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

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

    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 just found a picture of a horse as a yearling. He does not have under run heels. And the angle of the hoof matches the angle of his pasterns really well.
    So my question is can this be fixed? I talked to Vance Glenn a very well known farrier but not in my area. He told me not to use a wedge pad, bare foot is best to get blood flow to the area and to stimulate the hoof to grow back correctly. I did that for 3 months and he hoof looked better, his frog got larger and his hoof expanded. I did put shoes on him because I wanted to ride him and couldn't because he was getting foot sore.
    Well every farrier that I have talked to since then has wanted to put wedge pads on to change the hoof angle. Everything that I was told and read said not to do this because it can contract the heel more.
    So this is his him as a yearling. Hoof angle looks good.
    http://s282.photobucket.com/user/blu...gsale.jpg.html
    And these are his hooves when I pulled his shoes.

  • #2
    Yes, it can be fixed. But you've got to have the RIGHT farrier do it.

    I struggled with this with Blush FOREVER. Finally got her down to a really top notch guy who fixed it in just a few cycles. He used glue on Eponas and then a Morrison rocker shoe. She's now barefoot (and retired.)

    If you post where you are, people here might have some ideas for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Put underrun heels on your Search bar, and have at it!
      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


      • #4
        Yes it can and mine is being fixed at this moment. He has been in shoes with pads and a bondo type material between the pad and hoof. Even my chiropractor comment on how nice his heels are because he is a typical low heel long toe type horse and she was impressed on how well his heel looked. It takes the right farrier for sure.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh and she said his heel was nice and open and not contracted. Do your research on farriers. Find one with corrective shoeing expertise. They are more costly. Mine is 160 for just fronts both worth every dime. Vet also loves the way his feet are looking and he is no longer heel sore like he was 6 months ago. It's a longggg process though. It will take many months not just one shoeing cycle. And mine has never considered wedge pads at all to correct this problem.
          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

          Comment


          • #6
            The textbook definition of underrun heels is where the angle of the horn tubules in the heels is inward rather than outward and 5 degrees or more acute than the angle of the horn tubules in the toe. In most cases they can be successfully managed by a skilled farrier to the point where the foot can be maintained with a straight hoof/pastern axis. If that is the definition of "fixing" underrun heels, then I agree that they can be fixed on many horses and I have fixed a bunch of them myself.

            HOWEVER, if the definition of fixing underrun heels includes changing the orientation of the horn tubules in the heels to be outward and the same angle as the horn tubules in the toe (as it is in a normal upright foot), nobody has ever successfully demonstrated that kind of "fix." 'nuther words, the potential to revert to being underrun and broken back HPA is always there and it doesn't take much neglect for the situation to get out of control and revert to a collapsed condition.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
              The textbook definition of underrun heels is where the angle of the horn tubules in the heels is inward rather than outward and 5 degrees or more acute than the angle of the horn tubules in the toe. In most cases they can be successfully managed by a skilled farrier to the point where the foot can be maintained with a straight hoof/pastern axis. If that is the definition of "fixing" underrun heels, then I agree that they can be fixed on many horses and I have fixed a bunch of them myself.

              HOWEVER, if the definition of fixing underrun heels includes changing the orientation of the horn tubules in the heels to be outward and the same angle as the horn tubules in the toe (as it is in a normal upright foot), nobody has ever successfully demonstrated that kind of "fix." 'nuther words, the potential to revert to being underrun and broken back HPA is always there and it doesn't take much neglect for the situation to get out of control and revert to a collapsed condition.
              I am looking at his picture of when he was you younger and he did not have that condition. I don't know much about hoof growth as a horse ages but I was assuming that for this particular instance, his hoof angle and under run heels was caused by a farrier and not by genetic predisposition to having low heels. Please tell me if I am wrong?

