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Club Foot...info pls

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  • Club Foot...info pls

    I saw a young prospect that was for sale yesterday and it had a clubbyish front foot. Definitely more upright and narrower than the other.

    Should I have concerns over long term soundness? Pass? Consider the horse and have the vet take a few radiographs? Can proper shoeing help? What issues might I face (if any)? Any info would be appreciated.

    And by the way the horse was barefoot and and probably has never seen a shoe.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Clubby or just more upright and contracted. what are the angles on front feet? Clubby ick. Contracted ick.

    Personally I would not purchase a horse with a foot like this ever again. Have owned 3 minor clubs in my lifetime. Problem is, it can be a management nightmare. Owners must be educated with what works best for their horse and know when or not a farrier is handling properly. One horse I had had an upright foot. We desided to get check lig surgery. It was successful and he was an adult when they did it. That is always an option.

    Tried to get angles the same on both. With trimming always started with lower angled foot typically wide pancake flat foot and took as much toe as possible. Set shoe back on this foot to speed it up. The way we handled the upright foot was to leave toe take any flare try to slow it down so do not set shoe back. Set shoe forward and heels came more forward to the shoe instead of upright heels.

    I just had a farrier inform me last week some people disagree with how he handles clubby feet. He would put a wedge on it! Maybe I am missing something but take a steep foot and make it steeper? Lacks logic to me but what do I know? I am not a farrier. (this of course came from the same guy who chopped 4 degrees off on of my horses hind feet). I think some people probably disagree with a lot of what this guy does.

    Can be a very big challenge. Lots of young horses with two matching feet out there.


    • #3
      I think it might depend on what you want to use her for. I had an Arab with a club foot that was fine for trail riding. It never bothered her. Sometimes it's not really a club foot, but bad trimming.
      "Humans will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple,
      or more direct than does Nature." ~Leonardo da Vinci


      • #4
        Sometimes it is a grazing hoof where one hoof has a low heel and the other hoof has a higher heel due to which foot is in front when the horse has its head down grazing or eating......
        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!


        • #5
          The reason the one farrier would want to put a wedge pad on the clubby foot is this: It would help the horse gradually bear more weight on that heel, and relax the back tendon/musculature. When you just keep chopping the heel way down, it just makes the horse tendon sore. If he gradually bears more and more weight on the heel, the heel will spread and the front angle will naturally become less steep.


          • #6
            For me, and I am very passionate about this, never EVER will I own another club footed horse.

            There are other horses out there that do not have this.

            I do not care if a farrier (read this as cost me/you $$) thinks they can fix it. No. And I have the spent bank account to prove it.

            Call it whatever you want, grazing foot, but it is what it is, club foot.

            I won't buy a horse with club foot.

            I do not care if this horse is a fabulous deal, or did such and such. When it comes down to it, no club footed horse will I ever have again. I got my bank account, and heart broken (twice) over club foot. This is my number one deal breaker. I have spent countless vet bills, and farrier bills. Also ride fee's.

            There are thousands out there with *no* club foot. Sure the ones with club foot are GREAT bargains. But look to the future. This is not a prospect.

            I do not care what surgery they can have, it is still a club foot.

            Choose another horse. So many are out there with better feet than a club foot.

            Club feet are cyclical. They go from a period of no trip, perfectly sound, to the worse which is tripping, and omg is your horse lame?, it is bobbing its head and it just ain't right somewhere (read that as vet $$). It all depends on where they are in the cycle of where their feet grow out.

            JMHO, I mean this sincerely, and honestly. Fine if somebody's horse is a 4 star eventer or 100 miler endurance horse, but most are few and far between.


            • #7
              Clubbed feet, upright feet any of that is certainly a sign of something not perfect. I have several horses with varying levels of a steep foot competing successfully.

              My opinion is watch the horse move. If it is sound, then it's sound. A competent farrier should be able to handle that easily.
              Scott Gregory
              (513) 678-9877


              • #8
                I bought a mare with a foot that sounds like yours. She had never really been in work and was just a broodmare. I keep her barefoot and trim her myself, and she's schooling all FEI movements and never had any lameness with her four years later. I guess it depends on what your tolerance is.


                • #9
                  I agree that I would not knowingly buy a club foot for jumping or serious trail riding based on my past experiences with them. The issue isn't just the foot, but the effect that the upright angle can have on the horse's back and shoulders.

                  Now if someone offered me a high level dressage horse for cheap because it had a club...I may consider it.

                  A pet peeve of mine are people that breed horses with genetic club feet...sure the foals likely won't inherit it, but the grand children will as clubs tend to skip a generation.
                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by steelbak View Post
                    Clubbed feet, upright feet any of that is certainly a sign of something not perfect. I have several horses with varying levels of a steep foot competing successfully.

                    My opinion is watch the horse move. If it is sound, then it's sound. A competent farrier should be able to handle that easily.
                    Agreed. I have an OTTB mare with a bit of a clubby front foot. She is sound on it and always has been. She raced for 3 years, I got her off the track at 5 and she's now 13 and schooling 3rd level dressage. We took regular jump lessons last year, but it hasn't been a focus for us.

                    My farrier simply keeps the foot balanced and the mare wears a regular steel shoe. No special pads necessary.


                    • #11
                      Another positive note.

                      I bought a 4 yo mare, she had a slight club foot. In the all the years I had her, she was barefoot for most of the time. Did low level eventing, and third level dressage. She never took a bad step.
                      Taking it day by day!