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Shoe/Pad options for thin soled TB

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  • Shoe/Pad options for thin soled TB

    So it's officially been a year with our OTTB. During the year training has gone pretty well other than the continual set backs resulting in hoof issues. So yesterday we did some Xrays of said foot. I'm not too disappointed nor surprised of the findings. We already knew he was thin soled and fairly flat footed. Coffin bone looks pretty good, no major changes in angles there. No fractures, spurs, and good blood supply from what she can tell. We did see that he's got a "broken angle" from the hoof to pastern and is concerned that the angle may be causing too much tension on the DDFT.
    History- He was in snow pads with reg. steel shoes all last winter and never took a bad step. Then they came off and he's been on and off lame from May-July. Put leather pads on in August, but last reset his hoof sole looked "cheesy" and took them off and put in rim pads. Was going ok for a few wks then lame again prompting us to do xrays.
    So Vet recommends starting with pads to see if he's comfy with them, but my concern is the "cheese" factor....I know I have the pour in option, but for those that have used them, can I get feedback on your thoughts, especially for the thin soled hoof? Should I just go ahead and try snow pads now since he didn't have issues last year? I've also been reading about Epona shoes. I'm not sure if my farrier has done them before but will ask. We clearly need to fix his pastern angle a bit more in that one leg, but she doesn't want me to jump to bar shoes or wedge pads yet.
    Thoughts? I'd really just like to make him comfy again, and have consistent work begin.

    Thank you for your feedback
    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

  • #2
    If you want to do some reading- the broken angle you are talking about is a called a 'negative palmar angle.'

    Comment


    • #3
      Cheese, lol!

      there are medicated pour in pads that help with thrush and hoof "cheese". I really like Magic cushion, as its soothing to a thin soled horse, and it is naturally anti "cheese". You can also do something simple like oakum and pine tar,, and silicone around the frog when the pad and shoe in applied. There is hoof packing that can be applied under a pad. I personally LOVED clear hoof pads, the natural balance style frog pads are excellent, its clear so the farrier can SEE where its being applied and the owner can moniter the hoof thru the clear pad. You can also try yourself, to apply Sole-Guard, or Thrush-guard without a pad. You can pull it out if you think he is getting cheesey, or wait until it falls put yourself. Just apply it, stick the plastic over it, place hoof down and lift up the other hoof to weight the hoof and it makes any extra squish out so its even.


      I am in the same boat, thin soled TB, just got films taken, and my horse has been barefoot since april and got a good stone bruise. We are using casts with magic cushion. Really gives him a soothed hoof. You can also pack and cast around a shoe to offer protection, they last about 2 weeks, so you can check on the cheese!

      (I think i am going to call general hoof funk cheese! LOL)

      Comment


      • #4
        My horse had horrible angles and we tried rubber pads with regular shoes but while it protected his sole, it did not do it any favors by keeping everything soggy all the time, he threw shoes like it was his job, which just did more damage.

        My farrier has a very strong opinion on glue-on shoes and won't do them. That said, I think they definitely have their purpose. So, while he grew out heel to improve his angle he went in stacked bar shoes, and he now goes in regular bar shoes in front and a heavier regular steel shoe in back because he wears the crap out of the outside of both hind shoes. It's gotten better with training and being on SmartHoof Ultra for two years - he hardly pulls shoes anymore, whereas it took an entire year to get through one six-week shoeing cycle without pulling one. Knock on wood.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've always had TBs and I've always had good luck with Equipak. There's a version that includes an anti-thrush med. IME, Equipak maintains its "squish factor" better than other pad/pour in materials. Stays the consistency of a good sneaker foot bed throughout my five week shoeing schedule. (And going longer than that is inviting thrush AND continuing hoof imbalance.)

          As for the angles, the rads should help your farrier determine how to proceed with trimming for better balance. Or maybe they'll help you decide you need a new farrier ... a full year is time enough to make major positive changes to a hoof.
          Patience pays.

          Comment


          • #6
            .

            Have you considered trying wider-webbed shoes with no pads? They provide a good deal of protection where the soles are most vulnerable, without interfering with the normal moisture release through the bottom of the foot so much.

            Some of the pad and packing options mentioned already are indeed pretty good. But it's hard to beat fresh air for keeping soles healthy in most situations.

            .
            .
            Millwater's FARRIERY:
            The Illustrated Dictionary of Horseshoeing and Hoofcare

            Available Now.

            Comment


            • #7
              We clearly need to fix his pastern angle a bit more in that one leg, but she doesn't want me to jump to bar shoes or wedge pads yet.
              Its not about what the vet wants, its about what the horse needs.

