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Can Overlaid Bars Cause Sole To Bulge At Heel/quarters?

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Hi all,

I've been reading this site for months and have found it really helpful. Have decided to join to get advice on my horses feet. Most of that will have to wait for other posts!

My main question is have any of you experienced trimmers out there come across the sole bulging at the seat of corn/quarter area?

Instead of it being concave, it is convex and bulging up?

What causes this?

Online searching for hours and hours doesn't bring this issue up as being that common - i only find info on founder cases with the front of the sole being puffed up, but that looks completely different to what i'm experiencing.

My mare, she's a long story of a broodmare never having been backed, barefoot since birth, but has so much personality and spirit i am giving her and her son my all to get them sound and into training (i got her just before she foaled her last foal, then they went to another home for 12 months and now they are back with me, both with hoof issues due to being in wet pasture all that time and no hoof care - abscess horizontal and vertical cracks, red bruising all the way up the hoof walls, flaring, white line issues, thrushy frogs, everything really!)

She is a classic case of long toe, under-run heels. Her hooves really do look like bell-bottom flares!

Her frogs were very manky and under-developed - gravel turn-out has helped develop them but i need to improve the trim to help the hoof transition into a better shape and to get the frogs to develop even more.

Local farrier looked after them, but i'm not happy at all after them coming back to me with so many health issues, many of them in the hoof - barefoot movement here is minimal so experience in BF trimming is hard to find. I'm trimming them myself and have made improvements, considering how bad they were, but i need advice on how to tackle certain issues i'm having.

Mare is 12yrs 14.2.arabXwelsh cob and her gelded son 2yrs old, 3/4 arab/welsh 14.3 - im in Europe, very wet, damp environment - gravel turnout, open barn for shelter, acres of pasture grazing (mainly summer - never 24/7 turnout in pasture - too wet in this climate) - am trying to implement a 'paddock paradise' type arrangement.

I'm so jelous of you guys over in the States with ranches and dry climates!!

The bars are something i'm trying to get a better understanding of.

I *think* her bars are so laid over they are pushing the sole over to the quarters and causing it to bulge upwards.

If anyone can help explain, if it's not the bars doing this, then what could it be?

I don't trim sole - unless it's ready to come off and flaking. I HAD to trim the bulge down on one side due to it being level with hoof wall and i had a feeling it was causing some soreness in her. Bear in mind their hooves are easy to trim due to it being damp here, but to peel a tiny flake from that sole material was very hard to do - yet i can easily use a knife to shave bits of hoof wall - so perhaps her sole is very hard callous?

The pics i'm posting up are from 6 weeks ago - i've been having some terrible while line issues, this happened when the weather dried up and i started to really bring the toe back. The gelding is also having exactly the same issue with white line in exactly the same place.

Having soaked them and treating them in various ways i'm winning the battle and new growth is coming through nicely.

(I've certainly learned that packing the cavities of the white line to stop gravel bedding in there (**** gravel!!) hinders healing and starts off the infection again - so i'm diligently keeping them cleaned out as many times a day as possible and allowing air-flow is the best approach.)

I've been trying to make the transition to a better hoof shape slowly to give the hoof/ligaments etc time to adjust - as her whole leg/foot conformation has always been so off.

She prefers to stand on her toes with her fronts, as you can see.

I've drawn on the pics with red lines to show the direction the sole is bulging.

There's lots more to say about what i've been experiencing with their hoof journey but i'll leave it at that and wait for some feedback.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions :-)



Edited by purbek

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Looks to me like there is some white line disease going on, and dropped sole

If you tap her hoof where those separations are, do you get a hollow sound?

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HI Smilie,

Yes - the white line issue seemed to occur very quickly - i pounced on it and threw all remedies at it - aswell as tweak diet - and 6 weeks later the regrowth has been phenomenal. The pics i posted were from october 15th.

I thought on her right front the left heel where it was the worst would be lost completely - but thankfully, with daily treatments, soakings, environment change - it has grown out and filled in with fresh live horn.

Today i tapped the hoof wall around and there is no hollow sound - except obviously for the first cm of horn where there is still a cavity growing out.

Since i've had her she's always had fairly flat soles.

I am hoping once i get the toe way back and heels functioning better that concavity will improve.

Today i investigated the bars more - and i thinly sliced the laid-over sections with my knife - the parts next to the centre of the frog and up towards the heel - white slices of bar came off to reveal black sole underneath!

So the bars were laying over her sole - and to an extent they still are as i can't force the bars into the correct position with one trim - so i'll monitor how they change now i've relieved the sole somewhat - and i think that's the reason why the sole is bulging at the seat of corn/ back quarters area - the bars pushing all new growth out to the quarters.

It's been so tricky with her due to having bad heels/frog and also a wildly long toe - and then with the white line issue - i have been precariously trimming to ensure she has enough support without doing anything drastic to remedy all these issues at once.

