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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Saturday, 14 September 2013


Time to update this post; 'Help my horse has gone footy'  

Footiness is the bane of many a barefooter, and unresolved footiness, or a misunderstanding of what footiness means are common reasons for shoeing.

But the world is slowly waking up to the idea that a horse's hooves are a window to her health and it's a sad day when we choose to ignore the warnings we are being given.

And footiness is a warning, pure and simple, that all is not as it should be.  How we react to that warning says a lot about us.

What I failed to mention in the previous post is that list items 1-6 can cause an inflammatory response, as can adipose tissue.  This can cause footiness regardless of how good the hoof is.  Long term inflammation also seems to impact on the ability of a horse to grow a good foot, particularly sole. And a thin sole is a problem even if the horse isn't obviously footy.

If we are lucky, the footiness, including the thin sole sort, is indicating a basic management error (see post highlighted above) and can be resolved relatively simply.

If you can't resolve the footiness through good management then you need to consider metabolic disease such as Insulin Resistance (IR), Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), commonly known as Cushings.  I've found that many horses that fail to grow a thicker sole have metabolic problems.

Also consider what I call FTS, Fat Thigh Syndrome.  I've known horses go footy simply from being overweight.

And if the horse has been out of work for any reason don't forget that the feet need time to get fit. No I'm not being daft, check hoof anatomy, there are a lot of ligaments in the foot and if they are not working they can get out of shape.  I've personal experience of that.

1 comment:

Keren: Fabulous farmlife said...

Wow, your blog has so much info. I own 2 gorgeous (barefoot) horses, who live a wonderful life on our farm
Now following you on GFC
Keren (From South Africa)

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