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Long term soundness and maintenance of pigeon toed horses

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  • Long term soundness and maintenance of pigeon toed horses

    Hi guys, I'm after some input from others with pigeon-toed horses on how to best manage them.

    My horse is a 19yo ex-dressage horse that I ride a few days a week. We don't really "do dressage" anymore as he's got a bit of arthritis here and there, I just ride and hand-walk to keep him in light work to keep him moving.

    Seeing as we're not doing dressage, I've been taking him out about about on the roads, to the parks, around the property just to get him out experiencing things instead of staying in the arena. He's always been pigeon toed and barefoot on/off for years and it's never been a problem... until now.. as he's been lame for about a month.

    I've gotten my vet involved and had a lameness workup. nerve blocks showed he has heel pain in both front feet but xrays show no major problems in the feet except a bit of wear and tear, but not around the heel. no navicular issues or anything. nothing drastic, so we were referred to a specialist farrier for help with his feet.

    So the diagnosis seems to be that because of his pigeon toes, his digital cushion isn't as effective as a straight-legged horse's would be. his weight drops down his leg and then over the side of his heels instead of into his cushion. this is partially crushing his heels and ultimately just not providing enough support to his foot, which is exacerbated on hard ground.

    Turns out that an arena surface is quite forgiving on the feet, particularly if your horse has a conformational defect that would otherwise affect their soundness!

    The farrier seems brilliant, best traditional farrier I've ever used and has been shoeing my horse for a couple months now. He's put my horse in straight bar shoes with pads and silicone injected into the spacing, as well as added slight heel extensions to the shoes, where my horse's heel would be if they weren't crooked and squished.

    It has definitely made an improvement but he's still lame on hard ground. The farrier has a few other things to try but they depend on how well his heels grow in over the coming months.
    My country is affected by drought at the moment and so the ground is rock hard. It's inescapable, I've checked other properties and every is bone dry and rock hard ground, so moving him somewhere softer is not an option.

    My vet has just given my horse injections into his feet to try and help with the discomfort.

    At this stage I'm just not sure what to do. My goals are not to make this horse competitive in any way, I just want to keep him sound and in light work as he ages, so as to keep his body limber. Not confined to an arena, I want him to go out and experience things, trails, parks, just life outside an arena and something other than dressage. But his feet may not be up to it.

    I have full faith in the vet and farrier looking after this horse, that's not the issue, I'm just not sure what else I can 'do' with an elderly horse whose wear and tear is now limiting my options to work him. I don't really believe in full retirement. I've done it before and ended up with stiff unhappy horses who break down even faster because they're not using their bodies. I do think that ongoing light exercise is important for as long as possible. But pigeon toes are a new thing for me and I didn't realise how much of an issue they can be outside of the cushy confines of an arena.

    Any advice or suggestions would be great as I tend to just like to hear other peoples' thoughts sometimes. Oh and my horse is on a monthly injected arthritis injection, an oral joint gel as well as the usual gluco/msm/chondroitin/glm powder supp.

  • #2
    Photos of the feet would be very helpful.

    Comment


    • #3
      On pigeon toed horses, also look up the leg.
      Pigeon toes may be from a deviation of the leg column low, or higher up the leg.
      Those tend to reflect the stress and show articular changes, especially in the knees, that then reflect on how the hoof moves.

      Pigeon toed horses were rather common before the last half century in using horses with a little more draft blood.
      Those horses tended to move in a more restricted way and have knee problems eventually.
      A good farrier was key to keep them sound for the longest time possible.

      My thoughts, it seems that your horse has a great team looking after him.
      Just keep working at it as you are, maintenance is the key for pigeon toes.

      Comment


      • #4
        All 4 of mine have some degree of pigeon toed conformation, but they're all barefoot and have been for a long time, and they all self trim to at least some degree so they balance their own hooves. If I do any trimming it's to the sole and collateral grooves, so no matter how asymmetrical the hoof looks I stick to the sole plane that they've developed.

        They're 15, 20, 25, and 28 and still sound.

        I'm also aware that horses with less than ideal conformation are at greater risk, so take that into consideration when deciding how much work is prudent.

        If any of them get tender footed from too many miles on the hard gravel roads they wear boots until they can rebuild enough hoof.

        Comment


        • #5
          The pigeon toes are less of an issue than the DC is. If he's lived and worked on soft footing all his life, that's the issue, not that he's got a leg deviation.