Farriers locally remedy white line by shoeing (for support) and covering up the white line, which i personally shudder at how quickly the infection then travels up further and not being able to treat it.

I've tried different methods as i said in my OP - packing the cavity verses cleaning out, soaking and leaving open - and the next day after packing with cottonwool soaked in antibacterial, removing the packing it would STINK and be black.....but the next day after cleaning out and leaving open - it would not be stinky and no more black gunge appearing. So although the hoof looks awful's been the fastest way to tackle it and have good tight regrowth. It does require diligence each day to treat it.

I'm lucky i have the horses here with me at home.

It was such a relief today to see her walk off with such a loose, confident step after i touched up the toes and shaved some of that overlaid bar! She wasn't even footy on the hardcore track leading to the fields - something which always brings out footiness in her.

I've greatly underestimated how bars can cause issues and a sore horse.

I think i took on too much of Ramey's philosophy of leaving bars and they'll adjust themselves once wall balance is achieved etc.

Just focusing on walls not flaring with her and bringing the toe back wasn't enough - after today with peeling just a tiny bit off the overlaid bars and see her confidently stride on the gravel and hardcore track really has made me respect the job the bars have in the hoof.

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I've tried different methods as i said in my OP - packing the cavity verses cleaning out, soaking and leaving open - and the next day after packing with cottonwool soaked in antibacterial, removing the packing it would STINK and be black.....but the next day after cleaning out and leaving open - it would not be stinky and no more black gunge appearing. So although the hoof looks awful's been the fastest way to tackle it and have good tight regrowth. It does require diligence each day to treat it.

I'm lucky i have the horses here with me at home.

Read more:

I've had success with just cleaning those separations, and once a hole at the toe, just as you have. But I also used peroxide in the hole about twice a week and sprayed vinegar into it every day. It will grow out.

As far as your bars, my horse got laid over bars and filled in at the seat of corn this summer and the bars can get away from you really fast. It was very dry here and his feet were harder than they've ever been. It was really difficult to trim the overgrown bars but if you do a little bit each day, it gets easier. I think after you get them under control, her heels will spread and her frogs will develop.

If Missy Clare sees your post, she can direct you better than anyone here.

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Hi Jubal,

Thanks for the encouragement :-) The regrowth of the white line has been good - at the beginning i was so amazed how fast it can get eaten up by whatever fungi/bacteria is eating it up.

That's why i switched to daily treatments - then twice a day - many websites recommend 3 weekly soakings but i found that fresh air and simple cleaning every day was more important to keep it open and clean.

The only hassle i'm having is that the pea gravel dry lot i have is the worst footing for a white line issue as the gravel keeps getting lodged in the cavities! Grrrrr! I spent soooo long wondering what to put down in the area - all my friends said to concrete it as it's easier to clean/hose but i wanted a hoof friendly footing - and gravel helps in so many ways - except with WLD! That's why i initially tried packing the cavities with medication and fibres to prevent gravel lodging in - but they still got in - so much weight on each foot pressing down - aside from using concrete in the cavities - gravel will make it's way in there no matter what it is packed with!

I have been toying with the idea of taking down the hoof wall where the cavities are so nothing can get lodged in there. I was reluctant to do that at first when i thought packing was a possibility, so having hoof wall to pack against was useful, but that method is a no-go as i found out, but if i find the gravel issue is affecting growth i will have to take the wall down. Sometimes the pieces can get really lodged and it cannot be comfortable - and again, i can't boot her as i need the air to freely help keep the cavities clean rather than her sweating in a boot.

If anyone has any advice about that issue?

Like you, we had an unusually dry summer here - and that's when her hooves went to ****! Everyone thinks a damp environment destroys hooves but since i'm in that environment all the time - the worst thing aside from fungal issues, is when the weather suddenly changes and becomes drier. Any drastic changes in weather seems to affect the horse!

I did have a chuckle to myself at the time it was very dry and their hooves became hard - remembering all those online who talk of having to soak hooves before trimming and how hard it is to use a hoof knife - i actually enjoyed struggling to trim their hard hooves for once!

It's mostly 80% humidity here with coolish temps and metres of rain per year - the first chance i get to relocate to a drier environment i will jump at it!

Hoof care is a struggle but it's still possible to have good functioning barefoot hooves here as i have read from others online in a wet environment - it just takes a lot of extra hoof care and reallllly helps to create a drylot area to allow hooves to dry out and remain clean.

