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any advice for horse that toes out? Added Pics of Feet

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  • any advice for horse that toes out? Added Pics of Feet

    It's mostly on his left front. Any advice or anything I can do for him other than keeping him trimmed regularly? He's just turning a year old, QH gelding.

    Sorry, see last post for feet pics. Didnt think to post it here, lol
    Last edited by pal-o-mino; May. 16, 2011, 10:54 AM.

  • #2
    My OTTB (he's 8) toes out on his RF... I keep him in hard-shell front boots when I ride, as he does scuff himself up from time to time, at least as evidenced by the scuff marks on the boots-- I don't keep him booted EXCEPT when I ride, and there don't appear to be any marks from when he's just running around on his own in the pasture. So the boots are probably more for my own peace of mind than his, lol...

    Other than that, along with regular 6-week trims (he's barefoot), he's fine and the toeing-out really isn't an issue for us. I was warned when I got him that he probably wouldn't be sound over 3', which is a non-issue for me, because my ambition tops out at 2'6" on a brave day.
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    • #3
      My youngsters get trimmed every four weeks. How often is he being trimmed? Is he wearing level? There's not a whole lot you can do at this point, should have been addressed when he was a foal, but keeping him trimmed level is your best bet. Honestly I think youngsters go through "phases" too. It's happened more than once that I've looked at a weanling or yearling and thought their legs look bad, call the farrier, and after a good trim they are good as new.

      How bad is the toe out? And where is he out from (fetlock, knee, shoulder?)?
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      • #4
        Same advice as any other horse - keep him trimmed as often as it takes to keep the foot/leg in balance, and keep the foot trimmed *to the leg*, not to try to fix anything or make it match the other foot.

        It WOULD be worth having a good set of xrays to make sure he really is conformationally a toe-out horse. If he is, do not attempt to change it. If he isn't, then changes should be made slowly, with more frequent trimming.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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        • #5
          Trim him regularly, trim him level and put front shin boots for harness racing on him........not tendon boots, shin boots have the shell on the inside.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by pal-o-mino View Post
            It's mostly on his left front. Any advice or anything I can do for him other than keeping him trimmed regularly? He's just turning a year old, QH gelding.
            Have seen a few, not many, that as they matured and chest widened it seemed to push elbows out a bit and toes came in toward center. These were foals that were stall raised and didn't get much exercise until about a year of age...once they were out running and building chest muscling and wider rib spring they seemed to become straighter. In these cases though they toed out on both front....one would make me suspect a rotation somewhere in the long bones of the leg.
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            • #7
              Keep the leg and hoof trimmed level, and unless he is interfering, ignore it. You did not mention that he is interfering. Level is both sides of hoof even, so wear on the bottom of walls is even while he plays around. Hitting the ground with both hoof sides evenly.

              Being only a yearling, he will be gaining chest width over time, which will probably push his elbow outward. So with time, that toe-out will straighten.

              Do no "corrective" trimming that will make the toe-only, point forward, because the rest of the leg will still be angled outward. With hoof "correction" there will be joint wear because the way hoof now hits the ground. Hoof is not landing flat after corrective work and not loading the whole leg and it's joints correctly anymore.

              You have a TINY window of opportunity to "fix things" on a foal, that will actually help the horse later in life. Things done after that are mostly cosmetic, not really a true "FIX" in that it HELPS the animal in movement. Usually just appears "fixed" so owner mistakenly thinks the horse has been helped. Knee and elbow are STILL not aligned with the front of hoof that points forward.

              Young horses change a LOT as they grow, and front legs can do amazing things during the time they mature. Shoulder bones are only attached with muscle and ligaments, so they sort of float alongside the spine and ribs. With bigger ribs, muscle development, a foal who has front hooves and knees pointing east and west, CAN actually end up with front legs straight under him, both hooves, knees forward, aligned, as a mature animal. His elbows get pushed outward, rotating the whole leg's bony column. Weird but true.

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              • #8
                Wow, I do NOT know why I thought this was a 4yo!

                Yes, a slight toe-out in a very young horse is normal and desirable. I'd be a little more worried if the other foot is straight at this point since, as mentioned, it may end up toeing in as the chest widens. Not a given, just possible.

                The bigger issue, if you can even call it that, is if the feet/legs are doing different things. I'd want xrays of the one that looks the least normal. It may be what he is, no fixing.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for the replies...

