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Horse has one club foot, low angle on the other...

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    Horse has one club foot, low angle on the other...

    I have an ottb with a club on the l/f, and low angle on the right. I can get pics tomorrow.

    I am just looking for other experiences with this, and how it affected how you managed that horse. It seems it has thrown the shoulder development off a little and horse 'feels' lame without shoes or current hoof care.

    I will try to get vids or at least pics up tomorrow.

    A very good farrier can help with both feet. Slowly trimming the club foot while supporting the heels and bringing the toe back under the other foot.

    The degree of future soundness while depend on the severity of the separate problems.

    I have known club footed horses who have successfully competed in dressage and eventing.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


      Original Poster

      Working on a pic


        Original Poster

        Feet, does it work?


          Yes, I have one. I have a very nice horse that was given to me because he went lame due to high/low syndrome that wasn't properly maintained.

          A. Get the best farrier you can find. Get a vet who will work with your farrier.

          We used xrays with the first two corrective shoeings.....This allowed us to make sure angles were exact. Used McClain wedge pad on low foot.

          Horse went from dead lame to 30 percent sound in the first week.

          Horse was 70 percent sound by the next shoeing.

          Kept in McClain pad for second's angles were already making vast improvements.

          Horse was 95 percent sound by third shoeing.

          He was pronounced sound and ready to go back to work by the vet two weeks later.

          We still had off and on bouts of still wasn't even....did chiro, he had developed ringbone on the high foot, so that fetlock was injected.

          We went from the McClain pad to a pour in pad in June (we started this progression in February of last year) Vet popped out pour in pad two weeks later when he came to check fetlock. Horse was lame.

          Another farrier then tried the Esco Buff method on him for two first it seem to really help (padding the low foot to make the shoulders even). But after two shoeings, the feet just were not holding up.

          Original farrier was called back that point we made the decision to take front shoes off and put him in boots.

          Horse was moving much better in boots than he ever did in shoes. Then we realized that the right foot/contracted heel was this horse's entire problem all along.

          Horse transitioned to barefoot. Stayed barefoot from September-January 6th. Best thing we ever did for him. Horse was able to let heel relax, make him use the right foot more and then we could see how he naturally wore his feet. Still not 100 percent (he was now completely barefoot).

          Vet came back at the beginning of January and reinjected the high fetlock as horse was lame on the right. (We've had really hard ground this winter)

          Farrier came back in on January 6th and we made the decision to put shoes back on. Not wanting to cramp the feet up with alot of nails. Each foot only had four nails put in and I put him in bell boots.

          Viola....two weeks after putting shoes on, horse is sound, moving even, using himself correctly.

          It has taken almost a year (I knew it would).

          You need an experienced farrier and vet.


            Originally posted by Wooly Wintertime View Post
            Yep..this is where we started.


              Original Poster

              Thanks dalpal. There is a specialist not far away (lameness and performance). I dont think he is new but I just heard of him through a.friend. I need to find an appropriate farrier too I suppose. I think this is the first hi/lo for my farrier.

              Appreciate the reply!

              Eta, the horse does feel uneven in pads. They did wedge the low foot once and she was pretty lame. Easy to feel. A friend gave me some platinum performance joint supp too, cant wait to see if thats helps any joint stiffness (though im going to wait to give it until after the vet). Horse only had 5 starts and was too slow for the track. Noy sure she would have held up anyway. she seems more comfortable in shoes without pads.


                Originally posted by Wooly Wintertime View Post
                Thanks dalpal. There is a specialist not far away (lameness and performance). I dont think he is new but I just heard of him through a.friend. I need to find an appropriate farrier too I suppose. I think this is the first hi/lo for my farrier.

                Appreciate the reply!

                Eta, the horse does feel uneven in pads. They did wedge the low foot once and she was pretty lame. Easy to feel. A friend gave me some platinum performance joint supp too, cant wait to see if thats helps any joint stiffness (though im going to wait to give it until after the vet). Horse only had 5 starts and was too slow for the track. Noy sure she would have held up anyway. she seems more comfortable in shoes without pads.
                Have you had any xray work done? If not, you need to schedule the vet/farrier together and shoe with an xray machine. If you have a great vet lined up, ask them who they would recommend for a farrier in this situation.

                Where are you located?


                  That's been diagnosed as a club foot? Are you kidding me?
                  That is barely high/low. Just trim the two heels evenly and the problem will be solved. Bring the heels down on the left and shorten the toe, on the right make sure the heel weightbearing point is brought all the way back to the widest point of the frog, shorten the toe.


                    Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                    Another farrier then tried the Esco Buff method on him for two first it seem to really help (padding the low foot to make the shoulders even). But after two shoeings, the feet just were not holding up.
                    Dr Buff does not advise padding the "low" foot to make the shoulders even. His protocol is to pad the club foot (and not with a wedge pad but a straight pad, thickness depending on the severity of the club).

                    He believes a club foot grows that way because leg with the club is shorter than the other. He calls this "limb length disparity" and believes the club is the horse's way of compensating. Note the shoulder on the club side (stand directly behind the horse) is almost always much less developed.