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The white line does look a tiny bit wide all the way around, but in these pics, is strong and healthy and holding its own. Its possible that its the late summer/fall grass that has done it. At any rate, keep an eye on the sugar/starch that is consumed as ponies are prone.The separation at the quarters is from the bars and the inner wall inside the outside wall is the hoof healing itself....almost resolved. Keep the old outer wall bevelled so its flare doesn't engage until the new one takes over the job.The central sulcis is solid and the thrush treatments are paying off, continue to go after the frog to get it up to snuff and ready to go to work when it engages as the heels come back and down. The correctly placed bevel will close up the white line and stop the pebbles from entering, but keep an eye on it and clean out well when treating for thrush and check the diet. Once you have the bars under control, you'll be able to pick out the hoof by popping the clod of dirt out with one pick. Soon it will start popping out on its own with every step (self-cleaning hoof) and you'll find dirt donuts all over the place. These hooves are in good shape and its just a matter of getting the heels and bars down on a stronger frog/bevel maintained and you'll find this foot hurtling towards the finish line. Every time you take the heels down a tad, the frog will respond, keep it clean/dry and it will respond well. If you take the heels down too fast, before the frog is ready, it will hurt and the pony will toe walk avoiding pain and you're defeated.

When you look at the bars, not only see how it is formed at the top of the wall, how far it sticks up higher than sole, its shape etc., but look down to the bottom of the groove where the wall starts and really know how tall that wall is. Note the angle that the wall comes down into the groove. If the tops are jamming into the ground, then that force is going right down the wall and into the groove. They act like retaining walls that hold sole in at the heels and prevents the heels from getting developed. They push the sole aside towards the quarters and bust them out, leaving dead air space behind them. Yours are slightly flared away from the groove, but not bad and standing straight, but tall, holding onto sole and the front half is imbedded and mounded up. Bar is growth, is good, but shouldn't be tall, mounded, convex shape. Its the top of the those mounds that are pinch points that tell the hoof that that heel is higher than the other and messing up the balance or tall tops of bars creating pinch lines along their edges. Even though all the area surrounding the frog is filled in and not looking like the bottom of a bowl, I can see concavity coming into the hoof anyway. Once you get the bars down, the hoof will be released to create concavity eminating out from the groove at the apex and sides. The groove will be the bottom of the bowl. What you see is excess, because it fillls in the bottom of the bowl.

Rule: The bar ramps should merge up from the sole halfway back on the frog and ramp up in a straight line to meet the heel platform height dead on...strong continuous connection from one to the other. The surface of the bar ramp should be flat to ground, like the heel platforms and the wall, before you put the bevel on. The wall should be dead even with the sole all the way around and flat to ground. In your heels shots, you can see that the wall is taller than the sole. When you run your finger up the sole towards the edge anywhere, close your eyes and feel it instead. You should feel the sole, the change of direction to face the ground and feel no difference in height as you continue across the white line, wall and off. Then bevel. Your bevel could be a bit more proactive and its a matter of placing the inner edge where the bevel starts. It encourages better breakover, the toe coming back, which means the material behind it has to get its ducks in order as well. Every time the hoof leaves the ground and pushes off, its ON that bevel, pushing the toe back with every step. The bevel brings the breakover back and makes the horse land heel first....again, the frog needs to get ready for it. Its the heel first landing and the bevel helping that the puts the frog to work and getting frog mass to respond....just slowly and it will all come together nicely. As for your climate, I wouldn't blame the gravel, this issue is just temporary and although you don't want gravel into the white line, you do want the hoof on gravel. Its homework on rocks that makes for a rock crushing hoof, only pea gravel, that is not sharp/small and is 4" deep acting like a bean bag chair. The thrush is eliminated, hoof polished and self trimmed and developed tough. Up out of the rain and mud with well drained feet is a much better answer than boots and soggy heel bulbs. If not, then even overnight in shavings clean/dry and medicating before turning out in the morning will help a lot to turn a hoof around.

Can you post another heel shot of the fronts? The 5th one down is good, but too steep, just a little. Hold the hoof by the fetlock and let it hang, then lean forward just enough to catch the fetlock, heels, bars and toe well in the background. I'll try to show you what I've been saying.

These are good strong hooves, doing a nice worries. Just some coaxing, patience and continued thrush care.

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Ps. When you bring the pony in from the wet like you did, spent some time cleaning and allowing to dry, like you did....what you see now that is still wet is Mother Nature literally pointing to the part of the hoof that still has to get its ducks in order....have a look... just where a tighter capsule is needed that's working better. Now you can see the hollow sound. I think that a hoof with good mechanism (producing dirt donuts) is also preventing a soggy bottom ....tighter/resilient/ breathing better. Make sense?

Definitely need a heel shot of the RF. The lateral heel busted out, taking the wall, the heel and the back half of the bar ramp, leaving the front half standing alone like it was located in Butte Montana. That piece of bar has replaced the lost heel, kept the sole intact and prevented further damage, but its in the wrong place, cause its not a heel and its higher than the heel on the right side. This bar has held the fort, while the lost heel replaces itself. Just to confuse you, the inside is still high. See the front shot and the front run of the coronary band. I'd like to see a newer heel shot of this hoof and see how the heel growth is coming. Don't touch anything, just take another pic. Thanks.

