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Hoof Help

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I am cross posting this from another forum, because someone so graciously pointed out that this was the place to go for advice. I am at a loss on what to do for my boys' feet. There are NO qualified barefoot trimmers in my area. The best I can get is a lousy pasture trim. So far it seems I would have to travel a minimum of 5 hours to reach someone supposedly qualified. I simply cannot afford to do that.

I am tried of overpaying for incompentence.

Any input you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I've been poring over all the examples I can find online, but some things are difficult for me to transfer to Bo's foot. Any mapping and coloring you would like to do on pictures would put me over the moon! I really appreciate y'all taking the time to try and help me, I just want to help my horse.

These pictures are about two weeks after his last trim. I didn't get a few of the pictures I wanted (from behind and a frontal shot of his legs and hoof) but if they are important I can certainly get them later. Also, I started treating his thrush yesterday with Pete Ramey's 50/50 goo so hopefully the thrush will start to heal up and the frog will begin to spread. Thanks again!

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Ho.Ly. Cow. Wow. You have come to the right place, and welcome to Horsecity. I would highly suggest you start reading some good books and getting educated on good barefoot trimming techniques. The folks here on this hoof forum will be a huge asset to you, and I wish you the best of luck.

I am not experienced enough to give you any advice other than the above, but I know enough to say that if your horse is sound I would be shocked.

Is he sound? How old is he and what is his level of work? He also looks underweight, but not by much unless his coat is hiding a lot.

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Thank you. I've been reading as much as I can. Printing and saving articles, photos, and examples. I'm been putting together my own little "field guide." I'm even dreaming about hooves at this point.

He is sound except on gravel, although gravel has always been an issue for him. He is a 19 year old trail horse, so on light work. He's on 24/7 pasture turn out, although there is very little grass at the moment. You're right, he is underweight right now. It's something I'm aware of and managing. Over the summer, I switched him from a sweet feed to a RB and over the past month he has lost some weight due to poor quality hay being all that's readily available. I've been supplementing his RB with some extra calories, so hopefully he will be back to where I want him soon.

Thanks and I am definitely looking forward to any advice I can get!

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Older guys like this that have poor toplines and less then stellar hay can really benefit from alfalfa. cubes and pellets work fine. I add it in 5 lb incriments (split up in a day and soaked) which is about 4-5000 calories at a time which is approximately a flake of good alfalfa hay. I wait about an hour after feeding a hard feed, or give it an hour before.

I commented on the other board on the trimming.

Edited by Trinity

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Thanks, Trinity. Alfalfa pellets are exactly what I'm supplementing the RB with. If he doesn't fatten up soon, I will switch him from the Mintrate to the Primeglo. I am working back to being able to leave them on a slow feeder for longer periods of time as well.

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Older guys like this that have poor toplines and less then stellar hay can really benefit from alfalfa. cubes and pellets work fine. I add it in 5 lb incriments (split up in a day and soaked) which is about 4-5000 calories at a time which is approximately a flake of good alfalfa hay. I wait about an hour after feeding a hard feed, or give it an hour before.

I commented on the other board on the trimming.

Aww, no fair!!! Those of us not in the know wanna know, too!!!! Please? :flirt:

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Yup, against the rules. You can PM links to other forums but not share them out "in plain view." I doubt you'll get nicked for it this time, unless someone just wants to play dirty, but you should edit out that link.

But thanks, I will check it out! :ph34r:

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Is this horse getting any minerals/vitamins?

Along with the trim, the horse needs the building blocks for strong hooves

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This horse is terribly thin. Fact is, is that the feet are low on the totem pole in terms of survival vs. this body weight. Any nutrition he gets, he's got other priorities than his feet right now. He is uncomfortable to look at and the word dangerous comes to mind. This is not a nasty opinion, but a fact. His facial expression says that he is not well. You've got some other things to address at the same time as you address the trim.

