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Horse won't hold shoes

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  • Horse won't hold shoes

    I’ve had my OTTB for about two years now. When I got him, his feet were a wreck (my farrier described it as “possum footed,” though I’ve never heard that term elsewhere). He’s been on Farrier’s Formula for the entire time I’ve had him, and though I’ve noticed some improvement in the hoof, he’s still losing shoes left-and-right. My farrier is GREAT; I don’t have any problems with my other horses, their feet are wonderful. He’s only been with me for about six months now (had a journeyman with a very similar style working on my horses before, but it was near impossible to get him out to my place… TB didn't fare any better with him, and if anything was worse about losing shoes).

    Front shoes only (steel). He’s been hot-shod with clips, and new farrier by-passes the clips (they didn’t seem to help anyway). He’s got thin soles, thin walls; stereotypical TB feet.

    I tried to transition him out of shoes about eight months ago, and he bruised the heck out of his white line; he was very, very ouchy for about three weeks (started going off his feed and just generally moping around) before I threw up my hands. I can’t keep him in boots because he just shreds them… Boa boots go flying, and so do the EasyBoots. If they don't come off when he's running, he chews on them and breaks the gaiters if the boots have them.

    He just twists right out of his shoes. He loves to run and play with his buddies, and I’ll usually find his shoes half-buried in the dirt. When he’s at my instructor’s barn, he pulls them off on the fence. When he DOES lose a shoe, there's always very little wear - he's not chipping his hooves up at all.

    Needless to say, I’m beginning to get frustrated. Diet-wise, he eats 7lbs of Purina Senior a day, with beet pulp and free choice hay. Turnout during the day, in at night.

    Any thoughts? Aluminums? Glue-ons? Is his diet lacking? I wouldn’t mind him going barefoot, but it just doesn’t seem to be plausible. TIA.

  • #2
    Here's what we did for my mare who pulled shoes left and right as well:

    First, we made the front shoes small/short. I mean, NO steel sticking out behind. The goal was not particularly to shoe her the best way possible but to keep the damn shoes on so her feet wouldn't fall apart.
    Second, we squared the back toes and rolled them a bit. My farrier also did something with the way he would grind the back toe at an angle so that when the back toe would catch the back of the front shoe, it would slide off instead of catch and pull the shoes. Hopefully that makes sense!


    • Original Poster

      Yes, that makes sense! Will for sure ask about this. Thanks!


      • #4
        First: Keratex Hoof Hardener on the walls. Make sure to cover the nail holes, but do not get it on the coronet. Second: Durasole on the sole and frog. Follow the directions on the bottle. Third, you might consider changing to a feed lower in NSC/sugar. Triple Crown Senior, if you can get it, is a great feed and <12% NSC.

        ETA: I would not use a too small shoe. You may just create more problems than you fix. The shoe should fit properly.
        *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


        • #5
          Originally posted by RLastInstallment View Post
          ..... he’s still losing shoes left-and-right.
          When you find the shoe, is it bent? Where?
          My farrier is GREAT;....... He’s only been with me for about six months now .........
          Front shoes only (steel). He’s been hot-shod with clips, and new farrier by-passes the clips (they didn’t seem to help anyway). He’s got thin soles, thin walls; stereotypical TB feet.
          Toe clip or side clips?
          He just twists right out of his shoes.
          Even when he was wearing clipped shoes?
          When he’s at my instructor’s barn, he pulls them off on the fence.
          That's a problem/concern for whomever is responsible for the type of fence in use.
          Any thoughts? Aluminums? Glue-ons? Is his diet lacking?
          If they are not, the shoes need to be boxed and safed and quite probably have the heels of the shoes spooned. The material used is not as important right now as is the balance of the hoof and the fit of the shoe.
          Last edited by Rick Burten; Mar. 6, 2013, 02:32 PM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by kmmoran View Post
            Here's what we did for my mare who pulled shoes left and right as well:

            First, we made the front shoes small/short. I mean, NO steel sticking out behind. The goal was not particularly to shoe her the best way possible but to keep the damn shoes on so her feet wouldn't fall apart.
            I don't understand how short shod would help a horse (only make things worse IMO), especially one that needs the support such as the op's horse. I had 2 farriers that short shod my horse for the very same reason and this is what my horse was left to deal with:
            Farrier #1

            Farrier #2

            I need to get some recent photo's to see how he's progressed in the last year, but my new farrier has done a great job getting his heels and toes back under him and the coronary band jamming is gone.

