Flat/negative pedal bones!

MuffettMischief

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Hi,

I have a lovely horse that fractured his pedal bone clouting a shoe off 15/16 months ago. Got him back to walk/trot, he went backwards again and repeat mri/X-rays showed pedal bone healed well but they were both (fronts) actually negative, left one -2. Ended up giving him a couple of months off barefoot and he looked fantastic. Wasn’t coping well on the stones with in hand walks on the road without shoes so we started shoeing again and hopped back on. He would be fine for two weeks then lame again. We tried 3/4 different types of shoes and the same thing every time, fine for a couple of weeks and then lame again. Took shoes off and have had him turned out for the last 6 months. Some days he looks great, some days he’s lame in trot in the field on the foot that had the pedal bone fracture and the worst negative rotation. Has anyone ever managed to sort/manage flat or negative pedal bones? He’s a big horse, 17.2 and only 6 years old. I think I’m probably looking for anyone that has had positive results with certain types of shoeing. Barefoot clearly not doing it so I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of other options! Or if anyone that has rehabbed this type barefoot, what am I doing wrong?
thanks!
 

ycbm

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It doesn't sound as though shoes are going to work for him and that your last option is to try to build the heels going barefoot again. Big horses with flat feet are always going to be difficult to take barefoot, I think, but I have done a 17 hand horse whose feet simply couldn't have been any flatter, they were concave. Boots were the answer for him, are there any boots that will fit yours?

Diet is often key. Did you make any diet changes to your guy when you tried? What was he fed?
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MuffettMischief

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It doesn't sound as though shoes are going to work for him and that your last option is to try to build the heels going barefoot again. Big horses with flat feet are always going to be difficult to take barefoot, I think, but I have done a 17 hand horse whose feet simply couldn't have been any flatter, they were concave. Boots were the answer for him, are there any boots that will fit yours?

Diet is often key. Did you make any diet changes to your guy when you tried? What was he fed?
.
Thanks for reply! He was always on a low starch/sugar, high fibre diet. Top line and shine chaff, ulcer kind cubes, linseed and hoof supplement. No idea re boots but had thought about scoot boots. Feet don’t seem to have improved at all in the 5 months unshod. At the moment he is just out on good grass and nothing else until we need to start supplementing with Haylage
 

ycbm

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OK well if you want to try barefoot again the first thing you probably need to do is get him onto one of the no iron/no manganese high copper/high zinc supplements that were introduced originally for barefoot horses. They really help.

You should get on better in winter but you might need to look at the grass diet. I get mine off the grass and onto straw or soaked hay for about 9 hours a day.

And definitely boots, mine got on famously once he had boots.
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MuffettMischief

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OK well if you want to try barefoot again the first thing you probably need to do is get him onto one of the no iron/no manganese high copper/high zinc supplements that were introduced originally for barefoot horses. They really help.

You should get on better in winter but you might need to look at the grass diet. I get mine off the grass and onto straw or soaked hay for about 9 hours a day.

And definitely boots, mine got on famously once he had boots.
.
Thanks. I’ll have a look into the supplements. He’s still barefoot now and has good and bad days it’s very hard to know what to do for the best! Some days I want to Chuck some shoes on and see what we have but I don’t want to ruin the last 5 months of barefoot if I just need to hang it out a bit!
 

sbloom

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I'm a big barefoot fan but there is shoeing and shoeing, have a look at Progressive Equine Services and The Equine Documentalist on FB for some more options. Correcting negative angles in feet can be challenging barefoot and might need a head start of the sort of shoeing these guys do. Mark Johnson Farrier - Another Way? on FB doesn't post as much but it also very good and hasn't shod regular shoes for years, he's mostly barefoot but does some shoeing along similar lines as the two others.

Take your time to make a decision, it's heartbreaking when they're uncomfortable but don't rush it. Good luck.
 

lynz88

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I was going to say the same as ycbm. It doesn't sound like shoes are the answer and booting up might be. In the 11 weeks mine has been barefoot, the change is unbelievable. Where the hairline at the top of the coronet band was curved and foot growing out instead of down, it is now straight. I wish I could post some photos but it keeps crashing.

I've got mine on the FP Wintet Hoof and Skin and I also use yeasacc. Farrier came out recently and couldn't believe how hard his feet are considering it's been fairly wet.
 