Edited by missyclare

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Thanks so much for all the advice Missyclare :-)

I'll re-read your post and go the the hoof to see how to apply your advice.

Bear in mind those shots were taken 6 weeks ago and i have trimmed and tweaked them since then.

I'll take some more shots tomorrow as today is running away from me already.

With her - i've been wanting to bring breakover back - and maybe the new shots i post i'll try to really show it - her toe callous is forward of where it should be - and there is then about an inch of sole forward of the callous and i have been thinking perhaps that is lamellar wedge?

If so, i presume i need to bevel it - yet have avoided doing as just bringing the wall right back at the toe to help has taken some doing.

The natural wear on her toe, she automatically bevels from 11-1 o clock area, and growth is rapid either side of that so i have to watch that doesn't cause leverage.

She was at another place for a year and was allowed to just graze 24/7 - when i got her back she did have stripes on her fronts and i suspected she'd had sugar overload episodes.

This past year i've been feeding her as if she is laminitic - she easily puts on weight - i soak hay, minimal grazing, pull her off stressed paddocks, no grain, just beet without molasses to add the feet mineral to. I'm not one to always give carrots and apples etc - once weekly if at all - and just one carrot! Yes, i'm a meanie, but i read even carrots can cause blood sugar spikes.

I have changed hay supplier - i think the last lot was too rich - despite soaking. The fact that this new batch is a lot of mixed grasses, and she's not too keen tells me it's not as sweet as the last lot so hopefully this hay soaked will help with any possible metabolic issues.

I'll repost those pics soon.

Interesting what you said about after washing seeing on the hoof which remains wet and which parts dry quicker - i noticed that and wondered what that could be telling me.

I always thought her hooves looked too massive for her slim legs - like she is wearing a set of hooves on top of her 'natural' hooves! Yet, i must say, even in a year the connection is tighter growth and they look slimmer. If i find old pics for comparison i'll post them .

The white line does look wide doesn't it? - yet where it is intact it is solid. I agree - i should have been more aggressive with bevels right from the start - i was very wary back then to do anything drastic but i realise that sometimes we have to be, in order to help the hoof get the ducks in order as you say :-)

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It will be interesting to see the new pictures!

With her history, I still think that bulging at back is due to the white line/sole juncture, even though the white line at the toe appears fairly tight

One can have the entire sole pulled forward, so that the whiteline can appear tight at ground level, while it is not further up. The frog appears elongated to me

The reason I say this, my one gelding appeared to have a good white line at the toe, but had similar defects further back, like your horse. The only way it finally grew out, was to re move just a small part of the outer wall by that defect, and expose the area to air

Just some thoughts, that may or may not apply in your case

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Thanks for your thoughts Smilie - gives me much to consider.I

agree it is very much like the whole sole has 'slipped' forward...i can imagine it being pushed back and being a very nice, round balanced hoof. As Missyclare said, if i can keep the bevel at the tope strong to push the toe back - free the up everything for it to be coaxed into correct position.

When i look at the heel walls on her front hooves i've been thinking how 'chunky' they look and due to the WLD issues have been thoroughly digging out everything to healthy tissue as it *looks* from the outside wall shape like there is separation all the way up.

Her front right concerns me the most in this regard. I would like to see ' / ' shape to the side of her hoof when viewing her from the front instead of ' I '.

When i give her a scrub down tomorrow i'll hopefully be able to get pictures from all angles to show the shape better.

Today i could see with every step the frog centre opening as weight was applied. She is still walking a lot looser than she has in months since shaving off tiny amounts of bar.

I need to bevel the wall where the WL is the worst still as i'm still having gravel issues.

I love the effect the gravel has on their hooves - it really did help both their frogs develop when i first got them back with thin, thrushy frogs. I also agree her frogs look long - i'm hoping they will start to shed and come back when everything else comes back.

One question i'd love everyones opinion on: I keep reading conflicting advice for frog height. In the barefoot world it seems not everyone agrees.

I have tried to always play it safe and have the heels slightly higher than the frogs - when viewing from behind in hand as fetlock falls. But i've been concerned that i'm leaving the frogs out of 'action' too much with this type of trim.

When i did dare to bring the heels that bit lower to the frogs - the frog bulbs developed more - but there was footiness straight after - although at this point in time i think bringing the heels down and NOT the bars was the explanation for the footiness due to bar pinching.

Some say they should be level - exactly level.

Just this week i've been reading that the heels should be slightly lower than the frog bulb.

I would love some imput with her feet and frog health whether i should bring them level so her frogs contact the ground more.

