Growing out a hoof crack

little_critter

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I’ve put an offer on a horse (subject to vetting). He has a crack running down one hoof. He is sound on it, it’s thought to be because he’s barefoot and the toe hasn’t been rolled enough causing stresses in the hoof.
I’ll be getting him she’d because we have very stony hacking and the seller agrees he wouldn’t cope with it.
What should I be doing (feed and care wise) to grow out this crack and ensure it knits heathilly?
 

Red-1

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I would ask the vet to have a look because some cracks will grow out and some will not, depending on where it originates as well as the care it receives.

Some horses have a fault in their foot all of their lives with no issues. If it is local I would also ask the farrier to have a look if you are worried, as he/she is the one who will be dealing with it.

For hoof growth basically it comes down to nutrition as well as balance in the hoof care. I like the Pro Hoof supplement from Progressive Earth coupled with a low sugar diet. If there is bacteria as a cause I also like to have a Cleantrax soak before shoeing.
 

little_critter

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I don’t believe it’s a permanent crack, probably 6 months old (no reason to doubt this, the seller has been 100% honest and straight with me, I get a very good feeling about her)
 

HashRouge

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My Arab had a long crack in her hoof when we bought her 18 years ago. It almost reached the coronet band, but not quite. It took about 9 months to grow out properly, and she has had a fault in the hoof ever since, but is unshod with no problems.
 

ycbm

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Red has given you some good pointers. Forage plus and Equimins also do good foot supplements. The key is no iron or manganese, high levels of copper and zinc.

If the crack is the full length of the hoof into the coronet band, don't buy the horse assuming that it will ever be resolved. It might. It might not.

It is not true that barefoot feet need the toes rolled, the horse is perfectly capable of rolling its own toe if that's what it needs.

Whether it will grow out depends on how it happened. If it's been caused by seedy toe them you might need to disinfect and your farrier might even cut it bigger to allow the disinfection in. If it's come down from a coronet injury, then it should grow out if it's not at the coronet now. If it's been caused by bad trimming and poor foot balance then hopefully your farrier will balance the foot better and it will grow out.

If you want some more input, can you give us a picture?
 

Gloi

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If it looks like it's been in the coronet band for a while steer clear. I think that saying its because the toes haven't been rolled is bullshit, pics would be great.
 

Twohorses

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Yes, pictures would help a lot. I have yet to see a vertical crack that couldn't be helped to grow out with a top notch farrier holding the rasp.

Frequency of trims is also crucial. Hooves with cracks in them can't be expected to go six weeks or longer between trims and expect to make any progress, getting rid of the crack:)

If the farrier says the crack can't be helped, they are more full of baloney than the local deli.

Again, pictures would help. Brush the hoof clean. Don't take pictures of a wet hoof as wet skewes what folks are looking at. Also include clear sole shots:)
 

ester

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hooves don't crack because the toes haven't been rolled unless there is an underlying issue. My first query presuming coronet band not involved would be white line disease which depending on crack length, given that it's been there a while may benefit from resecting.

everyone else has covered what my diet comments would have been.
 

Gloi

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That crack looks to have grown down , not up , due to damage to the coronary band at some point. If it is closed and stable it probably wont cause a problem but don't be too hopeful it will ever go away, there may still be damage to the coronary band stopping the hoof growing normally there. Make sure the trim relieves any pressure on the crack at the base which may cause movement. Those are a lot of event lines on the hoof, she's either had laminitis or a lousy diet. The crack is probably a lot more than 6 months old. Take everything the seller says with a large bucket of salt.
 
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Red-1

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The crack may not go all the way to the coronet, but the fault in the hoof does.

I would expect the actual crack to grow down, but the fault would remain so a repetition of the crack would be likely.

Having said that, I would still buy the horse if he/she was everything else that I wanted. I would not expect long term issues, but would go easy on myself if they happened. To me, it falls into the "no horse is perfect" category.
 

Tiddlypom

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My first horse had a hoof crack on her near fore which never grew out. She was in the family for many years from a 4yo til old age, this is her at 17yo, and it never caused her any problems. She hunted, evented, did all PC stuff. Sorry that the photo is rather blurred, but even so the crack is deep enough to show up.

I’d get that foot x rayed pre purchase to check that there is no sinister underlying condition, and discuss the results with your vet.