Regandal

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Do you have any pics of his feet, taken side on from the ground? I took one with negative angles barefoot by using boots and pads - the pads stimulate the back of the foot as well as protect the sole. You do need to make sure that the toes are back though, you need a good trimmer/farrier.
 

MuffettMischief

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Do you have any pics of his feet, taken side on from the ground? I took one with negative angles barefoot by using boots and pads - the pads stimulate the back of the foot as well as protect the sole. You do need to make sure that the toes are back though, you need a good trimmer/farrier.
I don’t but will get some next time he comes in. His toes are longer than I/farrier/vet would like but foot balance x-rays showed that we can’t actually take the toe back anymore it’s a nightmare
 

lynz88

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I had the same problem...farrier would trim as much as he dare off the toe each time but never really made a huge difference....that was...until I removed shoes. His toes have significantly come back and has been self trimming. We still have more to go but from what I understand is that once the frog can start working, it should start to move back which will bring the toe back and also will bring the heel (and HPA) into proper alignment. For mine, the frog had migrated so far forward that it was bringing the heel forward and so we could never fix the issue.

I've posted photos below. Happy to post the radiographs of the same foot prior to barefoot.
 
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Mule

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I tried mine barefoot, his hooves improved a lot. However he wasn't comfortable enough to be ridden barefoot and I couldn't get a suitable pair of boots. He has recently got worse, the farrier reckons early stage navicular. I want him to stay rideable as long as possible before pulling the shoes and stopping riding.

The farrier has tried something new. He has put dental impression material on the sole and frog. The idea is to simulate barefoot by providing constant contact with the sole. Over the impression, he has put a leather pad and a shoe with a slightly raised heel.

The farrier hopes that the stimulation of the sole will offset the damage that raising the heel causes to the heel. He has the shoes on a few months now.

He is growing a lot more heel, has gained concavity and his hoof angles have massively improved. The hoof is growing down rather than out. He is also standing square under himself as opposed to always having one leg forward. So things look good for now.
 

ohmissbrittany

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I don’t but will get some next time he comes in. His toes are longer than I/farrier/vet would like but foot balance x-rays showed that we can’t actually take the toe back anymore it’s a nightmare
This will improve over time, but he's got to start building caudal foot mass. I agree with YCBM about boots - it could get him comfy enough to start using himself correctly, in order to improve the foot.

I took shoes off mine several years ago after struggling with a navicular diagnosis (upon MRI, which was admittedly overkill but I had the money to spend - turns out she had minor lesions in her DDFT's, nowt wrong with the navicular bone itself!)... because of the tendon issues, it took nearly 6 mos for her to come sound. He might have some other niggling stuff wrong with his feet due to those screwy angles, that may have been missed because the pedal fracture was so glaringly obvious.

Making sure he's eating proper healthy stuff - plenty of forage based protein as healing injuries requires it- and giving him the vitamins and minerals to enable his body to USE those materials to fix him, will be very important. I also swear by Theraplate, I was able to trim my mare in 3 week intervals using it regularly. It's not the miracle machine people make it out to be, but it does allow for uniquely improving circulation without the horse having to walk a longer distance.
 

MuffettMischief

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I tried mine barefoot, his hooves improved a lot. However he wasn't comfortable enough to be ridden barefoot and I couldn't get a suitable pair of boots. He has recently got worse, the farrier reckons early stage navicular. I want him to stay rideable as long as possible before pulling the shoes and stopping riding.

The farrier has tried something new. He has put dental impression material on the sole and frog. The idea is to simulate barefoot by providing constant contact with the sole. Over the impression, he has put a leather pad and a shoe with a slightly raised heel.

The farrier hopes that the stimulation of the sole will offset the damage that raising the heel causes to the heel. He has the shoes on a few months now.

He is growing a lot more heel, has gained concavity and his hoof angles have massively improved. The hoof is growing down rather than out. He is also standing square under himself as opposed to always having one leg forward. So things look good for now.
this was one of the things we tried. Absolutely crippled him 🙁
Should have also stated he did tweak the collateral ligament in both feet too but repeat MRI showed these to now be ok and pedal bone also healed. The ‘diagnosis’ was then caudal heel pain but no one could really tell me what that really meant or what to do about it!
 

Orangehorse

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The correct pads in the boots will provide the correct support which will stimulate the frog and sole.
Too soft and there won't be the support.

My farrier tried some "filling" which he had to take out next day as horse was crippled - too much sole pressure.

It takes a lot of work and dedication, - good luck.
 
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