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heavy on forehand = sore front hooves??

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  • heavy on forehand = sore front hooves??

    OK, pardon the type-os, since my A key only works when it feels like it.

    I recently shod my QH mre in Eponas, same shoes she's been using off and on for lmost a year. I hve been using them with plian plastic pads nd the impression mterial, niled, not glued.

    This time I used Vibram pads instead of the plastic, as the plastic seemed too slick to work terribly well with the plastic shoe. The Vibram pads aare *mybe* 1/8" thicker, probbly more like 1/16".

    Wouldn't you know it, but suddenly the mare can collect the canter all drned day. Simple changes re much better, half pass much improved, nd I've even hd a bit of trouble sitting her trot because her movement hs gotten bigger. This mare is normlly very easy to sit, even when she's stiff. The pds re the only recent chnge.

    So does it stnd to reson tht maybe her front hooves were sore nd thus why she wsn't able to collect s much or s esily? Or just pure coincidence? She's not gotten more fit, s she hd bout 5 months off this summer/fll, nd is relly only recently picking the work back up. Before her break, when she should have been MORE fit, she struggled more with the collection than she does now.

    This thought has been running through my mind for a while now, and it just makes no sense to me why the front hooves being a touch sore would make shifting weight to the hinds more difficult. Especilly since she ws lredy in plstic shoes with pds nd impression mteril.

    Cookie if you were ble to piece this together.

  • #2
    I am sorry, I can't really add any insight but I do recall that Steffen Peters made a very interesting comments at the clinic I saw him at. He said that many horses that are heavy on the forehand end up having lameness issues on the front legs such as navicular.
    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
      So does it stnd to reson tht maybe her front hooves were sore nd thus why she wsn't able to collect s much or s esily?
      Are/were all 4 feet in Eponas and the new/old pads?

      If so, what you say wouldn't make sense - I would think front feet being sore would at least give an illusion of being lighter in front (ie more 'collected"?) as she would seek to lessen the weight on them.

      I was thinking from your title that indeed, a horse who was heavy on the front end, slapping the front feet down,could end up with sore front feet. But based on your situation described, I don't see how sore front feet would have made her heavy/heavier on her forehand

      Now, if these shoes and pads are on the hinds as well, I could EASILY see sore hind feet making collection harder

      Cookie if you were ble to piece this together.
      Chocolate chip please
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • Original Poster

        Bre behind. I shod her in front minly for the height boost, since she's *slightly* downhill. But the new pds re only bout 1/16" thicker, so relly negligble.

        Interesting bout tht comment from Steffen. I KNOW she doesn't hve nviculr, becuse we did think she might mybe 2 yers bck. Vet did xrys of the fronts nd they looked perfect. Turned out to just be hoof bruising from the grvel drivewy nd lots of wet ground in her turnout.

        She did hve lminitis bck in October from getting into my neighbor's feed room (he ws letting us use some psture, nd he forgot to put the lid bck on the feed, and I ws t WEG). She ws slightly off for bout 2 weeks, but tht ws it. She's been sound since then. But she's 20 now, so who knows.


        • #5
          I have generally found, over the years, that when a horse is heavy on their forehand, they are uncomfortable behind. That is where I look, first, to address the issues. Fixing the front end- alone- is a bandaid. You'll be back to square one sooner than later.
          When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


          • #6
            My take - Vibram pads are heavier than plastic, the slight variation in thickness aside. Added weight to the front end can make a huge difference in movement, either for the good or bad. Only takes an ounce or less sometimes to make that huge change.
            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

            Member: Incredible Invisbles


            • #7
              In my experience, being sore in the front will make the stride shorter and choppier, not really heavier. With a recent bout of laminitis, this would make sense to me.

              If the shoeing change has made her more comfortable, this would explain the improvement in her movement overall and your impression that she's better able to collect, to the extent that collection is possible with her conformation and level of training/fitness.


              • Original Poster

                I should mention tht she did hve lmeness exm bout yer go, nd the vet sid her hocks nd stifles re gret. She might possibly hve been touch sore in the SI region, but I ended up tking her to good chiro/cupuncture guy, nd ll of the issues she ws hving went wy immeditely. t the time the only issue ws keeping the right led cnter, which she hs no trouble with now. So I would doubt her hind end is giving her issues, though she is bit stright behind. Not hlter-horse stright, just little more thn idel.

