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Can underrun heels be fixed--how long does it take????

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  • #21
    So the barn farrier(not sure if I trust him) said that horses with under run heels have a syndrome and are genetically born that way and will always be that way.
    I think the above statement would have me questioning that particular farrier's ability or knowledge.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by bluecharm7 View Post
      I have asked and the answer was something to do with correctly balancing his hoof and the change in the hoof angle. I don't remember his exact words.
      So you admit really weren't paying attention to exactly what he said or for some reason you were uncomfortable with the idea of asking him to elaborate on his explanation.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by LMH View Post
        It can be caused by distal descent.
        Gravity is a cold hearted bitch.

        Comment


        • #24
          While you do need to be knowledgeable with horse hoof care, I do consider my farrier to be an expert and I treat him as such. I did have a horse with crushed heels (as Tom Bloomer says it doesn't take much to get there, and the trimmer I was using was "trying to make it better" but it wasn't happening).

          I am not sure what experts on the internet say but I had shoes put on, no wedges, and we were able to gradually fix it but he was immediately more comfortable. It was recommended by my vet.

          Second horse, same trimmer and both TBs, same thing but not crushed but under run. Same fix, just had two very good farriers and I had them done every four weeks so that we could pro actively make the change.

          I would just ask the potential farrier if he has experience with under run heels and go from there. Tom, do you feel wedge pads would help or hinder the situation? I am not a farrier and didn't use them or have them recommended for mine so I am not sure.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by spotted draft x filly View Post
            I would hate to see what those yearlings hooves look like if they are not trimmed until they are over a year old! Foals start getting farrier work when they are 30 days old.
            Actually the majority of the transient yearlings that I see have remarkably good conformation and their feet, though not maintained by humans, do appear to be rather well self trimmed. They are raised in groups in huge fields (think miles not acres) in Kentucky and Florida and they run fast and play hard all day long. I've had the pleasure of working on some TB yearlings that cost more than any mortgage I could ever hope to afford. Their symmetry and correctness is simply stunning. And trimming their feet is fairly simple because there are no flares and distortion to dress, just make a pass with the nippers and finish off the bevel with a rasp. OTOH I also see plenty with poor conformation and the feet require constant attention to maintain a gathered up foot. And a good portion of them never make it on the track and wind up as an OTTB show horse prospect.

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            • #26
              I'm curious to where in ky and what farms do that. Since i live in ky and have worked for a few major breeding farms

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              • #27
                Where are you located? Maybe someone can give you a farriers name that could help you. Also, like I said my farrier did not suggest wedge pads.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by spotted draft x filly View Post
                  I'm curious to where in ky and what farms do that. Since i live in ky and have worked for a few major breeding farms
                  When you find out you let me know. All I know is that they came from "the sale." I don't get any history on them and usually don't know the owner. They are transients that are boarded for 90 days at a facility I service. I see them 3 times in 3 months then off they go to the trainer.

                  Most of them it is pretty obvious that they have had no handling at all. That makes my job easier because I don't have to deal with any bad habits. After I have seen them 3 times, they stand ground tied to have their feet trimmed and they will follow on a lead rope without taking the slack out of the rope. Oh, yea, and their feet look rather well manicured.

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                  • #29
                    OP in reply to your question, your gelding has long sloping pasterns so will most likely gravitate towards long toes, low/underrun/crushed heels really quick if not managed properly. So no... I don't believe your gelding can be "fixed" but I bet the right farrier can manage him well. Ask me how I know this...I have battled this with my gelding forever. I have gone through 4 farriers and I finally think I have the guy that knows how to manage him.

                    I would ask any possible new farrier prospect how he would manage your gelding. Use that article I posted on your other thread as a guide to help you decided if he/she will be the farrier for your horse. Tom is a great source of information as well. Have you tried to contact the other name he gave you on the other thread? I've heard that wedge shoes can further crush the heels because they only add to the pressure put on them, but I've also heard that a wedge pad with the proper frog support (to more evenly distribute the weight) can be of benefit. So I guess it would depend on how that particular farrier was going to skin his cat.

                    eta: I am not an expert or a farrier. I write this from my own personal experience with my gelding who has conformation similar to your guy and similar problems regarding LTLH's.
                    Last edited by BoyleHeightsKid; Jun. 7, 2013, 11:24 AM.
                    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!"

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      The horizontal lines are another sign of a metabolic insult.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by imaginique View Post
                        Here's a good site for helping you understand proper trimming. Underrun heels are simply a result of poor trimming and can be fixed!
                        www.enlightenedequine.com
                        Apologies for the direct reprimand, but you are wrong.

