Shoeing Asymmetric front feet

Ellebally12

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Hi

I have a mare with asymmetry of the front feet. On the problematic one (near fore) the outside wall grows almost straight down to the ground and is bearing most of the weight and she has slight medial flare.

- does anyone else have any experience of this?

I have been reading up a lot and this is common in horses who have a preference to one leg when grazing. What I am worried about is she is a competition horse and I don't want to start jumping her a lot or put her in to much work if it is going to stress the limb.

I have the physio out today to see if it is a tightness further up causing the un even weight baring but was also wondering if there are any different ways of shoeing that might help.

She has seen two different farriers both of which I didn't get much sense out of regarding how to address it so I will be looking for another opinion!

(Also if anyone can recommend a really good farrier in mid/north Devon that would help!)

Thanks in advance I really hope someone can help, if it weren't for this one abnormality she would 100% be my horse of a lifetime!
 

FfionWinnie

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Personally I would take the shoes off, get her self trimming with careful work and let her grow the best feet she can given her conformation and if one is different to the other sobeit.
 

Ellebally12

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Personally I would take the shoes off, get her self trimming with careful work and let her grow the best feet she can given her conformation and if one is different to the other sobeit.

Thankyou for your reply!! She was barefoot when I bought her and where she walks on the outside of that hoof she was grinding gravel in and became exceptionally sore hence why I put shoes on.
 

Red-1

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I have an excellent farrier, and I know in this sort of instance he would prefer X-Rays of both front feet, so you can see what is actually going on inside.

Some horses need to have odd feet to stay sound. Others have inner conformation that is unexpected when looking at the outer appearance, and the only way to tell is by X rays.
 

Ellebally12

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Thankyou that's a great help! The physio believes that she is tight in the shoulder which may have been a cause of uneven weight distribution leading to uneven growth and with regular trims and regular physio on that shoulder she should straighten up. However I will definitely be consulting my vet as well!

Thankyou!
 

Red-1

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My OH's horse was fitted with a saddle, that was as good as it could be with razor withers, but when we changed him to an Ansur treeless saddle his feet really did change. We put it down to his stride lengthening with the extra freedom, so his heels were more in play, so they had more blood supply, so they went from flat, collapsed heels to much better heels.

That would fit with the shoulder being tight, but I would want to know why the shoulder was tight. IME physios can bring huge improvements with tight shoulders/backs, but you do need to find why the horse is holding itself to cause the tightness in the first place.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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Thankyou that's a great help! The physio believes that she is tight in the shoulder which may have been a cause of uneven weight distribution leading to uneven growth and with regular trims and regular physio on that shoulder she should straighten up. However I will definitely be consulting my vet as well!

Thankyou!

I would have thought it also / more ikely that tightness could be caused by uneven gait
 

Tiarella

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My previous horse that I owned for a week before realising he was drugged when I bought him had different sized front feet - didn't think much of it and neither did vet. But it normally stems from something higher up or even diagonally opposite not the actual foot. I'm sure not all cases are like this but I would look into it :) I too would personally take shoes off.
 

Roasted Chestnuts

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My friends horse has had different sized front feet all his life, she has had various farriers shoe him for it but now she has taken the shoes off and is finding he is much more free in his movements and the dramatic change in his feet is great.

If she has started grinding in gravel and bring sore they would suggest something has changed that was there previously, it could be diet, a wormer that hadn't agreed with her, your grazing or even as others have suggested something not right with tack or muscles.

She would be better barefoot bring honest and maybe an assessment of her management done to see what has changed to allow the Whiteline to stretch enough to allow her to grind the gravel in.
 

FfionWinnie

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Thankyou for your reply!! She was barefoot when I bought her and where she walks on the outside of that hoof she was grinding gravel in and became exceptionally sore hence why I put shoes on.

But was she self trimming with careful work and the correct diet and growing the feet she needed. I doubt it. If you shoe an adult horse with a severe conformation deformity as this horse seems to have, you will compromise something else imo. I would consider that the way to a chance of long term soundness is her doing her own remedial "farriery".
 

