Hoof Balance X-Ray--Yikes

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Mcdreamer, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    19,930
    Likes Received:
    48,459
    This horse? His feet break because they’re too long. It’s like your fingernails. If you grow them out beyond your finger tips, they’re more prone to break.

    Short = strong.

    While the lack of sole depth is concerning, I can tell from the X-ray that he has too much toe definitely. And the leverage created by the length of his toe is only going to contribute to or aggravate the rotation. Likely, the heels are too long as well.

    Here is an X-ray of my horse’s club foot, her foot isn’t perfectly balanced here (some extra length), but this is closer to what you want to see on an X-ray. She has some rotation, but it’s not alarming. To a lesser degree, you can see toe distortion on the X-ray like you can on the OP horse. The difference being, I have a bit of a rocker on her toe that puts her breakover in roughly the right spot. (Though I should have been more aggressive with it)

    This is what the hoof looked like on the outside:

    How do I know her feet still weren’t correct yet, though they were better and I had her break over in the right spot:
    See how her hairline isn’t straight? Excess length in her toe quarters are jamming the hairline up. You can also view this distortion in her growth lines on the hoof.
    Also, see how the hoofwall on the toe isn’t straight? The flaring indicates that excess length is pushing the toe out forward instead of allowing it to grow straight down.

    This picture is out of date, but it illustrates the continued improvement in her foot. You can see how the hairline and hoof wall are much straighter.

    Sometime I would like to get updated X-rays to compare.
     
    Faster Horses likes this.
  2. gaitedboomer

    gaitedboomer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    2,255
    Agree it would be important to know why the hoof is clubbed, genetic or otherwise.

    My Tennessee Walker was diagnosed a "Less Than Grade One" club hoof; he has never been X-rayed. He has Generator breeding in him and most of the Walking Horse world knows he inherited that club hoof from Prides Generator, aka "The Old Man" in local circles.

    He is coming 24 and has been with me since he was 2-1/2. I have been fortunate to always have Farrier's who trimmed him according to what that hoof asks for and not what they thought he should look like.

    BUT thru the years his opposite leg muscle is half inch longer than the club hoof side. The vet said that is not unusual and nothing to worry about. This horse has never been lame due to the club hoof and has always maintained the champagne-smooth running walk people pay big dollars for:)

    He has hooves like a goat and has been trail ridden barefoot the bulk of his life. The only time I ever put shoes on him were the times I didn't know the terrain we would be trailering to.

    Club hooves grow heel at Mach 80 but never grow much toe. They are prone to thrush and it takes a savvy farrier to trim the hoof properly and not exacerbate the thrush issue.

    Frequent trims are better to keep the heels lower --- even if that means the hoof only needs rasped. I have let Farrier's go because they wanted to wait as long as eight weeks to trim so they would have something to take the nippers to.

    My point is, if there isn't some nefarious reason the hoof is now clubbed, with proper and frequent trims, the horse in the OP's post should have a long and useful career. He is such a cutie --- I hope things work well for him :)
     
    Mcdreamer likes this.
  3. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,548
    Likes Received:
    2,591
    henryhoof1.jpeg henryhoof2.jpeg henryhoof4.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    19,930
    Likes Received:
    48,459
    Yep. Looks very similar to my horse’s club foot. See the same jamming in the hairline that used to be on my horse’s foot as well?

    The good news is, I’ve seen worse. :p Foot is too tall, but it’s not horrible. Judging by the way the feet look, by what you said when he was trimmed by a farrier who liked itty bitty feet, do you mean the sort of carried who likes them real tall and straight like a Stock horse show horse?

    The fix for that is actually a little counter-intuitive. His feet need to be shorter. Right now, you’re getting some extra width with the flaring, but it’s at the expense of hoof strength.

    If he can transition barefoot with shorter, better balanced feet, that can help his hoof expand naturally in a healthy way.

