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Need thin-soled success stories and a rant about my vet

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  • Need thin-soled success stories and a rant about my vet

    Would appreciate hearing your success stories regarding your thin-soled horses. I'm feeling a little blue today about my guy.

    This is my second winter with my thin-soled OTTB who came from Arizona/California. I am the first owner to transition my horse away from the long-toed, low-heeled track shoeing. This winter is shaking out to be a lot like the last dealing with abscesses. We had a great 7 month run of soundess in from June to January. Then January was a total loss due to an abscess in his front left.

    Got some riding time in February until he went off on 2/13. Vet checked him out on 2/14 and said he now has an abscess in his front right. This mobile vet is the guy I call when something immediate happens. I have not had to call him since May of last year. He told my barn owner on 2/14 that my horse has "the crappiest feet he has ever seen". I am BEYOND PISSED that he made this comment to her!! There have been four farriers and two other vets that have looked at or worked on my horse. Never have such dramatic statements been made about my horse's hooves by any of them. Some didn't think his feet were that bad at all and the vet that is considered the best leg/hoof vet in our state didn't seem overly concerned when he looked at my horse's xrays. For the mobile vet to make such an exaggerated comment to someone who is not the owner and to not offer any options about how to help my horse has me really steamed. My horse doesn't pull shoes, hasn't foundered, ran 24 races, has good walls and fine looking feet. Yes, his thin soles are problematic, but my horse is certainly better off than the other 2 horses at our barn this vet treat for ringbone, severe navicular, and another with ringbone/arthritis/and an abscess that hasn't healed for 6 months.

    My new farrier feels we have made good progress with proper shoeing and Durasole use. Both vets don't feel like diet is a factor, my horse is on a new hoof supplement which seems to be promoting good growth. The two struggles we are still up against are the wet winter/spring environment and genetics. We are going to try pour-in pads for the first time in a few weeks. I have tried to keep my horse out of the snow/mud with twice daily hand-walking and indoor turnout but that doesn't seem to have helped keep abscesses away. Hopefully the pour-in pads work. The only other thing we havent tried is outdoor living for more circulation, but this scares the crap out of me since my horse has a year old suspensory injury (with good recovery), is slightly accident prone, and outdoor paddocks are snowy/icy/muddy five months out of the year.

    Thanks for letting me vent and for sharing any success stories you have with me.

  • #2
    My guy has on pads with a bondo type material in to support concavity in the hoof. He has thin soles as well but not extreme. I do like the pads that my guy has on compared to the pour in pads that I have also used before. These pads Are clear and he cuts them to the size he needs to attach into the shoe. So the pad goes between the shoe and foot and covers everything. My guy is doing amazing in them and not sore at all in his hoof when we reshoe.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

    Comment


    • #3
      I dealt with thin soles on Miss Mare 2 years ago. Vet at Michigan State told us to try pour-in pads. She hated them they were slippery on the grass riding surface we had to use at that time. I tried for 3 weeks to get her to accept them with NO success. Farrier came out to remove pads replaced with regular shoes and recommended Durasole. He told me most of the horses he shoes Hate the pour-in pads YMMV

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry this guy's comment has you so upset. he's obviously a jerk, so try to put it out of your mind. I have a horse with thin soles. We keep him shod and he does great. Just keep working with a good farrier to get him to where he needs to be.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well my current farrier (previous farrier for this horse having retired) has said for 5 yrs that my horse has CHS, aka crappy hoof syndrome. He was our original farrier, when my horse was in a city barn and just had a few issues. Years later, after moving to a barn out of town (grass and pastures are not good for warmbloods in the south!) my horse's hooves were soft and shelly and a mess.

          So if my farrier said my horse had the worst hooves he's ever dealt with, I'd have to agree. White hooves, non-trakenher warmblood hooves, shelly soft hooves need to be in a stall 24/7 unless ridden or hand grazed.

