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Hoof cracks - with pics

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  • Hoof cracks - with pics

    Hey guys-

    Hoping to get some advice/ideas for my friend and her mare. Mare is a draft cross approx 7 years old, approx 15.2 hands and "sturdy". She has always been sound over the last year my friend has owned her, and her feet did not have cracks when she first bought her.

    Mare came with shoes and very, very short feet. Her feet were also very narrow/up and down, and they have since expanded out a little. Overall her feet are in better overall condition then they were a year ago, other than the cracks.

    The problem: she has developed cracks in her feet, her right hind being the worst with bilateral cracks on the outside of the hoof. Again, shes sound, and the one on the inside is becoming deeper and less superficial. The farrier also has dug out the cracks.

    Let me know if there is another picture angle to take - i don't feel like the cracks really show up well with the flash.

    Right Front
    Right Front
    Right Front

    Fronts Side View
    Fronts Front View

    Right Hind
    Right Hind
    Right Hind outside side view
    Right Hind front view
    Right hind inside side view

    Left Front
    Left Front Side View
    Left Front Front View

    Left Hind
    Left Hind side view outside


    Hinds
    Hinds Side
    Hinds Back

    How would you go about fixing this? Shoes? Patches? Trimmed differently? This mare was just trimmed a week ago, and has been on a 4 week trim cycle since friend has owned her. Thoughts and opinions welcome Friend is currently seeking a new farrier, also.

  • #2
    my heavens you are brave.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      haha or just stupid

      Basically farrier didn't give her an answer as to "What should we do to fix this"....

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't like her trim at all, but I don't really know enough to say why... Shouldn't there be some heel?

        Comment


        • #5
          A new farrier is a good idea.

          The fronts are too square. That's why those are cracking. You can see the flares on all the feet from the front and from the sole views, by the white line separation. Walls need to be rolled back to stop the flare and stop the cracking.

          In my very limited experience, I'd say it should be a simple fix, although it'll take a long time for everything to grow out.

          I truly hope your friend didn't pay very much for this trim.
          Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
          Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
          VW sucks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Admit I didnt look at all the pictures but it is quite clear if that is 1 week after a trim mare needs a farrier that is not afraid to actually trim.

            looked at a few more pics and uh basically the cracks are the hoof trying to remove what the farrier should have removed about 4 weeks ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't see anything horrible other than a foot that needs trimmed. Her hoof wall seems long for a foot that was trimmed a week ago. When the hoof wall gets too long on a bare foot, it will start to self trim. That's all I see going on here.

              The fronts look square because she's wearing them that way.
              Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
              Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
              "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

              Comment


              • #8
                She needs regular trimming. Also looks like shoeing and in particular heel support might help with her foot form conformational difficulties.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the record

                  Did the OP mention that it's Upstate NY and that we've had pretty much solid rain for weeks on end? The water is what is causing the cracks in so many horses in this area. It's everywhere, under pretty much every farrier. Did the OP mention that the mare is turned out, (like a horse should be), and therefore is standing in mud all day, (which is unavoidable)? That will certainly make a crack worse. Or what if the mare has poor conformation? That would also strain the hooves more and will contribute to the cracks. I know this farrier and he does fabulous work. I can show you hundreds of photos that contradict the OPs. He's made unsound horses sound, improved conformationally incorrect youngsters and has more compassion for the animals than most horse owners I know. This farrier is held in high regard by many of the TOP professionals, (vets, trainers, etc), and has earned it. He OFTEN asks people 'what should we do about this?' It's his way of keeping horse owners involved and trying to educate them about their horses feet. If an owner says 'I don't know', he'll give you a couple of ideas and explain the pros and cons. If the owner gives an answer, he'll take it into consideration and may agree, may put a different spin on it, or explain why it wouldn't work.
                  I could rant for hours, maybe days. This farrier is excellent and he deserves more respect than someone posting on behalf of the horse owner on something that they probably weren't even involved in from start to finish. He has worked miracles for many horses and this area is LUCKY to have him here.
                  'To do something common, uncommonly well, brings success' -HJH
                  'Shealinator'- My Saratoga/ Finger Lakes Finest

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    She needs to shorten the trim cycle. My draft cross has almost identical hooves and if I don't trim every 3 weeks during the warm weather and every 4 (maaaaaybe) 5 during the cool months, they'd look the same.