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Well, frog height depends a lot on the season. When it is wet, they will be fuller, and even be a bit higher then the wall height, but ideally, they should be in the position of sharing weight baring,versus being the highest or primary

When the horse is on giving ground, you do get that frog stimulation, even if that frog is a bit higher up, then the hoof plane, so I would still obey live sole at the heels in determining frog height

You might have read the following link already, but if not, you might then find answers to some of your questions, regarding frog height, etc. There is no easy yes and no answer, as a lot depends on how able that back of the foot is, including the frog, Is the frog healthy enough to really go to work, as intended at this point in time?

Edited by Smilie

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Thanks Smilie, i'll absorb the info from P.R again about frogs.

Both of mine get exposed to wet when out everyday - even last summer being glorrrriously sunny and dry (for once!) - they still pass wet streams to get from one field to another.

A part of me feels that the mare perhaps could tolerate bringing the heels down to allow the frog to become more active (but not fully yet) - the reason i think this is because the front right where the WLD was the worst affecting the quarter and heel (last 2 pictures i posted) - as Missyclare pointed out - the bar was doing the work of the heel - but also i noticed on that side that the frog developed more than the other side, where she had heel height.

If you look at the last 2 pictures i posted you'll see the left side of the frog a continuous strong line and more developed at the heel than the right side. That left side was the most compromised so the frog HAD to support along with the top of the bar. The frog developed under that 'stress' of the heel being compromised and lower. Yet the right side has remained less developed due to the heel being longer.

Her rears are the opposite - big tough frogs. The same with the gelding on his rears. His frogs got so big and beyond the wall i did trim down the tip and saw a pink bruise.

I prefer to always take the less is more approach - but i know it only takes experience to know when remedial action is required - that's where you guys with experience are really helping with your advice.

To be honest, I do feel that i should have seen more improvements in hoof rehab - moreso in my mare, in the 10 months of trimming, but i have been playing it ultra safe with just keeping the wall to sole plane - rasping flares to reduce leverage, and trimming flaps of frog when they occur.

It's only really in the last 2-3 months i've been more aggressive with her toes and the bevels - as i've become more confident with the tools, and learning more about internal structures etc. I do stone sculpting but i knew from the start i cannot sculpt the shape i want, i have to grow it!

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you seem to be well on top of things, and your conclusion is very sound.

I don't know if you are familiar that much with my horse, Smilie, but she is very IR, and has been a huge learning curve for me

Conservative is the approach!. I am just now haVING hope of getting my horse back, due to an over aggressive approach by a barefoot trimmer that I trusted

Last spring, I decided to try glue on shoes, and not having the facilities, took her for those applications to someone that does.

Bottom line, I think a combo of things were at work, and am not really trying to dis count all the good my barefoot specialist has done over the years, guiding me, but in this case, a too aggressive trim to get Smilie's feet complying to hoof mapping, while internal structures were not ready, had her so sore, on that third re -set, that I thought I might have to put her down. She could not stand on the one foot the shoe was already glued on to, supporting the weight of the other foot also, when it was attempted to glue the shoe on that opposite foot. She could not walk, even in padded hoof boots, without bringing her rear feet way under her, even on pain meds

ONly now, that she is about 200 % better, almost 4 months later, can I really talk about it.

Bottom line, by taking her heels way down, and her bars, she lost the last part of her support, as the white line was still stretched at the toes. She thus had mechanical founder, and a dropped sole. White line disease, which got a kick start, under that glue, even though packing was used to try and prevent it, added to the problem

She got a dropped sole and we had to duck tap steel shoes on her feet,and then put hoof boots over, to try to take some of that pressure off of her soles, hopefully so they would not abscess..

Her hoof growth completely shut down for awhile

I hand walked her twice a day, and have not ridden her since June

Only now is she moving out nicely, hoof growing down correctly again. I do white Lightning treatments once a week an use Pete's goo in between.

I should have my horse back in another three months,and enjoy riding her again

She is now 14 and first foundered when she was about 3 or 4, before I knew she was IR

With management, diet, support shoing in the beginning ,then barefoot rehabilitation, , she remained riding sound for many years, winning numerous awards and carrying me on many trails. Along the way she had the occasional set back, being turned out too soon in the fall, fed the wrong hay while I was laid up, etc, but those were all minor glitches.

This was the worst she ever was, and I almost lost her.

The fact remains, that horses like Smilie, that are very IR, are never completely 'normal' and present a lifetime of management challenges, yet she is worth every effort that i put into her

Now, no one but myself touches her feet! I know the horse

Good luck with your horses!

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Gosh, what a journey you have had with's wonderful to hear your determination to bring her round from the trim experience has paid off.

I've been so wary of bringing my mare's heels low due to that reason for adequate support - your story affirms to me it's always right to be patient than to try to force the hoof into a shape.

I shall keep your experience in the forefront of my mind with my mare as she also currently has a flat toe, is liable to pack on the pounds if i don't watch every mouthful she consumes - i weigh all the feed - never guess!