    He could just be a small footed horse, too, but if that’s how he is, there’s nothing wrong with it. In which case, nothing will make them bigger without sacrificing hoof strength and balance.

    What kind of natural-type trimmers are around? Sometimes they suck, sometimes they’re good, but it might be worth looking into if there aren’t any ELPO farriers around.
     
    Mcdreamer likes this.
  5. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,548
    Likes Received:
    2,591
    I've basically been told he can never go without shoes. I'm still not completely convinced and it makes me sad to think a 7 year old horse has to wear shoes the rest of his life because his x-rays are so "scary"
     
  6. gaitedboomer

    gaitedboomer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    2,255
    What degree of club did the vet diagnose him? My horse is Less-than Grade One, coming 24 and has only worn shoes 3-4 times in his life, when I didn't know what terrain we would be riding in.

    I could see shoeing the horse during trail riding season because clubby horses do tend to wear their toes down nubs while the heels keep growing --- the shoes would protect his toes. Or wear boots on his fronts.

    My farrier was here today -- I completely forgot about this thread or I would have asked her opinion. She shoes but much prefers to leave a horse barefoot if at all possible.

    Are there any other farrier/trimmers well versed with club hooves that you could ask their opinion? I know he isn't yours but another, respected opinion might help the barefoot cause during the periods he isn't working:)
     
    Mcdreamer likes this.
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    24,360
    Likes Received:
    14,845
    My horse with even his mild club foot, one farrier after another told me - keep him shod. Always.
     
    Mcdreamer likes this.
  8. LoveTrail

    LoveTrail Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    6,248
    Likes Received:
    6,074
    I've had one horse with two clubbed feet that only gave him problems thrush wise. The one time he was x-rayed the vet was surprised at how good his x-rays were better than she expected because my then current farrier, also my trainer at the time trimmed him terribly, way more toe than the OP's. She told him he had too much toe, she's writes for The Horse all the time, Dr. Loving, so he listened to her never to me when I told him to do him, but instead of gradually taking toe, he just loped it all off and then my horse who was never lame was lame. I only would tell him because he would trip and he was a sure footed cow bred and knew he should not be tripping. He was also bad at trimming a horse time wise so another reason for the extremely long toes. Was selling him and someone did a pre purchase. Previous farrier I had him on a four week schedule because he would grow so much heel quickly when he was younger. DiggerClub.jpg He does great barefoot.

    Now my other horse that had a less than grade one only had issues when he would lose his shoe on the good foot and with the unbalance would get sand cracks, similar to a quarter crack on the good foot.

    Here's that x-ray of one hoof of double club foot horse. He was nine at the time. Only just last year he had a set back with a stifle injury at age 17. They are trying to get him sound because of his value as an IEA beginner horsemanship horse and lesson horse.
     
    Mcdreamer likes this.
  9. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,340
    Likes Received:
    10,225
    OP, there is an amzing hoof group on FB... you should post your horses there. It's called Hoof Care for Performance Horses. They have a LOT of really knowledgeable ppl , farriers, owners, etc there. They have a lot of experience and knowledge than this forum when it comes to hooves. Just a thought.. :)
     
    Mcdreamer and Arem like this.
  10. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    19,930
    Likes Received:
    48,459
    It could be true. It might not be. I would say rehabbing him to be barefoot is within the realm of possibility, and it’s just as possible (or more so) that shoeing that doesn’t take into account proper biomechanics will make him worse over the long run.

    I personally see nothing wrong with shoes. I’d keep my mare shod if I had access to the sort of farrier who can balance everything properly. Sure would make life easier, and she’s better (IMO) shod. But I don’t have access to that kind of carrier so she’s barefoot and I trim her myself. I can keep her sound barefoot. It’s just challenging. Out of my two options: shod with a typical “meh” shoe job (which will eventually harm more than it helps over the long run) or barefoot and anally keep her feet balanced myself; barefoot is better.
     
    Mcdreamer and gaitedboomer like this.

Share This Page