          A great may horses toe in or out and live long sound lives, so it's not inherently a "conformational defect that would otherwise affect their soundness". As long as the foot is being trimmed as the foot needs, not to make it a "straight" foot, most horses have no issues.

          So, I would also look to how your farrier might have changed how the foot is trimmed.

          Heel pain suggests long-term trimming to cause long toes and contracted heels. The current farrier has been shoeing this horse for a couple months - when did this lameness come on in relation to that?
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JB View Post
            The pigeon toes are less of an issue than the DC is. If he's lived and worked on soft footing all his life, that's the issue, not that he's got a leg deviation.

            A great may horses toe in or out and live long sound lives, so it's not inherently a "conformational defect that would otherwise affect their soundness". As long as the foot is being trimmed as the foot needs, not to make it a "straight" foot, most horses have no issues.

            So, I would also look to how your farrier might have changed how the foot is trimmed.

            Heel pain suggests long-term trimming to cause long toes and contracted heels. The current farrier has been shoeing this horse for a couple months - when did this lameness come on in relation to that?
            That is true.

            Then, the horse in question is lame.
            That he has "some" deviation in standard leg conformation may or not have a bearing here.
            It is just one more differential diagnosis to be considered, as it is being mentioned.

            The change in farriers as you point out could be what is going on is probably the best guess with the given history.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Woops, I've made it sound like the current farrier has lamed the horse but that's not right. I'd tried to keep it brief as I knew it was going to be a long post but let me clarify as there are actually three farriers involved in this this tale!

              I first noticed it about a year ago. Horse was coming back into (light) work, was sound on his feet but I was noticing a very minor and intermittent uneveness in his gait when he went over firmer spots in the arena. I didn't think too much it at the time because it was minor and the horse was barefoot and stiff anyway.

              Here are some pics of his feet around that time. He was being trimmed by a barefoot trimmer (who I really liked).





              Then he started clobbering his heels and ending up with visible bruising which never seemed to go away.
              I don't know if he was doing it from work or in the paddock. I put bellboots on him during work as he does have a big-ish stride but it didn't make any difference.



              At this point he was still sound but he was being worked in sand and the ground was soft. He had a heel-first landing and seemed pretty sound, for an elderly horse with pigeon toes.

              Over the months since, the weather has dried out, the grass has gone, the ground is really hard and the work has increased. The intermittent unevenness turned into a more regular lameness. Riding him, walking him in hand, giving him time off, it didn't seem to matter, he was kinda lame. Not terribly, just clearly uncomfortable on his front feet. Wasn't running around the paddock anymore, walked everywhere instead. He was shuffly and had troubles turning around after being lead through a gate.

              His feet when trimmed were regularly showing blood growing out through the sole, not in the white line but in the bottom of the foot. trimmer said his feet were getting bruised and it was growing out.

              So I got a traditional farrier out to put some shoes on him to see if that'd improve things and try confirm whether the hard ground was an issue, but my horse was even more lame in the shoes! This farrier was a nice person but admittedly probably not a great farrier.

              So I took horse to the vet, had nerve blocks and xrays, confirmed heel pain but no major issues seen on xray, and was referred to a specialist farrier. vet confirmed she didn't like the work of the farrier who'd just shod my horse.

              specialist farrier looked at his feet, spoke to me about pigeon toes and how he's crushing his heels. not only that but he has long pasterns so when looking at his leg from the side, his weight doesnt drop down his leg into the back of his heels as they're not right underneath him. his long pasterns put his heels further forward a bit and even then, they're not strong heels.
              From looking at the front in walk, foot wasn't landing flat, horse would land the foot on the outside and then it'd rock inwards as the lateral balance was off.

              he pointed out how from the back, his heels are offering pretty much no support at all.


              I knew his feet were never going to be fully normal but he'd always been sound on them and they'd never been a big issue.... until he got old and the ground got hard.

              So new super farrier has trimmed him and shod him with straight bars, pads, silicone and heel extensions to bring the heels back where they would be if they weren't squished. Hopefully it'll give him support that his feet aren't currently giving him.
              Super farrier wanted to also put wedges on but his heels at that stage weren't correct enough and he wanted to give the foot a couple of months to see how it grows. His heels sort of keel over and get bent over so new farrier is hoping with his shoeing, they'll grow in straight (and stay that way) and then he can be wedged.

