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Help! My Horses Hooves Are Cracked!

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I recently bought my mare, a 17 year old Tb, knowing that she most likely will not have perfect hooves. In her past, she was neglected and was worked hard, and her hooves were not maintained properly. When the lady i bought her from got her in 2013, she had one shoe on and one shoe off.

Im keeping her barefoot, i just cant afford to keep changing shoes every 6 weeks. I am planning on buying Cavallo boots for her, just to help her not be sore. Even a small rock makes her aore. Shes flat hooved, Which doesn't help at all.

I dont have many pictures, ill be getting them when i go up to the barn. Her fronts are the worst, it seems like they are peeling away. Some cracks go up to thw coronary band, but most dont.

I know this is a bad picture, but this is her left hind hoof. It seems like the band 'exploded'. When she takes pressure off her hoof, it opens up, and when she puts pressure on it, it closes. Ill take a video as well. This doesn't seem to bother her, but i just would like to know what i can do to help her. Shes on a half cup of brooks all phase 20, and 2 teaspoons of gelatin daily.

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It looks like an abscess type blowout. There is nothing you can do to fix it. Only keep her trimmed to prevent it from getting worse.

The best thing you can do if you want help on this board is to look at the stickied post on how to take proper pictures. Then post them for us to give you your opinion on.

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Do you have a good farrier who trims your horse? From the photo, looks like a serious crack from quarter to coronary band. There are fixes that can fill in the crack til it grows out so that infection doesn't get into the underlying tissues. I'd speak to your farrier about it.

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It looks like a quarter crack to me too. It's important to take the stress off the wall where the crack meets the ground. It needs to be beveled beneath the crack. And his hooves could benefit from beveling the wall all the way around the toe and toe quarters Balancing minerals is also crucial to hoof health. Here's a good website that explains a method of trimming that is beneficial to barefoot horses.

www.hoofrehab.com.

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i agree with the above, and would also rasp that crack flat with the rest of the hoof wall, and apply something like copper tox

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From what I can tell from this pic is that the hoof is not balanced, heels and quarters are too long. A solar shot would help tell the rest of the story.

The crack is coming up on the front quarter. This is where the arch of the horses foot is. The quarter walls have grown down and now are jamming up the hoof. I also see things are not happy in the fetlock above, in the soft tissue. See how the band goes higher and peaks right where the crack is headed? Think jamming up into the hoof. This is the cause of sidebone. It can be relieved instantly with a good balanced trim that clears the quarters and gets rid of any excess growth on the bars that like to jam up from the bottom in the same place. With the wall lowered to be even with the sole, leaves the wall helped by the sole, as they work together. Beveling will take the brunt off that crack while it grows down and eliminates. So get a good trim with a 4 week schedule for awhile and the rest is your homework. Fighting thrush, getting the movement comfortable and then moving to work that trim and develop a better foot. Lysine, methionine, copper and zinc with low iron is in order, iodized salt and fresh ground flax is others. The boots will help with the comfort and confidence to move. Just make sure they are the remedial kind that can take padding. Its the padding that works the magic. Everytime the horse steps down and applies her descending weight, the bone is pressed down on the inside of the sole. The pad underneath this weight will pad, give and take with the pressure and work much harder to develop the foot with every step and greatly shortens healing time. It addresses exactly concavity as it tells the bone to get back up where it belongs with every step. It will also help to pad the cracks, but the best answer to seeing those cracks no longer torqued on and healing, is a good balanced trim and your homework. No shoes necessary and certainly, not glue. A good trim will relieve that crack immediately and stop the gaping motion happening when the horse weights it. Its about balance. It is imbalance that got her her. Good luck!

A crack showing evidence of abscessing already has been compromised by infection, and I consider any other crack to be already compromised by infection from being so close to the ground. The last thing I'm going to do is to glue that crack shut and lock in any infection, cause that could brew a nasty storm. Same with Keratex, put on the sole of an abscessing hoof and.....what a mess, pain, waste of time to heal. There is potential for a big leap backwards when you glue a crack. I did once about 20 years ago and got thoroughly reamed out for it. Luckily things turned out ok.

Edited by missyclare

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Thank

guys. My farrier cam out (she was due anyways) and we agreed to see her trimmed every 6 weeks for now. If it doesn't help, then every 4 weeks.