              Comment


              • #8
                The condition is directly linked to conformation. Long pasterns with acute natural angles are genetically predisposed to the condition. It can be prevented from developing into a crushed heel problem if the horse has exceptional hoof care throughout its life cycle, but I see plenty of TB foals every year that are born with heel tubules that are already folding inward by the time they are 2 days old. Conformation, gravity and leverage. Add to that the fact that most TB racing stock does not get any farrier care at all until the day before they go to the yearling sale - and you would blame the farrier as the cause? What about the breeding farm that is too cheap to hire a farrier to tend their stock?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bluecharm7 View Post
                  I am looking at his picture of when he was you younger and he did not have that condition.
                  You have close up pictures of the bottom of his feet where you can see the orientation of the horn tubules in the heels?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                      The condition is directly linked to conformation. Long pasterns with acute natural angles are genetically predisposed to the condition. It can be prevented from developing into a crushed heel problem if the horse has exceptional hoof care throughout its life cycle, but I see plenty of TB foals every year that are born with heel tubules that are already folding inward by the time they are 2 days old. Conformation, gravity and leverage. Add to that the fact that most TB racing stock does not get any farrier care at all until the day before they go to the yearling sale - and you would blame the farrier as the cause? What about the breeding farm that is too cheap to hire a farrier to tend their stock?
                      I am not trying to insult anyone. And I was not referring to farrier work done before his yearling picture. I was referring to farrier work done after, when he started race training and was actually training. I was told by the previous trainer that she wants her horses to have lower heels and long toes because she believed that would make him run faster. I was also told by some other trainers that track farriers are taught to do this and do not shoe like they would a horse in a different field. If I was told wrong then I am sorry.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bluecharm7 View Post
                        I am looking at his picture of when he was you younger and he did not have that condition. I don't know much about hoof growth as a horse ages but I was assuming that for this particular instance, his hoof angle and under run heels was caused by a farrier and not by genetic predisposition to having low heels. Please tell me if I am wrong?
                        It can be caused by distal descent. When a horse has a long chronic slow metabolic condition (or even an acute one), the hoof slowly descends (not an OMG sinker that most people think of) and the end result is underrun heels, thin soles, etc etc.

                        And no you can't ever put the foot back (as Bloomer nicely explained).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          It depends. My farm has an environment that allows all of my horses to self trim. I have a 4 year old that has not been trimmed since he was a weanling.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              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
                              Okay thanks. I know that this isn't true in all cases but I was hoping it does in mine. How can I tell that I have the right farrier for the job? Several of the ones I spoke with all wanted to put wedge heels on. I was told that is a big no-no for underrun heels and can cause more problems in the long run? How can I tell without wating a year for the hooves to grow out to see that I used the right or wrong farrier? Thanks

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Oh goody another hooftard web site . . .

                                "Do I need to measure before I give instructions to my farrier? If so, what should I measure? Then what instructions do I need to convey to the farrier?"

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                                  Oh goody another hooftard web site . . .

                                  "Do I need to measure before I give instructions to my farrier? If so, what should I measure? Then what instructions do I need to convey to the farrier?"
                                  Can you tell me what I should be looking for when a farrier trims my horse? How can I tell if his hooves are being properly trim to suit his anatomy and not being trimmed worse then he is? Thanks

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                                    The textbook definition of underrun heels is where the angle of the horn tubules in the heels is inward rather than outward and 5 degrees or more acute than the angle of the horn tubules in the toe. In most cases they can be successfully managed by a skilled farrier to the point where the foot can be maintained with a straight hoof/pastern axis. If that is the definition of "fixing" underrun heels, then I agree that they can be fixed on many horses and I have fixed a bunch of them myself.

                                    HOWEVER, if the definition of fixing underrun heels includes changing the orientation of the horn tubules in the heels to be outward and the same angle as the horn tubules in the toe (as it is in a normal upright foot), nobody has ever successfully demonstrated that kind of "fix." 'nuther words, the potential to revert to being underrun and broken back HPA is always there and it doesn't take much neglect for the situation to get out of control and revert to a collapsed condition.
                                    What would be the best way to manage this situation? I am just trying to find the right farrier for this? I have had one farrier trim him and his growth angle appears to have changed however he is getting horizontal lines running across his hoof wall from the heel and some vertical lines down quarters of one of his hooves. He did not have this before. As I have only owned him 4 months with half of that time he was barefoot. I am just trying to figure out what I should look for to determine that his feet are getting better or worse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by bluecharm7 View Post
                                      What would be the best way to manage this situation? I am just trying to find the right farrier for this? I have had one farrier trim him and his growth angle appears to have changed however he is getting horizontal lines running across his hoof wall from the heel and some vertical lines down quarters of one of his hooves. He did not have this before. As I have only owned him 4 months with half of that time he was barefoot. I am just trying to figure out what I should look for to determine that his feet are getting better or worse.
                                      Have you asked your farrier about these "lines?" If not, why not? A farrier is supposed to be an expert on the hoof and the mechanics of equine locomotion. As such, you should expect them to be able to answer any questions you have about your horse's feet and they should be able to back up their answers with logic and reason.

                                      A competent farrier will welcome your questions and take the time to educate you about what they see in your horse's feet. They should be able to tell you what their goals are at each appointment and at the next appointment review the progress toward those goals. 'nuther words they should have a plan for your horse and if the plan is not working as predicted, they should make adjustments.

                                      What you don't want is some hooftard that does the same cookbook recipe trim on every hoof based on the authority of some "ideal model" or one dimensional protocol that allows no adjustment for the individual horse.
                                      Last edited by Tom Bloomer; Jun. 7, 2013, 08:53 AM.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                                        Have you asked your farrier about these "lines?" If not, why not?
                                        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. This is just the farrier that the barn uses and not one that was recommended to me. He specializes in arabians mainly and does not work on TB feet that often. I am trying to find a new farrier presently that has experience with horses hooves like him.

                                        Comment

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