                  Here's a couple pics of his feet (I hope, first time trying this with skydrive.) He's trimmed every 4 weeks. THey're both turned out a little, just the left one is more than the right.

                  He still looks a little yak-y, lol


                  pic of feet 1

                  pic of feet 2

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                  • #10
                    I have to say, I'm not really liking what I see. I'd want to see closer pictures of the feet with him standing on a hard flat surface, preferably concrete.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                    • #11
                      I would consult with the best vet you can find but I don't know there is much you can do to fight their natural bone structures. We always trim to match so as not to place added stress on their legs.

                      What do you want to do with him? I would not plan to jump this horse given the pictures.

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                      • #12
                        that's a lot more toed out than the good kind of yearling toed out (as others said, chest widens, legs straighten up - MUCH better than a toed IN yearling). That said, other than regular good balanced trims and a balanced diet that doesn't push for too fast growth, I'm not sure there is much you can do other than let nature have her way and see what you have in a few years - it will probably end up less than it is now with optimal care, but you just never know with babies.

                        And then always keep in the back of your mind that no matter what we say about the performance expectations of straight legs vs. not straight legs, it seems like a lot of horses didn't attend the same course we did, and go out and defy said predictions and expectations.
                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          he's not going to jump or anything, probably mostly trail, pet, treat taste-tester, etc. I was more worried about him health-wise than a performance issue, as long as he's safe for riding in general. But he's a couple years away from that still.

                          I'll see what nature has in store for him I guess, doesn't seem like there's much else I can do. Just wanted to be sure in case there was something else i could do.

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                          • #14
                            I would get better pictures of his feet for people to make better judgements. I would be getting xrays of both feet, to include the fetlocks, to see how the bony column is lining up. If this is trim-related, you are asking for ringbone sooner rather than later.

                            *I* see unbalanced trimming causing some of this. A little, a lot, no way to tell from these pictures.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                              I would consult with the best vet you can find but I don't know there is much you can do to fight their natural bone structures. We always trim to match so as not to place added stress on their legs.

                              What do you want to do with him? I would not plan to jump this horse given the pictures.
                              Thats nothing. You should see my mare's toed out leg. She jumps just fine. She can stand completely straight on it if she so pleases. (http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a130/JLM179/1legs.jpg)

                              Vet said proceed as if she was a normal horse. She doesn't know that she isn't suppose to be toed out. That said I don't pound the crap out of her jumping, so she really seems to enjoy it and has held up just fine.

                              All the advice you have gotten here is good. My mare doesn't interfere up front as she is wide enough in the chest, but I do always ride her in open front boots just in case. She gets reshod every 4 weeks and is in heart bars to help keep her medial lateral balance in line. She had been barefoot for 9 1/2 years and when we put her in normal shoes it really wacked out her medial lateral imbalance because she had no frog pressure. The heart bars help her to stay balanced.
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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Oh wow, that's really encouraging! What a great picture of her jumping!! Thanks for posting. I feel better now! I'm mostly worried about his comfort, but I would like to be able to ride him.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by pal-o-mino View Post
                                  Oh wow, that's really encouraging! What a great picture of her jumping!! Thanks for posting. I feel better now! I'm mostly worried about his comfort, but I would like to be able to ride him.
                                  I rescued her from an online rescue. Not being informed until after about her toed outness. She can stand toed out on both fronts! Its rather gross looking. When she moves though, she moves completely straight on the right front and wings in on the left front, but does not hit her other side. I do think if she had had corrective trimming as a foal she wouldn't of ended up so toed out. We trim her to how she is built and go from there. She has never been lame on that leg. The other front leg she slipped and fell on ice and busted her knee pretty good. It was ugly, but she is sound on that one. She has had problem with her stifles behind due to her hind end conformation, but seriously the toed out leg is the least of her worries. We took x-rays when we were having the medial lateral imbalance issues with her feet. That girl's x-rays besides the imbalance were great. No arthritis or anything. She is 11 this year, so its not like she is young.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by pal-o-mino View Post

                                    I'll see what nature has in store for him I guess, doesn't seem like there's much else I can do. Just wanted to be sure in case there was something else i could do.
                                    Looking at the photos I think there is plenty you can do-and if you don't do these things you may end up with a bigger mess.

                                    You need a good vet and a good farrier.

                                    Get xrays taken...

                                    You can't just let nature handle this-he needs a trim that addresses his imbalances. He is young and things can go better or worse very fast.

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