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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Can't see the foot for the shoes

The feet below have all recently had the shoes removed.

I've removed the shoes from a fair few horses. A common theme is the poor health of the foot when the shoe comes off. I have yet to remove a shoe from a foot that has been in perfect condition.

The things we tend to find are:

  • terrible smell

  • thrush

  • white line separation

  • contracted heels

  • squishy contracted frog

  • thin sole

  • crumbling walls

  • laid over bars

  • shallow collateral grooves

  • really long walls


Wolfie said...

When I see feet like these, I am grateful my guy is barefoot.

Austen said...

Whew! Those feet are so rough!

I have a question for you. I'm struggling with Guinness' feet again. I've moved him to a barn that has rockier soil than we had before. His overall health is better, and we haven't had any new event lines - which makes me super happy. But, his poor bare feet are getting ripped up on the rocky ground. His soles are so thin, you can feel them squish when you push on them with your finger!
Our weather has been constant storms, interspersed by searing heat and so much humidity you could drown in it. It was so humid that I couldn't get his feet to dry even when turned out in a dry sand arena. Any ideas? He's too tender to even walk on rough ground. It's killing me to watch him stumble all the time.

RuckusButt said...

But those are feet of shod horses who don't see a farrier often enough, right? I've never seen feet that bad, shod or not!

Sophie said...

RB - unfortunately such feet seem to be the norm where I am :-( But it could be that I only get to deshoe horses where the owner is at their wits end.

Austen - It would take a braver person than I to try and give advice over the internet. I am not sure where you are located, but there are some AANHCP trimmers located in Florida who are familiar with dealing with extreme heat and damp who may be able to help.

We have extreme wet conditions in the UK and don't have a problem with the wet causing thin soles. We do have a problem with the type and quantity of grass we feed our horses and this through secondary symptoms can cause thin soles. But we have horses living in marsh who have feet like iron. So its not just about wet. But like I said - we don't get wet and warm very often.

Sophie said...

Austen AANHCP trimmers in Ohio

if the URL works that is.

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