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Discussion on Feet balance properly?

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s.miley
Member
Username: lindac

Post Number: 30
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008 - 2:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO,
Would appreciate your opinion on the anterior/posterior balance of this horse's feet.
Thanks.


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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21511
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008 - 7:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello s.miley,
If the horse is standing square, the upper image shows a horse whose heels are a bit low (as indicated by a slightly broken hoof/pastern angle), the bottom image is balanced in the ap aspect. Note however that we cannot see the cannons well. In order to make this evaluation the horse must be standing squarely over his feet and bearing equal weight on both legs. You can see examples of this in the article associated with this discussion topic. That said I think my impression is right.

The question becomes is this a trimming error or a conformational problem with the foot. I am pretty sure it is the latter as the angle of the wall at the heels is underrun when compared to the angle of the wall at the toe. If you try to trim this out by shortening the length of the toe, you might excessively thin the sole at the toe. For more on correction see, Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Diseases of the Hoof » Correcting Long Toe Low Heel Foot Conformation.
DrO
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s.miley
Member
Username: lindac

Post Number: 31
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008 - 11:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your analysis DrO. I had the same impression about his RF heel being a bit low. However, I agree that it doesn't look like I've got him standing squarely over it either. Will re-take the photos and give you a full view of his cannons.
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s.miley
Member
Username: lindac

Post Number: 32
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Oct 9, 2008 - 8:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi DrO,
Here are the new photos. As he was standing very square I placed a board behind each leg so the opposite leg didn't interfere with the outline. As you stated before his RF is definitely underrun.
Would you recommend a small wedge pad be place under his RF shoe to help with the underrun heel and improve his posterior angle so it better matches the anterior and the hoof pastern axis? In cases such as this, is it ok to only wedge one foot?
Thanks.

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21526
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Oct 10, 2008 - 7:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Even very good photos can be misleading s.miley so I recommend you point it out to your farrier and let him decide how to deal with this problem. Certainly you can wedge just a single foot of a horse to get it balanced but my first inclination with mild problems in barefoot horses is to try to trim to get the heels growing more upright. Primarily this consists of moving the break over back. The article I reference above discusses finding ideal break over and ways to achieve it.
DrO
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s.miley
Member
Username: lindac

Post Number: 33
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, Oct 11, 2008 - 2:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks again DrO.
This fellow is always shod, except in winter. He's barefoot now as he's slightly off on his left fore and has had his shoes pulled. His lameness followed a cross-country run at a horse trials back in mid-September. When he came back sound after about a week's rest he was put back into light work. He was doing great, then he had a day off. Trotted out of the barn looking sound that morning, walked in that evening, didn't notice anything. He was bucking and playing during his turnout though. The following day, he was slightly off again (small head bob), but not enough to put him on stall rest. So back to straight turnout, no riding again.

Rode him on Sunday of this week but noticed that he was slightly off trotting in sand and only barely or not at all when trotting on pavement. But when taken back to the sand ring he was off again. I pulled his shoes to check for sand/gravel under the pad and possible bruising of his sole. Each pad had accumulated some sand inside, but no different than any other time. I did notice the pad from his left fore had an small rubbed area on the inside of the pad at the toe whereas the other pads did not. His foot looked okay.

With his shoes off, I gave him a couple of days to get used to being barefoot. Then to keep track of his progress I started doing short lunges in a soft sand ring followed by a trot down a paved road a couple of days later to ensure that he was comfortable on both surfaces. He's travelling very sound with one exception. Being a QH with a western pleasure background he loves to do this little QH jog whereby he lands toe first almost like stabbing the ground. When he does this jog before you get him up into a trot he appears slightly off on his LF, but once you get him pushed up into the trot he travels sound. After trotting a few circles and then asking him to go back to the jog gait he's quite willing and shows no signs of lameness or soreness.

As well, I did test both front feet by pinching his toes. Prior to doing this I trotted him to make sure he was travelling sound. When pinched he did not pull away on either foot, but when I turned him outside about 5 minutes later he trotted away slightly off on his left fore. Later on he was just fine and trotted in sound that evening.

Not sure what to make of this and if I'm just dealing with a fellow who is a bit foot sore. Uncertain as to whether I can start riding him lightly again or if I should give him some more time off ....
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 2039
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Saturday, Oct 11, 2008 - 10:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a QH with that nice little jog too. She also used to stab the ground toe first, and barely skim the grass as she didn't lift her feet. I have consistently backed her toe up, and fought LOW heels, and underrun heels. I am not where I want to be yet with her hooves, but she does not stab the ground any more, and she trots with more lift now. Still does the nice jog though.

She would also appear slightly lame at times, nothing major.

Just my opinion, but I think those hoofs look long all around, but without seeing the bottom is hard to tell. The heels look slung under also. Just putting a nice mustang roll on the front toes might get rid of the toe first landing, although toe stabbing the ground first most likely means that the toe is too long also.

Another thing to consider is, if the hoofs are trimmed the best they can be, is soreness somewheres else. I have a gelding who has shoulder issues from a kick 5 years ago. He will be short strided and just slightly off, it comes and goes.

But I'd be sure the hooves were trimmed in balance and correctly first.
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 2971
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Oct 11, 2008 - 1:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know this is a rather encompassing saying, but If I understand you right he was sound on hard ground and off a little on soft ground??

sound on hard ground, off on soft ground, means to look to soft tissue
sound on soft ground, off on hard ground ,look to hooves. That is just something that a few different trainers have told me, which makes some sort of sense.

I don't know if this is true, but I have also heard from different farriers (years ago) that a navicular horse will be sounder on hard ground. Of the only 1 true navicular horse I've known this was surprisingly true.

This is all conjecture of course.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21536
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Oct 12, 2008 - 8:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have recommendations for undiagnosed lameness s.miley and you will find them at, Diseases of Horses » Lameness » First Aid for the Lame Horse.
DrO
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s.miley
Member
Username: lindac

Post Number: 34
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Oct 12, 2008 - 8:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Really appreciate everyone's input.

Thanks Angie, good to know I'm not alone .... there ARE other horses out there that do this little joggy thing .... lol! Fortunately, when he moves up to a normal trot this completely disappears and he lands in more of a heel to toe action.

And thanks to you Diane about the navicular tip, will keep that in mind and discuss that with my farrier. When my fellow first showed up lame in Sept. he was off on both hard and soft surfaces, but as he improved he was equally better on both surfaces .... sorry for the confusion. Then for some reason (???) on that one Sunday he trotted more soundly on a paved surface than in the sand ring which prompted the shoe removal, as to me it seemed like he was uncomfortable with the pressure of the sand pushing up under his foot. Anyway since then, he has once again shown equal improvement on both surfaces, with that one exception which I mention before. However, happy to report we've had improvement there as well.

Actually rode him today and he felt great!!!! Did a check-up longe session before turning in and he looked fine. Keeping my fingers crossed that it is nothing more than a sore foot from the gallop cross country.
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