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Hoof crack help? (Updated with pictures/x-ray results)

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  • Hoof crack help? (Updated with pictures/x-ray results)

    The vet came out with my farrier to look at her and take x-rays. She has no conformation flaws contributing to the crack, and her x-rays are some of the best they've seen (no changes from her PPE). Looks like it's just bad weather to blame! Still have at least 3 months before I can think about riding her again, but at least it's nothing internal and shouldn't be a chronic problem. Yay! thanks again for all of your input

    I'm getting frustrated with this so I thought I'd ask for some input.

    I have a recently turned 4 year old Landkoenig baby; she had the winter off and I started her back into work in April/May. I ride about 5/6 days a week depending on the weather (no indoor) and she goes out overnight and is in during the heat of the day. I don't push her, I only lesson and jump lightly once a week, if that. I noticed she had a crack developing up her front right foot (she's shod in front and barefoot behind) but my farrier said it was purely superficial. I have a tendency to worry way too much about little things and he knows that. He filed it down a bit and she was good to go.. Until I noticed a week or so later that the crack was all the way up to her coronary band and had opened more. He came back out and patched it the next day. He said it's still not deep into the tissue, so we just want to support it while it grows out.

    I'm not riding her now (only walking trails in the park once a week or so) and she's been getting a biotin supplement since I've had her. She has great big feet and my farrier doesn't think it's any conformation flaw that's causing it; his guess was that it was so dry for a while (we're in PA). I talked to my vet about it and she agreed that I shouldn't ride since she was just a baby (I'm not going to finals or anything) and there's no reason to push her.

    Do any of you have any suggestions for what I can do to help this heal and prevent it from happening again? I've been putting a hoof ointment on her coronary band/feet every day to promote growth/strength.

    here are pictures of her hoof before he patched it:



    if anyone has any experience with this and can give any suggestions for what to do going forward, I would really appreciate it! I feel like as soon as I'm getting into a good rhythm with her something silly happens and I *adore* her and want to ride!!!
    Last edited by flyngcolrz; Sep. 26, 2011, 04:34 PM.

  • #2
    Can you get better pictures of the feet/foot, including a good straight-on lateral view? What I see here makes me think there is flaring (ie long toes) either causing or contributing to that crack. I suspect high heels too, but can't tell from these pictures.

    "great big feet" can easily be that way because they are flared.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • Original Poster

      I'm at work right now and won't be up to the barn until this evening, but I will take a few more pictures tonight. She does tend to get long in her toe. She was barefoot for a while but I put front shoes on her so they didn't chip too bad. I mentioned that (my worry about her getting too long in the toe) to my farrier but he says she has great thick walls (my vet loved her big feet when she did her PPE too) and that this is mostly environmental.. but I don't want to have this be a recurring problem. I trust my farrier, he has a great reputation and I truly am a worrier. I try to stop myself from being crazy about these things but I can't help it!


      • #4
        I'd be worried too. Cracks, etc. is the hoof's way of saying "Um, I'm outta balance here"

        Re: Pictures -- For each hoof, take them from literal ground level:

        --straight on at the toe
        --left side
        --right side
        --Hold Up Hoof and take sole
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


        • Original Poster



          here's a link to a bunch of pictures I took tonight. Sorry so late!

          My farrier is coming out again tomorrow to take another look, but any glaring issues you see could be helpful.

          thank you for your time


          • #6
            Um, technically that crack is on her toe... a quarter crack refers to it being on the "quarters", the part closer to the heels.

            It looks like a fair amount of wall gets rasped, which removes some of her ability to maintain/regulate hoof moisture.

            Others on here should be able to help... I've not had to deal with that type of crack, thank goodness and knock wood.

            Good luck, lots of jingles.
            I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

            My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com


            • Original Poster

              oy, sometimes my brain doesn't work. I've been googling a lot of stuff about foot issues and it just stuck out in my head when I went to write my title. woops.

              hopefully someone's dealt with it and has totally awesome news about how to fix it!


