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Quarter Cracks

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  • Quarter Cracks

    My mare has a significant quarter crack. I have never dealt with quarter cracks before... We are only leasing her and her owner (a good friend) is in charge of her shoeing. Right now she is in regular shoes in front (the quarter crack is on her LF) and barefoot behind. Normally she is barefoot all the way around.

    So my question is, what can I do to help? Topicals? We dont really want to get into supplements because she is fed in the field and walks away from it to the next bucket if she taistes the supplement. She is completely sound on it so should I just let it grow out? How do I make sure it grows out properly?


  • #2
    If it is more than superficial, I would have it patched. There are a few great farriers who travel around patching quarter cracks on show horses. They will clean it all up so it stops spreading up, then use wire mesh and various epoxies and gels to prevent the crack from flexing and spreading widen so it can heal.


    • #3
      Helps to know if it is superficial or not? If not, definitely a patch. If it is, find a good shoer to make sure feet are properly trimmed, balaned and shod. Our mare came to us in August with several superficial quarter cracks and bruised heels. Too small shoes, not too much time between trims and constantly in the wet. She had about three months worth of good growth -- thanks to the dry summer.

      My shoer was great, balanced her feet, we keep her on a 7-8 week schedule and we bring her out of the mud each night but get her out as much as possible all summer. We also use Keratex on her walls every other day, Durasole on her soles and frog every other day and Corona on her coronet bands every other day.

      She is not on a hoof supplement. LMF Super Supplement G, good hay including alfalfa, some whole oats, rice bran and Mare Magic.

      It's almost like she has new feet! Can't wait to see what they look like in August, when it's been a year.


      • Original Poster

        When I go to the barn today I will see if its more supperficial. I have a feeling that its not but I will double check.

        Right now she is on the local feed store's, Competitive Edge (sweet feed w/ more nutirients), and is getting about 1 1/4 pounds twice a day so a total of 2 and a half pounds. She gets a new round bale about every two weeks since there is no grass. The round bale is usually a good grass hay. Maybe when I go to the barn I will ask the owner if she thinks we should patch it.

        Does anyone know how much that cotsts (roughly obviously), and how effective it is and if our normal farrier can do it. Our normal farrier is AWESOME!!!! I dont really want to switch farrieres because I have had some bad experieinces with farriers that have been fill in farriers.

        Thanks for your advice guys!


        • #5
          Is your farrier the same farrier that shod the horse? The first thing that needs to be done is address the hoof balance, which is the usual cause of quarter cracks. Then depending on its severity and location it can be patched. However, that may not be necessary.
          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.


          • Original Poster

            yes our farrier is the same farrier that shoes the horse. Sorry I didn't make that clear.


            • #7

              Food for thought . . .


              • #8
                These can be very difficult to deal with. I agree with above poster that says that proper hoof balance is a major factor. I have a gelding that has had a problem with quarter cracks. We ended up having to x-ray his front feet. He has one more upright hoof and one flatter hoof. When we looked at the x-rays you could see that his coffin bones were rather upright. His hoof growth on the upright hoof matched his coffin bone, but the flatter hoof (the one that we were having problems with the quarter cracks) did not. Because the relationship between the coffin bone and hoof growth did not match, it easily compromised the integrity of the hoof, hence the quarter cracks.

                My farrier has to be very careful to float the quarters and take out the "flair" of the quarters of the hoof, so there is no pressure there. He has to support the heel well. We put cornucresine on the coronet band regularly and he gets a hoof supplement. So far we are managing. I am also very careful he does not pull a shoe, as I don't want any impact to or tearing of the hoof, (and he likes to buck and play in his turn-out ) so he lives in those professional's choice bell boots.
                "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


                • #9
                  Quarter cracks should always be taken seriously. Unless they are caused by a coronary band trauma of some sort, they indicate uneven stress in the hoof and usually an imbalance of some sort. Discuss with farrier his experience with quarter cracks. Unfortunately, if they occurred on "his watch," that doesn't bode well for his experience in this area. Patching is acceptable as long as the crack is "dry," i.e. not bleeding. (I have personal experience with bleeding quarter cracks and it ain't fun.)

                  Floating is an option, as are egg bars and pour-in pads. Do some research online so that you have some foundation for questions when you talk to your farrier.


                  • #10
                    I spent the last year working to grow out my mare's quarter crack. One thing you definitely want to think through is what may have caused the crack in the first place (unbalanced hoof, abscess, etc) so that you can prevent a reoccurrence if at all possible.

                    In my mare's case there was no reason to rush to get her back to work and she was sound on it. We opted not to patch because some of the drilling and lacing that is often done under the patch likely would have made her lame, which seemed counterproductive. We shod her with an eggbar shoe and floated the wall on the side with the crack.

                    In our case the crack started in the middle of the foot and worked its way up to the coronet band. We did not have any luck getting it to grow out correctly (kept splitting back up) until after the foot had grown out so that the crack ran the entire length of the foot. It can be a long and frustrating process. Good luck!