I do wonder if she has metabolic issues such as IR/ cushings - and i think if the efforts i'm putting into diet, hoof care, improved environment don't show any appreciable results by the end of this winter i shall put her through metabolic testing.

She's not obese, and her condition has improved massively since i've had her back, and despite her not being backed yet, i do ground work with them and they are constantly on the move in the drylot or pasture - i wish i could do more intensive groundwork but i really wanted to get the hooves in much better condition before asking more of them.

She's prone to putting on weight and the gelding being only 2 years old and growing is prone to losing weight!

With many areas of life i've always been kinda impatient but horses are the one thing i have oodles of patience with :-) They are exceptional teachers aren't they? :-)

I did toy with glue on shoes if her fronts became too footy. I had found a company in the UK who make a composite type plastic shoe which still allows expansion - which i liked the sound of. As you say though - the white line issue won't allow for such methods and will only get worse. Thankfully she's been sound enough to not need them thus far.

I agree, they are worth all the effort - as they give back so much. It's wonderful to hear of Smilie's recovery through what sounds like a very stressful time. Bless you for being so determined and devoted.

I don't get fussed by much in life but if i think there's something not quite right with the horses - i freak out and research until my eyes drop out of my head!

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I took some more pictures yesterday - despite her being impatient and the other one nibbling my back and wouldn't keep out of the way!

I have to re-size them to upload, which i'll do in a couple of hours once i have a few chores out of the way....looking at them initially i'm not sure i have the best angle you were looking for Missyclare.....we'll see, i really tried to lean forward while having the front fetlock just hanging but i still think it may be too steep a view i've got :-/ - if you need different angles - let me know - i'll happily re-do them....if i can help you guys help me better with her feet it's worth the effort! (It's good training for her to stand like a statue and be patient also :-) )

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Okay - pics sorted through - many angles - i thought it best to post most of them as they're all slightly different angles and show different things.

I gave her a quick scrub down for the pics rather than a thorough cleaning so some bits are stuck on the hooves. You can see the areas where the hooves are starting to dry - are these healthier areas than the wetter ones?

The original pictures i posted were a combination of her front right and front left hooves just to dispel any confusion.

I've had to upload the pics to photobucket due to lack of space given on here. They are all in an album - i've added some wording with some of the pics. If you click on the first top picture you'll see all the info added and get arrows to click to the next pic:

Thanks in advance for any help you can give :-)

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You'll have to pull them out of your album and post them here. I can see them, but can't draw lines. :smilie::drool: Just the heel shots, since I can see them. Thanks.

Edited by missyclare

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Hmmm i can only upload a pic 63kb big?

Think i need to delete the pics in the OP? Do i have a limit how many pics per thread i can post?

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Until Missy gets a chance to draw lines, I'll just tell you what I see.

The right front profiles the worst, and looks like tight growth is just half way down

I don't think you can lower the heels much more, but I would be tempted to put a stronger bevel and esp where that wall is bulging at the quarters

I would also use some White Lightning soaks, to get at the white line disease that other wise is out of reach at the moment

I found huge improvement since i have been treating Smilie that way, as between her compromised white line and the glue on shoes, she had gotten a fair amount of secondary white line disease

Yes, in her case, those Easycare glue on shoes were not the right choice, like I thought they would be, as they have a built in frog support, and the shoe expands with the hoof in that growth cycle. We also used the soft pac that has an inhibitor for fungus

Only when I went to the Easycare site myself, and read the application instructions for those shoes, I found out that hoof putty should have been used it the white line was stretched at all, or the glue would act like a lever. That was not done

Anyway, it was a hard learning experience, esp for my horse!

I don't think the bulging is due to the bars, but is the result of the whiteline disease, affecting the sole/hoof wall junction

Edited by Smilie

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Thanks Smilie - your thoughts mirror my own.

When i look at the pics i get time to really sit and study them - i can see where i need to adjust the trim - sometimes i can't believe that hoof-in-hand can make them look so different.

I agree with the bevel - i've tried to be as minimal as possible to offer support without it being too much of a painful leverage. I want her to have some wall to stand on!

I wish i could use White Lightening or Clean Trax - this mare hates water on her. She never used to - i could hose her legs down easily and then when she came back to me after a year away she really freaked out when i went to wash her legs down of mud like i used to. I don't know what bad experience she had of water but i was shocked by her response.

All advice online to get a horse okay with water was tried and failed. It took months to get her finally used to it. She's fine standing outside in the pouring rain - go figure!

I have got her okay with that aspect now - as it only takes a few minutes each leg to rinse down - but standing her leg in a bag full of water sloshing around for 45 mins and then a further 45 mins for gasses to soak is something i know will have her freaking out about - it's been a struggle to get her used to a soaking boot.

If the product worked for 20 mins and then done i would be okay. But it's a lonnnng soak with WL and CT.

Do you think i could get away with a shorter soak with those products? I know people say they are so effective and only needs to be twice a week.

