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Trimming and Shoeing

the flat footed horse
Post At
05/27/2010 - 9:16 P
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reply from
trisha mcdowell
i have a friend who just got a mare that has the flattest sole of any horse i have ever seen. she is of course very tender footed over gravel, but seems to do fine on other hard surfaces. any reccommendations as to how to approach getting some concavity to the sole?
Reply at
05/30/2010 - 7:50 P
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reply from
trisha mcdowell
she has never had a regular farrier, due to where she is at. I am going to be her regular farrier from now on. i trimmed the feet yesterday. she has the whole long toe low heel syndrome from being poorly trimmed in the past, and i started the process of correcting that. i am hoping that getting the hooves back into the proper shape will help to create some of a concave shape in the sole. we rode her after trimming her yesterday and we did see some very slight improvement in how she was moving(ie. improved breakover) but her toes were so flared out that she has a toe first landing(not as obvious after the first trim, but still toe first). i took the toes back as far as possible, she had alot of stretching in the white lne at the toe.

so i guess what i am going to do is get the feet back to being sound and see if this improves the sole concavity any
Reply at
08/20/2010 - 9:11 P
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reply from
Rebecca J Scott
Yes, flat footed horses are tender and usually thin soled as well.

If you were to get radiographs you would find p2 is buried well below the coronet band into the hoof capsule. This is because flat footed horses are not born or bred. They become flat footed due to poor laminar connection. Any horse with a dish in its dorsal wall has some degree of delamination. With that comes a tad of sinking and the sole flattens out. The extreme of this is sinking and rotation. But most horses dont get to that stage.

So to fix it you need to grow a nice tight new laminar connection in from the coronet band.

I know this is heresy to you guys but if you relieve the hoof walls then there will be no mechanical pressure on the laminar and over about nine or ten months, the horse will grow a nice new hoof with good laminar connection.  But a horse like that will struggle on hard ground so you may need to boot it, or give it sand or conformable gravel to keep it comfortable while it grows a new hoof capsule.

An important consideration is not to thin the sole at all. I know that farriers here in Australia like to rasp the sole and they take away support from under the pedal bone.

Its easy to write this kind of view off because its different from what farriers have been taught. But there's a growing body of science to support this - coming out of Michigan State University (Dr Robert Bowker) and Auburn University Alabama (Dr Debra Taylor).

We have a conference here in Australia with these and other speakers, including Australia's own Dr Chris Pollitt (Mr Laminitis) in Feb next year. You guys should think about coming down to visit. Check it out at www.thefunctionalhoof.com

Cheers

Rebecca
Reply at
08/24/2010 - 8:45 P
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reply from
trisha mcdowell
rebecca,

thank you for your info. How you are describing trimming is exactly how i trimmed her, and how i trim most horses that have really bad flares/seperations. Her feet are coming along nicely. There is some concavity to the feet, but there is still a long way to go. And you were right, she is a horse that had to be booted, in the front at least.
Reply at
12/23/2010 - 3:07 P
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reply from
Rebecca J Scott
Great Trish. You will find if you trim her this way that over the next six months...as she grows in a better laminar connection, the sole will keep exfoliating and will become more concave. Peripheral loading simply maintains the laminar disconnection and the flat sole will remain. You can also see an improvement in sole depth based on the depth of the collateral grooves at the edge of the frog. Good luck with it all.

Rebecca in Oz
Reply at
10/13/2012 - 8:17 P
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reply from
DR NAVEEN KUMAR
THIS IS THE SAME PROBLEM I AM FACING .I KEPT A NEW FARRIER 3 MONTH AGO AND NOW I AM SEEING THAT MY HORSES BECOMING THE FLAT FOOT.THEY R LOOSING THE CONCAVITY.JUST GIVE ME ADVICE HOW I CAN TELL THE FARRIER TO BACK THE CONCAVITY.IF SOME BODY GIVE ME SONE REF OF ANY DETAIL ARTICLE THEN I WILL BE VERY THANKFUL.

BY TAKING THE BREAKOVER BACK IS JUST SUFFICIENT ORWHOLE PICTURE OF HOOF IS SEEN AND CHANGED.KINLDY GUIDE ME IN GENERALCONTEXT.
Reply at
10/13/2012 - 6:49 P
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reply from
Linda Fullmer
Address the weight, diet and living conditions first and formost! You may always have thin, flat soles on a horse that does not have a diet low in sugar and starch and or is over weight. Do this then put the foot in correct balance, give the horse some exercise with boots and pads for now. Sometimes exercise within waht the horse can comfortably stand is the missing link after addressing diet of course. Good luck! Hope all goes well.
Reply at
10/14/2012 - 10:15 P
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reply from
Sean Petrilli
I was just reading about a product called Farrier's Fix which I have used on horses with thrush, minor stone bruises, and thin soled horses I inherited. I was useing it for its antiseptic effects, as well as it's ability to help with soreness, firming soft soles, etc.. But I just read in a couple of testimonies that folks had used it to help returning concavity to soles. It's inexpensive and I know it helps with minor soreness, maybe it would be a good adjunct to a good hoof maintenance plan.
Reply at
01/30/2013 - 3:22 P
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reply from
Ingrid Spikker
I took over a horse mid summer 2012 as you described. She had already been through two barefoot trimmers with no success and both did what you describe. Most of my clients horses are barefoot and I do understand what you are talking about, but I also have a huge problem with trimmers declaring all horses can go barefoot with proper environment, nutrition, booting etc... Yes all of these things improve a horses life, but some just need more. Most horses do fine, but there will always be those who don't. Horses are served best by trimmers and farriers with open minds.



She was always a bit of a pill to trim, but after I set the first shoe on her she put her foot down, dropped her head, licked and sighed. She pretty much handed me the other foot and stood quietly to have the other shoe set and has been one of my best to shoe since. She has been in shoes now for over 6 months and the quality of the whole foot has improved greatly. It's pretty tuff to back up a toe on a flat footed horse without making them sore, but you can do it with a shoe and the horse will be comfortable. In doing it barefoot you have to be so conservative you will be chasing the problem for a long time before seeing results where a shoe can get you there faster and the horse will be happy through the process. Then try the horse without shoes once you have a nicely balanced and healthy foot.



The owner called me the same evening to tell me she no longer has the lazy horse she thought she had. She was whooping it up so much in the yard they brought her in for fear she may hurt herself. It's not fair to a horse to put them through pain just because barefoot is something that seems like a good idea. Hopefully you will be very in tune to how comfortable this horse is through the process. Boots help, but you can't leave them on 24/7. It's not the shoe that messes up a horses feet. It's the farrier putting them on.



Just my opinion.
Reply at
01/31/2013 - 6:36 P
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reply from
Esco Buff
Trisha



Many of these issues are combinations of issues that need to be addressed in order to be more successful at resoloving this.



These areas include such things as farrier work, nutrition, environment and conformation. Some of these areas can be controlled, some a little bit and some not at all.



I would suggest looking at all the areas to see what can be done in order to obtain the best results.



Blessings,

Esco Buff, PhD, APF, CF
 

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