UCequest

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Everything posted by UCequest

  1. Superficial Hoof Cracks

    Frequent consistant farrier care and a good diet will help. Hoof oils and such actually seal moisture out...there was a good article on that in John Lyons magazine recently I think. Toe cracks are normally indications the toe is too long or the heels are too high putting pressure/leverage on the toe, or a combination of both. Quarter cracks are usually from having heels that aren't trimmed enough or are "left alone so they'll grow taller!" and what really happens is they start to grow under and get under run. This puts strain/pressure at the quarters. Or they can be caused by having a low heel or underrun heel combined with a long toe, also causing a prying force. A hoof growth cycle is normally 8-12 months, so your horse has most likely had a full growth cycle if not close too it since you've owned her. If after a few more months she still has chronic cracks...superficial or not, then the farrier isn't being able to trim her often enough or he isn't keeping her balanced and you might try a different farrier for a while and see what happens.
  2. Superficial Hoof Cracks

    Frequent consistant farrier care and a good diet will help. Hoof oils and such actually seal moisture out...there was a good article on that in John Lyons magazine recently I think. Toe cracks are normally indications the toe is too long or the heels are too high putting pressure/leverage on the toe, or a combination of both. Quarter cracks are usually from having heels that aren't trimmed enough or are "left alone so they'll grow taller!" and what really happens is they start to grow under and get under run. This puts strain/pressure at the quarters. Or they can be caused by having a low heel or underrun heel combined with a long toe, also causing a prying force. A hoof growth cycle is normally 8-12 months, so your horse has most likely had a full growth cycle if not close too it since you've owned her. If after a few more months she still has chronic cracks...superficial or not, then the farrier isn't being able to trim her often enough or he isn't keeping her balanced and you might try a different farrier for a while and see what happens.
  3. Barefooted horses

    Oh, I forgot....some really good books are "Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You" by Pete Ramey and "Horse Owner's Guide to Natural Hoof Care" by Jaime Jackson Both can be gotten on amazon.com That will really give you a ton of info and answer all your questions. It talks about how to properly trim.
  4. Barefooted horses

    Oh, I forgot....some really good books are "Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You" by Pete Ramey and "Horse Owner's Guide to Natural Hoof Care" by Jaime Jackson Both can be gotten on amazon.com That will really give you a ton of info and answer all your questions. It talks about how to properly trim.
  5. Barefooted horses

    No need for shoeing him if you get a well balanced trim. I live in CO and ride my horses on mountain trails barefoot. It took them some time to condition their hooves to it. When I first pulled their shoes they couldn't have done it but with conditioning they tromp across anything now. If you house your horse on soft terrain add some gravel in his pasture where he has to cross over it a few times a day, like in a gateway or around the water trough. This really helps toughen them up. If you want to ride in a terrain that your horse isn't used to Hoof Boots work great. Take them along with you on the trail, if your horse get's gimpy and tells you he needs them jump off and put them on. Someone mentioned the AANHCP recommends Swiss Boots...they used to but they now mostly recommend Boas and Epics. You can look at www.easycareinc.com Boa boots are really good and easy to put on...more user friendly. That's what I have. Epics are great for more competitive or long rides. They are less bulky than the Boas. There is a person that posts on this board named OzarkTrailRider or something like that. She rides barefoot in the Buffalo river area (North AR, some of the rockiest terrain in the US) on all her horses. They used to be shod but found they do even better barefoot. You might go look at some websites that talk specifically about barefoot horses like www.equethy.com www.healthyhoof.com www.drabekhoofcare.com ...all that good stuff....there are a lot of sites on the subject.
  6. Barefooted horses