              I've just had the shoes re-set two weeks ago so am only about 6 weeks in with new farrier. horse was still lame so last week I took him back to vet to also get joint injections into the foot.
              This morning the horse looked pretty sound as he was running himself up and down the fence line which has hasn't done in probably a year, so that's a good sign that he's hopefully feeling better on his feet.

              So that's where we're at.
              I didn't put up any pics of the work the new farrier has done with the shoes as forums can be pretty brutal and I don't want him criticised. My vet and I think he's doing a great job.

              I'm mostly interested in how other people manage their horses with pigeon toes.

              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
              On pigeon toed horses, also look up the leg.
              Pigeon toes may be from a deviation of the leg column low, or higher up the leg.
              Those tend to reflect the stress and show articular changes, especially in the knees, that then reflect on how the hoof moves.
              Yeah his leg isn't entirely straight through the knee. I bought him at 11 and he was sound in his knees and on his crooked feet despite having done dressage for a long while so it was something I was willing to take the chance on.

              He has been sound on them so I don't regret buying him but yeah in hindsight I hadn't considered what comes after he stops doing dressage. I thought turning him into a trail riding horse would be a nice wind-down as he ages but it turns out that trail riding is HARDER on feet than dressage! I hadn't anticipated that.

              Originally posted by kande04 View Post
              All 4 of mine have some degree of pigeon toed conformation, but they're all barefoot and have been for a long time, and they all self trim to at least some degree so they balance their own hooves. If I do any trimming it's to the sole and collateral grooves, so no matter how asymmetrical the hoof looks I stick to the sole plane that they've developed.

              They're 15, 20, 25, and 28 and still sound.
              That's great to hear. Can I ask what breed they are and how much work they do? Are they all lightweight horses or more solid types?

              Originally posted by JB View Post
              The pigeon toes are less of an issue than the DC is. If he's lived and worked on soft footing all his life, that's the issue, not that he's got a leg deviation.

              So, I would also look to how your farrier might have changed how the foot is trimmed.

              Heel pain suggests long-term trimming to cause long toes and contracted heels. The current farrier has been shoeing this horse for a couple months - when did this lameness come on in relation to that?
              Can you condition a digital cushion? and if so, any ideas how long it takes? I had been trying by hand-walking him for 45 minutes to an hour a day out on the road but it didn't seem to make any difference.

              I don't think my trimmer changed the way they were trimming, the ground just got hard and the heels kind of keeled over. My horse *was* pretty fat though and he's a big horse to start with.
              Perhaps in hindsight I should have booted him instead of trying shoes but I think the boots would have had to stay on 24/7 while he was in the paddock.

              Comment


              • #8
                Did I miss somewhere that you have x-rays, that you know he is not having a bit of founder, some rotation in there, Cushing's starting, which at times first symptoms can be a horse on and off not quite right?

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                  Did I miss somewhere that you have x-rays, that you know he is not having a bit of founder, some rotation in there, Cushing's starting, which at times first symptoms can be a horse on and off not quite right?
                  Xrays were mentioned in the first post. He has age-related wear and tear, some small spurs on the front of the pastern bones and calcified sidebone but vet didn't feel they were related to the lameness. The nerve blocks were just to the heels and he came sound so the vet felt the other issues were probably not what was making him sore.
                  Found and rotation also ruled out, haven't had him tested for cushings.

                  I know I tend to waffle on a bit so it probably wasn't clear but I'm mostly interested to hear about your own horses, not necessarily an investigation of mine as I have full faith in my vet and farrier.

                  Things like how have you changed your management and expectations of your own pigeon toed horses? Did you just reduce their workload based around their own comfort or pursue regular injections and veterinary intervention to try and make them a bit sounder? Do you boot 24/7? Do you keep them on a particular type of surface? How have you gone about trying to condition your horse's digital cushion? Do you avoid lateral work and circles and just stick to straight lines now? Did you change disciplines entirely? etc etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chickenstuffer View Post

                    That's great to hear. Can I ask what breed they are and how much work they do? Are they all lightweight horses or more solid types?
                    15 year old Trakehner, just under 17 hands, medium build, with a RF club. I don't ride him hard, but he's a maniac in pasture and runs the fence on firm ground often enough to self trim for most of the summer. He's never been shod, so probably has well developed digital cushions.

                    20 year old medium size trail horse, bought recently. He probably did sporatic, relatively long walk trail rides at one time, but was then a pasture potato for at least 4 years before we got him. His hooves are much weaker than the Trak's, which is likely because he hasn't been pounding them on the hard ground for the last 15 years.

