. I was really surprised at the difference the before and after pictures made.

                    Trinity Hill Farm
                    Trinity Hill Farm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Balance, balance, balance.

                      The problem we have sometimes when horses come to the barn is that they have been purposefully shod incorrectly to enhance some aspect of their movement that the owner or trainer likes. The fact of the matter is, some horses will have more knee action when balanced then people may like to see. If his heels are sore (long toe, underrun heel) he may not like to get his feet off the ground and therefore may be flatter moving in the front. We have also had horses come to us barefoot because they "move better that way" and the truth is that they are just sore and that's why they are "sweepy". What I see is a horse moving tentatively and ouchy ((((

                      After getting them balanced and comfortable, you may indeed see some changes, for better or worse depending on your perspective. The best way (albeit not the easiest) to make a mediocre mover a better mover is to *get them really moving over their topline and reaching up and out for the bit*. The more their back and base of the neck comes up, the more room there is for the shoulder to swing through.

                      I just had a saddlebred in training who trotted like a sewing machine until he was through back to front and *then* you couldn't tell that it was the same horse, the difference was that profound.. remember, inversion (back dropped, rear end out behind) creates knee action. The way some people ride their hunters, to set their heads alone, also will create more front end action then desired.. just because the head is down does not mean the back is up and swinging

                      Thinking you probably know all this already, LH, but for those who don't, I wanted to be sure to point out how shoeing is only one part of the puzzle.
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      ---
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Rio Tex,

                        Yes, this is the same farrier who had been shoeing Mikey since last April...... SIGH..... It is interesting that you have Mikey a lot shorter. How many shoeings did it take for your farrier to get him where he wants with him?

                        When I bring G in tonight, I will take pictures of his feet. His heels DO look suspiciously underslung. And his toe longer than it should be. I have been having him shod every 4 weeks this winter (and in the winter he used to go 5 - 6 weeks!) because his toe gets long so quickly.

                        And another horse is now forging terribly -- After shoeing she only can go 2 weeks before she starts forging again.

                        The farrier insists it is a balanced foot and that he has adjusted the breakover point farther back, so she SHOULD not be forging. But she is.....

                        This farrier is such a nice guy. And if a shoe comes off, he is there within 24 hours (a BIG plus in my book). If only I can get him shoeing the horses well.

                        Interestingly enough, the horses not in work, Warren and Bear, seem to have a lovely short, balanced foot. And Bear wears glue ons -- which the man does well.

                        And a PS: I do know that a horse needs to lift his back and come through from behind to move his best. I have been bringing G back from his winter off, and after a week of easy work I put on the Pessoa rig yesterday to lunge him and get him starting to use his hind end again. I only use it for a short time at first because I am trying to strengthen top line muscles, not make them sore, but I do expect a horse who knows how to come through from behind to be able to do it for the 2 - 3 minutes that he is in the rig. And George STILL did not move like he did a year ago, even in the rig. That was when I realized that we are on the wrong track with his shoeing.

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken
                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          LH-the forging and fact that they aren't going as long between trims does sound highly suspicious of long run underslung heels.

                          Of course you want to make changes gradually to get them back right but a good farrier should be able to correct the toes fairly quickly.

                          My experience is with shoes the underrun heels can be a bigger bear to fight.

                          Please do post pics when you get them-be sure to take them ground level (you kind of on your belly on the ground) square on the side so the angles don't distort how the hoof looks. The side view is best for those angle shots but also get a ground level shot head on to be sure there are no side flares as well.

                          When you find yourself on the edge of a cliff, a step backward is progress

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If your farrier is pulling the toe back but not correcting the underrrun heel (by removing what is growing forward, so that the heel is at the widest part of the frog, oversimplified explanation for brevity) then he is actually creating a smaller weight bearing surface rather than a bigger one w/a better breakover the longer this goes on, the more the foot wants to push out in front of the leg. That may explain why he is saying he can't take any more toe off... and why your horses are forging and having to be trimmed so frequently.

                            sounds like you need Mikey's farrier - whoever/wherever that may be!
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            ---
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [ "I would think that sticking a tack into the frog is not the best thing you can do for a horse!"]

                              LH - Very, very small tack!! Just so you can spot it on the X-ray.

                              Underslung heels: As stated in posts above, a direct cause of long toes. My vet is researching caudal heel pain using wild horse feet (actual feet off freshly dead horses - the BLM freezes them and sends them to her) and finds that wild horses have much more blood supply to their heels than domestic horses wearing shoes. When she does a soundness exam, she wants to see our horses landing very slightly heel first when they move. Horses that land toe first generally have heels with little blood supply, contracted and underslung.

                              I agree about the long toe - good mover mystique. I used to ask for long toes; now I want balane. My vet says that horses will move longer and better on feet that don't hurt. Pretty basic, but you sure see a lot of wierd looking feet on show horses.
                              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                              www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Plumcreek:
                                My vet says that horses will move longer and better on feet that don't hurt. Pretty basic, but you sure see a lot of wierd looking feet on show horses.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                Ditto, a horse is not going to reach with his front end if something hurts when his front feet hit the ground.
                                Man plans. God laughs.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'll take pictures tonight. We just got re-shod last week. I was surprised at how much my guy took off the first shoeing. I thought it would take longer to make an adjustment (if he decided too). They looked very long to me when he arrived and I knew that you had just had him done before he came down.

                                  One thing I have never had trouble with (with my current farrier) is having them cut too short. He is either good or lucky and my old Adult horse was tough. Every time I had to have a shoe tacked back on (by someone else), he blew an abscess. So I was not worried about him taking off too much.

                                  It is not something I know much about and when I have a problem, I have the vet and farrier work it out, but Mikey has some of the best TB feet I have ever met.

                                  Trinity Hill Farm

                                  [This message was edited by RioTex on Feb. 23, 2004 at 03:22 PM.]
                                  Trinity Hill Farm

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Plumcreek can you share any more about your vet's very interesting sounding project? Is this personal or is there an institution involved? How did they get the BLM to agree to do this? Any preliminary reports yet, if not what plans are there to publish? Thanks.
                                    Visit my barefoot blog:
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                                    "I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but I'm intercontinental when I eat French toast" ~ Beastie Boys

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Plumcreek:

                                      Underslung heels: As stated in posts above, a direct cause of long toes. My vet is researching caudal heel pain using wild horse feet (actual feet off freshly dead horses - the BLM freezes them and sends them to her) and finds that wild horses have much more blood supply to their heels than domestic horses wearing shoes. When she does a soundness exam, she wants to see our horses landing very slightly heel first when they move. Horses that land toe first generally have heels with little blood supply, contracted and underslung.
                                      <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                      I may be missing something here but I thought that those that have studied wild horse feet have already established this as true?

                                      When you find yourself on the edge of a cliff, a step backward is progress

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yes, but another prespective doesn't hurt. Everyone has their view and the more views that support each other the better. This vet may also want to have a comparison for work with domestic horses...I think that it helps to better diagnose what is wrong and how to correct it.

                                        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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