          You might try crossapol. Use it as directed, meaning you'll use a lot of it. Cheaper by the case of 12. And after a year or two of crossapol, when hooves are in good condition and looking good, you can scale back and just use durasole on the soles. Crossapol can be used on the walls and the soles, which is what my horse needed. Now my horse has pretty good hooves and has hard soles. So hard that when the farrier came 2 weeks ago to reset shoes on my horse and on my horse's horse (who has the only good warmbloods hooves, the trakehner hooves), my farrier was ticked off cause he had difficulty trimming the soles! LOL.

          I don't have a problem with either my farrier or my vet saying something that is true about my horses. Now if it weren't true that Cloudy has bad hooves, I would be upset.

          So work with you vet and your farrier about whatever is going on with your horse. And if they think his hooves are bad, tell them that my horse's hooves were worst, and require constant maintenance to prevent them from going back to the worst hooves ever. (BTW, Dr. Sam the vet said it is true about white hooves. My horse has 4 whites.)

          Comment


          • #6
            ^^ ^^

            Where is Rick Burton when I need him!
            Last edited by merrygoround; Feb. 18, 2013, 03:37 PM.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              My good riding horse has the crappiest feet we've ever owned and my farrier husband says they're some of the worst he's ever worked on. It is what it is; I don't take offense, it's reality.

              Mine has pads, wedges and keeps his toes tucked way back.
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks all for your encouragement.

                Yes, I am ticked at the vet and I accept that my horse does not have great feet. This vet has told me personally before that my horse has crappy feet. I am bothered by the wording "crappiest feet he has ever seen" since this is such a huge exaggeration. I am also bothered by the fact that he said it to my barn owner who could potentially affect the salability of my horse down the road when she hasn't heard the opinions from the other vets or farriers.

                The thing that bothers me the most is that this vet has never had any suggestions on how to help my horse. He is so quick to write my horse off since he only sees the times when my horse is unsound. He is ready to put my horse out to pasture for a year to "see what happens". My horse is 7 and I am not giving up on him yet. In the future, I will pay extra for the other vets to check out my guy. A little support from the vets goes a long way toward getting through the rough times.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My vet works with my farrier. Maybe you need to find a vet that works with a great farrier and try that. My farrier goes and looks a xrays and goes over with the vet the best options on where to go. It helps my farrier goes back to seminars etc yearly and reeducates himself and stays on top of any new methods and has years of experience. I wouldn't get offended I don't think. Maybe it is the worst hooves he has ever seen so to him it's not an exaggeration. Saying it to Bo, idk if that would really bother me either.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                    (BTW, Dr. Sam the vet said it is true about white hooves. My horse has 4 whites.)
                    There are two very different views regarding white hooves. One side says white hooves are weaker, more prone to problems, etc. The other side can document that white hooves and black hooves enjoy the same level of strength, durability, etc. Since many factors influence hoof health, without knowing the particulars surrounding any hoof, IMO, the best position to take is, It Depends.....

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                      Maybe you need to find a vet that works with a great farrier and try that. My farrier goes and looks a xrays and goes over with the vet the best options on where to go. It helps my farrier goes back to seminars etc yearly and reeducates himself and stays on top of any new methods and has years of experience.
                      Did this in May of last year - my current farrier and the top hoof vet came up with a plan that worked very well until this wet winter. Between the two of them, this started my horse on an uphill swing and gave me hope to keep working through the issue. Something I would definitely recommend to others when dealing with a similar situation.

                      My current farrier is great and has taken a special and personal interest in keeping my horse sound. I dumped 3 others who couldn't quite get get things right and were taking off too much sole.