                    They need a strong bevel all the way around, the heels should come back a bit and down. Lastly the bars need to be trimmed.

                    So it's nothing horrible or unfixable... just needs to be addressed more frequently and diligently.
                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by LoveMyPonies View Post
                      Did the OP mention that it's Upstate NY and that we've had pretty much solid rain for weeks on end? The water is what is causing the cracks in so many horses in this area. It's everywhere, under pretty much every farrier. Did the OP mention that the mare is turned out, (like a horse should be), and therefore is standing in mud all day, (which is unavoidable)? That will certainly make a crack worse. Or what if the mare has poor conformation? That would also strain the hooves more and will contribute to the cracks. I know this farrier and he does fabulous work. I can show you hundreds of photos that contradict the OPs. He's made unsound horses sound, improved conformationally incorrect youngsters and has more compassion for the animals than most horse owners I know. This farrier is held in high regard by many of the TOP professionals, (vets, trainers, etc), and has earned it. He OFTEN asks people 'what should we do about this?' It's his way of keeping horse owners involved and trying to educate them about their horses feet. If an owner says 'I don't know', he'll give you a couple of ideas and explain the pros and cons. If the owner gives an answer, he'll take it into consideration and may agree, may put a different spin on it, or explain why it wouldn't work.
                      I could rant for hours, maybe days. This farrier is excellent and he deserves more respect than someone posting on behalf of the horse owner on something that they probably weren't even involved in from start to finish. He has worked miracles for many horses and this area is LUCKY to have him here.
                      Wow.. Calm down. This really wasn't to pick on a farrier, I didn't mention names. This didn't happen overnight, in the last week, or the last month. This has been ongoing since 6? or so months and its getting WORSE. The last appt I was standing there when she asked "I'm really very worried about her right hind especially, its getting worse. What can we do to fix this". Where he replied "I don't know I'll have to get back to you" and also eluded to not knowing how to trim a draft horse. Not the first time shes said "I'm really worried about that right hind".

                      Really, all we wanted was some opinions to discuss with the next farrier and what to expect. She would like to sell the mare next year or the year after, and does not want to spend another year doing the wrong thing.

                      Just because you have a vendetta against ME doesn't mean I'M out to get everyone lol.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by amastrike View Post
                        A new farrier is a good idea.

                        The fronts are too square. That's why those are cracking. You can see the flares on all the feet from the front and from the sole views, by the white line separation. Walls need to be rolled back to stop the flare and stop the cracking.
                        I agree and was going to write everything here....Was this shortly after a trim? It looks like about 6 weeks growth at my farm. She is really flared and the toe is wearing weird and square. I have a QH mare that does that, and I really have to watch those side walls/quarters flaring and keep her foot shape round, or she gets superficial toe cracks.

                        I believe drafts generally have 'shorter' hoof walls. Is this farrier leaving so much hoof wall below to try to make up for that? The trim should be based on what the foot NEEDS, not some look someone is going for. This girl has long walls, running heels, and tall bars, in my limited estimation.
                        "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The areas that need the most attention are those which are causing excessive leverage to the wall upon weight bearing. I marked them here:
                          http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...hoofcracks.jpg

                          You can see that the hairline is jammed up right over the 'squared' portion of the hoof. I marked the jamming with arrows and circled the results of the imbalances (flare on left side in photo; crack on right side in photo). The toe quarters need to be relieved with a good M/L balancing (side to side).

                          A good shaping of the toe quarters will help the hoof restore to its full health and prevent new cracks from forming as the hoof grows.

                          All in all, the quality of horn doesn't appear bad and the solar view of the hoof doesn't look all that bad -- just in need of a trim. The frog looks healthy and the heel bulbs look to be in pretty uniform shape so the hoof is well-balanced in the heels. The heels don't appear to be too long and are back where they 'belong'.

                          The bars could use some clean up as the overlaid provides nice little nooks and crannies for gravel and dirt to become trapped. They also are providing a little niche for thrush and/or yeast to set up house. So I'd clean those up.

