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UPDATE Anyone want to tell me good (sound) stories about an embedded clip?

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    UPDATE Anyone want to tell me good (sound) stories about an embedded clip?

    I headed out to my second show of the year this afternoon. The trailer ride was uneventful and we got out to the showgrounds around noon. It took me a couple of hours to get everything unloaded and set up, and I was ready to hop on my mare first around 2pm. I pull her out of her stall and.....voila! Through rearing in her stall and acting like an idiot she'd managed to torque one of her hind shoes and come down on the clip, embedding it completely in her sole. She was three-legged because of it.

    We managed to get the shoe off and I put betadine in the hole and then poulticed & wrapped her foot with Epsom Salt paste (which was all anyone seemed to have on hand) and then buted her. She was weight bearing and not particularly sore once we got the shoe off, but I'm pretty resignated to signing off the entire week. And that's frustrating since I was really only at this show to do the AO Jumpers with her. I've got my greenie gelding that I'm taking the 1.10 and 1.15m classes, but he makes me feel like a backyard yahoo mare is the one that makes me feel like I actually know what I'm doing!

    Anyone have any stories about a horse embedding a clip and staying sound at least for the short term?
    Last edited by PNWjumper; Apr. 16, 2009, 12:05 AM.
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW

    I have a nigtmare-abcess/sole bruise that would not die resulting from a sprung shoe/stepped-on clip story, and a less-nightmarish incident of a horse puncturing the white line with a stepped-on clip which eventually blew an abcess out at the coronary band but horse was suprising only lame just before the thing popped (less than 24hrs total). Do you want either of those? I guess I kind of already shared them.

    It was enough to convince me that clips are a PITA, but I don't ride at your level and you may need them for something. For me it made no sense since my horse's toe growth on one foot was such that it was not conducive to clips. After those 2 incidents I was none too reluctant to abandon them anyway. Hope it all goes well for you. I do remember having to do a tetanus booster so definitely check with the vet on that. In the worse of the 2 cases, the puncture was in the caudal portion of the hoof, which I think tends to complicate things. I think a lot depends on depth and level of infection. So in other words, I am sorry for my completely pointless and not-helpful rambling, it all just depends, but best of luck to you and your mare!


      I had a A/A hunter who pulled the shoe half off while froggin' in turnout and came down on a clip. Obviously lame. Pulled shoe and treated it like it was going to abscess from day one- for almost 2 weeks. Never had an abscess and he was fine after that.


        Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard of "mothballing" or freezing an injury like this? My shoer (who was too far away to come out to the show) mentioned that a shoer who really knew what they were doing could do either to prevent it from becoming a more serious issue at least in the immediate future. The show farrier had never heard of either.
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW


          A few years ago a friend's Percheron filly did that to her foot while she was turned out goofing around. She was horribly lame, it eventually absessed, but then it took the hole forever to heal. I believe she re-absessed a couple more times, even though she was treated daily, booted, restricted to indoors for awhile, etc... It was about a two month or so ordeal w/ her, but she's been fine since.

          Hope your mare heals much faster.
          A Merrick N Dream Farm
          Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


            Worked at a summer camp a few years back, we had a crazy trak mare who did basically the same thing. We found it near immediately, pulled the shoe, cleaned it, and kept it poulticed. Soaked the foot daily and kept both legs wrapped until she was weight bearing pretty well. (kept soaking the foot after that.) She healed just fine. No abcess or anything. The one thing we did do is make sure to put her on a vitamin/mineral supp to make sure her immune system was working on all cylanders. Good luck!


              Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
              Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard of "mothballing" or freezing an injury like this?
              Mothballing: Crushing up mothballs containing napthalene(very hard if at all possible, to find due to the flammability of napthalene.), putting them on the sole of the hoof and then passing a hot iron or the like, over them to melt them onto the sole. The effect is to both create a hard 'artificial sole" and to numb the underlying sole of the hoof. Its an old time remedy that had/has its fair share of successes.

              Freezing: The use of a product containing high levels of iodine and other compounds to numb and harden the sole. It is still used on racetracks and elsewhere to this day. Most applications require the product to be applied frequently during the early stages of the injury.

              see: for more information.

              Another extremely effective product is Durasole (

              Please note however that none of these products are actually intended for use with penetrating wounds to the sole and that there are inherent risks involved in using them to palliate pain from a puncture wound.
              My shoer (who was too far away to come out to the show) mentioned that a shoer who really knew what they were doing could do either to prevent it from becoming a more serious issue at least in the immediate future.
              Unless the farrier has some age on him/her, it is really doubtful that s/he would know about the mothball trick. As for 'freezing' the hoof unless the farrier has been on the backside/shed row of the track, or is doing his/her due dilligence on these kinds of treatments, there is no way s/he would know how to freeze a hoof.
              The show farrier had never heard of either.
              Not in the least bit suprising.


                Originally posted by 5chestnuts
                Rick - You are such a wealth of information. I love reading your posts. Would it help if the OP had the show farrier stuff the sole with iodine soaked cotton, and then put a shoe with a pad on?
                At this point, probably not. If the insult is deep, then there won't be any way to, short term, overcome the attendant inflammation. That said, it probably wouldn't hurt to treat it, but I would not cover it with a pad. One might be able to add a rim pad to create some depth/distance and also cold soak/ice the hoof repeatedly to try and get the heat out.

                Bottom line is that if the horse is really lame on that foot, and especially if some infection is starting, the best thing to do is fold your tent, let the horse heal up, and try again a different day. A puncture wound is a serious injury and should be treated accordingly.

                IMNTBCHO, its better to give up one shot at glory for the chance to have many opportunities down the road.


                  I don't mean to sound unkind, insensitive or snarky, but..... that is precisely why my farrier only does toe clips on my guys. He said he has seen too may cases of the side clips doing just what you experienced.

                  Good luck and I hope your horse heals quickly.
                  Kanoe Godby
                  See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                    My horse did this, never had an abscess or anything bad, but stayed lame for 2 months, basically until the hole from the clip grew out. It was upsetting at the time because we thought something worse was wrong, but nothing. Then one day sound after 2 months of fighting with it. Including taking x-rays!


                      Okay, I'm back with my update from day 1:

                      My mare is sound! We didn't get a great look at the hole last night because she was so sensitive about having us look at it after pulling the shoe off. And once I got her foot wrapped I lost my chance to look further later. The trainer that helped me and I peeked at it and thought it was just inside of the white line in her sole. But the shoe farrier tacked her shoe back on this morning and commented that the clip appeared to have gone directly into the white line. She didn't think my mare would have any issues with it this week.

                      So now my question is: The farrier said that the shoe was going right back over the hole, pretty effectively sealing it up and keeping dirt out of it. But without packing that hole with something doesn't that run the risk of creating an abcess by nature of the fact that it's a "closed" hole? Or is that something that isn't an issue when the "wound" is in the white line?

                      Rick--thanks so much for your informative post! I was going to call my farrier to ask about both options, but I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't explain things that thoroughly.
                      Flying F Sport Horses
                      Horses in the NW


                        Sounds as though you dodged a bullet. There may be some risk of trapped pathogens but short term, it shouldn't be a problem. I suggest that when you get home from the show you have your farrier come out, remove the shoe, assess the situation and then deal with it appropriately.