Small feet cause navicular????

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by ReinaEquina, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. ReinaEquina

    ReinaEquina Senior Member

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    Just wondering because I constantly hear the saying that small feet can be one of the causes of navicular, but to my understanding the optimally healthy foot has short toes and low heels, wouldn't this result in "small feet"? Just a little confused as It seems rather contradictive. So my question is why do people say that small feet result in navicular? Thanks in advance, would love to know/hear what everyone has to say.
     






  2. twp

    twp Senior Member

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  3. Patty Stiller

    Patty Stiller Senior Member+

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    The size of the foot is of no consequence. However the BALANCE and form of the foot is a huge deal, no matter what it's size.
     
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  4. Runswithhorses

    Runswithhorses Senior Member

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    Patty - I was told the 1200-1300 lb horses I see with size 0 feet were prime candidates. Is this not true if the balance is kept correct?
     
  5. CoffeeBean

    CoffeeBean Senior Member+

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    There are different sizes for 0 - so it may be more useful to know the width and length of the horse's hooves.

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"]USA Sizes[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] Width (inches)[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] Length (inches)[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 00[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4 1/2[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5 1/4[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 0[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4 7/8[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5 5/8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 1[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5 1/4[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 2[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5 1/2[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6 3/8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 3[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5 7/8[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6 7/8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 4[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6 1/4[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 7 3/8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 5[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6 5/8[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 7 3/4[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 6/7[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 7[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 8/9[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 7 7/8[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 9[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    This second chart, for comparison purposes, is from Epona Shoe. The first thing to note is that for each size they have two variations, narrow and wide, to allow for different shaped hooves. The sizes are also slightly different; for example in the above chart a size 1 has a length of 6 inches, while in the following chart it has a length of 5.5 inches. Comparisons of other suppliers can show even larger differences in standard sizes, in some cases over 1.5 inches difference for the same size. To make matters even more complex, some manufacturers have multiple brands, with different size charts for different brands. Consequently, 'horseshoe size' is only meaningful if one specifies not only the supplier but also the exact brand.
    [TABLE="width: 500"]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] USA Sizes[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] Width (inches)[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] Length (inches)[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 000N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.25[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.6[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 000W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.4[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.6[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 00N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.5[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.9[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 00W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.65[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.9[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 0N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.75[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 0W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 4.9[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 1N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.0[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.5[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 1W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.15[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.5[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 2N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.25[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 2W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.4[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.8[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 3N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.5[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 3W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.65[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 4N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.75[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.4[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 4W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 5.9[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.4[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 5N[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.6[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.7[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="align: center"] 5W[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.15[/TD]
    [TD="align: center"] 6.7[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
     
  6. CoffeeBean

    CoffeeBean Senior Member+

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    http://www.nanric.com/evaluating_navicular_bone.asp

    The author addresses the point about small feet & navicular in the final paragraph. I didn't scan this article - I skimmed it - so it's very likely I overlooked any glaring errors that others may find. In the meantime, maybe it has information you can use.
     
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  7. alaskahorse

    alaskahorse Senior Member+

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    yep.. the posted article nailed it ( pardon the pun) couldn't resist.
    We human beings are breeding critters ( not just horses) for beauty these days over function and the critter will pay that price in their health every time.
     
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  8. CoffeeBean

    CoffeeBean Senior Member+

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    *rimshot*

    Alaskahorse is here all week!
     
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  9. IIIBarsV

    IIIBarsV Senior Member+

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    Small feet don't cause navicular.

    Contracted feet and plain old lack of proper trimming of the heels from a very young age do, though.

    See these xrays and photos of a 5 month old foal who was LAME and HAD been regularly trimmed by a professional.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    If the incompetent starts at age 0, then you add work, weight and stress on top of chronic bad trimming--- and remember, most owners have NO idea what constitutes incompetent, bad trimming--- is it any surprise that the horse then develops lameness problems and navicular degeneration after a few years of hard work, later in life?

    Unless the horse has a direct trauma to the heel area in a fluke accident, or has the most horrific conformation of the legs known to horsepeople (cough cough post legs)... they don't just "get" navicular-related hoof problems out of the blue. They're a long time coming and can be directly traced to years of poor heel trimming and lack of frog development/hoof expansion.

    Two types of hoof imbalances contribute to navicular problems:

    1) broken-forward HPA, tall heels, club-type hooves--- extremely upright angles.

    2) Broken-backward HPA, long underrun or crushed heels, prolapsed frogs, negative coffin bone angle, convex hoofwall profile at the toe.

    Both of those put stress on the tendons, ligaments and heels. Both result in inflammation--- how much and how quickly depends on how bad the balance is.

    Add a workload to the mix and that will accelerate things, because consistent work with a rider increases the general stress and impact... a horse standing in a field with bad feet isn't going to develop problems as quickly as a horse who is galloping, jumping or really working their butts off.

    In both cases, the horses have problems with the amount of weight-bearing ground contact, and the location of the weight-bearing ground contact.
     
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  10. Patty Stiller

    Patty Stiller Senior Member+

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    If small hooves were more susceptible to navicular issues than big ones then why are there so many big footed horses with navicular pain or disease? or larger footed TB's?
    Answer: because the HEELS of the feet have been allowed to develop distortion, as well as the toe. Which creates sore heels , a toe first landing, delayed breakover and increased leverage and stress in the coffin joint and all structures in and around the navicular bone. The same distortions cause the same issues in small feet.
    IT IS ALL ABOUT THE TRIM and BALANCE to create equilibrium among all the structures inside the foot.

    The idea that small hooves cause navicular was spawned because of the fad in the Quarter horse / halter horse industry to leave tall heels and "stand that foot up". Which directly leads to many heel issues, lack of frog function and distorted toes. And a toe first landing, which literally slams the lower end of the short pastern bone into the top of the navicular bone at every step.

    Even if the foot is genetically small they DO NOT HAVE TO DEVELOP NAVICULAR ISSUES!
    Correct management of those little feet can prevent it. It is all about foot FUNCTION and FORM, creating less stress on the internal tissues .
    Not size.
     
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