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Farriers, Morrison shoes: a "cure" or a crutch? How best to proceed?

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  • Farriers, Morrison shoes: a "cure" or a crutch? How best to proceed?

    So my gelding has endured a series of bad farrier work, primarily because we don't have a very wide farrier pool to choose from here--as in no choice at all, really, and the long-time farrier retired, so by trial and error we have been doing our best to find competence.

    He came up slightly lame in front in a lesson last week, and I brought him in to the vet. No lameness on straight away trot on hard ground, but it is evident on a lunge doing a circle. Blocking the nerves in the left foot/ankle revealed a lameness in the right as well. It is not navicular. X-rays looked good (as far as bones and joints go). But he is sore. Vet prescribed bringing back the toe and using Morrison shoes (improve breakover and add more angle). He is a TB and has the typical low heel long toe issues. His angles were not good. His sole depth is terrible (it is actually improved at a whopping 7mm--a year ago it was 5).

    I think the lameness was triggered by switching from steel shoes to aluminum (light weight, low profile shoes--not like the Morrisons--think racing plates). Farrier argues that injecting the hocks a month ago took away that pain and now he realizes his fronts hurt. I still think the aluminum plates didn't support him enough...

    Regardless, the point of my post is that I'm looking for more information on these shoes. Vet wanted them set back a 1/4 inch from the front, but the farrier didn't feel that would work because he doesn't "have enough wall." We did go up from a size 7 shoe to an 8, and I'm pleased that now there is more shoe at the back supporting the heel.

    Horse is on Horse Tech hoof supplement and TC Senior has some biotin as well. He doesn't hold shoes well, in general, and his back feet are held together with steel shoes/clips and epoxy after a disasterously muddy, shoe sucking spring.

    1. Will we be stuck using specialty shoes forever?
    2. I love the idea of barefoot, but don't think I have the support (trimmers) necessary to do this, but am wondering about trims in general...I'm trying to learn as much as I can, but it seems that there is a terrible divide, even amongst trimmer/farriers, about what is right and wrong and I'd like to avoid taking this thread down that path if possible. However, if you care to point out resources for me to learn more from, I'd value that.
    3. Pour in pad didn't make it onto horse because the styrafoam freaked him out (different thread about breakaway halters) but I'm hoping the extra width of the shoes will provide more support regardless?
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    In my experience, Morrison shoes have been very helpful in the use your vet perscribed--improving the breakover and adding more angle. Especially if you have a horse with a negative or non-existent Palmer angle...what did that look like in the films?

    However, I will emphasize that I think Morrisons are best used as a transitionary tool. They are not something I keep on my horses long term, but rather something to get the foot to where it needs to be, and then switch to something else. The horses I've had in them long-term have ended up with consequent problems. I have had a couple that have gone from Morrisons to bar shoes with success, and eventually back into normal steel shoes.

    Just my personal opinion/experience, for what it's worth. Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      You will get a lot of answers from both sides here and a lot who tend to disagree with me, but if this was my horse I would pull the shoes and allow the hooves to heal with the necessary support.

      His hooves may be falling apart from
      • previously bad farrier work
      • a diet that does not support hoof health (too high in sugars/starches)
      • compromised gut health (worms,ulcers, lower levels of good bacteria) that does not support hoof health
      • not enough zinc & copper in the diet
      • Forage and water too high in iron that interferes with zinc & copper uptake
      • a combination or all of the above
      You will have to use a process of elimination to figure our the root causes of his poor hoof quality and take it from there. From experience I have seen most problem hooves only go from bad to worse when managed with various shoeing solutions. Of course the die hard farriers here will try to dispute that. And to be fair in some cases the hooves did improve, but it may have been from more than just the shoeing and that's not always clear

      Boots can be used in the meantime to protect his hooves as needed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
        You will get a lot of answers from both sides here and a lot who tend to disagree with me, but if this was my horse I would pull the shoes and allow the hooves to heal with the necessary support.

        His hooves may be falling apart from
        • previously bad farrier work
        • a diet that does not support hoof health (too high in sugars/starches)
        • compromised gut health (worms,ulcers, lower levels of good bacteria) that does not support hoof health
        • not enough zinc & copper in the diet
        • Forage and water too high in iron that interferes with zinc & copper uptake
        • a combination or all of the above
        You will have to use a process of elimination to figure our the root causes of his poor hoof quality and take it from there. From experience I have seen most problem hooves only go from bad to worse when managed with various shoeing solutions. Of course the die hard farriers here will try to dispute that. And to be fair in some cases the hooves did improve, but it may have been from more than just the shoeing and that's not always clear

        Boots can be used in the meantime to protect his hooves as needed.

        BTR - You are being incredibly irresponsible with this statement:

        We are speaking of a horse that is being managed by a vet and what his recommendation is.
        Seriously, I have barefoot horses, but crikey - the question was about the VET/FARRIER prescribed course of treatment by professionals who HAVE seen the horse.
        You are giving bad bad advice in this case.
        Broad sweeping 'this is how you fix it' statement as you continue to make really don't help the barefoot cause. They make barefooters look silly and not more then a bit stupid.