            OP, have you thought about putting him in bell boots? I use one's that are thicker at the bottom and they help my boy from sliding a hind foot forward and catching a shoe when he's out goofing off in the mud.
            Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
            Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
            "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


            • #7
              I have a TB mare with similar feet ("tag" foot; not sure what possum footed means), thin walls, thin soles.

              The biggest problem for my farrier was finding enough good wall to nail into because they would chip/break and become "punky" and cause the nails to veer off when nailing in. It would have been easier for my farrier to set the nails in too low, but then they might be easier to pull, or become loose after a couple of weeks. And she did pull a few at first, and then we were left with a bigger mess because the shoe would rip off parts of the hoof wall and then nothing left to nail to afterwards.

              Things that helped: bell boots 24/7, just getting the trim fixed so the shoe could fit the foot and not need support extending behind the heel at all, and using some acrylic in addition to nails to help keep the shoes on while some of those "bad" spots grew out and were replaced with healthier hoof wall. We have not needed bell boots in a couple of years, but she was in them continuously when she was having corrective shoeing/trims when I first got her.

              My mare always has side clips; not sure how necessary they are, but my farrier likes to have them for her.

              I have used Keratex, and I think it's a good product, but I think if a 1000 lb animal is going to throw a shoe, it doesn't stop it from happening.


              • #8
                Those underrun heels are scary, farrier is making the big mistake of trying to raise heels on a foot that is simply crushing the heels and making the whole thing worse, drop heels rocker toes, get that breakover farther back


                • #9
                  I use bell boots on mine that like to pull shoes. One is a twh so he will step up on his when playing and the other one just plays to hard sometimes. Ever since they started wearing bell boots 24/7 I have no problems *knock on wood*
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                  • #10
                    Haven't read the other posts, but if no one has mentioned this, how much do you have him in the wash rack or otherwise in water? The wet dry cycle of hosing them down can cause the nail holes to enlarge.
                    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                    • #11
                      My horses feet did this and this last year when he went from stall 24/7 to turnout 24/7. It was because of the moisure from the dew on the grass. He has to have shoes on all 4 so this was a major issue. I tried the fancy glue on shoes. They looked pretty but I had major issues keeping them attached to his feet. And these are advertised as staying on until the farrier takes them off. I won't totally blame the shoes as it may have been partially the farriers fault. But they are entirely too expensive to have to be replaced every 4 weeks in my case.

                      I will never use glue on shoes again because after 3 months of use his toe started to get this funky flare, the only thing we could think of was the glue on the shoes was pulling on the hoof wall and causing the 'flare'. It messed his angles up so much that it's taken me 6 months to get his feet looking normal again. If I have these issues again I'll putt his shoes and let him 'just be a horse'.

                      One thing I did find that helped thicken up his hoof wall and hoof sole is a spray on made by Life Data Labs (same as Farriers Formula) called 'The Right Step'. I was not a believer in spray on hoof stuff because I thought it was more for the owners benefit than the horses. But this stuff works! I could tell a difference within 4 weeks. I started off spraying it on every 2-3 days and have slacked off to once a week/ month since it's nasty and I'm not riding. I went from having to reset his shoes every 5 weeks to 7 1/2 weeks and the farrier telling me he could go longer. It costs less than $30 and lasts a while.


                      • #12
                        You might consider posting pictures of the horse's hooves. It would be interesting to see what the trim and shoe-job looks like.

                        YOu might also consider having the horse's diet (including the hay) evaluated by a equine nutritionist; the Farriers' Formula doesn't seem to be helping and it may be that the diet is deficient in something that the FF doesn't provide.

