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Thin walls + Mid-Atlantic summer moisture...what fun! Suggestions?

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  • Thin walls + Mid-Atlantic summer moisture...what fun! Suggestions?

    I've searched topics and I am sure this has been discussed more recently than the threads I found, but those were all several years old and there are lots of new products out there.

    I have a 5 year old QH with TB-ish feet. He's a show horse (doing just flat work), but in what I'd consider a moderate exercise program - ridden about 4x a week, shown about every 6 weeks. I have a competent/experienced farrier and he says my guy has thin walls (b/c that's the way he's "made") and his hoof grows forward towards the toe, which isn't ideal, but not at all unusual, again just the way my gelding is built. I had him reshod yesterday (at 4 weeks). He was in aluminum on the front for this last shoeing cycle because my trainer likes aluminum, swears he moves better, and I put them on since we went to a major show a two weeks ago. But at 3-1/2 weeks into the shoeing cycle, his hoof was spilling over his shoes. I called my farrier to come out early to shoe him yesterday (at the 4 week mark, instead of next Mon). I put him back in steel because it supports his hoof better, and he's schedule to be reset in 4 weeks again.

    But any recommendations for helping his thin walls (I'd love thicker walls, if possible)? I'm putting Keratex on 2-3 times a week (and have been for a year or so). He was started on a hoof supplement (Hoof Secret from Cox Labs) last July. I'm not sure that's making a significant difference, by now I think I'd start getting into better hoof. I've been trying to minimize bathing/hosing him off - and before I do, I paint a hoof dressing on his foot to help repel the water. I've read a fair amount - some vets & farriers says the hoof wall starts from the inside nutrients (which I get). He's on good pasture, gets fed about 7lbs of Southern States Carb Care Performance (not my ideal feed - but he's at a boarding barn, so that's what they feed and aside from his feet, he looks great...), the Hoof Secret Supplement, SS GastroCare, and has mediocre hay (which he barely eats during the day). On the flipside, I'm in NC. I've also read from vets/farrier in the SE, that we can't discount our environment - specifically the wet/dry cycles related to the dew. My barn switched over to night turnout at the same time he was shod last month, which means his feet get coated with AM dew, then he's in a stall for about 8 hours a day before going back out. Last summer I was lost quite a few aluminum shoes early on in the summer, switched to steel, and he held those on better. My farrier's suggestions are to keep putting the Keratex on and put any sort of dressing on his feet before hosing/bathing.

    So for those of you fighting this same battle in the Mid-Atlantic/SE - his feet aren't horrible (I know others with way worse), but I'd love for them to be better, if possible. I'd love for him to be able to wear aluminum during the summer show season, but not sure that's in the cards. Any suggestions? As mentioned, been using Keratex regularly. Previously used Farrier's Fix on another horse (and still will paint that on my guy's soles and sometimes the walls before bathing), have used Keratex Gel, but candidly, I'm not so sure that stays on more than a day (and he's a boarding barn, so putting it on daily is a bit unrealistic). I'm wondering about something like Farrier's Finish (by Farriers Formula folks). I've also read about putting a moisturizer on the coronet band and massaging that in good to promote good blood flow to that area to promote hardier growth. Again, any tips, or just suck it up b/c this is hoof life in NC? AGH!

    Thanks!!


  • Scribbler
    replied
    Originally posted by JB View Post
    Tuesday? There's no other way to say it - you need a new farrier asap. Those feet need a good trim now I suspect a lot the hoof issues will go away once his feet have been properly trimmed a few times.
    This.

    OP, if you can't see what we are talking about go to Pete Ramey's website and get a crash course in hoof balance.

    ​​​A balanced hoof is the same shape whether or not it is shod. Get a new farrier that can trim and get those heels where they belong.

    Leave a comment:


  • JB
    replied
    Tuesday? There's no other way to say it - you need a new farrier asap. Those feet need a good trim now I suspect a lot the hoof issues will go away once his feet have been properly trimmed a few times.