AF4597EF-E4D5-4216-B8C2-00FB6219539D.jpeg
 

ycbm

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I don't think you will ever see that crack grow out. As long as it is completely stable, does not move at all when the horse walks off, then it should be ok. If it moves when the horse does, I would not buy, even if people tell you that shoes will stabilise it.

I agree with people who say that's a lot more than six months old, and grew down from a a coronet injury and not up from a foot balance issue.

There is a matching flaw line in the quarter of the other food. This looks like a pony who has natural clover shape feet with weaknesses at the quarters. You would be advised to fine tune the diet as suggested above to minimise the risks of that.

The picture isn't very clear, but is there an abscess exit hole half way down (a straight line of about half an inch grown down from the coronet band about ten weeks ago)? If so, please don't buy this pony because infections are getting into the crack and are likely to cause more trouble in future.
 

little_critter

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The crack may not go all the way to the coronet, but the fault in the hoof does.

I would expect the actual crack to grow down, but the fault would remain so a repetition of the crack would be likely.

Having said that, I would still buy the horse if he/she was everything else that I wanted. I would not expect long term issues, but would go easy on myself if they happened. To me, it falls into the "no horse is perfect" category.
I admit my heart sank when I saw the crack, but he does tick every other box which is why I didn't walk away at the first viewing.
The vetting is booked now and I have asked that this be looked at.
 

ester

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I'd be cautious of that crack and definitely xray if I were considering purchase, ditto what ycbm has said about the hooves, they look very jammed up in the quarters. Frank's were always a bit prone to that but not as much as on this horse.
 

tristar

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from the pic of that hooves it looks to me to be badly trimmed, and has very obvious horizontal rings around the hooves which are of some significance to me

i have seen horses with cracks worse than this grow out completely, i would be super fussy about not allowing any flair around that crack and would be inclined to shoe with clips if it seemed that controlling
the crack width by trimming was not not working

and take into account the state of sole, ie white line, thickness and ability of the horse walk on stony ground as guidance
 

little_critter

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Their yard is pretty stony and uneven (chunky hardcore). And he was ok walking on it, just the occasional ouch moment when he stood on a particularly pointy stone, but was ok 1-2 strides after. He was no better / worse than my retired barefoot mare who has always had great feet.
He has no issues at all on the road, even on slightly gravelly bits.
 

JFTD-WS

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I'd be cautious of that crack and definitely xray if I were considering purchase, ditto what ycbm has said about the hooves, they look very jammed up in the quarters.
Jammed up?

(I'm seeing Paddington's paws covered in marmalade, and I know that's not what you mean...!)
 

Twohorses

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That crack looks to have grown down , not up , due to damage to the coronary band at some point. If it is closed and stable it probably wont cause a problem but don't be too hopeful it will ever go away, there may still be damage to the coronary band stopping the hoof growing normally there. Make sure the trim relieves any pressure on the crack at the base which may cause movement. Those are a lot of event lines on the hoof, she's either had laminitis or a lousy diet. The crack is probably a lot more than 6 months old. Take everything the seller says with a large bucket of salt.
^^^^This:)

The horse in my avatar was run thru a four strand barbed wire fence as a five year old, before I bought him. Ripped him wide open in the chest and down one leg

He is coming 24 and still carries a hoof "scar" from that accident. His is a ridge that grows down. The farrier keeps it filed down. It has never caused him any problems.

1. The horse the OP is looking at needs a quality farrier who actually knows how to put a good trim on a horse, not just talk about it:)

2. We're that my horse, I would do more than the average due diligence in hoof care to be sure that crack never turns into anything more than what it is -- the last thing you want is for bacteria and fungus to get down in there and start earring away at the hoof. I am anal about things like that so I would treat that crack every day:)

3. Agree those hoof rings are subject for questioning. Without seeing the angle the hoof rings end at the back of the hoof, it's hard to say if they are from bad or changes in diet, or from laminitis.

4. Get some x-Rays so you don't set yourself up for heartaches and disappointment, in case that hoof turns out to have underlying issues that either cost a fortune to fix or can't be fixed:)
 

ester

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Jammed up?

(I'm seeing Paddington's paws covered in marmalade, and I know that's not what you mean...!)
Where the rings on hoof rise up at the quarters, it's sort of why you see some trims that will take that part out of loading or 'relieve/scoop the quarters'
 
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