                        In terms of short-term stuff that might help, definitely bell-boots that are big enough to prevent the horse from catching the back of the shoe might help. Also using Keratex hoof hardener on the bottom half of the wall and the sole (but not the frog) would probably make his feet a bit tougher.

                        I suspect, based on the very little info that you've given, however, that there's something strange about the trim and the shoes that makes it easy for the horse to pull the shoes off while he's just romping around in the turnout.
                        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                        • #13
                          My horse had awful shelly feet when I bought him. Lost a lot of shoes. Anyway long story short it finally became apparent that he had WLD. I treated that with CleanTrax, and although it took about a 9 months the quality of his hoof is now fantastic.

                          In retrospect, I think he had the WLD for quite a while, enough to cause some issues but not full blown where I noticed it. When the grass came in that spring it became very apparent. If I ever get another horse with crappy hoof quality a CleanTrax soak is the first thing I'd do. Gets rid of any pathogens that might be in there but won't do any damage in the process.
                          "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                            When you find the shoe, is it bent? Where?

                            Sometimes, and when it is, it is almost always on the outside (which is where he places the foot when he moves... farrier is working on helping him land a little better.

                            Toe clip or side clips?


                            Even when he was wearing clipped shoes?


                            That's a problem/concern for whomever is responsible for the type of fence in use.

                            If they are not, the shoes need to be boxed and safed and quite probably have the heels of the shoes spooned. The material used is not as important right now as is the balance of the hoof and the fit of the shoe.
                            What does it mean to "spoon" the heels? I've never heard of that.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by ToTheNines View Post
                              Haven't read the other posts, but if no one has mentioned this, how much do you have him in the wash rack or otherwise in water? The wet dry cycle of hosing them down can cause the nail holes to enlarge.
                              Very, very rarely. He gets hosed in the summer if he's super sweaty, but I usually just sponge him off. I suppose dew on the grass could be an issue but keeping him out of it is a difficult task with my schedule.


                              • Original Poster

                                As far as bell boots go, he's a bit of a tough one to keep them on. He over-reaches, so I always try to keep them on, but he disagrees. He's always pulling them off. I've tried many different types (gum, "plain" rubber, no-turn; a lot of different brands). He either shreds the rubber, breaks the velcro, or pulls them up to his knees.

                                I'll look into the Keratex/Durasole as it certainly won't hurt to try.

                                I do have a picture of one of his hooves, but only from one angle. I will go and dig it up as soon as I get to a real computer, and then I'll try to get new, better pictures tomorrow.

                                Thanks so much for all your help!


                                • Original Poster

                                  Okay, I cheated and used facebook since I had posted the picture on there.


                                  This is about... eight months ago, so it's not current. Later/tomorrow I'll take newer pictures & I'll be sure to get pics of the hoof without the shoe.


                                  • #18
                                    my horse has similar hooves. when i bought him i was told he had been on hoof supplements most of his life. So i talked to my friend- an ex-farrier and he told me keep the supplements, but also to add Source to his diet. i use Keratex hoof hardener after every farrier visit, while the hooves are still clean, and i use it before i go on a long ride. very wet weather can cause my horses hooves to go brittle and crumble on the edges, which of course causes the shoes to fall off. i have not glued them on since he lives outside 24/7. a Good Farrier plus all of the above have helped me keep shoes on my guy. Good luck and remember- it takes about 9 months to grow the hoof out enough to see results with supplements.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by RLastInstallment View Post
                                      What does it mean to "spoon" the heels?
                                      Without wanting to sound impertinent, ask your farrier. If s/he doesn't know the answer or how to forge them into the shoe, let me know and I'll explain in more depth. And, I'd be worried about the competency of the farrier if s/he doesn't know the answer.


                                      • #20
                                        If you take new photos of the hooves, please clean the hoof well, stand the horse on a hard surface (no mud/dirt/grass) and place the camera on the ground, perpendicular to the hoof. That will give you the most accurate images.

                                        Also, have you tried petal bell boots? They're virtually indestructible - and at $9.99 a pair, worth having around just in case. http://www.bitofbritain.com/Petal_Boots_p/9778.htm