The best, most safest way to put on weight is more hay. If your hay is truly crap, I'd go hunting for some. Even if you can only get a 5 or 10 bale load of better hay, it would be a plus. He should have hay in front of him 24/7. Go for better hay. You'll need to wean him onto the better hay slowly by mixing it with the old and for the same reason, slow feeders are very much called for because they regulate intake. If its dusty, give it a light sprinkling with a watering can. Clean, fresh water 24/7. I'd also have a homemade meal for him, fed 2x/day, consisting of beet pulp, flax, salt, Vitamin A and E, probiotics, and minerals. No iron, no grain. If you don't have any grass, then maybe you can think of a place where you can pick him an armful and take it to him or take him for a walk and go find it together. A gentle walk is good exercise and will lift the spirits. Horses love new ground. Avoid farmers crops and roadside ditches. Continue to fight thrush. If, for any reason you may feel that he could get chilled (think of 5am in the morning), blanket him appropriately. He'll be conserving those calories and have some padding until he gets some meat on his bones. These are the things he needs help with. He needs somebody to brush him with a soft brush and tell him they love him.....he'll know.

As for the trim, I think you got some good advice on the other forum and that you came over here to see it. That gives me an unbalanced feeling. I would not dare to second guess anyone else's advice. The lines I draw are simply my own opinion, no more, no less.

The trim you can work on, the nutrition comes first. You will not get a positive response in your trim, unless he has the food to fuel healthy new growth. So with the feet and the body, you have your homework cut out for you. Are you up for it? If so, I need better pictures provided by the sticky at the top, here.

I'm curious to know how he got so thin. It may help in understanding him better and his needs. Name,age, breed, medical history, weight, lifestyle, stall time vs. pasture time.....anything you tell us.

You also need to take a poo sample into the vet to get tested for worms. You need to know how bad the worm load is, If you down a tube into him and he's loaded with worms, the die off will put him into trouble right away. Take the vet's advice on how to deworm him properly and know how much he weighs. If you have the mind to call the vet in, then do so. It is a better option that the vet see the whole horse. At the very least, take the first picture you posted here with you, along with the poo. Leave them both at the office and ask for a call back, and have a good conversation with him.

What's RB?. What are you feeding in all and how much in a day?

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Thank you for the advice on his weight. I don't want to sound ungrateful and I know you're just trying to help the horse, but I assure you, he is being taken care of. I am currently already doing most of the things you mentioned. I didn't include that in the originial post because my question is about his hooves not his weight. It's the same reason I chose a picture where he looked thinner and unhappy than in some other choices, because it showed his legs and feet more clearly, which was more important for the purposes of this thread. If it makes you feel better, a vet is involved. My horses, especially this one, are my number one priority. I sincerely do not want to argue or turn this into one of THOSE threads, I just want to focus on the hooves, please.

I'm not sure why you feel uneasy. I cross posted this here because someone from the other thread specifically suggested it. That doesn't necessarily mean that I am going to ignore the information that I have already been given. In my mind, the more good information I get the better. There are SO many opinions and methods out there I am not going to blindly put my faith into one person I've never met on the internet. I am doing my own research as well and I plan to take bits and pieces that I like and save the rest of the information for a time that may be appropriate.

Because I know good feet come from a good diet, I will tell you that he is on a quality ration balancer, alfalfa pellets, and the best quality grass hay I can afford. This week he is transitioning from the ration balancer to the PrimGlo for the extra calories. He should be getting enough minerals and vitamins from the RB to grow good hooves. I've used a biotin supplement in the past but didn't notice a difference. I think it was Horseshoer's Secret?

Again, I really don't want to get into an argument about his weight but thank you for your concern. I probably would have done the same.If you're still willing to help me, I will get the pictures today.

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i'm glad that you are addressing the entire horse now. Missy pretty much put into words my own thoughts, and I just veered on the side of cashion

Had you posted an obese horse, with laminitis, diet concerns would also have been expressed, but somehow more tolerated than any directed towards an un weight horse, far as any words/critism. In either case, the 'whole ' horse health needs to be addressed, As in Pete Ramy's words, you can;t trim a horse into soundness, but must take the entire horse into consideration

Most people accept that you can't fix a foundered horse, and not address the amount of NSC he eats, and similarly, you can't fix a horse's feet with a trim alone, if he lacks the basic nutrition and minerals that allows him to grow healthy feet

Looking at your horse's feet, it is evident to me that nutrition and trim have an equal impact on any problems he is having.

