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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Hoof chipping

Sadly (I suppose in a good way) I don't have many photos of hoof chips.  I did try to get Grace to chip her hooves for me, but even though I marched her across some builders rubble she was having none of it!

But I see hooves chipping mostly for three reasons:-
  • Newly deshod hoof is growing out nail holes/damage and/or breakover is moving back
  • Poor horn quality
  • Neglect and/or poor trimming
Newly deshod cobs seem to chip the most, but that is just on my patch, it is not necessarily universal.  Cobs also seem to be shod in some of the most 'interesting' ways, considering how good their feet can be with very little effort.  The two things are often linked as the breakover is often very far forward of where it needs to be and the hoof wall has often been rasped extremely heavily.

Poor horn quality needs to be addressed by fixing the diet (KISS)* and introducing a carefully planned and well executed work programme to stimulate the foot into producing more high quality growth.  Any decent trimmer should be able to advise you on your particular.

Neglect :-( and poor trimming :-( are often cited as reasons why a horse can't go barefoot (the foot chips).  Sorry but these are inexcusable.  I can understand why people struggle with diet, the advice/general knowledge on offer is often a bit out of date, but neglect is never acceptable and there are some damn fine trimmers out there and the AANHCP network is growing daily.  I do understand that in some countries it can be hard to find a trimmer in the locality, but always try contacting the AANHCP because they are generally very helpful.  I've even known members to get on a plane to organise workshops in countries where there are no qualified local trimmers. 

Ok promo over!  If you are worried about hoof chips - usually you don't need to be - put the chip in context and if you are unsure contact your trimmer.

Put it this way the first horse in this post lost their quarter (old abscess hole growing out) - but was never a day lame and she works 6+ days a week and for hours at a time on all sorts of surfaces including roads and stones.

The second horse (same post) was never lame from the chunk missing from their hoof either (the laminitis was another matter!)

*My new version of this is Keep It Simple and Sugarfree!  Or you could go for Keep It Starch and Sugarfree.....


lytha said...

just this week i finally found a natural hoofcare trimmer in my area. i'm so excited to meet her next week. ever since we moved to this village i've been doing my own trimming and taking photos diligently, but i need the regular input of a professional. the neighbors were advising me to just use a regular horseshoer but i don't trust them. the barefoot movement is small here but growing.

~lytha in germany

Mrs Mom said...

Oh!! I have a sweet little gelding in the paddock right now w/ a chip in his off side quarter that I have not gotten to trimming yet. Want photos of it? Let me know!!

Dom said...

I should send you photos of the chips on the new horse we got in. The owner says his feet have always chipped, and it's no wonder with a trim like that! Thankfully, we don't see chipping on our farm either. Amazing what proper care will do!

smazourek said...

Why exactly do farriers rasp the hoof wall so heavily? Are they trying to get rid of flare that way? Guess what folks, that doesn't work.

Lucy Priory said...

Hiya everyone

Thank you for continuing to read my blog! :-)

Mrs Mom I don't know about you but I always find my own horse is bottom of the pile when it comes to trimming. And her feet have a kind of hard plastic quality which makes them particularly demanding to do and ruins rasps.

Smazourek - in the UK farriers are taught to deal with shallow hoof angles by rasping back the wall and growing the heels.... It takes four years to learn how to exactly the wrong thing - tragic - but you can't blame them for following their training. The pity is they get mad with barefoot trimmers when they should be getting mad with their own professional body/teaching institutions.

Dom - send me your photos, you know I have a fetish for hoof porn! :-)

Lytha - big hugs to you - good luck with your new trimmer. Is she one from this list?

Mrs Mom said...

Oh Lucy.... getting time to trim- client or our new gelding- is a BEAR lately. I'm wishing you were on this side of the pond, as I'd turn my clients over to you right now. Add in last night I seriously screwed up *my* right foot... *sigh*

Good thing the new pony here is a sweet sweet guy-- I'm thinking he'll be a gent and let me sit on a bucket to trim in a few days. Have to see how my hoof is first! ;)

Lucy Priory said...

Hi Mrs Mom - hope your hoof gets better soon!

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Southern England, United Kingdom