poor hoof condition

joeanne

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is anyone else finding their unshod ponies/horses hooves are in bad shape lately?
my yearling was trimmed just over three weeks ago and i now have the farrier coming back tomorrow as she seems to be taking more chips and chunks out the toe by the day!
she is out 24/7 and the field (like so many others) is wet and not helped by the fact its a mild basin.
i have used hoof hardener, but can i do anything else to prevent any more damage from occuring?
 

louise4208

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my ponies are ok, although 1 has chronic lami and his feet are growing at an alarming rate. My fields are pretty mucky as well.
I've never used hoof hardener, although a friend uses keratex on her unshod pony.
My farrier always says that nutrition is a good place to start with some problems of the hoof. Can your farrier recommend something?
 

joeanne

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i am hoping so.
she is on restricted grazing, as she was seriously overweight when i bought her, and we already feed dengie healthy hooves, more for the low cal, as we were worried about how prone she might be to lami being native, all this damage has literally occured in the last 3 weeks! before this her feet were lovely!
 

Nailed

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at he moment, the ground is extremely wet, tis maeks the hoof moisture level rise thus causeing them to 'soften' and making it easy for a usually good footed horse, to experience chips..

No for me, I have found that Ted's typical tb feet are looking much better quality for have had some moisture in them, I agree the best way to improve hoof quality is through the mouth and also regular trimming.

As you say she was very overweight when you got her, has your farrier ever mentioned any signs in the foot of laminitis, as this will weaken the overall structure of the hoof and can cause the toe to crumble away.

Lou x
 

kellyeaton

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try biotion her food to strengthen them there will be some in the food she is on but not a lot. and put eucolypts oil all over hoof and sole that will help them as well!
 

joeanne

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nailed the farrier was suprised given her weight that she was not showing the slightest sign of lami, but obviously we couldnt risk doing nothing so stuck her on a diet!
 
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lilym

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firstly, i would look at the diet, biotin isn't much good on it's own for re-building hooves, it needs to interact with other elememts such as zinc and methionine. if you are feeding healthy hooves at less than the manufacturer's recommendations the horse will not be recieving full benefit of the vits/mins. As a yearling i would put her onto bailey's stud balancer, this will give her vits/mins and quality protien to help her grow and develop properly without piling on the pounds - remember protien doesn't cause laminitis. at this age it's important she gets all her nutrients. you could alos use hoof hardner to help with the cracking and chipping, knowing youngstock, i bet she's hooning around and knocking lumps out of her toes!! but don't panic, give her a good diet and regular farrier visits and she will be fine!!
 

ClareHasler

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I have to say don't panic, i think it really is just down to the inclement weather we are experiencing. One minute it is so wet their hooves are full of moisture then the next it becomes v hot & dry causing them to dry out quickly, thus weakening the hoof wall. My welshie who has fab feet is currently suffering from the same problem but i am not worried and my farrier says she still has fab v strong feet - no sign of lami either.
 

Fransurrey

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Henry's hooves are in the best shape they've been for years. I trim them every 2-3 weeks at the mo, just to balance them up, as he's a recovering laminitic (was shod until 5 weeks ago). I'll go down to less frequent trims when there are no more laminitic bursts of toe/heel growth.

It may be that your farrier is being a bit too conservative with the trim? Mine is, which didn't matter so much with Henry as I could take him on long road rides, but my little shettie's hooves have cracks in all four feet, now growing out since I took over them again (bad back meant I couldn't trim for over a year).

Not sure if it's a factor, but due to the laminitis I now have a permanent bed of shavings in the field shelter, which I never bothered with previously. I find them in there every time I go to 'do' them and so both ponies are drying out their feet regularly. It does mix in with dirt pretty quickly, but I'm still only on my third bale and this is the 5th week of using a bed in there.

Would second the supplementation theory. Either use a stand-alone balancer or a supplement in chaff. Even molassed chaff won't come close to the starch levels of fresh spring grass (which is effectively what my field has this summer!!). Does sound predominantly like a balance issue, though, mixed with the excess growth that so many hooves are seeing this 'summer'.
 

LucyPriory

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Hi I have found that molasses in any quantity even when the digestible energy of the overall mix is really low still causes mega problems. So try cutting it out completely and see how you get on. I have found it hidden in all sorts of supposedly safe feeds. Even a tiny bit gives my arab sore feet. Second - if you haven't done it already consider converting your grazing to a paddock paradise system (see www.barefoothorses.co.uk). I have done it and it's truly amazing. I can't do all the things recommended because I only rent my grazing, but it does really help. If you are able to make a dry standing area where perhaps they could have their feed or something that would help too.
As an added bonus the horses are much fitter without me having to do any extra work.

All I have done is fence off the middle portion of my field so the horses have a circuit round the outside. They are on the march for most of the day which is great for their feet and muscles. All of the 'resources' eg water, salt licks etc are as far apart as possible - to encourage the movement.

When a bit of track gets too poached I chop a bit of holly down and put it across that section - then the horses walk round it and the poached section grows back, underneath the holly.
 
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