                      I'm really curious to know if anyone else took their horse from stall living to 100% outdoor living with similar hoof issues and if that was the missing link for long-term soundness (or if it did the opposite and caused more hoof issues)...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Juxtapoze View Post
                        Would appreciate hearing your success stories regarding your thin-soled horses.
                        How thin are his soles? What is his hoof conformation? Any radiographic evidence of pedal osteitis? Is he shod or barefoot? If shod, what type of shoes is he wearing?
                        Got some riding time in February until he went off on 2/13. Vet checked him out on 2/14 and said he now has an abscess in his front right.
                        Sounds like he may need a change in the shoeing protocol. Where on the sole is this abscess and the one from January, located?
                        This mobile vet is the guy I call when something immediate happens. I have not had to call him since May of last year. He told my barn owner on 2/14 that my horse has "the crappiest feet he has ever seen". I am BEYOND PISSED that he made this comment to her!!
                        Well, maybe they are the crappiest feet he's ever seen..........Methinks you're a bit too sensitive about this.....ymmv
                        There have been four farriers and two other vets that have looked at or worked on my horse. Never have such dramatic statements been made about my horse's hooves by any of them.
                        So?
                        Some didn't think his feet were that bad at all and the vet that is considered the best leg/hoof vet in our state didn't seem overly concerned when he looked at my horse's xrays.
                        Different strokes for different folks........
                        For the mobile vet to make such an exaggerated comment to someone who is not the owner and to not offer any options about how to help my horse has me really steamed.
                        Who was he supposed to offer the options to? Certainly not the barn owner, right? Have you personally spoken with said vet since he looked at your horse? Have you asked him for input and/or expressed your displeasure with his comments to the barn owner?
                        My new farrier feels we have made good progress with proper shoeing and Durasole use.
                        What constitutes "good progress"? Surely ongoing problems with abscesses doesn't fit that description.....
                        Both vets don't feel like diet is a factor, my horse is on a new hoof supplement which seems to be promoting good growth.
                        Why isn't it a factor, how long has the horse been on the supplement and what is determining whether there is good growth or not?
                        The two struggles we are still up against are the wet winter/spring environment and genetics.
                        Well, you can probably manage the first but there's nothing you can do about the second.....
                        We are going to try pour-in pads for the first time in a few weeks.
                        If your horse is reactive to hoof testers then pour-in pads may not be the best choice.
                        The only other thing we havent tried is outdoor living for more circulation, ......
                        What leads you to believe that the circulation is not adequate or that he needs more circulation?
                        but this scares the crap out of me since my horse has a year old suspensory injury (with good recovery), is slightly accident prone, and outdoor paddocks are snowy/icy/muddy five months out of the year.
                        There are shoeing options to negate the snow and ice issues, but with your horse's history, I'd want to keep him out of the mud, at least for the time being, too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                          ^^ ^^

                          Where is Rick Burton when I need him!
                          You rang?.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, it was unprofessional of your vet to make that comment to your BO. But I've always found that the most offensive insults are the ones that have a grain of truth in them. You know your horse has crummy feet, and it appears that you are moving heaven and earth to improve the quality of your horse's hooves--so it must really grind your gears when an equine health professional waltzes in and declares the state of your horse's feet to be "the worst he's ever seen". But know that if you feel your blood pressure rising, it's because his comment found your soft spot. If he had said the same thing about, for example, the condition of your horse's tail, you'd shake his opinion off, because (I assume) your horse's tail is just fine.

                            Do yourself a favor: remind yourself that you are a good horse mom and you've done everything to help your horse overcome his inherently crummy feet. Don't let some thoughtless, errant comment ruffle your feathers or undermine your confidence in your ability to do right by your horse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Juxtapoze View Post
                              I'm really curious to know if anyone else took their horse from stall living to 100% outdoor living with similar hoof issues and if that was the missing link for long-term soundness (or if it did the opposite and caused more hoof issues)...
                              My horses have never lived 100% inside, but they all have 24/7 turnout right now, even my mare with bad feet and thin soles. I think you can have problems no matter what the environment, but if you protect the soles your horse should be fine living outside. My mare wears shoes year-round, in winter she has traction control & snowball pads.

