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Uneven shaped front hooves - pictures - opinion on shoeing?

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  • Uneven shaped front hooves - pictures - opinion on shoeing?

    My 11 year old gelding has two differently shaped front hooves. One is much flatter than the other. He has been shod by the same farrier since he was three, and has had no unsoundness till this past June when he tore his left front DDFT high up below the knee - did it tripping badly over a tree root.

    Rehab has gone well - shock wave; months of handwalking; no turnout, and he is now trotting under saddle, but has not started to canter.

    Prior to the injury, he was an all-rounder - trail rides, dressage for groundwork, jumping 2ft 6".

    I'd be interested to hear feedback on how his feet look. He is on a 6 week shoeing schedule, and these pictures were taken mid-schedule.

    Last edited by Sunnydixie; Dec. 21, 2010, 12:01 PM. Reason: Clarification

  • #2
    How long has it been since he's been reset? It's hard to tell from the angle of the pictures (you should set the camera on the ground and directly from the side when you take pictures of the feet), but what immediately stands out to me is that he's got too much foot. Back up that toe!
    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!"


    • #3
      Wow! That's a big, long foot! Whew! Been sound all this time, huh?


      I'd be taking shoes off, and trimming every three weeks or so (as foot tells me to) to get that toe and heel back to functioning on the ground.
      "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.


      • #4
        I agree with the first 2 posters - a low heel/long toe foot is not optimal for long-term soundness.

        My Anglo/Arab mare (coming 12) has the same type of front foot conformation. She has been barefoot her whole life. When she eats, she places one foot forward and the other back, like foals often do. It's always the same foot in the same spot. I believe this has contributed to the fronts growing into the shapes they are. Keeping her toes backed up and her heels low and even has helped minimize the difference and she is and always has been sound. More frequent trimming is the key (IMO) and I do touch the toes up if they get longish before she has a full trim.


        • Original Poster

          These pics were taken three weeks after the shoes were last reset/hooves trimmed.
          The right/white front hoof has always looked flatter and longer to me than the other one.
          After the tendon injury, my farrier - on vet instructions - rolled the toes on the fronts, and extended the ends of the shoes to give more support to the heels.


          • #6
            Again, given the angle of the photos it's hard to tell. But it does look as tho' the toes have been allowed to go forward and the heels are underrun.

            Think of it as though you were wearing shoes that had heels that were close to the arch of your foot and toes that extended past the front of your foot. The shape of the hooves puts a lot of strain on the legs as the horse moves.

            It's not uncommon for horses to have one slightly more upright hoof and the other more pancake shaped, but in general the farrier should not accentuate that difference when he trims and shoes (unless he has a really, really good reason for doing so).

            You might want to have another farrier in for a consultation.
            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


            • #7
              Originally posted by Posting Trot View Post
              It's not uncommon for horses to have one slightly more upright hoof and the other more pancake shaped, but in general the farrier should not accentuate that difference when he trims and shoes (unless he has a really, really good reason for doing so).
              I agree; my TB mare is built like this and my farrier said it is not uncommon at all. When I got her, she had been neglected for quite some time, and it took nearly a year for him to get them to a shape he was happy with (without making her sore in the process). His goal at the end of each trim/shoeing [now] is for them to have identical, or nearly identical angles and be similar in size. For a while his goal was to get them closer and closer to being the same.

              You may need to shorten the interval between shoeing to keep the angles the same; if my mare goes more than 6 weeks you can see the difference in her feet. But at 3 weeks they should still look pretty identical.

              Hope some hoof experts can chime in to help out.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the input. I will try to take a couple of better angle pictures - lower to the ground.


                • #9
                  I think you shouldn't expect anyone to give a fair evaluation of a shoeing job from pictures that were not taken immediately after the horse was shod. But I have something good to say about this one. The heels are well covered by the shoes and the shoes have been well shaped and fit with thought and skill not just pulled out of the box and nailed on the feet.

                  Beyond that, anybody that has something to say about how this job could have been done different or better, put up some pictures of your own shoeing first so we can see how you do it.


                  • #10
                    I don't shoe... but I can say the shoe looks properly made and nailed on the hoof.

                    Not in agreement with the prep of the hoof.
                    Charlie Piccione
                    Natural Performance Hoof Care


                    • #11
                      Yeah, really poor job. These feet are way too long, and the heel is underrun and the toe is ... is... wow, way out there. Also, the toe is uber long. Did I say that? I meant to say, wow, is that foot long. Time for a new farrier.
                      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                      • #12
                        From what I have read and learned it is actually very bad to try to match feet that are truly BUILT differently (not just trimmed unevenly). The bones and such in that foot and leg are conformed for that shape of foot and changing it will actually strain the horse more. The farriers and stuff on this board would be far better at explaining this than me.


                        • #13
                          Many horses I have seen have different shaped feet; some more than others. I was told that often if the shapes are really different it may indicate the horse could be weighting one hoof more than the other.

                          One of my horses has a club-ish hoof which takes a much different form than the other. Farriers can only do so much.

                          From the photos your horses hoof does look long but like others have said this was not right after the farrier work. Have you had xrays or the vet review the farrier work? That may help with some direction as to what needs to be done.

                          PS - I have never been a fan of front toe clips. I prefer side clips if clips are needed....
                          Last edited by doublesstable; Jan. 10, 2013, 01:35 PM.
                          Live in the sunshine.
                          Swim in the sea.
                          Drink the wild air.


                          • #14
                            I see plenty of heel, its just growing in the wrong direction.
                            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                            • #15
                              WTF?? This thread is like 2 years old.
                              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!"


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BoyleHeightsKid View Post
                                WTF?? This thread is like 2 years old.
                                That has been happening a lot lately.


                                • #17
                                  I'm not a vet, I'm not a farrier, and I'm not commenting specifically on your horse. In my experience, truly honestly mismatched feet usually come from some sort of other problem - it's not just the feet, there's something that's causing them to move just the tiniest bit unevenly and the feet reshape to expose the problem. You may not even see it as lameness. We get many (most?) of our horses in therapeutic riding with crazy mismatched feet, and our awesome farrier does what he can and sometimes we just have to say "Dobbin is serviceably sound this way, this is the best we can do."

                                  (but your horse's feet look a lot different from ours and I might investigate that first. Radiographs can be handy for a lot of things.)


                                  • #18
                                    To me his toes look too long, heels to low. I prefer a more upright foot. No two feet are ever alike.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by BoyleHeightsKid View Post
                                      WTF?? This thread is like 2 years old.
                                      oooohhhhhfffff LOL - I usually check expiration dates before I post. SOOOO FUNNY... from 2010 - Tom did it

                                      But to be fair; she never did post new pictures. I wonder if she will now ha ha ha....
                                      Live in the sunshine.
                                      Swim in the sea.
                                      Drink the wild air.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by doublesstable View Post
                                        But to be fair; she never did post new pictures. I wonder if she will now ha ha ha....
                                        Last active was January of 2012 so not likely. Though I am interested in seeing too. Hopefully she gets an email notification that there is activity in her thread and posts.