                    25 year old Halflinger mule with lousy conformation. Stocky, but less than 15 hands. He worked hard as a 3 year old for a brief time, didn't really start regular work until he was 8, and has worked regularly since. He's the most pigeon toed/base narrow of the four, and has a narrow, underdeveloped frog, as many mules do. I think the weak frog is because his hoof capsule is strong so the frog and digital cushion don't need to develop more, but I don't know that. He seems to be sound.

                    28 year old Halflinger mare, short and stocky. Some hard work, but a lot of pature potatoing, too. Good wide frogs in a solid round hoof, in spite of the fact that she doesn't work much compared to the others.


                    Can you condition a digital cushion? and if so, any ideas how long it takes? I had been trying by hand-walking him for 45 minutes to an hour a day out on the road but it didn't seem to make any difference.
                    The digital cushion continues to develop with stimulation, but I think it takes awhile. If you look at barefoot endurance horses the entire back of the hoof looks very different from heels that don't work as hard, and I think it's the strong digital cushion supporting a strong frog that makes them look that way. I've read blogs from endurance riders who have been conditioning their horses' hooves for years, and the hooves are still developing and getting stronger.



                    I don't think my trimmer changed the way they were trimming, the ground just got hard and the heels kind of keeled over. My horse *was* pretty fat though and he's a big horse to start with.
                    Perhaps in hindsight I should have booted him instead of trying shoes but I think the boots would have had to stay on 24/7 while he was in the paddock.
                    I think there are times that hooves just need to be left alone. Check out the facebook self trimming group to see how owners are trying to figure out when the horse is doing just fine on his own vs when they may need to intervene. I know that this time of year when my horses are doing a lot of self trimming (and running out of hoof) I don't touch their hooves because they need every bit of what they have. Not that it's easy to step back and let the hoof chip and get all ragged, but the more I can resist smoothing the edges the longer they'll go before they need boots.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What's the sole thickness? I think you're putting a lot more emphasis on the pigeon toes than is needed. The rear view doesn't show a deviation big enough *for me* to really think much about it.

                      Most horses don't land with both heels perfectly weight. Even a lot of perfectly straight legs and feet land slightly lateral heel first.

                      Without current pictures, any speculation on the current feet can't really be made.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think you are attributing the problems to the pidgeon toes, but I don't think that is the actual cause. Yes, your horse has weak heels, but overall they look to be reasonably healthy feet. You can see a lateral imbalance in the trim photos which at that time would have been causing the white hoof to land on the outside heel and quarter. Both the outside heel and the outside quarter are taller than the inside. Also, with a tweak to the way the heels were being trimmed at that time your trimmer could have also got the weight bearing area quite a bit further back and given a larger surface area to land on at the heel. This would have helped with strengthening the heels and digital cushion.

                        Digital cushion improves when the horse gets lots of movement on reasonably firm surfaces, with heel first or flat landings, but you also need a good balanced trim and a good flat and wide heel surface to land on. I think it is also a lot easier to develop digital cushion when barefoot or booted, because this allows the hoof to flex naturally during movement. It does take quite a while to build up.

                        I wouldn't be surprised if your horse is back to being sound again soon. I think you are just dealing mostly with weak heels (which could be improved with a change to the way they are trimmed) and some bruising and soreness from the hard ground. I truly doubt that your horse has any special needs arising from the pidgeon toes.
                        Last edited by Postandrails; Oct. 6, 2019, 04:27 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just to follow on about how the heel is trimmed, have a look at the picture Kande posted above and compare it to the pic you posted. See how the way the heel is trimmed in Kande's pic provides a large flat area at the heel for the hoof to land on, and how it would disperse the weight over a larger area? The walls and sole blend together into one large surface to land on. Also notice how the heel wall is angled back on a slope towards the widest part of the frog? This brings the weightbearing back as far as possible, and encourages strong and healthy heels.