    No need for shoeing him if you get a well balanced trim. I live in CO and ride my horses on mountain trails barefoot. It took them some time to condition their hooves to it. When I first pulled their shoes they couldn't have done it but with conditioning they tromp across anything now. If you house your horse on soft terrain add some gravel in his pasture where he has to cross over it a few times a day, like in a gateway or around the water trough. This really helps toughen them up. If you want to ride in a terrain that your horse isn't used to Hoof Boots work great. Take them along with you on the trail, if your horse get's gimpy and tells you he needs them jump off and put them on. Someone mentioned the AANHCP recommends Swiss Boots...they used to but they now mostly recommend Boas and Epics. You can look at www.easycareinc.com Boa boots are really good and easy to put on...more user friendly. That's what I have. Epics are great for more competitive or long rides. They are less bulky than the Boas. There is a person that posts on this board named OzarkTrailRider or something like that. She rides barefoot in the Buffalo river area (North AR, some of the rockiest terrain in the US) on all her horses. They used to be shod but found they do even better barefoot. You might go look at some websites that talk specifically about barefoot horses like www.equethy.com www.healthyhoof.com www.drabekhoofcare.com ...all that good stuff....there are a lot of sites on the subject.
  7. Hock Injections-Do they work?

    www.texashorsetalk.com/dubois.htm Here is an article I recently ran across online when doing some research for a paper. My vet pretty much does the same thing...before any sort of joint injection he always closely looks at hoof angle and boney column alignment. I'm in vet school and we are taught 90% of lameness issues are hoof related/caused. Often just the slightest incorrect angle, for instance being a bit underrun in the rear hooves, will put strain on the hocks over time. Or if he is having issues with his front legs or hooves they will often hold more weight on the back then normal to alleviate discomfort, also causing hock or stifle problems. After some balanced hoof care symptoms often improve and if you maintain it they will usually disappear. If the symptoms don't change at all it's then that you can start looking into genetics. Hope that helps or at least give you some options to look into.
  8. Hock Injections-Do they work?

    www.texashorsetalk.com/dubois.htm Here is an article I recently ran across online when doing some research for a paper. My vet pretty much does the same thing...before any sort of joint injection he always closely looks at hoof angle and boney column alignment. I'm in vet school and we are taught 90% of lameness issues are hoof related/caused. Often just the slightest incorrect angle, for instance being a bit underrun in the rear hooves, will put strain on the hocks over time. Or if he is having issues with his front legs or hooves they will often hold more weight on the back then normal to alleviate discomfort, also causing hock or stifle problems. After some balanced hoof care symptoms often improve and if you maintain it they will usually disappear. If the symptoms don't change at all it's then that you can start looking into genetics. Hope that helps or at least give you some options to look into.
  9. how to treat white line disease?

    Clean Trax! We rescued a TB filly that had WLD and she has a clean bill of "foot health" now and is high performance sound...My farrier and equine vet both swear by it. You can go to http://www17.serrahost.com/servlet/equinep...t+Care+Products Click on Clean Trax to get more info on it...
  10. how to treat white line disease?

    Clean Trax! We rescued a TB filly that had WLD and she has a clean bill of "foot health" now and is high performance sound...My farrier and equine vet both swear by it. You can go to http://www17.serrahost.com/servlet/equinep...t+Care+Products Click on Clean Trax to get more info on it...
  11. Dealing with a foundered horse.

    Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle. Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling. So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too. I wouldn't recommend backwards shoes though. From what I've read and seen, while some horses luckily make it through, foundered horses shod with backwards shoes have the highest chance of the CB penetrating. Being backwards the shoe doesn't take pressure off as once thought, instead it actually shifts the horse forwards (they will lean towards the open area of the shoe) and this not only creates pressure points where the shoe ends on each side it basically gives the coffin bone a hole to fall through. You actually want to support the coffin bone so it does not shift or drop any further, not leave it suspended so that it drives downward with each step. It's so hard to explain.... [ 09-04-2005, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  12. Dealing with a foundered horse.