                          I'd just address those toe quarters as they are the root to the cracks.
                          --Gwen <><
                          "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                          http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            caballus, I too thought there was some major distortion of the hairline when viewing from the front, but I think it's clear from the lateral view it's a figment of the hair, not the coronet band

                            Not that there isn't ANY distortion, but I don't at all think it's anywhere close to what appears in the front view of the hair
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JB View Post
                              caballus, I too thought there was some major distortion of the hairline when viewing from the front, but I think it's clear from the lateral view it's a figment of the hair, not the coronet band

                              Not that there isn't ANY distortion, but I don't at all think it's anywhere close to what appears in the front view of the hair
                              Regardless of what you or I see in the photo, the cracks and the flare let us know that there are, indeed, imbalances and inordinate leverages that need to be addressed.
                              --Gwen <><
                              "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                              http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                LoveMyPonies, I'm in WNY too. My horses live outdoors too. They stand in mud too. Know how many cracks they have? Zero. So no, saying the horse's living conditions explain away the cracks is not acceptable. I trim my own horses' feet, and we have no cracks. (Which is not to say we don't have our own set of issues, but cracks are not among them.)
                                Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                VW sucks.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I see feet that have not been adequately trimmed. Even if these pics were at 4 weeks from the last trim, that looks like a 7 or 8 week foot in soft ground. Something to bear in mind is a short foot is a healthier foot. By short I mean the hoofwall kept down near the level of the sole. The more hoofwall that is present extending beyond the sole , the more distortion will form in the hoof.
                                  The heels need the most trimming. ...The foot does not need NOT more heel, it needs LESS heel. The LONG heels are running forward, making it LOOK like the horse has low heels when in fact it has LONG heels. The ends of the heels running forward push the rest of the hoof wall around, directly causing the flares and cracks.

                                  The toes need rolling at least back to the edge of the sole. The hoofwall that has to load on the ground is getting pried forward with every step, causing the toe cracks. In the case of the RF particularly the toe is the most distorted and I would roll it a little bit on the bottom to about 1" in front of the tip of the frog. In the picture You can see there is a subtle rise or "hump" in the sole that is shaped like around the edge of the cofffin bone in that foot at that place, (it's shiner and darker in the picture) and that is where the toe would roll itself naturally IF the foot was living in hard dry ground and self worn adequately. That is the so called "sole callus' and where the foot would roll the toe if it could. The length (horizontally not vertically) from the frog to the end of the foot is causing leverage at the toe and what is keeping the toe cracked.

                                  I doubt asking this farrier to mke changes will be effective because correcting these issues is a little different than just taking off hoofwall at the bottom of the foot evenly all around. If the farrier is not familiar with these principles it is doubtful he or she can apply them safely.
                                  Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                                  Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                                  www.hoofcareonline.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by caballus View Post
                                    Regardless of what you or I see in the photo, the cracks and the flare let us know that there are, indeed, imbalances and inordinate leverages that need to be addressed.
                                    Oh, I don't disagree one bit
                                    ______________________________
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      There is lots of foot to trim here. Shortening the cycle and taking the trim a bit shorter would most likely fix this without too much trouble.

                                      And standing outside in mud and water does NOT cause cracks. We had a record breaking year for rainfall here and I did not see any increase in cracks on my horses, or any of the ones I trim for other people. Soft, soggy soles and abscesses? Yes absolutely. But not cracks.

                                      If this trim is only a week old, I would have a heart-to-heart with this farrier and let him know that you need the feet actually TRIMMED during the appointment. If he's not willing to comply, I would try to find someone else.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        LoveMyPonies,

                                        I'm in the UK... We have rain, mud, rain, mud and then for the past 4 days snow and mud. Mine are outside and did I mention that we've got mud.

                                        Thankfully you're wrong about water. Water does NOT cause cracks in horses feet. If it did then every horse in the UK would have feet like crazy paving from about September to June.

                                        As it is I've never had a crack in a horse's feet in more than 60 years of ownership.

                                        I'll give you that once a crack has formed and because of the likes of infrequent or poor hoof care maintenance, bad farriery then the crack is going to get filled with mud and dirt if the horse is standing in mud and it's likely to get worse over time.

                                        I don't know what the trimming cycle is but it looks to me like it needs shortening at least.

                                        Comment

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