    Leave a comment:


  • hokie98
    replied
    Originally posted by JB View Post
    The pictures are a lot better, and sadly, they tell the story of poor trimming
    This photo
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...=IMG_1919.HEIC
    shoes a very, very poorly trimmed foot, even accounting for it being the end of a cycle (how long? did I miss that somewhere?)

    toes have been long for at least a whole growth cycle

    This one
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...=IMG_0715.HEIC

    shoes a shoe that was too small to begin with, and just got worse as the cycle went on. And that's in addition to the long-term long toes. See how there's a very distinct change in the profile growth angle? The upper, steeper angle is the correct angle of growth for this foot. Everything below that change is due to long, stretched/flared toe, and for that break to be that high, it's taken a full growth cycle, so that's at least how long he's been trimmed for long toes.

    When viewed from the front
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...=IMG_3926.HEIC
    a foot should be a straight cone. Here, you can see how much of a bell shape the foot is. So not only is there flaring of the toe (seen from the side view), but there is lateral flaring as seen from the front. And because the change in angle is so high up, this is a long-term thing, not just being overdue for a single trim

    Unless it's been, like, 20 weeks since the last trim (which I am sure isn't remotely the case), you have, at least, a farrier issue, and it's time to start looking for a new one.
    Thanks for the feedback - actually these shoes were just put on on Tuesday. :-( And he's been shod every 4-6 weeks (4-5 week summer cycle, 6 week winter cycle), always.

    Leave a comment:


  • hokie98
    replied
    Originally posted by JB View Post

    But the copper and zinc are pretty low. An 1100lb horse in moderate work needs about 400mg Fe, 100mg Cu, and 400mg Zn. So 10lb of this hay would get you 363mg Fe, 31mg Cu, and 104mg Zn (and that's if he's eating even 10lb) So add in what the 7lb of the feed is giving, and see where you are. Of course the pasture is providing more, but that will give you an idea where you are in relation to things.
    So I just tossed $20 out of the window, rejoined FeedXL and ran another profile. It makes assumptions on our pasture (using their generic profile), so I just put in my hay analysis as if he's eating 100% hay - which isn't at all true, but really I'm going to make a BIG GUESS that the fe/cu/zn in the local hay is similar to my pasture. Anyway, that comes back saying while his fe is high, everything is in balance. My hay is roughly 11:1:3 (fe:cu:zn), his grain is in a ratio of 2:1:3.

    Per FeedXL, my total ratio is 3.5 :1 :2.7 (which is 676mg fe, 191mg Cu & 510mg Zn)....but this also doesn't account for his water - no doubt his water has fe in it. If I look at my RDI on each mineral, Fe is at 200%, Cu is at 115% and Zn is at 190%. Seems to me, Cu is really what I'm short on?

    So thoughts on cu/zn, and living in a high iron area....there doesn't seem to be much in the way of toxicity concerns with cu or zn. His current hoof supplement is at a ration of ~6:1 for zn to cu. So I'm wondering about discontinuing that hoof supplement and going to just cu with some zn. Thoughts on supplementing?

    AND then...what about selenium? Sigh....

    Leave a comment:


  • JB
    replied
    The pictures are a lot better, and sadly, they tell the story of poor trimming
    This photo
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...=IMG_1919.HEIC
    shoes a very, very poorly trimmed foot, even accounting for it being the end of a cycle (how long? did I miss that somewhere?)

    toes have been long for at least a whole growth cycle

    This one
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...=IMG_0715.HEIC

    shoes a shoe that was too small to begin with, and just got worse as the cycle went on. And that's in addition to the long-term long toes. See how there's a very distinct change in the profile growth angle? The upper, steeper angle is the correct angle of growth for this foot. Everything below that change is due to long, stretched/flared toe, and for that break to be that high, it's taken a full growth cycle, so that's at least how long he's been trimmed for long toes.