                              What I find the most damaging to her feet (she also has shelly, brittle hoof walls) is stomping at flies, which caused cracks around the nail holes. This year we used glue-on shoes and it made a big difference.

                              I personally think that turnout is important for many things, but I'm not sure it is a "missing link" for thin soles. (Or that 100% turnout would be magically better than 12 hours stalled, 12 hours turned out.)

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Hi Rick - I always appreciate your perspective and expertise. Here's what I can add:

                                -hoof conformation: thin-soled/fairly flat footed, does grow long in toes, made good progress getting heels off the ground in the last year, healthy frogs. I couldn't tell you the sole depth since it's been awhile since vet looked at rads and I don't think vet ever gave me an actual number. No evidence of pedal osteitis.
                                -Shoes: 3/4 inch wide steel, all hooves. Farrier wants to try 1 inch customs next shoeing to provide a little more support. We haven't tried pads yet since my farrier doesn't like all the crud that can get stuck underneath them, but the vet says it is probably time to give them a try. Farrier tries to leave as much sole as possible while keeping toe flare to a minimum, but I couldn't speak to how much the shoes get set back, etc. We shoe every 5 weeks.
                                -Left Abscess in January: came out outside edge of frog. Right abscess hasn't surfaced yet, but I would bet it comes out around the same spot from where there is a soft spot. Abscesses last spring, two from frogs, one in heel, one in bar region that the vet dug out, none from coronary band.
                                -Supplement: Glanzen 3. Been on it a little over a month (started after Left abscess happened). My farrier says he has seen more hoof growth than past shoeings.
                                -Diet: both vets say diet is not an issue when I have provided them with a detailed accounting of his diet.
                                -Progress in that we had 7 months soundness from June to January, no abscesses, no gimpy days with sore feet.
                                -Circulation: Well, out of the things I can control, I feel like I've covered diet, shoeing/trimming. Trying to do everything I can to help this issue and outside living is one of the few things I haven't tried yet.

                                It will be a happy day when I can say my horse no longer has chronic abscess issues. Thanks again to all for your feedback and support with this frustrating situation.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'd be so happy if both my farrier and Dr. Sam Tetterton had been wrong about my horse's hooves.

                                  Pads are good. Special shoes with set back toes are good. Crossapol is great. (I used it as directed for 2 years or more to get those hoof walls and soles hard.) Durasole is good and has kept the soles hard. (I don't use the 2 in combination, but would go back to crossapol if the walls got soft again.) And I had to keep adjusting hoof supplements over 12 years as well as feeds to get those hooves to grown in the winter.

                                  And the spray "toe grow" helps to grow hooves. It can be bought at Jeffers.
                                  CHS is hereditary and is compounded by the ground/soil and diet.

                                  Just prove you vet wrong by making those soles and frogs so hard that you vet notices.

                                  ETA Now this is probably going to make us have an abscess but: Once I started the crossapol at the direction of my farrier, no more abscesses and no more white line disease. Even at our previous barn where the water and mud were swamp like.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                                    You rang?.....
                                    Between the OP, and the white footed warmbloods that need to stay in stalls, I assumed I would enjoy your prose.

                                    I have.
                                    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.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I spent several YEARS with my gray mare almost unrideable from winter - spring with abcesses. She'd blow one, I'd ride for a few weeks, then she'd have another one. Once she got two at a time and coliced from the stress. I tried all sorts of topical things but nothing helped.

                                      My farrier finally put on leather pads with packing and I didn't have a single abscess from her after that. She wore the leather pads for 2 years with no breaks and had no issues. She was able to go out in any type of weather.
                                      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        There's hope, OP. My horse had the crappiest TB feet yet, with shelly hooves, unbalanced hooves, long toes, low heels, thin soles, flat feet, thrush, losing shoes constantly, you name it, he had it. With a new farrier, patience, Keratex and hoof supplements, his feet are finally looking great after nine months. Although we aren't out of the lameness woods yet, at least his feet look good.

                                        Comment

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