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Chloe_Earth

I'm At A Loss..

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I bought a rescue horse about a year ago, and I knew that it would come with some challenges. When I bought him he had a crack in his front left hoof, which looked to be no big deal. He was put on supplements plus hoof conditioner(Corona), and is seen by a farrier regularly. I put shoes on him to prevent the cracks from opening anymore. The crack seemed to heal a little, but it wasn't gone. I knew it was going to take time for it to heal all the way. Anyway, for the past two months he has thrown his shoe and he pretty much tore his hoof off to the sole. So, at the farriers suggestion I left him bare to see if it would help. Well...that hoof has slowly started to grow back, but it looks like he has a pocket in that hoof. The farrier said it might be a scar but I am just at a loss. He gets fed strategy, msn, vita hoof, and sho-glow. I'm thinking of maybe trying liquid hoof supplement, and doing blood work to see if maybe there is something there. He is 19.

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Post pics of the feet from several angles, as well as the bottom. Missy Claire here is really good at helping to fix these things.

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Cracks don't heal. They have to grow out. The trick is to keep the torque off it, so that it can grow out, rather than tear upward in the opposite direction. Not getting the onus off that crack will keep the crack maintained or getting worse. Every step matters and you can either promote concavity and a better hoof, or promote pathological growth....the barefoot trim is for the horse, the trim under the shoe is for the shoe. Your horse needs a balanced barefoot trim if he's going to go bare anyway. You may have to call in a trimmer, if the farrier cannot do this. It is the crack at the ground that when the hoof rolls over it, puts tension on it all the way up. A bevel takes the crack right off the ground and keeps it quiet, while it grows out...as long as its maintained, or the torque is right back on again. A shoe also takes the crack off the ground, but then its also sitting on the shoe. 

Without pics, I can't tell what the situation is with his feet, or the work your farrier has done. I see this as a self trimming exercise by the horse, with a bit of Murphy's Law thrown in. If the wall is even with the sole, then its all good. That's exactly where it wants to be. It hasn't torn into soft tissue. He shouldn't be lame, if this is the case.  If he's sensitive, I'd put boots on him and keep going. The goal is to get a good trim, then move to work that trim. If he's off of shoes, don't let it slow you down, get comfortable and move, fight thrush and make good use of this time without shoes. You may not need them again. He's older, so the transition will probably be slower and comfort should be more prominent on your sleeve.

As for the diet, I'm going to have to research all these products to see what you are feeding in total. I suspect that his system may be fairly junked up. Sorry, but I'll take a look. At 19, the risk for developing Cushings runs higher, so diet should be low in iron, starch and sugar. What he requires in order to meet these iron/sugar/starch demands is a grass hay only diet. Sugar and starch added together to be a strict 10%. Treat him like he already is IR and you won't go there. You don't want to go there. What hay are you feeding? Is he a hard keeper, bad teeth, are you showing? What's his work schedule like? What are the ground conditions like?  Cushings and IR related problems affect the white line in the feet. Cracks and broken off shoes are not necessarily related. If his weight is good, and he's not laminitic, then no need for the blood test, or even xrays, I'm thinking. If the crack was bad, the farrier would have done more than slap a shoe on it....I hope....need pics.

Edited by missyclare

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