Barefoot help, long toes, flat feet?

Jo1987

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Hi, I'm hoping for some advice if possible - I am caring for a 21 year old retired 12.2 mare who has always had fairly poor feet imo. She has been barefoot for about six months but I'm having issues with her front feet, particularly her right fore.
It seems to want to grow long and flat like a slipper, even after a fresh trim it doesn't look 'right' to me but I don't want to question my farrier as for all I know he's doing all he can?
Thought it might be worth you lovely lot having a look in case I or my farrier are missing something. (Photos are not as good as I'd thought now I've got home, please let me know what angles etc would be more helpful)

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paddy555

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most helpful would be shots of the sole. If you could give the sole a good scrub (dry brush will do) and also use a horseshoe nail to clean out the white line all the way round, also clean all the grooves and the frog central sulchus,
 

ester

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ditto sole shot :)
and has she been tested for PPID
and anything else soundness wise going on in that leg?
Is she sound?
 

Jo1987

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Thanks for the replies, I'll give her feet a scrub and get some more pictures this afternoon.
She hasn't been tested for ppid or anything else, she belongs to my sister who lives 3 hours away (long story) but I have the vet coming soon for vaccs for my horse so I'll mention it to her.
She's quite stiff in both of her front legs (right is a little worse) hence retirement, but gets around ok at all speeds, and is not on any pain relief as yet.
 

ycbm

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My guess is that she is trying to stabilise her knee and help her lock it out straight. So she grows an extension on her toe to stop the knee popping forwards. I'd be very wary off trying to change it at her age, retired, if she is sound.
 

Jo1987

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Thanks ycbm, I assumed that what I would see as a more balanced foot would help her, but perhaps this is well balanced for her? As I say, she is not completely sound, but has actually improved since going barefoot, despite her feet actually 'looking' worse, to my eye at least.
 

ycbm

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Thanks ycbm, I assumed that what I would see as a more balanced foot would help her, but perhaps this is well balanced for her? As I say, she is not completely sound, but has actually improved since going barefoot, despite her feet actually 'looking' worse, to my eye at least.

I think you probably have your answer in what you have said here. It's a very odd toe, but for some reason she is sounder with it than without it. I've seen horses with arthritic knees stand with their knee permanently slightly bent. It takes a lot of effort to hold that stance and it stops them sleeping on their feet as well. This toe would help stop that knee tipping forward. I am guessing that if you x rayed her knees you'd see changes, especially on the right. It's only a guess though. But if I wss you and she is not even on any bute and is happy, I would leave well alone.
 

ester

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I am inclined to agree with ycmb, particularly given the disparity between the two fronts and wouldn't be too keen to change it if she is as happy as she sounds. I'd prob just tell my farrier to stop rasping so bloomin high up hoof wall :p
 

supsup

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Actually, my thoughts were also running along the lines of chronic laminitis, but I'll be the first to admit that photos can be really misleading, so I may be way off.
If a horse has had chronic laminitis for a long time, the rim of the pedal bone can remodel ("ski tip") and it can then be really hard to grow a straight hoof wall that is parallel to the pedal bone on that hoof, even if circumstances change and the horse is no longer actively laminitic. Do you know the full history of this pony? There are photos and x-rays of some (much more extreme) cases on the laminitis site (http://www.thelaminitissite.org/articles/faq-rehabilitating-the-feet-after-laminitis, search for the word "ski" about half way down the page).
It's hard to tell on the photos above if there are any signs of ongoing low-grade laminitis (such as diverging growth rings, with faster growth at the heels, could have been rasped off). But what I find resembles the "chronic laminitic look" a bit are the (relatively) tall heels, long forward running toes, what looks like a curved hairline and short distance between the hairline over the toe and the ground.
An x-ray would give a clear answer one way or the other whether there is any remodeling or rotation to the pedal bone, but I'm not sure if you'd want to spend money on that on a hunch. I do think though that "being a little stiff" could be low-grade laminitis as easily as arthritis, particularly if you think her hooves are getting worse rather than better.
The soles might give further clues (does she have flat soles? sensitive to pressure over the pedal bones?), or if taping on some foam pads makes a noticeable difference to her comfort levels.
I think I'd have a chat with the vet at the next appointment, and maybe experiment a bit with pads/nappies/boots to see if she appears to be footsore at all.
 

paddy555

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She's quite stiff in both of her front legs (right is a little worse) hence retirement, but gets around ok at all speeds, and is not on any pain relief as yet.

I remember a horse who grew identical feet to yours. He was treated by the chiropractor (who found a problem) and his feet evened up. It may be better to see if you could work on the front leg stiffness (or indeed further afield if something else is causing the front leg problem) as a means of resolving it.
 

ycbm

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Laminitis may be a possibility, to be ruled out by the vet and farrier. Wouldn't she be expected to have been very sore out of shoes if so?

OP, is your farrier rasping of growth rings, that he rasps so high up the hoof wall as Ester pointed out?
 

ester

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I would expect her to be sorer and it is very unusual that only one hoof be affected and if it were given that she wouldn't be bilaterally lame she would be more visibly lame then too.
Also to me (though a front and solar view would be helpful) the hoof looks like it is wide as well as 'long' in front and appears to be the same angle coming down, with a lami type ski-tip hoof you usually get a tighter line at the top and then bulging out slightly further down.
Essentially OP we would like more pics ;) :p.
 

Jo1987

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Thanks for all your replies, it's so useful to have all this knowledge and experience to call on!
Unfortunately the universe seemed to be conspiring against me this afternoon, and I wasn't able to get any more helpful photos but I'll be able to get them tomorrow.
Laminitis has been at the back of my mind (isn't it always with ponies?!) she is a little footsore on stones, but not anything extreme or hugely unexpected for a pony who has worn shoes for 15 years I would have thought?
I can't really see any growth rings - perhaps farrier is rasping them off as you say?
Ester yes her foot does spread wide as well as long.
Disappointed I couldn't get better photos today, watch this space!
 

oldie48

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Saw your post this morning and ran it past my farrier(master farrier with a special interest in remedial work). He said it would be mechanical and in a retired pony, if it was sound and happy, would be best left alone. I think he's right.
 
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