I opted for shorter soaks many times a week with other anti-bac/.anti-fung products as an alternative.

Being a broodmare, she had handling but not a great deal and was basically ignored left to pasture prior to coming back to me - however she is respectful of me, but she is still very 'green' with more intimate contact from a human, like standing still to have her belly brushed etc.

My first experience with her as i crouched slightly to check her udder for waxing prior to foaling resulted in a swift cow kick as fast a lightening on my thigh! I was told she never bites, kicks, is as sweet!

She has come a long way as all she did was kick at me when i got her back to deal with her split, fungus ridden hooves - now she willingly lifts each hoof as if to read my mind what i'm going to do.

Being an alpha i guess it's been a struggle for her to trust anyone else to take on that role and relax - it's been a real joy to gradually win her trust. When she nibbled me and fussed me after relieving her rear hoof while trimming her almost made me weep! She had been so stand-offish and wouldn't allow even a face stroke...then she kissed me - a glorious moment :-)

I'll try the WL, but i really don't want to waste the product all over the floor from her freaking out.....i really hate the bag way to soak and prefer a boot. Could i use it in a boot? Are the gasses THAT necessary?

I've been trying to figure out what's causing the WLD to erupt so quickly and aggressively. I've been meticulous with cleaning out their hooves daily. Clean stalls, fields or manure etc. I've not allowed any serious regrowth to be leverage, i've been doing swipes here and there with the rasp weekly on both horses to prevent that.

Does a foot that is long toe/under run heels go through this as the hoof begins to take a new shape? The reason i'm wondering is that the old growth of bad connection through serious flaring would be growing down - so that connection being compromised then allows for all the bad bugs to enter and eat away.

She's on Formula4Feet which is doing wonders for their coat condition (even better than seaweed/rosehips and linseed oil) so i presume horn material and general growth should also be improved. It's only been 6 weeks on that supplement so early days.

I'm surprised she's not footy or more tender to be honest - considering the condition and lack of wall stability. She's been trotting on the gravel, and galloping in the pasture. If i were to look at that foot and not know the horse i would guess the horse would be lame. Since trimming her bars 2 days ago is when she really seemed to be more flighty and move free-er.

She's currently on gravel or soft pasture - and only a hard surface to and from those areas - she's been fine on all those surfaces since trimming her bars - i'm laying off any serious groundwork training/exercise but do want to keep her free and moving rather than stalled.

I wish there was some type of clip on fully breathable and open structured support shoe/pad i could use - that i could take off daily - treat the condition - and clip back on. Boots are too enclosed and wouldn't help the WLD. Metal shoes cover up the inner wall/white line. Is there anything?

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Hi PurbeK

Far as the White Lightning treatment, the horse does not need to stand in a pail of water. It is the gas that is generated, when the White Lightning is added to an equal part of weak acid (vinegar ), that is the active ingredient

Does your mare stand tied?

If so, all you need is an IV bag, or the bags that you can buy from the people that make white Lightning,. You can put the leg into the bag, add the made up White Lightning ( I just use one oz or the W.L, with an equal amount of vinegar, per foot.

next, just use a leg wrap to seal the top, and let the horse stand there for 45 min, There is hardly any fluid in that bag, just enough to generate that gas

Boots work, but you have to take them off once a day. I do that, and use Pete's goo in between the weekly white Lightning treatment, plus I have an old hair dryer that I use along the white line, and to dry the boots. I also wipe the boots with some sort of disinfectant

These are the boots I use. They are designed to offer frog support and are used by several veterinary clinics to re rehabilitate hooves

These boots have air vents on the side, and are the best I found, far as being able to treat daily and also offering support of the coffin bone

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Excellent info - thanks Smilie :-)

I had seen a Clean Trax video on youtube on how to use that and it was a big IV bag filled with soooo much liquid sloshing about i couldn't believe the horse was so calm to be honest. I knew instantly i couldn't use that method.

I had assumed the same for WL also as people spoke of mixing it with another liquid and using an IV bag - i didn't realise it was a small amount of liquid compared to the clean trax treatment.

I think i could give white lightning a go - she'll stand tied, providing i'm there, distract her with hay and grooming....leg scratches in all the places she can't easily get to really gets her relaxed, so i think it could be a winner :-)

The soft ride boots look good - nice thick sole to them too - great. I like the side gap for cooling. The material also looks thin enough to dry quickly if they get wet.

So when Smilie had white line issues you found it didn't get any worse being in a boot with weekly WL treatments and goo treatments?

How long is a safe amount of time to keep the boots on per day to avoid over-suffocating the hoof?

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No, I found that the boots did not exacerbate the white line disease, and in fact, doing as I posted, helped in clearing it up

Far as how long is okay to leave the boots on, I had to test that, as I went to a wedding in Ontario, and the person looking after the place was really not experienced enough to bother with removing boots, ect. Thus, I have left them on for a week, treating with the White Lightning just before, and right after I got back, without any negative effects.