              Regardless, As Mr. Millwater suggested, a deep seated, wide webbed shoe, possibly a rim pad cut to no more than 2/3s the width of the web of the shoe and judicious application of Durasole may be just what is needed. Of course, the horse may need supplemental frog, bars, commissures, support and in most instances, EquiPak (Blue label) is a good choice. However, it is my experience that the Equipak continues to harden as it cures and often, especially with a thin soled horse, what worked initially, causes the horse discomfort, usually at the 3-4 week mark. Depending on how thin soled the horse is, if I choose to go with a full pad, I often use a rim pad too. This creates space between the orthotic and the sole and allows for the application of Magic Cushion, Impression material, etc., under the package.I use a lot of M/C and oakum or Venice turpentine and oakum or a 50/50 mix of pine tar and Venice turpentine and oakum. Perhaps a bit 'old school' but they are time tested and every bit as effective now as they were in days gone by.

              Comment


              • #8
                I ride endurance and have one horse that has wide, flat front feet. Many of our competitions are in the extremely rocky NE mountains so I regularly use pour-in pads on his front feet. If done properly they are really fantastic and will NOT cause a damp sole which then becomes soft and nasty.

                Equi-pak products work really well (owned by Vettec) and there is several to choose from. The pour-in pad also helps the helps the hoof walls as it distributes more of the horses weight across the entire hoof, not just the walls. This helps prevent lost shoes and breaking down of the walls.

                I have switched to Hoof-It which is a product that I can apply myself, right before a competition. It saves me $$ and I can use it just periodically.

                I like the combo of Natural Balance shoes and pour-in pads. The NB shoes are also wide web and move the horses breakover further back which helps improve those angles.

                chiocamuxen

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  As for the angles, the rads should help your farrier determine how to proceed with trimming for better balance. Or maybe they'll help you decide you need a new farrier ... a full year is time enough to make major positive changes to a hoof.
                  This farrier I've only had since February, and honestly, I haven't seen anything alarming. I did think his one foot this last time may have a diff. angle than the other and was going to address it, but I hadn't noticed that before and I've been looking.. The horse has one foot a different size and shape than the other though.
                  I'm waiting for Xrays to be sent so I can send them to him. I'm confident he'll do right for the horse He listens.

                  However, it is my experience that the Equipak continues to harden as it cures and often, especially with a thin soled horse, what worked initially, causes the horse discomfort, usually at the 3-4 week mark
                  I've been doing Durasole since June, no avail...Turpentine too. Had full leather pads in for one full cycle ( went well ) and decided to try rim pads this last one cause his hoof sole got soft. I was thinking about Natural Balance steel shoes with some sort of sole/from support/protection. I'm not sure what a Wide Webbed shoe is... I'm new to a lot of this shoe stuff since our other horse has wonderful feet and doesn't wear shoes. I just want to be educated and know my options to discuss with farrier instead of giving him the "deer in the headlights" look when we talk.
                  We expect snow in another month or two most likely but right now it's MUD season here.
                  Last edited by wishnwell; Oct. 21, 2011, 07:32 AM.
                  "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Another question...How long does Magic Cushion stay in place? I've never used it just heard great things but that it's messy.
                    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Photos of the hoof and the xrays would be helpful. Hard to comment on something you are not actually seeing.

                      Thin soles are difficult. To develope growth; feed through supplements can be helpful - I like Farriers Formula. Check your horses diet make sure he is getting proper vits and minerals. A diet balancer is something good to look at. Also you can try hoof magnets some people feel they help circulation and create hoof growth which is what you need.

                      However, saying that; the way the hoof is being trimmed/or shod can have a lot to do with how the hoof is forming.

                      Hooves are pliable and changeable.

                      I have a horse that had a negative palmar angle and barefoot with frequent trimming (backing the toe critical) worked really well for him but he didn't have thin soles... so this may not be an option depending on how thin the horses soles actually are.

                      I wanted to add that hoof condition has many factors as to why it is what it is. Genetics, environment, illness, medications, feed, exercise, movement and the way the hoof is being trimmed. We must work to do what is going to help that particular horse and know each horse is different and what works for one may or may not work for another. Some horses need more trimming, some less. Diet requirements vary - but the bottom line is you need to try things that have worked for other horses and see if its working. Sometimes it takes a LONG time to correct something that has been going on for a while.
                      Last edited by doublesstable; Oct. 21, 2011, 10:12 AM. Reason: added thoughts
                      Live in the sunshine.
                      Swim in the sea.
                      Drink the wild air.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm not sure I understand what's so bad about using bar shoes or wedge pads if they would benefit the horse, could someone explain that?

                        Besides the added cost.. my horse has been in bar shoes for over a year now and they have been the most helpful thing for him, besides improving his nutrition to improve the integrity of his hoof. I don't see any negative consequences besides the fact that there is typically more damage to his hoof when he throws a bar shoe as opposed to a regular shoe, but because we addressed the issue of nutrition and added a good hoof supplement, the frequency with which he loses shoes has decreased tremendously.