                          It's a minor difference in how the hoof is trimmed, but it makes a big difference in developing strong heels. I'm sure that this has a lot more to do with your horse's weak heels and lack of digital cushion than the fact that he is pidgeon toed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Facebook group Hoof Rehab Help would be a great place to pose this question. You'll find valuable information about nutrition, trimming and exercise to help keep your wonderful old man comfortable. If you decide to join, please be sure to read the Announcements section and post the pics requested so you can get the best help.
                            Patience pays.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Postandrails View Post
                              Just to follow on about how the heel is trimmed, have a look at the picture Kande posted above and compare it to the pic you posted. See how the way the heel is trimmed in Kande's pic provides a large flat area at the heel for the hoof to land on, and how it would disperse the weight over a larger area? The walls and sole blend together into one large surface to land on. Also notice how the heel wall is angled back on a slope towards the widest part of the frog? This brings the weightbearing back as far as possible, and encourages strong and healthy heels.

                              It's a minor difference in how the hoof is trimmed, but it makes a big difference in developing strong heels. I'm sure that this has a lot more to do with your horse's weak heels and lack of digital cushion than the fact that he is pidgeon toed.
                              Sorry I didn't post more info on the hoof pic I posted. It's a pic of a horse who does 100 mile endurance rides barefoot. I posted it to show what a well developed heel looks like, but that kind of development isn't anything that comes from trimming, or even the perfect trim, because it takes a lot of miles, many of which are likely on hard ground, to get a hoof with that kind of a heel. It's not just a "long" heel, because unlike a weaker heel this hoof probably has a very well developed digital cushion underneath that normal looking frog.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had a pigeon toed horse before, and he never had any problems as a result of being pigeon toed. I kept him shod in the front, mostly due to his workload. I rode that horse on trails, competed over fences, and did unthinkable stupid acts as a somewhat unsupervised teen. Him being pigeon toed was never an issue. He paddled at the trot too.

                                I think there is more going on with your horse than just being pigeon toed, so it is crucial to have a good vet and farrier team that will work together. I agree with other posters that have mentioned it has more to do with a weak heel. When it comes to hoof issues, don't get discouraged if improvement is not instantaneous.

                                Your farrier could put new shoes on the horse, and you may not see improvement right away. These things can take time as proper growth is requiced. It takes (IME) 9-12 months for a hoof to grow out fully. Therefore changing the shape, load, balance, and strength of the hoof is not an overnight process. Yes, you can absolutely make the horse more comfortable, but a lot of it is a waiting game. I have a horse with a different hoof issue and it's getting better, but man it is slow going! Well, its appropriate speed but I'm impatient.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Sorry for the slow reply, other things in life crept in.. as they tend to do!
                                  I probably won't go find a specific barefoot forum or group as IME a fair percent of them tend towards extremism and I'm not really after the criticism about being a bad horse owner.

                                  My horse is 19 and his feet haven't been an issue for all of his life... until now. I/we can't pin-point exactly why. The biggest difference is that we're in drought now and the ground is rock hard. The other horses that aren't pigeon toed and don't have long pasterns are all sound on the hard ground, so I guess his feet just aren't coping on it. Perhaps all these years the soft ground has just made up for his lack of heel support and now that there's no more soft ground, the problem has become visible.

                                  His heels never really developed. Being barefoot has served him fine for many years of his life but right now it just isn't going to be for him I don't think. He would perhaps now develop better heels now that the ground is hard but he's lame enough to the point where I can't work him and he's lame in the paddock that he has to live in, so there's a catch 22 there unfortunately.

                                  The xrays showed no major physical problem within his feet that's causing the sore heels so the pain was put down to the fact that he just has no proper support from his heels.

                                  I'm happy to say that the medicating seems to have done the trick and he is sound!

                                  The end goal is to try and correct the heels while they're in shoes and re-assess his needs if they do grow out better. I don't think any vet, farrier or owner *wants* to keep a horse in fancy shoes longer than is necessary but it is what it is and I'm ok with that.

                                  Thanks for all your thoughts guys, it's been helpful to process my own thoughts!

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                                  • #18
                                    I can only tell you my experience with pigeon toed horses.

                                    Vinnie I didn't get a PPE, I was working in a place that supplied the farriers. I didn't really like either farrier but did not feel that I could set an example of not using a farrier that the place made the agisters use.

                                    When she went slightly lame I just blamed myself and brought her home. Where my own farrier who I 100% trust did her when I was not there.

                                    I rang him when I arrived home to ask what he had done as Vinnie was now so lame she could not make it across the paddock to annoy the horse on the other side being fed.

                                    He told me that she is pigeon toed but she was not being shod as a pigeon toed horse. She is lame. She will be lame but she will come good and she she will never be lame again. He was dead right.

