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*small update* New farrier and now a lame horse, what to do now?

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  • *small update* New farrier and now a lame horse, what to do now?

    So I tried a new to me farrier at the recommendation of my vet. I loved my old one but he was so flaky and doesn't want come to the barn I'm at now. So here I am. Horse is slightly off at trot, 3 days after being shod. Each day, slightly worse although it's not severe yet. Farrier is of course coming back out to check on things, not sure if it's a close nail or what. I am not sure if I'm happy with the job but I'm far from an expert with feet. And he was kind of neglected foot wise when I got him (he was at 12 or 14 weeks when I bought him.)

    Not how you want to start things with a new farrier! On one hand, we are all human and things just go wrong. I'm thinking of seeing if we can fix this issue and then see how the next few trims go? Or should I find a new farrier now?

    I like the guy, he's very nice, my horse liked him, easy to communicate with, willing to work with vets and happy to come back out and see what's going on. But now my horse is lame...

    Vet comes out on Wednesday for something else but we will be taking x-rays of the front feet too. Farrier comes back out today to try and see what's going on.

    Trying new farriers is stressful. I went through this years ago when my farrier retired. But I never had a lame horse. Just had to find the right one.
    Last edited by Lunabear1988; Feb. 15, 2020, 04:05 PM.

  • #2
    Unless there is something glaringly wrong with what he has done, I would definitely give him a chance. Everything else about him seems great. One trim and shoeing on a new horse with neglected feet is not enough to make a judgement on. Leaving the horse sore is always really unfortunate but he is happy to come back and try to rectify, so not a red flag to me yet.


    • Original Poster

      I hope it's just a close nail or something. He's a Thoroughbred too and of course they aren't the easiest foot wise. Fingers crossed we get him right again. I do like the guy overall so would be nice to work this out. We will see...


      • #4
        Is there heat anywhere? Have you put hoof testers on him? I've had two experience similar to this - one the horse I think just tweaked something in his pastern/fetlock in the pasture. I think this was unrelated to the farrier, just bad timing, but we had just switched from bar shoes to plain shoes with snowpads and borium. Could have contributed, I don't know.

        The other was a frustratingly vague presentation of a heel abscess. It took at least 3 days of the horse being slightly off before he became noticeably more off and any warmth was present. He stocks up at the drop of a hat, so it was totally unclear whether the foot or something higher up was a problem at first. That was not so close to the farrier visit as yours, but since he's getting worse every day, that would be my first guess.

        If your horse's feet are a work in progress, I would expect some road bumps with occasional NQR-ness. Which is to say, don't fire the farrier or assume the worst yet.


        • #5
          If you like this farrier and want to make it work, consider having him team up with your vet and have pre- and post-trim x-rays taken so he has an idea of exactly what's going on under that hoof capsule. I mention this as a fellow extremely difficult-footed TB owner, so I feel your pain.


          • #6
            I would take some good photos of the feet so that you have something to refer back to when monitoring how things are going over time with any new farrier.


            • Original Poster

              strangewings no heat or swelling. Lameness is probably a 2 or 3 on the lameness scale.

              To be fair, my horse does have one foot that wants to be slightly clubby imo. Now the PPE vet I used (not my regular vet) thought it was not clubby, that the other foot was just more underrun.

              I texted my regular vet (who hasn't seen horse in person yet and recommended this farrier) and she said it looks like a low grade club. And I agree. I unfortunately don't have before pictures (except for a few months ago) and it looks more clubby now than ever. The new farrier was very complimentary of the previous farriers work and didn't mention any special needs or anything for my horse. Of course, I can't blame this farrier for issues that clearly were in there to begin with. I'm just concerned that he somehow looks more clubby after this trim. And I had a chiropractor (also a vet) out afterwards and she was very curious why there was still a lot of flairing on his hind feet after being trimmed. She did say maybe it was a work in progress but something to keep an eye on for sure.

              We will hooftest today. And then x-ray on Wednesday.
              EverElite I'll definitely consider doing an x-ray before and after next time. I thought we were on the right track before. But maybe the farrier will get him right today and all will be well! Fingers crossed!!


              • Original Poster

                Postandrails yes, I really regret not having more photos now. I'll definitely be on top of that from now on.


                • Original Poster

                  It has been very snowy and icy here. So one thought was maybe he needs a snow pad and that this is all confidential to the new farrier. I think I will give him another try but I'll definitely be watching closely. And x-rays should help make things easier to know what's going on.