                    If your farrier was padding the low foot he completely misunderstood Dr. Buff's work.


                      I wouldn't even call this a club foot at all. The LF actually looks much more correct than the RF does. Xrays would be very useful
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        Original Poster

                        Yeah I guess im going to get x rays and go from there. When I first bought her I had a CJF take a look first. Her feet were much, much worse, and her lf did look very clubby. I have to find those pics tho. I will let you all know what the vet says. Thanks.


                          I wouldn't call that a club foot at all! Looks like a grazing foot, where the heel of the weight supporting foot becomes under run and the non weight bearing foot does not suffer a crushed heel.

                          THIS is a club foot.
                          \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-


                            Ditto the grazing foot. My mare has this. Trimming her frequently and keeping her in shoes when riding conditions dictate to keep her sound! Her feet were similar.
                            Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                            Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                              From my experience, the "club" looking foot isn't really the issue, at least not on a mild case like this one appears to be. The flatter foot, however, can be more difficult to address. Keeping the heels from crushing isn't easy.


                                Original Poster

                                This is a pic from the first day I tried her out.

                                I had her feet done and shoes put on shortly after. Moneywise she is not worth a lot. She had an injury and she is tough to fit saddle wise. Her shoulders are uneven and she feels uneven to ride if her feet are even a week overdue.

                                But she is a fabulous, sane, forgiving horse and thanks to her track time, she is relatively unaffected by busy atmospheres. After a few bad falls from a spooky horse, she's helped a lot with my confidence, even though I was only doing short walk/trot rides.

                                So I want to do the best I can to make sure she is comfortable and sound. Disregard the discolored legs, it was a make do treatment for scratches (betadine mix). The vet gave us something later that worked wonders, Panalog is magic...

                                She does graze with that r/f forward. All.The.Time.


                                  Originally posted by Wooly Wintertime View Post
                                  She does graze with that r/f forward. All.The.Time.
                                  That doesn't shock me at all

                                  Can't tell a ton about the hooves from the before pic, other than that they look overdue.

                                  So is she lame when barefoot, even after a good trim? Sometimes with cases that grow oddly, keeping them barefoot and touching up frequently works the best, at least until you can get the heels back where they belong. But then again, the gelding I have with similar hooves would really probably benefit from shoes because his base of support is out in front of his legs a bit much. He's not as bad as your mare because I bought him as a yearling, and he's now almost 5. I got to his issues before he stopped growing, which helps a lot.

                                  The thing that I found helped the most for the shoulder stiffness was the tail pull stretch. It really helped to stretch that tight shoulder, moreso than stretching the leg forward.


                                    I have a high/low horse like yours. He also grazes splay-footed (RF forward, LF back...has too because his legs are too long for him to reach the ground otherwise!). His shoulders also appear uneven. It's kind of like a chicken/egg the uneven shoulders cause the uneven hooves or vice versa? If you fix one will it fix the other? You can go round and round with these horses. It has always been a struggle with him. For a long time I mistook his uneven stride as lameness. At the trot, tracking right, his stride on the RF is shorter. Not noticable at the walk or canter, only trot. Vets/farriers/trainers over the year attributed it to heel/foot/tendon/shoulder pain. It's just the way he rolls...his own horsey pimp trot if you will.

                                    Anyway, I tried various things (wedge shoes, wedge pads, wedging one foot or the other, etc.) and ended up usually compounding the problem (causing contracted heels, underrun heels, tendon strain, body soreness elsewhere). Sometimes the "corrective" shoeing made him appear "sound" in that he moved more evenly, but I realized later it was just causing him to compensate elsewhere in his body.

                                    So my advice is to try different things and see what works for you, but be leery of anyone who wants to make the feet match perfectly. Keep your horse on a short cycle - the feet probably won't match perfectly but don't let them get way out of whack either. Be more focused on keeping each hoof healthy (with a wide, supportive frog, and a good trim) rather than making your goal to match the feet.

                                    Now, my high/low horse also happens to be a neurotic TB. I would never buy a horse with uneven feet like him again. however, your horse sounds lovely, and if she is a nice sane, confidence builder, then it's probably worth the hassle. Good luck to you!


                                      Original Poster

                                      She is pasture sound barefoot. Ridden she feels tender without shoes. Since it's winter, she has been barefoot. I dont have an indoor. Hopefully her feet will be the best they possibly can before spring, when we will put her shoes back on.

                                      meaty ogre, I hear you on the lameness thing. When I went to try her out I was trotting around thinking 'Did they seriously just put me on a lame horse?'

                                      In my area horses still arent cheap (no $500 clist horses) so I figured this was the best I could get with my budget. Sometimes I regret it. I agree, I'll never have another.


                                        I have a 24 yr old TB with similar feet. He had a competitive jumping career until the age of 19 but spent most of his working life in bar shoes and with a wedge pad on the low foot. Based on trial and error, that is what worked best for us. My farrier worked on trying to keep the inner point of knee level on both sides.

                                        So, certainly doable, but the condition of his feet were always of primary importance. We had to be super diligent about his feet. I have also had thrush issues in the higher foot as a "companion" issue. Be prepared to spend a lot of time, energy and money on farrier work!