This is not meant to be harsh or judgemental, but I would be remiss not to mention his under weight /un thirfty condition any more that not mentioning that a horse with laminitis, cresy neck and abnormal fat deposits needs to be on a low NSC diet.

I am sure people here can help you with both the trim and any hoof suppliments , etc that the horse might need. Your concern for your horse is very genuine, and us taht are also concerned about his condition are actually putting possible repercussions from our remarks as secondary to helping you with your horse

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Yes......will help if you can get these pics.

a) picture 4' out tront of the horse, camera on the ground and get all the way just past the knees. Centered, both feet.

B) RF Side: Camera on the ground 4'away, centered between heel and toe, Same with the LF.

c) RF and LF SOLAR: Pick up foot, bring toe towards you, lean until you are directly above the middle of the frog, 2'away.

d) RF and LF HEEL: Pick up foot, Cup hand over fetlock and let the foot hang. Lean forward, holding the cameral vertically and catch the heel profile, but also be able to see well to the toe and below the heel to catch part of the cannon bone. Get centered right behind the central sulcis and again, 2' away.

Clean feet, good light, Don't worry about the background and sometimes its easier to get your eye into position, then bring the camera to your eye.

No, we're not going to argue about his weight. Just an observation and it is connected to the feet. Glad to hear of your efforts. I will not worry about him. He's is in good hands. :smilie: Going slow with patience and persistence on both fronts. Sounds like a good plan to me.

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Ok. I took these pictures yesterday after I did a little bit. Hopefully they will work. If not I can try and get the more specific shots you asked for if the weather isn't terrible tomorrow. Some turned out a little blurry but hopefully they'll work.

I cleaned out the seedy toe as mush as I could with my hoofpick. I also soaked his hooves in iodine yesterdy and Koppertox, as well Any other suggestions?

Right Front:

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Watching this thread with interest, as I learn something new every time.

Can you get new heel shots, like those last ones in the series but holding the foot by cupping the front of the fetlock instead? That will help missyclare see the run of bones into the foot.

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Ok, I tried to get some better heel shots but I'm not sure it worked out too well. I have a hard time trying to get this shot lined up. Hopefully these, along with the other shots, are enough to get some advice? Thanks!

Right Front Heel

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Left Front. Had a lot of trouble lining this one up.

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This is just a shot to show how he has squared up some in the front since I trimmed them.

IMG_0840.jpg

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I'm going to let Missy comment on the feet., except to say that the right front heels look almost sheered.

He looks better than in that first pic-good job!

Just couldn't help but notice that you have him tied to the rail, esp since the fence post is on the other side. Please don't take this the wrong way, and you probbaly just tied him that way in a hurry for the pics, but that can lead to a real wreak, should he chose to pull back. I would have used the post

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http://www.flickr.co...N03/8451038680/

The toe and heel need to come back more and will be a work in progress. The reason the band is jammed up, is not so much that the quarters are long, but that this whole side is longer than the other side. (medial/lateral imbalance) You're doing a good job trimming, just that you need to see balance better.

http://www.flickr.co...N03/8451038240/

Think of the heel balance as the horizon line on water. The red line going around the hoof is the sunset going down on the water. The heel line should be straight across, like my line, with heels even in height and the surfaces of them, flat to ground. When you think of this perfect sunset (both red lines) you can automatically see whats high. The left heel and all the way to 11 o'clock is high. The quarter on the other side is a tad high as well. All I've done is tweak that heel on the right to have a straight, flat surface that faces the ground and fits my straight heel line. The heel on the left has been brought down to balance with the right one and also be flat surface. In front of that, I've taken down the left side to the red line to be balanced and create that perfect sunset. I've also gone lightly across the toe to eliminate the divot at the toe and create even support all around the toe.

When you take the heel shot, not so steep. You should hold the front of the fetlock and let the hoof hang, lean forward so that you can see the frog and which way its pointing, along with the toe. There should also be more picture below, showing the run of the cannon bone as well. So, you needed to back up the camera more and lean forward a bit more. The heel shots are the most important ones.