    Also, believe it or not, they now recommend not stall confining them. Moving in circles is very painful for a foundered horse and can actually increase the chance of the bone dropping through the sole. They should be able to move as their body sees fit and in a stall they are forced to only move in a circle. Circulation is critical to help heal the hoof and flush the toxins out to prevent further founder. Stalling creates horrible circulation causing many horses to stock up or have swelling. So keeping them out on a dry lot paddock is best so they can move around, even if they don't move around much at first. Offer a padded area (straw, hay, shavings, or sand, etc.) to stand on or lie down on if they choose and let their water trough run over so they can stand in the mud...they sometimes find relief in that. They will do what their body tells them too. I wouldn't recommend backwards shoes though. From what I've read and seen, while some horses luckily make it through, foundered horses shod with backwards shoes have the highest chance of the CB penetrating. Being backwards the shoe doesn't take pressure off as once thought, instead it actually shifts the horse forwards (they will lean towards the open area of the shoe) and this not only creates pressure points where the shoe ends on each side it basically gives the coffin bone a hole to fall through. You actually want to support the coffin bone so it does not shift or drop any further, not leave it suspended so that it drives downward with each step. It's so hard to explain.... [ 09-04-2005, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  13. Dealing with a foundered horse.

    Please go read the FAQ section of this farriers site... www.keithseeley.com partcularly about pads, shoes, etc. There has been A lot lot lot of research at many universities here and overseas the past decade that has changed the way many up to date farriers and vets view how to best treat founder. Unfortunately unlike medical doctors who by law have to stay updated on the latest treatments, farriers don't, so they will still do what they were taught 20 years ago and think you are crazy if you say you don't want to apply shoes. The vets at my University have treated quite a few foundered horses over the years this way the above guy does with dramatic success to compare it to the "conventional" treatment they would have normally prescribed. What they have found is this new way is far more effective, quicker and gives long term soundness compared to the traditional way. Every horse treated this way went back to being fully sound and rideable, while only some of the shod horses did and the others were never considered completely sound. Anyhow, food for thought...just another treatment option to look at. My farrier has a few founders to the point of coffin bone penetration that he treated this way and they are doing great and recovering well. He's pleasantly surprised that something so simple can work so well.
  14. Dealing with a foundered horse.

