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Hoof flares, odd wear.

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  • Hoof flares, odd wear.

    Trainer and I noticed my mare was off the other day, slight head bob. We checked the culprit, which was the RH (assuming the bob was from off balance/compensation for the RH).
    '
    Her hoof is growing REALLY weird.

    It's growing from the coronet band as it should-then flaring out hard to the outside. There is a visible line where the change is.

    The leg was warm around the coronet band, and 1/2 way up the cannon bone on the back.

    It's presenting like a chicken/egg situation.

    Some months ago, the mare hurt her superficial flexor on the leg, was on stall rest/Surpass and was rechecked by the vet, cleared for work (and I gave it another couple months as well).

    I'm wondering if the abnormal growth was caused by the injury, ie, favoring that leg (she was hardly off and the vet was not super concerned about the injury, it was slightly spongy but is not any longer). OR the the farrier did not trim her properly, which caused the flare, and now she's torqued and misaligned.

    She has a vet and farrier appointment in the next 2 weeks. She is fine in turnout, and has never previously had this issue. She's been back in work 2x a week for about 3 weeks, 90% walk and maybe 5 minutes of trotting.

    She did have abnormal wear on the RF (slightly clubby to begin with) when I attempted going barefoot. She was off, the angles wore terrible. Put shoes on and 100%, no issues.
    I'm thinking that hind shoes will certainly help (with the vet's OK) but there is something else going on here.

    Her hips are fine, not misaligned or anything. She is stiffer going clockwise, always has been.

    This horse is the "needs bubble wrap" type in that she's always bonking something, twisting something or cutting herself.

    As far as the farrier and the trim-my other horse also has some aggressive flares, which is very unlike my farrier to leave. It has been 4 weeks since the last trim.

    My mare also has pretty long toes out back, again, something the farrier has never left.

  • #2
    Either you have changed farriers or he has become very careless.

    The heat in the foot and up the cannon bone sounds as though you have more going on here than a bad trim.

    I would get the vet out.
    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

    • Original Poster

      #3
      The vet's coming. I don't know if the terrible trim caused the offness or if the offness caused the weird growth.

      I would be the farm that she torqued her leg and misaligned herself in turnout. That's how the tendon injury occured.

      Comment


      • #4
        Most likely her moving 'off' caused the hoof to grow weird. The hoof growth pattern is largely driving by where the pressure is. The more weight carried by a part of the hoof, the more that part grows (assuming good blood flow).

        Comment


        • #5
          Look at the hoof balance from the sole--how does it look from that angle? I'm learning that not *all* flare is bad, and sometimes the horse is doing it to compensate for other injuries. If the balance looks good from the sole, I wouldn't be as worried. It could certainly be a trimming/shoeing issue, especially since you say your other horse is having some flare issues as well. Discuss it with your vet and farrier, making sure you take into account how the horse moves, leg conformation, etc. It's all part of a bigger puzzle. Best of luck!
          Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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          • #6
            My first impression is that if she has flares and long toes like that, you probably have a trim problem. A flare like that doesn't happen overnight. Having said that however, a hoof can remodel to compensate for pain in a horse higher up. I see it a lot in senior horses with severe arthritis for example but that generally happens over time...not suddenly when mild lameness is involved.

            A club foot is generally caused by a problem higher up also. So in your horses case, you may have a bit of both going on and you need to do a work up and try to see what exactly is causing what. Have you had a vet trained in chiropractic look at your horse? Might be worth a try to see if there are some overall body issues to deal with higher up causing your issues.

            I also am not sure that simply shoeing the horse behind is going to fix your problems. You really need to address the root cause.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PossumHorse View Post
              Most likely her moving 'off' caused the hoof to grow weird. The hoof growth pattern is largely driving by where the pressure is. The more weight carried by a part of the hoof, the more that part grows (assuming good blood flow).
              This has always been my experience. My farrier, vet, and I routinely discuss the current degree of flaring as part of tracking the progress of various injuries and lameness issues. In several cases, the flaring was the first indication of a soreness that was causing the horse to compensate its loading and movement. And frequently the actual source of the lameness was on the diagonal leg.

              *star*
              "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
              - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                This has always been my experience. My farrier, vet, and I routinely discuss the current degree of flaring as part of tracking the progress of various injuries and lameness issues. In several cases, the flaring was the first indication of a soreness that was causing the horse to compensate its loading and movement. And frequently the actual source of the lameness was on the diagonal leg.
                This would be my first guess also, although the comment that another horse has an unusual flare & long toes would make me wonder. I don't think it would be unusual to have different wear than *normal* if you are changing seasons - how your horses wear their feet in snow through the winter may have changed if their turnout area is now dry/frozen mud/sloppy mud (or they are back in work, for example).

                I'd call the farrier asap and ask what he/she thinks, rather than wait two more weeks. I know that my farrier would want to see the problem immediately to figure out the problem and the solution, especially if he thought his trim might be one of the causes of lameness.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for the replies.
                  I immediately wanted the farrier out, but my trainer suggested that might be cart before horse type of situation-for instance, if the farrier comes out and looks and trims and/or shoes, the vet may say that we didn't need to/shouldn't have done that etc etc.

                  I do have a picture of the foot, not sure how to post it though. She was good last night, no heat anywhere and no visible lameness, except a slight head bob lunging with the RH on the outside. I did surpass the areas that had been warm and put her back out. She was not favoring the leg at all.

                  As far as club foot, her RF is clubby due to a surgery as a foal. They cut the tendon at the knee (she was over at the knee). That foot has never been a problem ever.

                  The line that is visible where the angle flares out is about 1/2 an inch down from the coronet. Which would coincide with the timeline of her tendon issue. I think it's a combo of the injury/trim. Unfortunately, the growth appears to be knocking off her entire alignment (hesitant to move out clockwise/stiffer than normal) and needs to be rectified.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                    My first impression is that if she has flares and long toes like that, you probably have a trim problem. A flare like that doesn't happen overnight. Having said that however, a hoof can remodel to compensate for pain in a horse higher up. I see it a lot in senior horses with severe arthritis for example but that generally happens over time...not suddenly when mild lameness is involved.

                    A club foot is generally caused by a problem higher up also. So in your horses case, you may have a bit of both going on and you need to do a work up and try to see what exactly is causing what. Have you had a vet trained in chiropractic look at your horse? Might be worth a try to see if there are some overall body issues to deal with higher up causing your issues.

                    I also am not sure that simply shoeing the horse behind is going to fix your problems. You really need to address the root cause.
                    I agree with DDB here. I had a farrier who had lost all passion for his work last year, and I noticed some flares on 3 of my 6 horses, and 2 of those ended up being off - and they are NEVER off. I got rid of him, found someone who would truly concentrate on balance and like magic, the horses are both sound and the flares are gone.

                    Both horses also had off and on heat and strain in the leg with the flares.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I posted a pic on my blog, for anyone interested. I also sent the photo to the farrier who believes the growth issue is due to compensation from the injury. He is going to come out in a day or two and trim the hinds to see if that helps her, instead of waiting for the vet in a couple weeks.

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