    When viewed from the front
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...=IMG_3926.HEIC
    a foot should be a straight cone. Here, you can see how much of a bell shape the foot is. So not only is there flaring of the toe (seen from the side view), but there is lateral flaring as seen from the front. And because the change in angle is so high up, this is a long-term thing, not just being overdue for a single trim

    Unless it's been, like, 20 weeks since the last trim (which I am sure isn't remotely the case), you have, at least, a farrier issue, and it's time to start looking for a new one.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmeqcenter
    replied
    Originally posted by JB View Post

    I'm curious - it says she was getting enough cu/zn, but what was the ratio of those with fe?

    A horse can get an absolute enough of cu/zn, but be low relative to the fe content of the diet
    Good point, I didn't think to check the ratio (come ON FeedXL, what am I paying for? ); her levels were high for Iron at 12:1:3. (fe:cu:zn)
    Last edited by mmeqcenter; May. 16, 2019, 04:49 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • hokie98
    replied
    Originally posted by JB View Post

    So it really is 80ppm, 7ppm, etc. Was the field highly irrigated?

    As is common in grass hays, the ca/phos ratio is inverted, so getting additional ca into the diet would be good.

    Protein and lysine are pretty good for grass hay, so whether he's getting enough really does depend on the pasture and just how much hay he's eating. 10lb of the hay would give almost 19gm lysine, more than half of what he needs. 10lb would give him 544gm protein, more than half of what he needs.

    But the copper and zinc are pretty low. An 1100lb horse in moderate work needs about 400mg Fe, 100mg Cu, and 400mg Zn. So 10lb of this hay would get you 363mg Fe, 31mg Cu, and 104mg Zn (and that's if he's eating even 10lb) So add in what the 7lb of the feed is giving, and see where you are. Of course the pasture is providing more, but that will give you an idea where you are in relation to things.
    Re: the field - I have no idea. Our barn owner buys this hay from a local farmer/supplier, and besides knowing they are local, I have no details about it (heck, I thought it was timothy mix, but evidently it's orchard grass per the analysis). Right now while on night time turnout, he's only eating maybe a flake or two a day. His hay is in a large slow feed hay net and he picks at it some during the day, but don't come close to eating the whole bag. The wild card is what is the pasture providing - but is it even worth testing that because it's a moving target?


    Photos of his hooves currently. Warning - this pictures aren't much better (the previous ones weren't really taken for purposes of sharing on this sort of forum, but they were readily available on my phone). I thought they were better when I was taking them, and meant to take more, but got distracted and never got back to finishing the photos. Good intentions. My farrier isn't happy with my horse's feet, that I know - he'll tell me what he needs/could use are different that what he will actually keep on this feet, especially during turnout. My farrier typically leaves more heel on the shoe - and I don't know why he didn't this time, unless with the wet/dry cycle, it was afraid he'd pull the front shoes...which is possible. He wears rubber pull on bell boots 24/7, except when I'm riding him. I've never had him pull shoes under saddle, but when he's romping in the pasture, he has a knack for getting them off. When I took him to the vet about 5-6 weeks ago for spring shots, I had the vet look him over good, and he commented he was overall happy with the way he was shod. When he was shod on Tues, he did say there wasn't much hoof to take off (and there weren't many trimmings to clean up). That hoof just spreads out.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8se5yzg9...a5K5opt4a?dl=0

    Leave a comment:


  • JB
    replied
    Originally posted by hokie98 View Post
    I'll work on better pics today, but in the meanwhile, JB here's our hay analysis... (I'm not an educated hay analysis reader... But, it looks to me when it comes to fe/cu/zn, I definitely need more cu & zn. Right?)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bgrf4h18kwrr9lo/Hay2.pdf?dl=0
    So it really is 80ppm, 7ppm, etc. Was the field highly irrigated?

    As is common in grass hays, the ca/phos ratio is inverted, so getting additional ca into the diet would be good.