                        Once sunk and displaced, can't fight gravity.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by LMH View Post
                          . . . Once sunk and displaced, can't fight gravity.
                          That's why they invented spandex. Sorry, couldn't resist.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Tom, can you explain why -- if formerly more upright/ less acute heel tubules can be pulled forward/ more acute -- it is not possible to reorient the prevailing growth? As in, if the horse is not born with underrun heels, why can't they they be returned to correct?

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Tom - speaking from experience, it can be a struggle to find the right farrier. And it can be very difficult for even an experienced horse person to know if a farrier is spewing a bunch of BS in response to questions, or if the answers are well-grounded. Vets don't like to give input on farriers, either, because that puts them in a potentially awkward position.

                              And, generally speaking, I've found that a lot of farriers (including some of the very best), can be a little, ahem, abrasive. That can lead to people not wanting to ask questions, or it can make people so nervous that they are afraid to ask follow up questions. Not that you would EVER dream of being abrasive, but I'm sure you can empathize with the OP's position and some of her questions here, right?

                              So if you are inclined to comment with your opinions, maybe you could be a little bit kinder to the OP? I don't think she is "blaming" farriers or otherwise ignoring her current farrier when she asks questions. I think she doesn't know what to look for, doesn't know the right questions to ask, and isn't sure how to ask follow up questions when the answers she gets don't make sense.

                              Of all areas associated with horses, I think hoof care is the most difficult to get straight answers about and also one of the most complicated. It is also one of the most important, so please don't drive the OP away when she is trying to make good decisions for her horse with the limited information and options available.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by baxtersmom View Post
                                Tom, can you explain why -- if formerly more upright/ less acute heel tubules can be pulled forward/ more acute -- it is not possible to reorient the prevailing growth? As in, if the horse is not born with underrun heels, why can't they they be returned to correct?
                                Two different situations and two different directions. If a horse is born with heel tubules naturally oriented forward and inward instead of radiating outward from the origin of growth, you can't change DNA.

                                All heels (assuming no flexural deformity) will eventually fold forward under weight bearing against their own leverage if they are left to grow too long and not trimmed. Reducing the leverage by trimming the heels short and allowing the frog to load usually turns these situations around rather quickly.

                                But the tubular orientation as it projects in radians from the coronary band is going to produce the horn in a straight line at each radian. If the natural orientation of said radian is inward rather than outward, the folding inward leverage potential exists at the moment of mitosis even before the horn is fully cornfield and able to withstand pressure. Conversely, outwaard projecting tubules are better oriented to withstand crushing forces because the force is directed outward away from the center of the hoof instead of inward toward the center. That is a very distinct difference and it is not something that most folks who claim to have fixed underrun heels actually document in their testimonial case history.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  The changes in the coronary band cannot be reversed. I believe we will soon see this is the root of all evil in the hoof.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                                    Tom - speaking from experience, it can be a struggle to find the right farrier. And it can be very difficult for even an experienced horse person to know if a farrier is spewing a bunch of BS in response to questions, or if the answers are well-grounded.
                                    That is why it is better to ask a farrier to explain their plan of action and the results they predict they will achieve, how long they expect it to take, and how confident their plan is going to work. No different than asking a vet for a diagnosis and a prognosis based on their recommended treatment. A prognosis is a prediction of performance under a given set of conditions and constraints. In either case, vet or farrier, you have the before and after results against which you can judge whether or not they are making progress. Good progress speaks for itself. Bad progress requires and explanation and often a change in the plan of action.

                                    Vets don't like to give input on farriers, either, because that puts them in a potentially awkward position.
                                    If you are going to ask a vet for a farrier referral, you should start by telling the vet you have already decided to look for a different farrier - which means you have made it very clear to your current farrier that you have terminated he business relationship and you have paid them in full for services rendered to date of termination. You don't even have to tell them why. That way when you talk to a vet you don't put them in a position where they have to recommend that you switch farriers. It is even better if you don't identify who your previous farrier is. Make it easy for them to be objective.

                                    And, generally speaking, I've found that a lot of farriers (including some of the very best), can be a little, ahem, abrasive. That can lead to people not wanting to ask questions, or it can make people so nervous that they are afraid to ask follow up questions.
                                    If you are going to have a serious conversation with your farrier and you want them to invest their time educating you, I suggest that you make an appointment specifically for that purpose. You might even give them an idea of what topics you want to discuss. That gives the farrier a chance to prepare, perhaps bring a text book or some reference material to show you that helps to explain the topic. If you read an article somewhere, get a copy of the article to the farrier so he or she can see it in advance and have a chance to evaluate it and prepare a response.

