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Discussion on Hoof Rings

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Janice Chadola
New Member
Username: Jchadola

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Saturday, Aug 30, 2003 - 7:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I purchased a 3-year-old appendix quarter horse earlier in August this year. I had him vetted and specifically asked the vet about his feet. She thought they were a bit flat, he had a bit of a seedy toe and needed shoes but otherwise they were fine. She found nothing when she hoof tested him and did the flexion test. Today my trainer saw him for the first time and noticed that he has a horizontal ring around all 4 hooves - more noticeable on the front and wondered if he had laminitis. He is not lame and moves well. The 17 year old girl who sold him to me has had him since he was 9 months old - his dam was her aunt's horse. What she would do with him was put him just on grass every summer and he would be fed hay in the winter. He had 45 days of western training I think sometime this spring. He was used mostly for trail riding. The one ring on each foot is horizontal, is quite grooved and just about in the middle of his foot. My trainer felt that whatever caused it happened about 4 to a maximum of 6 months ago. Should I be worried - are there other not serious causes of a ring like that - I wonder why the vet didn't mention it. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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George Taglioli
Username: Tagloili

Post Number: 36
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Saturday, Aug 30, 2003 - 9:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O can answer your question better than me, but I have noticed rings on hooves that appear after a trauma has occurred to a horse. I have especially noted them after a horse recovers from scratches.
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Username: Swarnick

Post Number: 44
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Saturday, Aug 30, 2003 - 11:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've seen a lot of horses with the same thing that never developed into true founder. Rings can be caused by many things such as long transport, nutritional changes, vaccines, incorrect trims that stressed the hoof, etc. Probably you'll never know which but as long as the horse doesn't have the obvious signs like parking, heat or ouchiness it's probably just a transient thing and nothing to worry about. The hoof grows out completely in a year so you'll be seeing less of it with every trim.

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Elizabeth Donahue
Username: Paul303

Post Number: 378
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Aug 31, 2003 - 1:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A change in feed could have something to do with it. You said that he went from hay in winter to grass in summer. When would that change have been? Possibly 4 or 5 months perhaps? Also, no doubt, there was a feed change during the 45 days he was at the trainer's last spring....again, 4 or 5 months ago. It's doubtful he'd have foundered in all four feet
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Janice Chadola
Username: Jchadola

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, Aug 31, 2003 - 2:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your comments. It makes me feel better. I emailed his prior owner and she emailed back saying he never foundered and her farrier never had a problem with his feet. His prior owner had previously indicated that she had never had to have the vet out in all the time she owned him - so from 9 months to 3 years of age. It did surprise me that the vet who vetted him didn't mention something about it, even if she felt it was nothing to worry about. I did wonder about the change 2 times a year - For the winter he would be taken to a different location in Kelowna, B.C. where he lived where there was a barn and would be given grain and hay. In the spring he would be moved to the other location in Kelowna where he would be put in a field with a number of other horses and only have grass. I am assuming the transition in feed was sudden. He is an easy keeper who loves to eat and now has a bit of a belly so I am assuming he feasted on grass when he was first put out in the field in the spring. With the rings 1/2 way down his hoof, time wise it makes sense that it could be the change in diet. He is not lame and moves beautifully.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9019
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Aug 31, 2003 - 10:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Everyones comments above are on target and if you want to learn more about this see Equine Diseases Lameness Diseases of the Hoof Poor Horn Quality: problems with the wall and soles.
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Username: Dommay

Post Number: 28
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2003 - 10:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi there
I went through this with my yearling and they were very bad rings. This happened due to a change in diet and his environment. he is growing new clean horn now!
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