    Protein and lysine are pretty good for grass hay, so whether he's getting enough really does depend on the pasture and just how much hay he's eating. 10lb of the hay would give almost 19gm lysine, more than half of what he needs. 10lb would give him 544gm protein, more than half of what he needs.

    But the copper and zinc are pretty low. An 1100lb horse in moderate work needs about 400mg Fe, 100mg Cu, and 400mg Zn. So 10lb of this hay would get you 363mg Fe, 31mg Cu, and 104mg Zn (and that's if he's eating even 10lb) So add in what the 7lb of the feed is giving, and see where you are. Of course the pasture is providing more, but that will give you an idea where you are in relation to things.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    I also don't like what I can see of these hooves. We really need side view with camera at ground level. And also a view of the some straight on, no distortion.

    It looks to me like you have some heel running forward and this would be visible from the sole view.

    Honestly a farrier that thinks a horse just "grows toe" and doesn't know how to get the heels back where they belong doesn't know his job.

    Leave a comment:


  • Libby2563
    replied
    Originally posted by JB View Post
    Same source as the Se map frequently shown here
    https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/...es/fe/usa.html

    For the coat, it's too late to affect the Summer coat, but it will impact the Winter coat and next year's Summer coat, so you'll have to wait for those changes. For the feet if it's going to help you may see a difference in the quality of new growth once it gets about 1" grown in, or roughly 4 months depending on rate of growth (average is about 1/4"/month)
    THANK YOU!! It didn't occur to me that it would be basically the same link as the selenium map. My county is the second-darkest shade of blue so high iron seems a very likely culprit! I know it will take a while to see results but that's all the more reason to get on top of it now.

    Leave a comment:


  • hokie98
    replied
    I'll work on better pics today, but in the meanwhile, JB here's our hay analysis... (I'm not an educated hay analysis reader... But, it looks to me when it comes to fe/cu/zn, I definitely need more cu & zn. Right?)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bgrf4h18kwrr9lo/Hay2.pdf?dl=0

    Leave a comment:


  • JB
    replied
    Originally posted by hokie98 View Post
    Here are photos of his feet on Friday (pre-shoeing, in Aluminum)....I can get photos today of his feet post-shoeing. I'm not sure how much it makes a difference, but he was bathed/hosed a few times, out on dewy fields, riding in moist horse arenas, and walking on ALOT of concrete over a period of 4-5 days at a show facility.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bbb5nh7qr5..._5110.JPG?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/087kcw2lz7..._7420.JPG?dl=0
    Offhand I suspect you have a farrier problem, but these aren't the best pics to judge from. I say that because I see dishing (flaring) in the first pic, and what are likely pretty underrun heels. The flaring is chronic, it goes high up the foot, so it's not just that he's due for a trim - he's long overdue for a good trim.

    If you can get good pics like in this link, that will help
    Good Hoof Photos - How to take Good Hoof Photos

    Leave a comment:


  • JB
    replied
    Originally posted by 4horses View Post
    I don't see having dew on the grass in the morning as being terribly damaging to the horse's feet.
    It's less about the dew damaging the feet, as it is about it causing regular expansion and contraction of hoof wall - getting "water-logged" then drying out - around the nail holes. This can cause a steady expansion of nail holes which can then start moving around a bit and causing more issues.

    But for bare feet, I agree, not a problem in general

    Leave a comment:


  • hokie98
    replied
    Here are photos of his feet on Friday (pre-shoeing, in Aluminum)....I can get photos today of his feet post-shoeing. I'm not sure how much it makes a difference, but he was bathed/hosed a few times, out on dewy fields, riding in moist horse arenas, and walking on ALOT of concrete over a period of 4-5 days at a show facility.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bbb5nh7qr5..._5110.JPG?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/087kcw2lz7..._7420.JPG?dl=0

    Leave a comment:


  • hokie98
    replied
    I'm working on getting a better copy of the hay analysis because it's a little hard read, but I really do suspect an copper & zinc imbalance after doing more reading/research. His coat looks good, but his mane tends to be a little brittle, as does his tail. He doesn't have an metabolic issues, but the 2 geldings stalled next to him do (if I'm being honest there are a few more in the barn that are obese and likely have something going on), but a gelding with Cushings also has a seedy toe last year. Hum....could be a coincidence but maybe all linked to fe/cu/zn.