                It could be the weight, though I noticed no difference between the shoes lone nd the plstic pds? Mybe the plstic pds just didn't weigh enough to mke ny difference. I relly only used them to keep the pcking in plce.


                • #9
                  As I said, it doesn't take a lot of weight - plastic pads just weigh grams and vibram weighs much heavier. By way of example, Wall Kicker would his his knees in steel shoes, and just miss them in aluminums and not come close barefoot, so just the difference in weight between steel and aluminum made the flight path of his front feet low enough he wouldnt whack his knees.

                  As to your missing A - pry off the key and see what is under it. Here, the culpit is cat hair. I have a non-functional two on the number pad and I am sure it is full of cat hair again!!LOL
                  Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                  Member: Incredible Invisbles


                  • Original Poster

                    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!! I have AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA's again!!


                    • #11
                      At least one problem solved. What did you find under it??
                      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                      Member: Incredible Invisbles


                      • #12
                        I agree with ASB Stars.In my experience a horse heavy on the forehand usually has soreness on the hind end.You mentioned that the horse was immediately better after chiro/accupuncture work.You will probably need to do regular treatments to maintain your horse's comfort.It sounds like the problem is in the back area. Although it seems that ,separate of that ,the bout of laminitis may be your issue here.The slight rise in the pads or using softer pads may have made your horse more comfortable and able to move better or the rise in the front end helped your horse to shift her weight to her hind end enabling her to be more collected.
                        Natural Horse Health Care, including Holistic Equine Health Products, Supplements & Alternative Therapies.


                        • #13
                          I do know that when my mare had sore front hooves, she would get heavier on the forehand. She's a big TB with a massive shoulder and though not built downhill, she's certainly not uphill either. Her default reaction to any discomfort, whether it's sore feet or just being tired or irritated, is to get heavy in front.

                          It never made any sense to me as I would have thought she'd have the opposite reaction. And she recently had a full work-up including radiographs and a bone scan and she has no navicular or hind end issues. Thanks to a great farrier, we've finally got her feet straight (knock on wood) and she's better at both collection work and also rocking back on her hind end for jumping.


                          • #14
                            I would think that the lameness in the front-end that Steffen has noticed is due to years of hard-work with the front-end compensating for the hind-end soreness, or general wear and tear. I too think the problem could be from the bout of laminitis. When they are compensating from something like that, they can put a lot of stress on their hind-end (to shift the weight behind instead of up front), and can develop overall body soreness as a secondary symptom. With her age, that might have been enough to aggravate any hind-end arthritis. Body soreness can do funky things to horses, which is why chiro/acupuncture can really help. You might consider giving her a legend injection to see if that leads to continued improvement. If so, time to pay attention to those joints a bit more. I like Legend for this purpose, as even when a horse radiographs fine, if you give them a Legend injection and it leads to gait improvement, either you need to have the vet look for a deeper cause of the soreness, or develop an improved maintenance program for that particular horse.


                            • #15
                              Any changes with the impression material?

                              My experience is that a front foot sore horse doesn't want to take the full heel landing stride necessary for the horse to recycle the energy coming from behind to balance its weight rearward in collection. YMMV


                              • Original Poster

                                She's had the impression material under the Eponas since I first used them back last March. I added the plain plastic pads in May or June, and then switched them out for Vibram pads just in the past couple weeks. I did notice a difference with the addition of the shoes, period, but with the height boost and bringing the breakover back a hair, I did expect to see a difference.

                                The chiro was for an acute issue with being unable to hold the right lead canter. It was about a year and a half ago, and she's not had issues with that since. I have been meaning to take her back, just because, but I also recently lost my job

                                I had her on GrandHA around the same time as the chiro, and it initially made a big difference. I took her off of it about 6 months later, and she was the same. So whatever it helped seemed to be an acute thing.

                                The laminitis was recent, so that wouldn't account for the sudden change for the better compared to last spring. If she was better compared to right after the laminitis, that would make sense. But she's a ton better than she was way before the laminitis too.

                                However, I do think the wear and tear theory, maybe causing front hoof soreness, does make sense with regards to her. She's only built a hair downhill, but she's got a very heavy chest/shoulder. Neck is set high, but just the width of her chest and shoulders... I bought her when she was 13, and she had some pretty poor training prior to that. She's no doubt been plodding around with her weight on her front end for a long time.

                                There was nothing under my A key though. After I used hubby's pocket knife to hit the button underneath the key, it just started working again. Who knows.