                        I don't care if he stays in bar shoes for life if it keeps his feet happy - but is there a valid reason horses shouldn't?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One product you can try is Keratex Hoof Hardener. It's a little on the pricey side- $40 a bottle- but worth it's weight in gold. I used to own a OTTb gelding that had fine hoof walls, but was thin soled. I painted the bottom of his feet (everything except the frog, per instructions) every other day for about a month, then switched to just a couple times a week, and it helped him tremendously. He was able to stay barefoot without need of shoes or pads. I've continued to use it on other horses since that have hoof wall problems and it always works amazingly well. Might be worth a try...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have tons of experience with hoof problems with one of my OTTBs. Here are some of the things that work for him: NO pads because they make his hoof to moist and crumbly. As LITTLE sole pressure as possible--bedded on straw, hooves picked at least 2 times per day. Controlled barefootedness--boots of some kind on when out, nothing when in and only when the footing is soft. Otherwise regular aluminum shoes in front. Also will add boots with frog pressure part of the day when shod--at least lately.

                            Not sure if this will help your horse. Mine is pretty unique. He has had four surgeries and many other things.

                            Good luck with yours!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              ake987- I'm not 100% sure if I'm correct at all, as I'm learning all of this for myself in the last 3 days ( and getting confused ).. but I think if you have a horse that needs help with the angles, yes a bar shoe ( or wedges ) can help, but over time, if I understand it, they can crush the heel and prevent the growth of the heel with them on. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. But if he's going well, and things are going in the right direction, then by all means do it! I'm going to look into Natural Balance shoes with support/pads. I just sent xrays to farrier and we'll discuss.
                              My only regret at this point is that we only did the xray for his RF foot due to him being lame there. With his 7 yrs of racing, I think changing angles ins't going to be an easy thing to do. When these xrays were taken, he was due for a new set and trim, so he is long. His toe grows fast and long, but when he's been set, he looks good, but we'll probably have to trim back the toe even more. Having the images will certainly help.

                              For those that KNOW what they are talking about, I'm more than open to having someone look at the images for suggestions but without ridicule. I have confidence in my farrier ( not saying he can't make a mistake) he is new to this horse as of last Feb and we have been making progress with angles but clearly need more improvement and time.

                              I really do appreciate the advice and help. I think if we can get this guy sound and comfy feet, he's gonna take off like a rocket in his training....
                              "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by wishnwell View Post
                                ake987- I'm not 100% sure if I'm correct at all, as I'm learning all of this for myself in the last 3 days ( and getting confused ).. but I think if you have a horse that needs help with the angles, yes a bar shoe ( or wedges ) can help, but over time, if I understand it, they can crush the heel and prevent the growth of the heel with them on. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. But if he's going well, and things are going in the right direction, then by all means do it! I'm going to look into Natural Balance shoes with support/pads. I just sent xrays to farrier and we'll discuss.
                                My only regret at this point is that we only did the xray for his RF foot due to him being lame there. With his 7 yrs of racing, I think changing angles ins't going to be an easy thing to do. When these xrays were taken, he was due for a new set and trim, so he is long. His toe grows fast and long, but when he's been set, he looks good, but we'll probably have to trim back the toe even more. Having the images will certainly help.

                                For those that KNOW what they are talking about, I'm more than open to having someone look at the images for suggestions but without ridicule. I have confidence in my farrier ( not saying he can't make a mistake) he is new to this horse as of last Feb and we have been making progress with angles but clearly need more improvement and time.

                                I really do appreciate the advice and help. I think if we can get this guy sound and comfy feet, he's gonna take off like a rocket in his training....

                                You may just have to take some time with this horse. I have one that has thin soles and what I do is when he is working he wears regular shoes and I have to reset them every six weeks because the toe will get too long and he grow a lot of heel. Then I take about four months out of the year and he goes barefoot. Then I will reshoe again when Im ready to put him back to a work program. This has worked for this horse but I cannot work him too much barefoot as I can when shod. He has thin soles and a flat as a pancake cofin bone. On hard ground I use a hoof boot with a rubber insert cut out (like a horse shoe) to keep the pressure off the sole when he is barefoot. Being barefoot allows the foot to toughen, grow sole and his hoof can be adjusted more often as necessary.

                                Xrays have show this process has developed more sole for this horse. It has taken "years" but it's working...

                                Personal experience I have only short term luck with any kind of pad. It puts added pressure on the sole that has issues already. Rim pads seem to work better. IMHO.

                                I believe a horses hoof should have concavity. When you have a flat, thin sole you have pain. You need to try to focus on where the pain is coming from.... is it the sole, is it the joint, ???? that's why xrays and photos are necessary to try to determine where the pain is coming from so you can address it the best you can.

                                Yes a bar shoe/pad can crush the heel but IMHO it depends on how it was applied and how long you let the horse go between resets. It will quickly change an angle but the hoof will need time to reshape.
                                Live in the sunshine.
                                Swim in the sea.
                                Drink the wild air.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I had a TB with flat/shallow soles. We went with Epona shoes with the mesh bottom and the packing they sell. It really helped add some concavity to his sole, and his sole/frog health seemed great. The only downside was he had to wear bell boots as we wanted the shoe to project out past the heel, and as the nail holes on Epona's are plastic, they can get pulled off a tad easier than steel (which is good in some ways as the foot isn't torn apart, just the shoe).

                                  Of course this was just one horse, so not really an overwhelming argument, but it worked well for that one horse, and also seemed to help his mildly arthritic ankle.
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                  Comment

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