        Also I can tell you have that post on some type of cut and paste, and obviously aren't actually reading- cuz it shows up on every thread, regardless of the initial issue.

        If you HAD READ:
        The OP stated the issue was cause by bad farrier work to begin with. and they she didn't think there was any competent barefoot trimmers in her area to manage a barefoot horse.

        Duh?






        I'm no farrier, but I'd love to see a farrier answer the OP's question, things like this I always find incredibly interesting to learn.
        Originally posted by ExJumper
        Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have to suggest the OP disregard BTR's post, as the poster above me mentioned this is a standard response from her that I can only assume she has saved somewhere, readily available to trot out into any thread that makes reference to a hoof or shoe.

          red = mine

          Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
          You will get a lot of answers from both sides here and a lot who tend to disagree with me, but if this was my horse I would pull the shoes and allow the hooves to heal with the necessary support. You haven't even SEEN the horse. BTR

          His hooves may be falling apart from
          • previously bad farrier work
          • a diet that does not support hoof health (too high in sugars/starches)
          • compromised gut health (worms,ulcers, lower levels of good bacteria) that does not support hoof health
          • not enough zinc & copper in the diet
          • Forage and water too high in iron that interferes with zinc & copper uptake
          • a combination or all of the above
          You will have to use a process of elimination to figure our the root causes of his poor hoof quality and take it from there. From experience Feel free to elaborate.. is this real life with your own eyes in person experience? or case studies on the interwebz I have seen most problem hooves only go from bad to worse when managed with various shoeing solutions. Ok so where are your own studies with photographic evidence... I'm sure we've all seen the two incredibly poor examples of your hacking on your website, but two examples and an online certificate hardly make you an expert. Of course the die hard farriers here will try to dispute that. And to be fair in some cases the hooves did improve, but it may have been from more than just the shoeing and that's not always clear

          Boots can be used in the meantime to protect his hooves as needed.
          I personally would look into an egg bar shoe. They support the heel and stablise the hoof wall.

          Dr. Sven Kold of the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket has written extensively about his research using the shoe. Kold stated that 18 horses competed at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles wearing egg bars. He said that the 1986 World Championship Dressage Team horses from The Netherlands were all shod with egg bars.**


          **article originally appeared in Hoofcare & Lameness: The Journal of Equine Foot Science.

          Comment


          • #6
            TrotTrotPumpkin,
            All I can say is this. If someone's advice sounds good to you on this thread, please ask them their credentials before following it. PLEASE!

            Comment


            • #7
              Honestly why ruin this thread with another war? I know some posts are irresponsible and inappropriate, but waging all out war completely defeats the purpose because no accurate information gets across. The OP is looking for advice. Can't we just ignore and move on?

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by highlands View Post
                In my experience, Morrison shoes have been very helpful in the use your vet perscribed--improving the breakover and adding more angle. Especially if you have a horse with a negative or non-existent Palmer angle...what did that look like in the films?
                If Palmer angle is referencing the coffin bone placement (I'm not sure?) the front tip of the coffin bone was slightly lower than the rear. The vet did comment that it was a good angle (I want to say 3-5 degrees was what he said--I don't remember with certainty).

                I should add that this horse came to our barn (first a friend owned him, then me) and his feet were TERRIBLY neglected when he first got here and have improved. I really think the lightweight aluminum shoes brought this out (can anyone comment on that?).
                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can you get a farrier reference from your vet?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Well, the vet clinic is affiliated with a farrier and refers everyone there. I'm not going to say anything else about that. So in short, no, I won't get a referral, plus I really think/hope the newest farrier is going to work out. The vet had nothing negative to say about him and thought we would get along well. I just wish we hadn't tried the aluminum shoe, in retrospect (that was the first time I had used him--however, previous owner attributes current farrier with the success the horse did make in hoof improvement upon her initial purchase of him two years ago). Why horse didn't stay with that farrier for past two years is a long, irrelevant story. But to make a long story short, I don't have a lot of options.

                    I guess my point was more in looking at alternative shoes, peoples' experiences with this shoe, more info on if it is a short term or long term solution. If it is a short term solution to relieve pressure caused by bad breakover/hoof angle then how do we transition into something better without simply cuting back toe? The farrier does have a few clients using this shoe and one person pulls them every winter (not at his suggestion) and goes back to steel shoes and by spring the horse is sore again. He seems to believe we will need this shoe to stay competitive (that being a relative term :-). However, this 15 year old horse has survived and sometimes thrived thus far without such a shoe, so I'm just not sure...