              • #8
                The hoof(s) look a bit long in the toe, and overall due for a trim and reset. The feet are migrating forward causing the heels to be underrun . There is some overall wall flaring. The shoes appear well fitted. Even though the toe of the shoe has become rolled(a good thing), my personal preference with feet like these is to get the breakover location further back from the toe. Were this a horse in my custom, I would further reduce the crack and probably use a round iron to burn the top of the crack(at the coronary band). The wet-dry-wet-dry cycle we've been experiencing, along with the fly stomping that occurs this time of year excerbate any otherwise minor 'imperfections with the trim. Patching a crack such as this, without adequately/properly identifing and rectifying the cause(s) is going to be less than successful.

                While this is an issue that needs to be addressed, it is not one to make yourself sick with worry over.


                • #9
                  I was thinking it was about an inch or so but that's a long crack. I'm sure your farrier and vet can fix it. But if they approve, go to the Jeffersequine.com website and check out the SBS hoof crack patch and SBS toe grow.

                  I recently got a little Trak mare who has had a small crack on one fore for over a year. (I've known the horse over 3 yrs and watched the BO's farrier butchering her hooves before I got her in June.) Since I've gotten her, my farrier is adising me how to treat it. It hasn't gotten bigger and the SBS products are working well.

                  How did that crack get so long before treatment?

                  I like you dogs and cats, cute animals!

                  I don't know if iit is true or not that copper peptides encourage hoof growth, but when I googled it, I found that it's being marketed to humans for hair growth and scar repair.


                  • #10
                    I have been fighting cracks all summer with supplements, sealers/moisturizers, and a 3-week trimming schedule. None were up to the coronary band like that, but they were persistant and fairly significant.

                    I recently tried the Clean Trax treatment and the response was immediate. My horse is barefoot right now so I don't know if it would be as useful to you with shoes.

                    I'm just posting a personal experience as I technically don't know too much about the hoof, i.e. not a farrier/trimmer or vet. I was just very pleasantly surprised to find something that finally seemed to make a big difference.


                    • #11
                      The left front exhibits with a rather strong diagonal imbalance ... lateral toe long and medial heel longer than lateral (flare and jammed coronary). That can cause issues not only in the hoof, itself, but also in the body. Have your farrier check that out. I can't speak about the set of the shoes but would trust Rick's assessment of them.
                      Last edited by caballus; Aug. 26, 2011, 11:57 AM.
                      --Gwen <><
                      "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


                      • Original Poster

                        Rick - *thank you*. My farrier came out today and took another look at it. It hasn't gotten any worse in the two weeks since he's patched it and he said based on her hoof wall, her toe isn't long. He tries to trim based on the internal structure of the foot not necessarily what you see outside (he says that can be subjective). I'm not losing any sleep over it (after soft tissue injuries in the past, I'll take repairable cracked foot any day of the week). I'm going to have my vet out to take some xrays; I just did her PPE last November so we have a good barometer to check if anything has changed internally to cause the problem. Can never be too cautious and I really want to do everything I can to insure this doesn't become a chronic problem.

                        The crack was long and super shallow at first (it wasn't open, it was just a line up her foot) and it didn't bother her. I brought it up but, like I said, I'm a worrier, and the input I had from everyone was that it was a nonissue and I needed to stop looking so hard at my horse's feet. It started to creep higher and lower and we filed it down (it wasn't all the way up into her coronary band at this point) and she was sound. I had a lesson and the next day I noticed it was higher up and more open. my farrier came the next day and patched it and I haven't ridden her since.

                        thank you for your nice comments about my critters; they are my loves!! the little jack russel/rat terrier mix isn't mine but she and my sausage of a Corgi run around and play together every day. they are the cutest!

                        I'm going to check out those products, right now I'm using the Effol hoof ointment (it's supposed to promote growth). anything to help this crack grow out faster, I miss riding and winter is coming!

                        I can't thank all of you enough for your input! I'm a long time reader of the forums but I don't post much, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who has dealt with this this summer.