    Please go read the FAQ section of this farriers site... www.keithseeley.com partcularly about pads, shoes, etc. There has been A lot lot lot of research at many universities here and overseas the past decade that has changed the way many up to date farriers and vets view how to best treat founder. Unfortunately unlike medical doctors who by law have to stay updated on the latest treatments, farriers don't, so they will still do what they were taught 20 years ago and think you are crazy if you say you don't want to apply shoes. The vets at my University have treated quite a few foundered horses over the years this way the above guy does with dramatic success to compare it to the "conventional" treatment they would have normally prescribed. What they have found is this new way is far more effective, quicker and gives long term soundness compared to the traditional way. Every horse treated this way went back to being fully sound and rideable, while only some of the shod horses did and the others were never considered completely sound. Anyhow, food for thought...just another treatment option to look at. My farrier has a few founders to the point of coffin bone penetration that he treated this way and they are doing great and recovering well. He's pleasantly surprised that something so simple can work so well.
  15. The Hoof Color myth is just that...a myth. It is nothing more than pigment...that would be like saying black skin is different than white skin. It's the same, just merely a different color. You should educate yourself on bare hooves so you can know what to be looking for. Most farrier's know shod hooves. And they trim bare hooves the way they would trim it if they were putting a shoe on. This will make most horses sore while barefoot. All horses may not need shoes, but all horses DO need proper trimming. Shod or not. I suspect your new farrier isn't doing something right whether it's removing the calluses or putting them at the wrong angles. Also horses shouldn't be allowed to get long, they should be maintained and trimmed before they get long. If not they will get flaring and this pulls and tears on their laminae...that hurts! Make absolute sure your farrier isn't scraping off the sole giving them no protection, but also not leaving them all lumpy with pressure points. Check out sites like www.ironfreehoof.com www.tribeequus.com www.equinextion.com and others that will help you recognize a good trim from a bad and what makes a healthy hard bare hoof. I have two Thoroughbreds (*gasp* race breds! With four white hooves between the two!) that I thought would always need shoes. Due to various reasons my vet and I pulled their shoes and began using a trimmer that specialized in bare hooves. They are more than sound and I live on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. We compete regularly in Jumping and Cross Country. They have rocks all througout their paddocks. That goes for all the barefoot TB/Warmblood broodmares and lesson horses at my boarding stable too. See if you can perhaps find a trimmer that would be more familiar with bare feet rather than shod feet? Worth a try before going and shoeing the horses. [ 08-22-2005, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  16. The Hoof Color myth is just that...a myth. It is nothing more than pigment...that would be like saying black skin is different than white skin. It's the same, just merely a different color. You should educate yourself on bare hooves so you can know what to be looking for. Most farrier's know shod hooves. And they trim bare hooves the way they would trim it if they were putting a shoe on. This will make most horses sore while barefoot. All horses may not need shoes, but all horses DO need proper trimming. Shod or not. I suspect your new farrier isn't doing something right whether it's removing the calluses or putting them at the wrong angles. Also horses shouldn't be allowed to get long, they should be maintained and trimmed before they get long. If not they will get flaring and this pulls and tears on their laminae...that hurts! Make absolute sure your farrier isn't scraping off the sole giving them no protection, but also not leaving them all lumpy with pressure points. Check out sites like www.ironfreehoof.com www.tribeequus.com www.equinextion.com and others that will help you recognize a good trim from a bad and what makes a healthy hard bare hoof. I have two Thoroughbreds (*gasp* race breds! With four white hooves between the two!) that I thought would always need shoes. Due to various reasons my vet and I pulled their shoes and began using a trimmer that specialized in bare hooves. They are more than sound and I live on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. We compete regularly in Jumping and Cross Country. They have rocks all througout their paddocks. That goes for all the barefoot TB/Warmblood broodmares and lesson horses at my boarding stable too. See if you can perhaps find a trimmer that would be more familiar with bare feet rather than shod feet? Worth a try before going and shoeing the horses. [ 08-22-2005, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  17. The Healthy Hoof

    www.equinextion.com has some great photos that show comparisons between what has become a "traditional" hoof and what is actually a healthy hoof. www.equethy.com is also good and a good site with a ton of sites all listed together is www.wholehorsetrim.com/Articles.htm (scroll down to get to some hoof websites). Those will give you a good start...It's great you want to learn about what a truly healthy hoof should look like! So many people don't care and just slap some shoes on and go. If they only realized how many problems poor hoof form can cause (lead to shoulder, back pain, stiff gaits, behavior problems, navicular, refusal to take leads on a certain side, etc.)! It's truly the most important part of the horse! Whether you shoe or not there is a proper form the hoof should have with or without a shoe. Nearly all horses I see today (I tend to constanlty look at horses hooves at horse shows I go to, lol) are underrun or imbalanced in some way and just getting some quality hoof care would help them perform so much better I think! [ 08-04-2005, 07:32 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  18. The Healthy Hoof

    www.equinextion.com has some great photos that show comparisons between what has become a "traditional" hoof and what is actually a healthy hoof. www.equethy.com is also good and a good site with a ton of sites all listed together is www.wholehorsetrim.com/Articles.htm (scroll down to get to some hoof websites). Those will give you a good start...It's great you want to learn about what a truly healthy hoof should look like! So many people don't care and just slap some shoes on and go. If they only realized how many problems poor hoof form can cause (lead to shoulder, back pain, stiff gaits, behavior problems, navicular, refusal to take leads on a certain side, etc.)! It's truly the most important part of the horse! Whether you shoe or not there is a proper form the hoof should have with or without a shoe. Nearly all horses I see today (I tend to constanlty look at horses hooves at horse shows I go to, lol) are underrun or imbalanced in some way and just getting some quality hoof care would help them perform so much better I think! [ 08-04-2005, 07:32 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  19. Lame Mare Update 8/7