This is the before picture of her left front, which happens to be her clubbed hoof. (Had no idea she was clubbed at all!). It just so happens to also be the worse hoof. She had her trim and it looks much better. But i agree, it was too long. It had only been roughly 7. 5 weeks, but after really lookong at the pictures, i could see where i was going wrong.

Shes my first horse, so im still learning everything. Once i can hook my phone up to the computer and upload all the pictures, it will be a bit easier (no computer access right now. And too much of a pain to fight with it on my phone)

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I also forgot to add that while the farrier was there, he took a look at the blowout, and said that it wasnt an abscess. Which is a big relief for me!

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After having rehabbed many TB's, here's what needs to be done:

1) Shorten the trim cycle to every 4 weeks to the day. When rehabbing, you cannot let pathology get away from you. I even tweak trim every 2 weeks for a while to keep coaxing the toes back where they belong and keep flare from getting worse.

2) Get the diet & minerals balanced. 99% of the problem with the thin, shelly hoof wall in TBs is because of the ROTTEN diet they're fed. No more sugar, no more starch please.... then go for a loose mineral that is balanced for your area of the country. Here in the southeast, we're high iron but low copper & zinc. I feed 1 oz of Seminole's 16:8 Grass Balancer and -SHAZAM- you should see the hoof wall these horses put out!

3) Movement, movement, movement is critical. Standing in a stall or small paddock will not rehab those feet any time soon. They need to be moving over whatever ground conditions they can tolerate, since most are so thin-soled from rotten farrier work. For the ouchies, boot 'em up for exercise on harder ground. Without movement, the body has no reason to put out stronger hoof wall.

4) Get on top of the thrush. I ADORE www.sterihoof.com - The weekly soaks of all of 15 minutes do wonders and leave good tissue alone. I don't normally promote many brand names, but this one I will. STAY WAY from Koppertox, etc. Way way too harsh and don't really do anything but leave your fingers stained and stink up the place.

This is what a TB hoof can look like:

BEFORE: After shoe pull. 6 y/o gray OTTB - Eventing Prospect. June 2013.
10440243_10202854656942459_2191395726638

After- August 2014

10643258_10203400317583634_1291706475_n.

Edited by Chocomare

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Looks to me like you have some white line disease going on, secondary to those cracks allowing entrance to opportunistic organisms.

Did your farrier say anything about treating for that?

I agree that after seeing the recent pics, copper tox would not be my choice. I used it per the advise of my vet on a bad crack, BEFORE, any involvement of the general hoof wall in that area

My choice would probably be White LIghtning

Edited by Smilie

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Frontaftertrim_zpse9265d1d.jpg

Now im not happy at all! Farrier came out monday, and did a trim. 4 days later and her hooves are way worse than what they were! I have another farrier coming out and hopefully this one knows what he is doing!! Her one hoof looks like its splitting into 4 pieces. And shes very sore. Not happy. But hopefully this farrier thats coming tonight can actually help get some good growth back and help the two if us out!

This is a picture of her bad hoof, right front

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Some pretty serious problems with those hooves.

MissyClare's post #7 gave some great advice that would merit printing and following.

I hope the farrier's aren't trying to "correct" that minor club hoof (if there really is one) and they are trimming the horse to keep it comfortable and in a direction the hoof is telling them.

Ditto on changing the diet.

Ditto on trimming this horse every 4 weeks. Five weeks max. Any longer between trims and the farrier can't make headway.

As Missy pointed out, clear pictures of the soles of the hooves (solar shots) would tell a much better story. Do NOT wash the hooves but do pick them out and brush them clean of dirt before taking pictures.

For her to see if the horse is dealing with a club hoof: Stand the horse in good daylight, put the camera on the ground and take pictures from the front, both sides and behind the front hooves. It's a PITA but hopefully someone can hold your horse while you take the pictures.

The first pictures look, to me, like someone tried to "brace" the hoof crack with some sort of nail wedge - I know there's a name for it but "it" isn't coming to be right now. I think I see the scarring on the hoof from that.

Again, nothing is going to get resolved without a massive diet over haul and trimming every 4 weeks:)

I sure hope that one hoof doesn't have white line so bad, it will end up needing re-sectioning :sick::twitch:

To get her hooves really right, it's going to take 9 to 12 months.

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