What did you do differently from the first shots vs. the last two? The first ones, I can work with, but the last two are thumbnail size and I couldn't save them even, to work on them. I run into this problem all the time and would like to know why. Did you take them with your cell phone or something

http://www.flickr.co...N03/8449951391/

This one, I believe is a hind. Most of your hooves, the bars are great. This one has some excess bar, so I wanted to show you how to deal with it, see it and be able to handle any bars that you see.

I've outlined in black the sections of bar tops. On this hoof, the right side is all high, so the bar on the right is also high. Everything in this picture that is solid white is a surface that is also flat to ground and even with the sole, then the bevel is applied. Note that the bar sufaces are also white. Perfect ramps that emerge from the sole halfway back on the frog and ramp up to meet the heel platforms dead on. The ramps should be established right away. The right side (arrows) show that they need to be lowered more than the left. The more rearward arrow on the right is coming from a blob of bar that is sitting on the sole like a stone in his foot. It needs to be slivered down to sole and gone. There's another one right in front of it. You don't want those coming into play when you lower the higher right side. What is in front of the ramp, should only be taken in paper thin slivers over several trims. Start by only taking the lumps and bumps out of its run, smoothing it out and merging it with the ramp. The left side needs the ramp shaped more than brought down and only one occasion to sliver what's out front to see it good. Note the shape of the bar ramps. That is the structure they should have.

http://www.flickr.co...N03/8454751770/

The heels do not need to be lowered, just the higher one brought down to match the other side. Some of the problems that started you on medial/later imbalance, is that the wall height goes up and up higher as you go around, leaving the heel, so the inner heel platforms are good on some, but its the outside that is higher...straight/flat, just like my heel line is, is what you should see.

Reverse the rasp in your hand and pull back on them towards yourself. Just a tweak for a flat to ground surface on the shorter one and more on the higher heel to bring it down to balance with the other. Both in profile, should be straight across the whole back of the foot in a straight line. Then stay there, with the sole, following it. When you close your eyes and run your thumb over sole/wall and off, you should feel no difference in their heights, all level and flat to ground like the white area on the hind pic. The bevel should leave the inside half of the wall intact and the outside half taken in 45 bevel. The bar ramps should merge from the sole halfway back on the frog and ramp straight up to meet the heel height dead on...flat to ground surface. The rest of the bar in front of the ramps should be taken gradually in slivers.

Where the sole looks like its crowding the frog, its bar invading the groove. The groove should be clear to the eyesight. Once you see these horizons on the heel views, you can correct what's high and you should be able to just follow the sole next trim.

The goal is to keep the heel height that you have, just get balanced. It's the bevel at the toe maintained that will allow the heels to come back and stand up (side shot)

When you hold the front of the pastern and let the hoof hang, it lines up all the bones, if they are in line, if not I'll see it. From the cannon, to the ergot, to the central sulcis, to the frog apex, to 12 o'clock at the toe "should" be all one straight line with perpendicular heel balance and beautiful sunset. Then you're getting balance. Do you understand that with the heel shots so steep and no cannons, that I cannot see the true run of bone?

Sorry about the pic sizes. I have just disgustingly abandoned Photobucket and am trying to make Flickr work. :drool:

Edited by missyclare

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I can't wait to see the photos to go along with the text. Wonderful advice, and thank you very much for taking the time.

I used a different image hosting site to copy those last two heel shots instead of copying and pasting from the other forum. I can try to fix that.

I am having a hard time with dull hoof knives which I think is some of the problem. I'd like to get rid of some of that flaky sole so I can gauge wall height better and clean up that bar (I can't see the pic yet but I know exactly which one you're talking about). I've sent them to two different people to be sharpened and theyre still about as sharp as a letter opener. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for taking the time to help me. I'm learning as much as I can online, but there's nothing like seeing it done on your own horses' hooves.

Don't worry GH, I learned the hard way years ago to stick to posts. He's just looped for a quick photo and consistently gives to pressure.

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Don't worry GH, I learned the hard way years ago to stick to posts. He's just looped for a quick photo and consistently gives to pressure.

That was smilie, but just for clarification, and not because I am mad, lol.

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Oh dear! I can see them! I'll have to go back to the drawing board on this one! Geez! Sorry....be back.

Well, I got the links to the pics, but still not able to bring them here. It seems to be working, let me know.

Edited by missyclare

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