                                    Fast forward a few decades and my boy is so not happy so I float him to my old farrier. He is not only pigeon toed on one hoof but the other one is a club foot. They have not been shoeing him as a pigeon toed horse but worse than that they were cutting his pigeon toed hoof back to match the club hoof. After 10 weeks there was not enough hoof there for him to cut.

                                    Fast forward and he is now sound whether my old farrier trims him or my hubby does. So how come hubby can trim him and him not be lame when professional farriers just made him and Vinnie lame?

                                    Worse than that we are all getting older and my old farrier has never had an apprentice so I feel this skill is going to be lost.
                                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by chickenstuffer View Post
                                      Sorry for the slow reply, other things in life crept in.. as they tend to do!
                                      I probably won't go find a specific barefoot forum or group as IME a fair percent of them tend towards extremism and I'm not really after the criticism about being a bad horse owner.
                                      Some are definitely better than others. The Hoofcare for Performance Horses group on FB is one of the better ones - the owner and most of the regulars don't take kindly to belitting or blaming and shaming.

                                      My horse is 19 and his feet haven't been an issue for all of his life... until now. I/we can't pin-point exactly why. The biggest difference is that we're in drought now and the ground is rock hard. The other horses that aren't pigeon toed and don't have long pasterns are all sound on the hard ground, so I guess his feet just aren't coping on it. Perhaps all these years the soft ground has just made up for his lack of heel support and now that there's no more soft ground, the problem has become visible.
                                      I still think you're placing a lot more "blame" on the pigeon toes. And honestly, it does not look like much of anything major,unless you have better pictures that show something more extreme.

                                      His heels never really developed. Being barefoot has served him fine for many years of his life but right now it just isn't going to be for him I don't think. He would perhaps now develop better heels now that the ground is hard but he's lame enough to the point where I can't work him and he's lame in the paddock that he has to live in, so there's a catch 22 there unfortunately.
                                      That's what boots are for, and there are so many options that include a varying degree of soft to harder pads to help stimulate the back of the foot. The same thing can be done with shoes, which may be a better option if he's not even comfortable in turnout, as boots aren't made (well) for long-term full-time use.

                                      The end goal is to try and correct the heels while they're in shoes and re-assess his needs if they do grow out better. I don't think any vet, farrier or owner *wants* to keep a horse in fancy shoes longer than is necessary but it is what it is and I'm ok with that.

                                      Thanks for all your thoughts guys, it's been helpful to process my own thoughts!
                                      It sounds like you have a plan, which is good. I'd still love to see good hoof pictures if you decide to do that
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                                      • #20
                                        I've got a 19 year old gelding with pigeon toes. I have had him since he was 6. He was used for trail until blindness and an accident caused me to retire him about 5 years ago. We have had on and off soundness issues almost the entire time I have had him, but I no longer believe them to be related to his conformation. About 10 years ago, he had some decent of P3 due to some diet issues (we all learn as we go, no shame there). We also fought with a negative palmar angle which I thought was related to his conformation for a long time, but its not.

                                        I read your concerns about the extremist views in some of the hoof-care groups, but I can tell you that following advice given by people that are following Pete Ramey's direction have been tremendously beneficial for my horse.

                                        I changed some management things in the last year or so. He's getting grass hay (fed via a round-bale with a slow feed hay net) and Purina Strategy Healthy Edge. I started to supplement with California Trace, Vitamin E and Remission. He has been barefoot for years. I increased his trim schedule (I trim his feet) from every 6-8 weeks to every 4 weeks religiously and have made a point to keep that toe back and beveled for better break-over. I booted him last winter when the ground froze and made him tender.

                                        I also used to keep him in a pen by himself. I have since turned him out with my other horses - even though they chase him around a little.

                                        Movement, upping the trim schedule, keeping those toes SHORT and the addition of the supplements have been incredibly beneficial. I also treat for thrush regularly.

                                        His frogs are finally well developed, he has developed healthy heels- his feet are in better condition than they have been the entire time I have owned him. He is developing concavity to his foot. Also, most importantly, he has more freedom of movement than I have seen from him in years - he trots and canters and plays!. My vet believes him sound enough to ride - though the blindness makes me nervous.

                                        No doubt there are some wear-and-tear issues that the pigeon toed guys can have, my point is that there some management things you can do to help. Short toes, frequent trims, and excellent nutrition all go a very long way and may improve things for your guy like they have for mine.

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