    My gut says laminitis or founder as well. IF it's both fronts and she's lying down a lot those are huge indicators. Hoof testers don't do much good in that case since the entire hoof hurts and pushing on one part doesn't hurt anymore than any other spot. Here's a farriers website www.keithseeley.com with a good FAQ section. Rather than "wearing her heel down" it's more likely her heels are underslung....particularly if she IS laminitic. This causes them to put more weight on their heels which crushes them. And if her toes are allowed to get to long sometimes, that further pushes the heels under. The heels are there, just need to be addressed and broght back to where they should be in order to support the horse...if they are not taken care of before putting shoes on she'll just get more underrun which can get really painful overtime. Also, if she is laminitic and they put shoes on her she might founder since she won't have any sole support....read the farrier's opinion on shoeing on the FAQ's of the site I gave above. You might consider E-mailing some hoof pics to buxkin that posts here sometimes and he can tell you for sure if they are worn down or just underrun... his website is www.wholehorsetrim.com [ 08-04-2005, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  20. Lame Mare Update 8/7

    My gut says laminitis or founder as well. IF it's both fronts and she's lying down a lot those are huge indicators. Hoof testers don't do much good in that case since the entire hoof hurts and pushing on one part doesn't hurt anymore than any other spot. Here's a farriers website www.keithseeley.com with a good FAQ section. Rather than "wearing her heel down" it's more likely her heels are underslung....particularly if she IS laminitic. This causes them to put more weight on their heels which crushes them. And if her toes are allowed to get to long sometimes, that further pushes the heels under. The heels are there, just need to be addressed and broght back to where they should be in order to support the horse...if they are not taken care of before putting shoes on she'll just get more underrun which can get really painful overtime. Also, if she is laminitic and they put shoes on her she might founder since she won't have any sole support....read the farrier's opinion on shoeing on the FAQ's of the site I gave above. You might consider E-mailing some hoof pics to buxkin that posts here sometimes and he can tell you for sure if they are worn down or just underrun... his website is www.wholehorsetrim.com [ 08-04-2005, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  21. Club Foot.....??

    Club feet are not always inherited, in fact a true club foot they are born with is not as common as one developed. If a horse is stall kept at a very young age, or as a foal on then they have a high chance of developing a clubby foot. Or an injury to that leg, hoof, etc. causes them to not weight that hoof as much causing it to grow more upright (the opposite one will often become underrun or flared from the added weight). It can even be from a slight injury to say the shoulder when out playing in the pasture. It doesn't have to be a serious injury. If this happens during the formative years it will "set" the joints and ligaments, etc. to accomodate the hoof, so no you can't force it to look normal. There are many high performace club foot horses out there that do just fine and it doesn't hinder them. Sometimes it does cause a more stiff or choppy gait. The chances of their hoof becoming more and more contracted is high though (and this will eventually cause pain or navicular) so natural trimming works well with them since it encourages heel expansion and hoof mechanism. Speaking from experience, my gelding's heel expanded 3/4 of an inch and he has a much more "normal" looking hoof...it's still a little clubby but it's what's normal for him and he's very comfortable on it now. He also has a smoother gait and extends much more than before. Natural Trimming still won't make the hoof look "normal" but it won't get worse and more contracted over the years as it sometimes does with corrective shoeing. You can't let a club foot get away from you since the heels grow so fast/upright and can cause the toe to flare, weaken, crack or "buckle". It needs more frequent trimming, I wouldn't go longer than every 4 weeks (whether you shoe or go barefoot). [ 08-04-2005, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  22. Club Foot.....??

