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Wearing hind toes square

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  • Wearing hind toes square

    I know there was JUST a thread on this subject but I can't seem to find it. I'm not very good at working the search feature. If anyone with better search voodoo can locate it for me, I'd be grateful for a link.

    Otherwise- what are some potential causes for a horse to be wearing their hinds down square? I'm thinking hock issues first and foremost, but any other ideas?
    bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
    free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

  • #2


    • #3
      I would say stifle too. With stifle issues, a lot of horses won't pick their foot up high enough to clear the ground.


      • #4
        Any joint issue can affect hind breakover - so hock, stifle, fetlock are the commonest.


        • #5
          The toes might be too long or tall to begin with.

          Or it can be the hock or stifle, but it can also be higher in the hip.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            Dragging the foot will wear out the toes very quick and is a sign of hind end problems. Also, if you are riding primarily on stone dust, the pace of wearing will acccelerate.

            Toes will wear down naturally on even a healthy, sound horse. It kind of depends on the horse's way of going, and how often the horse is ridden on a harder surface such as stone dust.
            Man plans. God laughs.


            • #7
              With my old gelding, it was severe high ringbone in both hinds. Also manifested as swapping leads behind and difficulty getting up after rolling.


              • #8
                Stifle most definitely. My guy will always start to wear down the front of his hoof on the side that he is weaker on if he is really out of shape and is lacking in muscle. Getting him in shape again, corrects it.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the thoughts, all.

                  She's wearing them down almost perfectly symmetrically. Her back is fine. She's almost 21, so arthritic changes in the hocks were my first instinct. She has no other notable issues and is spry and high as a kite most of the time- she certainly doesn't act like she's in pain. She's been on sort-of-stall confinement for several months- issues with the front hooves wherein they can't get too wet- so she isn't in great shape, but she's coming around. She is definitely carrying more weight than usual. Getting her toned up will, I'm sure, help with everything.
                  We will get her stifles checked out as well.
                  bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                  free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


                  • #10
                    One older, arthritic mare I trim tends to wear her hind toes beyond the white line. Owners use Easyboot Glove boots to prevent overwearing during riding. Now she still squares them off between trim, but not past the white line.
                    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                    • #11
                      Also, laziness while working on a rough surface like asphalt - our driving horses have always worn their hind toes square if they are not shod, AND if they are allowed to dog along and not work.

                      In your last post you mention her age - so she may be stiff and just not picking up her feet as she should. But our sound driving horses who are driven on pavement will do this regularly if we don't shoe them and/or let them be lazy.

                      During the winter I ride on the paved roads a lot (horse is barefoot) and my mare doesn't need much of a trim when March rolls around and it's time for shoes- pavement is rough on hooves.


                      • #12
                        Dragging hind feet and wearing them down might also be a sign of neurological issues like wobbles and EPM.


                        • #13
                          SI joint area might be another place to look.
                          Snowline Sport Horses
                          Breeder of Hanoverian horses


                          • #14
                            It can be caused by anything that causes the horse to drag the toes so the list is long.

                            If you want a diagnosis, consult a good sporthorse vet.


                            • #15
                              RubyFree, that was my post and I deleted it because I was unsure if it was in the correct spot or not, which is probably why you didn't see it when you did a search.

                              My pony has started doing this since I moved her home this past summer. Changes: New turnout areas (hillier) and new arena footing (course, angular sand). To my trainers and friends and myself, watching her on videos, etc. we cannot see ANY lameness to speak of, just a slight "swoop" of her hind toes across the footing as she trots. Walk and Canter, no drag. Same as yours, exactly the same symmetry on each foot, square toes.

                              My vet, who is a lameness specialist (and also my chiropractor/accupuncturist) came out to adjust my horses and I asked him about it. He adjusted her and said he couldn't feel anything out in a certain area that would point him to worry about her stifles, but like it was mentioned it could be SO many things, some not a big deal and some a big deal.

                              Next time he comes out he said he wants to see her fresh out of her stall without being warmed up, and then both under saddle and on the lunge and etc., to see what might be going on. So my thought is you might want to possibly get a vet out at some point to do a lameness exam. Like I said my vet said it could be SO many things, small or big. Good luck and I hope it's nothing big for either of our guys!