                    In case it matters in the hoof/shoe analysis, prior to this happening the plan was to show first level dressage this summer and mess around at some hunter shows--2'6"/2'9" So no grand prix goals for this year, ;-)

                    For those not familiar with the shoe it is this (NOT the Morrison club foot shoe): http://www.grandcircuitinc.com/prodd...prod=MORSGCMOR
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chancellor2 View Post
                      TrotTrotPumpkin,
                      All I can say is this. If someone's advice sounds good to you on this thread, please ask them their credentials before following it. PLEASE!
                      Just so you know, I referred her to all sorts of barefoot trimmers with credentials

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
                        Just so you know, I referred her to all sorts of barefoot trimmers with credentials
                        credentials like yours?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by spaghetti legs View Post

                          Dr. Sven Kold of the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket has written extensively about his research using the shoe. Kold stated that 18 horses competed at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles wearing egg bars. He said that the 1986 World Championship Dressage Team horses from The Netherlands were all shod with egg bars.**


                          **article originally appeared in Hoofcare & Lameness: The Journal of Equine Foot Science.
                          Egg bars also have a very poor track record in general and are also not a good long term solution for problem hooves. Read this is you are open minded enough to hear the other side of the story also from a vet: http://www.easycareinc.com/Education...raditions.aspx

                          Just because one supposedly credible source says they worked, it does not mean the information is totally unbiased. Even doctors make many assumptions.

                          And I always encourage EVERYONE to do the following:

                          "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and it is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J.D. View Post
                            credentials like yours?
                            Of course and then some so she can decide best for herself

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              BTR, no offense, but there is a difference between articles in scientific, peer reviewed journals and those run as advertisements on business websites. Have you ever read an article that used scientific analysis? Not just anecdotes, but data, data modeled, collected under controlled conditions and analyzed with scientific analysis? *hint* they are usually painfully hard to decipher and accompanied with data, charts and numbers.

                              To the OP, sometimes you just have to give things a try. Too bad about the referral farrier not being workable for you.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by magnolia73 View Post
                                BTR, no offense, but there is a difference between articles in scientific, peer reviewed journals and those run as advertisements on business websites. Have you ever read an article that used scientific analysis? Not just anecdotes, but data, data modeled, collected under controlled conditions and analyzed with scientific analysis? *hint* they are usually painfully hard to decipher and accompanied with data, charts and numbers.
                                No offense, but personally I believe people often rely too much on scientific data and numbers wherever it comes from without listening enough to the affected person or animal. This often creates a situation where the professionals can no longer see the forest for the trees and essentially leads to "mis(s)"-treatment of the individual.

                                You can learn A LOT simply by means of thorough and objective observations. Humans have learned that way for thousands of years before the term double blind study was even coined...........

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OK, but maybe don't post editorial written to advertise products..... and encourage your peers to get published in more neutral publications than on the website of a manufacturer of hoof boots.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    TrotTrot - you had a question about measuring palmar angle - here's a website with a great descriptive: http://www.nanric.com/measure_palmar_angle.asp

                                    For what its worth - I've heard really REALLY great things about the Epona shoes combined with packing. I'm sure there are plenty of horses out there that they don't work on, but the reports I've heard so far are that horses generally love them. They are a composite shoe and when combined with the packing, provide a great deal of support and cushion. I haven't used them personally, but it might be one more thing to look into.

                                    Good luck, yikes not fun.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                      TrotTrot - you had a question about measuring palmar angle - here's a website with a great descriptive: http://www.nanric.com/measure_palmar_angle.asp

                                      For what its worth - I've heard really REALLY great things about the Epona shoes combined with packing. I'm sure there are plenty of horses out there that they don't work on, but the reports I've heard so far are that horses generally love them. They are a composite shoe and when combined with the packing, provide a great deal of support and cushion. I haven't used them personally, but it might be one more thing to look into.

                                      Good luck, yikes not fun.
                                      Yes, that's what I thought. My horse's angle wasn't as steep as the first one in the picture (definitely wasn't negative though). More of a 3 or 4 degree angle. The shoes have a bit of a wedge, so that brings the angle up a bit more, I'd imagine.

                                      No, it's not fun at all. We were actually going to get to do something this year (work interfered in the past) and BO should have a new indoor up in about a month. I was looking forward to finally getting serious, if you will. I even built myself a course of jumps (never used). I probably should just get serious about work instead--lots and lots of vet bills this summer between maintaining this guy and breeding my mare.
                                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I had a mare previously who had a vet's Rx for a shoe like that (this vet did not say "Morrison", but the general design is the same). The breakover was to be brought back to 1/4" in front of the coffin bone tip, and the hoof packed and padded. Let me tell you, it left a whole lot of toe in front of the breakover the first go-round, which the farrier neatly dubbed since I said I didn't mind...

                                        In the end, the farrier used Eponas with packing, following the vet's protocol for placement. I think it was for about 4 shoeings, then he moved the mare back into plain steel shoes, and she was fine thereafter. Rads showed much increased sole thickness and good breakover.

                                        Her original dx was thin soles, run-forward toe. This seemed to be quickly remedied - rather more quickly than I expected.

                                        So yes, although not the exact shoe recommended to you, I have had a success with that protocol.

                                        Comment

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