    But I subscribed to FeedXL for a month - I never could figure out how to get the hay analysis in there (and candidly didn't spend too much time on it), so just used one of their pre-loaded options. It's also sort of hard to quantify the pasture. But my report told me I needed to decrease my geldings zinc to copper ratio. It measured it at 5.4:1, and I needed to increase Folic Acid and B1. It did indicate my fe/cu/zn ratio was ok, with a footnote it may not be accurate.

    Mango20 - JB is right, gelding has been on nighttime turnout for a month - so he's not stomping flies, but is on the AM dew before coming back in to stand on shavings. Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

    mmeqcenter - I've had good luck with plain old VTurp too....messy as all get out, but maybe I'll try some of that.

    Leave a comment:


  • 4horses
    replied
    When you look at iron overload, almost all horses have it because most soils and hay/pasture are very high in iron. Ensuring the horse is getting their copper and zinc requirements met is important because most horses are deficient - most diets are naturally low in copper and zinc.

    Leave a comment:


  • 4horses
    replied
    I would check the pete ramey site. Please post pictures of the hooves in question.

    When I was taught to trim hooves, i was taught to remove some sole calus. Obviously, that is now frowned upon with barefoot trimming. I was taught a simplified version of a 4 point trim, again some of that is outdated. We as humans are continually evolving in our knowledge on a correct vs incorrect trim. It could be a farrier issue rather than a horse issue.

    My thoughts on a horse like you describe is to pull shoes during the off season, put the horse in hoof boots and keep the hooves as dry as possible. My horses live in wet Florida. During the summer it rains daily, there is dew on the ground, and mud. Yet my horses retain healthy feet without too many issues like thrush, or white line disease. Occasionally we get a little separation at the white line, but most of that is removed during trimming. I have one horse with toe cracks but he was impossible to trim starting out (terrified of people).

    The point i am trying to get to is that if shoeing isn't helping, and it isn't terribly wet, then I would consider finding a competent farrier and trying the horse barefoot.

    I don't see having dew on the grass in the morning as being terribly damaging to the horse's feet.

    The only times excessive moisture is bad is when you have flooding, or horses standing in constant water or mud. I would suspect that something else is going on -either a nutritional issue, or a farrier one. Does he have any white line disease?

    Stalling may be detrimental if manure or moisture is getting in his feet. Hooves full of manure is common after stalling, but once the horse is on pasture, movement tends to dislodge debris quickly. Of course that is without shoes on. Perhaps the shoes are trapping debris which is holding in excess moisture?

    If moisture alone was that damaging to hooves, my horses should be crippled.

    The pete ramey site is very detailed. Try to put some hours aside to study the information presented and i would consider getting a second opinion from a different farrier.
    ​​​​​​

    Leave a comment:


  • JB
    replied
    Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
    Feed XL tells me my mare is getting plenty of copper and zinc, but when I supplement with PolyCopper and PolyZinc, I see a HUGE difference in her feet, especially with standing up to the wetness down here in Florida..
    I'm curious - it says she was getting enough cu/zn, but what was the ratio of those with fe?

    A horse can get an absolute enough of cu/zn, but be low relative to the fe content of the diet

    Leave a comment:


  • mmeqcenter
    replied
    Feed XL tells me my mare is getting plenty of copper and zinc, but when I supplement with PolyCopper and PolyZinc, I see a HUGE difference in her feet, especially with standing up to the wetness down here in Florida.
    I also have seen way more of a difference using Venice Turpentine vs Keratex. IMO you can't beat Turpentine for toughening up the hoof.

    Leave a comment:

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