Of course, that is my own experience.

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That's enough of a testimonial to convince me it's worth a try.

I know packing the cavities doesn't pay-off for me personally with whatever pathogens are consuming the inner wall on my mare, so boots, although a more enclosed environment than completely barefoot, is a step-up from packing, and most of all offers support.

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The discrepancy of medial lateral balance on the front shot vs. the solar shot is shown in this pic below. When you look at the front shot pic, the inside is high and coming down on the outside. Further evidence of that is the straight inside wall coming down to the ground and the outside is buckled out. When you look at the solar shot, the outside looks higher. Now look at the sole line all the way around the hoof. It's higher as well on the outside. (think of a teeter totter down on its right side...higher inside jamming into the hoof.....where's the other end of the teeter totter? High and out there because its been trying to keep up with the high side and lost the battle) The higher inside has dictated, putting the weight down on the left side, until it flared and broke out. Now the inside is way high and with lost heel, really down on the outside. The buckle was created probably before the heel broke out due to more impact and when it broke out, was relieved, though down on what was left. Now look at the balance between the two bars. Inside higher to back up that inside high scenario. Now look at the left heel, which is higher than the right heel. The one inch going forwards from the higher outside heel to the higher inside bar shows how the heel lands, then 1 second later, rolls forward to the opposite in balance. You have both balances happening and it effects the conformation of the hoof when used like this.
All the white lines I drew are existing. I want you to note the shape and contours. Shape is function. The left heel has flared out and the top of the heel platform is quite lumpy and dictating to imbalance. (I guarantee that that lump hurts and is contributing to the flared heel) The right heel is high, always was. Both heels have a nice square/strong shape to their bases, though and that means strength.
The bevel on the right heel should not be carried back to the heel platform, but only from in front of the heel platform at the quarter. (both sides) The right heel surface should be flat to ground all the way across it. The outside wall line going down to the ground on the right side is slightly going inward. A bevel keeps the wall from flaring outward. You don't need to bevel a wall that is already heading inward, make sense? The depth of the bevel is also extreme, leaving only a tad of the inside of the heel platform remaining. The inside of the heel platform is not heel, its bar, so the whole right side of the hoof is riding on bar. That's all the support that is there for a heel first landing. You need a full heel surface for landing. In balance with the other, surface flat to ground and stout and square shape, just like my red line shows. The heels should be brought down to that line and all surfaces should be flat and facing the ground...down to that line. So you reverse the rasp in your hand, start on the sides, following the sole, pulling the rasp back toward you and bring the wall straight back to and including the heels. All of it flat to ground and pulling straight back to where you want the heels to be....or should I say, where they want to be.

<a href="" title="12frontright1_271114 (Large) 333333 by missyclare, on Flickr"><img src="" width="75" height="75" alt="12frontright1_271114 (Large) 333333"></a>

This is what the hoof looks like when you get it all flat to ground and even with sole.
<a href="" title="12frontright1_271114 (Large) 333333 by missyclare, on Flickr"><img src="" width="75" height="75" alt="12frontright1_271114 (Large) 333333"></a>
All the red surface is flat to ground, then the bevel is applied "leaving" the inside half intact and beveling the outside half, That line created between intact and bevelled is what I call the leading edge of the bevel and I place it specifically for maximum benefit allowed at the time. I bevel flare, but don't bevel a curved wall coming down to the ground and inward on the circumference of the hoof, or a heel that is swaying inward. I don't bevel things that have been crushed. The flat to ground and medial/lateral balance is more important to me to give the structure full/straight purchase and promote maximum hoof perimeter and strength. Note the strength in the shape of the heels now.
This shows the bevel at the back of the hoof, but not the toe..I'll see if a solar shot will help with that.
Hope this helps.....
This is just the RF. Got a LF? :smilie:

Edited by missyclare

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Wow Missy, you have been busy! That info is very helpful, thank you soooo much for your efforts, they are hugely appreciated!

I will digest the info more, and some of it i'm not getting my head around on first read - i am understanding the forces you describe acting across the hoof enhancing imbalance and therefore growth.

I will go over your info, and compare with the line shots you've drawn to fully knit your advice together in my's a lot to absorb and i really want to 'get it' fully before attending to the hoof again.

I think i will have to delete some of the pics in the opening post to be able to post the LF and solar shots as each time i go to post pics i'm told i've got a smaller allowance of KB per pic.

You have helped me better understand the mechanical forces on the hoof - i have been noticing the past couple of trims that the toes wear unevenly - and i knew it was to do with imbalance - i couldn't read the hoof fully to tell me all the causes of this, which is something your advice has helped me understand soooo much better.

I'll try posting the other shots.

Thanks again for all your help, it's wonderful to have guidance with her hooves :-)

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