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Trimming and Shoeing

heel springs?
Post At
05/10/2007 - 6:10 P
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reply from
chris diehl
I am working on a horse with multiple injuries to his fetlock I have him in a rocker toe eventer. His foot gets smaller the closer it gets to the ground. It looks worse than a mule foot each foot from where the toe becomes quarter is perfectly straight and in one foot actually curves inward there is no frog pressure. I think the horse has a false sole and this a result of bad shoeing in the past. However the foot is so hard that my knife barely scratches the surface. I CANNOT fit this horse full on the inside i have tried and tried but if there is metal showing he will step on them and rip them off. I beveled the edges on the foot side and hope that an eventer will not grab the shoe.

What is a sure fire way of detecting a false sole in a dry foot?

Has anyone ever used heel springs to expand the heels? the buttress' are about an inch and a half from each other.

Oh the vet said he recently foundered also.
Reply at
05/10/2007 - 7:21 P
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reply from
Nicholas Denson
Hey Chris,

It sounds like you've gotten yourself a real interesting case study there.

A couple of questions first:

1. Does the vet, the one who mentioned laminitis, have any radiographs? If so, they'll be an excellent aid in determining if there is a false sole.

2. What type of injuries occurred to the fetlock? Soft tissue lesions or bony lesions?

3. Have you tried fitting the shoe full medially and then either using a pad or acrylic to blend the extension into the hoof wall? If you can provide a full fit that seemlessly blends into the wall, you shouldn't have to worry about pulled shoes.

Obviously without seeing the horse this is hard to tell, but it sound like you are seeing a sprial hoof deformity which can be attributed to any valgus or varus deformities resultant from the injuried fetlock, however, the past laminitis can also exacerbate this by enhancing what was already a deformed hoof capsule. I'd consider using a half-bar shoe.

As far as the heel springs go: I've never seen them used, but the conept behind them is flawed. Creating a situation where there is increased shear stress at the heels is never a good idea. I don't believe that you can force the heels to spread mechanically without doing greater harm. Most horses that have suffered from laminitis will have contracted heels at some point in the shoeing.

Good luck with this one and make sure to take some pictures if you can. Let us all know how you make out. Also, if I were you, I'd have a good sit down conversation with the vet before I'd do too much more.

- Nicholas Denson
Reply at
05/12/2007 - 10:08 P
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reply from
chris diehl
To awnser your questions,

1) The vet does not have any recent raidographs I am new to this horse so I'm going by what the owner has told me the injuries were bony which leads me to beleive that it's a bad case of spavin. when you look at the conformation the line that is supposed to intersect the hoof doen't it catches the very in side part of the wall. It's like somebody "pushed " the whole hoof over to the side by two inches.

2)I beleive that the injuries are bone problems BUT as we know when the injury is bone related soft tissue injuries always follow.

3) I fit the medial side full this time and built it up with VETTEC superfast. my intentions were not to fit too full i just want the shoes to stay on so next time I have a softer unbroken foot to deal with.

I may use a half bar but i'll have to make a few so I don't show my rear end at the barn.

I will keep you posted
Reply at
05/15/2007 - 10:00 P
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reply from
Debi Gurdock
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05/16/2007 - 10:50 P
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Jim Brown
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05/25/2007 - 10:16 P
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reply from
Pat Tearney
Reply at
06/ 3/2007 - 7:33 P
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reply from
Dr. Esco Buff, PhD, AFA-CF
Hello Chris,

I really think it would be in the horses' and everyones best interest to have some radiographs taken for diagnostic reasons as well as for treatment reasons.

If this animal has truley foundered, the films will help you with the shoeing protocal. If the animal has a false sole, this will help you determing how much you can safely remove.

I would never recommend hoof springs on horses, even if last resort. I've seen to many of these end up embedded into the frog and soles. I think more importantly is to look for the reason why the heels have contracted. This will be the key to providing more appropriate and effective treatment.

You wrote that the foot is getting smaller as it grows down, growing under itself, and that you can't fit the horse full when shoeing. These issues in my experience tend to be created due to imbalance issues and not shoeing the horse full enough (not shoeing the coronory band where the hoof grows from rather the hoof at the bottom). From my experience, I know that the foot tends to grow to the shoe. Shoe smaller and the foot can get smaller. Shoe largerand the foot can get larger. I also understand your frustrations about the horse pulling the shoes when fit fuller. As stated by others, I would also recommend shoeing the horse more correcty by fitting fuller and fill the void with Vettec or some other adhesive to help fill in the area so the shoe will stay on better as well as help hold the shoe on.

I personally distinguish sole problems into three catergories. Normal, Extra Sole, False Sole, Retracted, and prolapsed. Let me elaborate.

Normal Sole is normal.

Extra Sole is just that. The horse appears to more than average sole depth. Your leave or pare away but the sole depth remains constant. It doesn't keep getting thicker.

False Sole is a sole that keeps getting thicker each time you show up to shoe (we use radiographs to document this). Usually, these either resolve themselves by shedding the sole or you have to remove. False Soles look like the frog has disappeared under the sole. You are able to take you nippers at the toe and remove almost the entire sole all as one peice including most of the frog dead frog. I don't know if we know why some animals grow this. Some only occassionally, some every time. I can see it as a defensive issue or a inability to shed the frog and sole correctly issue.

Retracted soles are also known as sucked up soles. They are sole that are overly thinned out and retracting away from the ground.

Prolapsed soles are due to sinking of the coffin bone in the hoof capsule.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend working with a veterinarian and radiographs in order to more correctly be able to provide the correct treatment.


Esco Buff, PHD, CF

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