    Club feet are not always inherited, in fact a true club foot they are born with is not as common as one developed. If a horse is stall kept at a very young age, or as a foal on then they have a high chance of developing a clubby foot. Or an injury to that leg, hoof, etc. causes them to not weight that hoof as much causing it to grow more upright (the opposite one will often become underrun or flared from the added weight). It can even be from a slight injury to say the shoulder when out playing in the pasture. It doesn't have to be a serious injury. If this happens during the formative years it will "set" the joints and ligaments, etc. to accomodate the hoof, so no you can't force it to look normal. There are many high performace club foot horses out there that do just fine and it doesn't hinder them. Sometimes it does cause a more stiff or choppy gait. The chances of their hoof becoming more and more contracted is high though (and this will eventually cause pain or navicular) so natural trimming works well with them since it encourages heel expansion and hoof mechanism. Speaking from experience, my gelding's heel expanded 3/4 of an inch and he has a much more "normal" looking hoof...it's still a little clubby but it's what's normal for him and he's very comfortable on it now. He also has a smoother gait and extends much more than before. Natural Trimming still won't make the hoof look "normal" but it won't get worse and more contracted over the years as it sometimes does with corrective shoeing. You can't let a club foot get away from you since the heels grow so fast/upright and can cause the toe to flare, weaken, crack or "buckle". It needs more frequent trimming, I wouldn't go longer than every 4 weeks (whether you shoe or go barefoot). [ 08-04-2005, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: UCequest ]
  23. More frequent trimming would discourage/prevent/get rid of the flaring. Try a 4 week schedule and her hooves will stay in much better shape. Allowing the heels and toes to get too long greatly increases the chances of flaring/cracking/chipping. It's worth the extra $ it will cost to have her trimmed more often, you'll see a big difference. It will also keep the hoof "fresh" without a bunch of dead material that promotes the growth of thrush, bacteria, etc. and holds moisture and doesn't dry out as easily. Make sure you farrier is addressing the flares since a good many don't. Farriers shouldn't merely be only nipping off some length and rasping her flat across the bottom. The flares cause prying force on the hoof wall and that force has to be removed if not at least decreased or they will just keep prying away and not go away no matter what living conditions she has. Ask them to apply a "Mustang Roll" as well to take pressure off the flares as they grow out and also prevent cracks. You can read more about what the heck I mean on www.ironfreehoof.com Click on The Hoof then Analogies
  24. More frequent trimming would discourage/prevent/get rid of the flaring. Try a 4 week schedule and her hooves will stay in much better shape. Allowing the heels and toes to get too long greatly increases the chances of flaring/cracking/chipping. It's worth the extra $ it will cost to have her trimmed more often, you'll see a big difference. It will also keep the hoof "fresh" without a bunch of dead material that promotes the growth of thrush, bacteria, etc. and holds moisture and doesn't dry out as easily. Make sure you farrier is addressing the flares since a good many don't. Farriers shouldn't merely be only nipping off some length and rasping her flat across the bottom. The flares cause prying force on the hoof wall and that force has to be removed if not at least decreased or they will just keep prying away and not go away no matter what living conditions she has. Ask them to apply a "Mustang Roll" as well to take pressure off the flares as they grow out and also prevent cracks. You can read more about what the heck I mean on www.ironfreehoof.com Click on The Hoof then Analogies
  25. Horse Starting to Founder. :( UPDATE after one year.

    Silver Dapple...due to her breed and what you describe, yes she probably is IR. Your vet can do a simple test to find out for sure though. She could be fine her whole life, don't worry! It's just something you have to watch out for and know what to look for just in case since she is more prone to founder, laminitis, etc. Read up on that safergrass link I gave and how starch/carbs, etc. affect her just so you have the knowledge in the back of your brain in case you ever need it. It's similar to diabetes in humans, it can be something they always have, something that doesn't show up until later in life, or something that gets worse as they get older. If you feed her anything other than hay or grass consider a lower starch feed like Equine Senior, Safe Choice, Safe and Sound, etc. It's much much safer. [ 07-28-2005, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: UCequest ]