                  • #10
                    I have a horse with club foot, he's barefoot, and unless he's worn the toe back on the club it's very hard to tell from looking at both hooves on the ground that he has a club. But if I look at the bottoms of both hooves it's obvious that they're not the same.

                    If I put shoes on him and then compared both hooves shortly after shoeing I think it might be even more difficult to tell that he has a club, but if I left the shoes on for 12 to 14 weeks I'm pretty sure that it would be very obvious that one was a club.


                    • Original Poster

                      kande04 my concern is somehow my horse looks more clubby after his lasted trim. Or maybe I'm seeing it wrong. The angles just look off though.

                      He's now on a 6 week schedule. If I understand what you are saying and I agree, he should look better than when he was going 12 to 14 weeks. Or maybe this is still residual from that?

                      Feet aren't my area 😣


                      • #12
                        My horse was doing a lot of self trimming last year (running the fence) and he trimmed his club much shorter than I trim it, and as a result I was seeing what some call a "stumpy" hoof. It was pretty dramatic because I've had him for 15 years and I've never seen the club look like that before. In fact, it was the first time in 15 years that his fronts have looked significantly different from each other when looking at them on the ground.

                        So your farrier may have just trimmed both hooves correctly (didn't try to make them match), which is why they look less symmetrical now?

                        That wouldn't explain him being off, though. That could be a hot nail, or maybe his soles just got so thin from being so far up off the ground that when they came back down closer to the ground they bruised? Or maybe the farrier trimmed out too much sole? I'll be interested to hear what they find.


                        • #13
                          Wait. Don’t panic. And your chiropractor needs to realize that things progress in baby steps when resurrecting neglected feet. Little bit at a time. May take a few cycles to eliminate all the flare.

                          This does sound like a nail and those typically go into an abscess in horses whose feet have been neglected. One of the only supplements I recommend is a good hoof supplement, double the dose the first few months. That will stimulate growth and create a healthy hoof over the next year...but it does take most of a year to really grow and correctly trim a new hoof. And don’t try to go cheap on a hoof supplement, the best ones really are better and once the new growth gets established you can reduce the amount or even eliminate it if the diet is adequate,

                          Must say, the fact this farrier was complimentary of previous work was refreshing, most are anything but that. It’s a good way to make the human feel more positive and comfortable about their new horse. Even if not completely true and your firmer farrier wasn’t doing you any good if they weren’t able to stay on schedule and the former owner worsening any condition considerably by neglecting regular hoof care.

                          Anyway, see what farrier says and have vet take the x rays, find out what you are really working with.

                          And stay informed. Don’t assume anything. Including if this is the right farrier or not but it’s going to take several cycles to really find out and see real progress.

                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • Original Poster

                            findeight trying to not panic! Ha ha!

                            He's only been done 3 times since I've owned him, always at 6 weeks. It was with previous owner that he was at 12 plus weeks. But I know it'll definitely take time. Just a bummer that he was sound and now he's not. But could be multiple things going on. A close nail maybe or all the awful ice and snow right now. I do really like this farrier so hopefully we can make it work and get towards a sound horse again.


                            • Original Poster

                              Update: I'll try not to botch this. Farrier came back out. He said he wondered if he lowered the left side of the left front too much, maybe misaligned the coffin bone. My horse was reactive on his left side of his heel (just the left side, not the whole heel.) So he put a bar shoe and floated the heel there. Farrier definitely thinks conformation is at play though.

                              Horse is still not sound. Farrier wants radiographs (which are happening on Wednesday) and said he'd come back out to change anything.

                              Super nice guy, hope we can get my horse sound again.


                              • #16
                                If he’s 3/5 lame and positive to hoof testers or palpation on the heel it could be an abscess. Or a bad bruise due to the ice.


                                • Original Poster

                                  IPEsq he was confident that it wasn't an abscess. But I hope you are right! Wasn't so much the heel though, just left side of hoof.

                                  This ice isn't helping though. I'm hoping it's that but I have the vet scheduled already so getting x-rays either way.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I know I said heel and that's what he was saying but when he was putting pointing to where it was sensitive, wasn't the heel , more middle hoof on left side if that makes sense. But I'll be watching (and kind of hoping) for an abscess or bruise.

                                    He thought he threw everything off though by maybe being slightly too aggressive.


                                    • #19
                                      Is this a new horse? Have you had him shod before? Do you know he is sound normally?


                                      • #20
                                        Yuk, I do hate farrier changes. This situation may be fixable but sometimes the farrier just doesn’t work out. I’d see what your vet has to say and get some other names.