                                    Not that you would EVER dream of being abrasive, but I'm sure you can empathize with the OP's position and some of her questions here, right?
                                    I can be abrasive when a horse owner asks me questions and then doesn't want to actually hear my answer. I carry a preserved hoof cadaver and a full set of bones from the lower limb of a horse. I am prepared to engage my clients and fully explore their questions in detail. But if a client has questions about an article they read, I want to see the article. If they did not bring a copy of the article, then I cannot expect them to have total recall word for word of what the article says or who wrote it. All they have is an "impression" they got reading something. If I start asking specific questions about the article, eventually the client realizes that they really are not prepared for the discussion. Usually the dialog ends right there because they can't be specific about any questions they have. FACT - they want emotional reassurance, not technical details. A client that is truly seeking education will do homework. If I tell them to check out http://safergrass.org for answers to their questions on forage for laminitic horses, then a few months later they are asking me the same questions, but never went to the web site and did the homework, why should I waste my time?
                                    So if you are inclined to comment with your opinions, maybe you could be a little bit kinder to the OP? I don't think she is "blaming" farriers or otherwise ignoring her current farrier when she asks questions. I think she doesn't know what to look for, doesn't know the right questions to ask, and isn't sure how to ask follow up questions when the answers she gets don't make sense.
                                    That is why I suggest that people not engage in discussions of technique and protocol and how to. You don't have the chops to evaluate that stuff anyway. It is about the horse. Are you going to make my horse more comfortable? If so, how long do you expect it to take? What will you do if you plan doesn't work? Either they deliver the results they promise or the don't. If they can't deliver what they promised, they should have a very good explanation for what went wrong. If it was obviously something beyond their control, then that should be clear to you and to them. Other than that, they should stand behind their work.

                                    Of all areas associated with horses, I think hoof care is the most difficult to get straight answers about and also one of the most complicated.
                                    It is also the most price conscious and the one where everybody knows more than the farrier and is perfectly willing to give advice for how their cousin's ex-husbands uncle did it one time using a backwards shoe and a can of used motor oil. It is the one where a nice guy that doesn't charge a lot can have a life long career with many happy customers despite leaving behind crippled horses - they have mastered the art of the excuse and they will use whatever shoe or pad you tell them to use and trim to whatever angle you tell them to trim. Plenty of cheap contract labor. And they have plenty of business. And people will make excuses for them like - "it is impossible to keep shoes on my horse - my farrier is the best around and if he can't do it, well it can't be done." Why would a competent farrier want to compete with that situation?

                                    It is also one of the most important, so please don't drive the OP away when she is trying to make good decisions for her horse with the limited information and options available.
                                    Well then the op needs to focus on results instead of appliances and protocols. A professional should be able to predict their results and deliver them with a high degree of success and an extremely low threshold for excuses. Their work should speak for itself.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      OP, try not to fret! I bought a 2 year old with fine feet....however, after many barefoot trims and "certain" farriers my mare was in your horses situation. It is my fault b/c I knew how she was trimmed was off but I did not trust my gut....anyway, my mare now (5 yrs old) has front shoes and has a heel and is doing just fine....

                                      My farrier never put wedges on or anything like that.....just shod so mare's heel could grow....

                                      I do wonder how much damage I did to her feet b/c I did not have the right farrier........so she was getting trimmed while she was growing and I think how she was trimmed changed her "conformation." ..... I say this b/c I went back to photos of mare before I bought her and there was NO sign of underrun heels (like yours)....none.....

                                      My point is that there is hope!!!!!! Trust your gut......

                                      n

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                                      • #39
                                        yes you can fix it but only if you educate YOURSELF about holistic management

                                        start educating yourself about how people transition to barefoot-start by googling pete ramey and gene ovnicek. you will have to address his exercise, diet, and turnout as well as your hoof-care professional, but it CAN be done. Search for barefoot hoof care to understand how, even if you don't plan on going/staying bare. Farriers usually say it's impossible because it's not so much the job on the hooves that has to change, although that's part, but the owner has to be very motivated to make and retain changes in those other areas i mentioned. but there are so many success stories for underrun heels, in barefootland, that you should stay optimistic. the education and changes may be a pain in the rear, to start out with, but in the long run will cut your horsekeeping costs in half, as well as steering you towards lifetime soundness. Go to it!
                                        if you want to know more after blackburn gets done reeming me, ask!
                                        (new to the chronicle but not to the horses)

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                                        • #40
                                          That's funny. Gene Ovnicek delivered a lecture on the topic at the IHCS a few years ago where he indicated that he could not redirect the horn tubule from inward to outward orientation despite taking drastic measures. It was a rather thorough study that covered several horses over a significant period of time.

                                          It helps to actually know your source and actually be familiar with their research before making a reference to it in a public forum. Especially when what you post is exactly the opposite of the findings of the research.

                                          I was there in person . . .

                                          I'm not going to ream you so you can stop bending over and pull your pats back up.

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