Ellebally12

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Thanks all for your replys, all taken on board I think I will consult vet next. If she was tight in the shoulder due to favouring one side as all horses do when grazing and her feet were not looked after (she was barefoot had not been trimmed for along time) She was also not in work so would not have been 'self trimming'. This may have resulted in the change in the hoof?? maybe? What do you think? And then once foot began to change it would cause more tightness in shoulder & pectorals causing a vicious circle?

Anyway I think I will consult vet next re the bet way to manage it and if that is barefoot then so be it!

Thanks all again for your in put!
 

FFAQ

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I think if your physio has found tightness in the shoulder which may be causing the lateral landing, self-trimming would actually make the problem worse until the landings and loading is corrected as the horse will just continue to overwear the lateral side and the medial flare would start to pull the hoof capsule in. Long term, this could result in a capsule shift (if left unchecked). So, in this instance I believe regular trims, a good physio and the right work are in order. ElleBally12, might be worth checking the saddle fit too if you haven't already? I'm in Devon too :)
I'm sure your physio will get it sorted, but if the problem drags on I can recommend some good body people!
 

Ellebally12

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Thankyou! Yes that is what I have been thinking as well! I have Julie Green from north Devon who is amazing and has given me things to do with her in between her visits I don't know if you know her? I will update you after she has the farrier next week but I am feeling a lot better now I have a plan of action!
 

ester

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Once they get to a certain age trying to make feet symmetrical if they don't want to be usually doesn't work as they are frequently supporting wonky bits higher up.
 

Pinkvboots

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One of my horses had a similar problem he has a slightly more up right foot in front and that kept getting a flare on the inside, he would sometimes look unlevel in trot so I had them X rayed and was advised to have him shod with natural balance shoes, I do think half the problem was his toes were not being cut back enough but no amount of me trying to tell the farrier had any impact, I did change farriers when the natural balance were fitted as the current farrier did not do them, his feet looked so much better and he stayed sound, I don't use the natural balance shoes now but he is shod in front with side toe clips so the toe can be cut right back like a natural balance shoe and this works for him, my horse also had issues higher up in the shoulder that side as well that was really helped by a physio, and although he is much better know he is not completely symmetrical so it can affect the way his saddle fits.
 

ester

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I think if your physio has found tightness in the shoulder which may be causing the lateral landing, self-trimming would actually make the problem worse until the landings and loading is corrected as the horse will just continue to overwear the lateral side and the medial flare would start to pull the hoof capsule in. Long term, this could result in a capsule shift (if left unchecked). So, in this instance I believe regular trims, a good physio and the right work are in order. ElleBally12, might be worth checking the saddle fit too if you haven't already? I'm in Devon too :)
I'm sure your physio will get it sorted, but if the problem drags on I can recommend some good body people!

I have never heard of capsule shift before do you have any examples? As opposed to supportive flare etc and on the basis that it can only go so far because it has the pedal bone in the middle.

OP what is really important is how she is landing. If you are able to do some slow mo video from the front, at ground level it would be interesting to see. I'll see if I can find Frank's old ones for you. He wears laterally, gets long and upright medially - the opposite to your girl, for him it is controlled by the angle of his knees, generating a bit of a welsh dish ;). But he lands flat and straight with his feet slightly funky.
Just out of shoes with 'even' feet he landed laterally really badly, in fact that was the only difference between his lame and his sound side (no difference on imaging, suspect he had buggered collateral ligament given the landing). So I guess I am saying it doesn't always matter what they look like it is how they work that matters and AFAIK those that self trim in slightly interesting ways only ever make themselves sounder by doing so.
 

ycbm

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I think if your physio has found tightness in the shoulder which may be causing the lateral landing, self-trimming would actually make the problem worse until the landings and loading is corrected as the horse will just continue to overwear the lateral side and the medial flare would start to pull the hoof capsule in. Long term, this could result in a capsule shift (if left unchecked). So, in this instance I believe regular trims, a good physio and the right work are in order. ElleBally12, might be worth checking the saddle fit too if you haven't already? I'm in Devon too :)
I'm sure your physio will get it sorted, but if the problem drags on I can recommend some good body people!

Or the horse might grow exactly the lateral expansion which it needs in order to stabilise the shoulder. At which point it would either heal, and ime the deviation will then disappear. Or if the shoulder has a permanent problem, it will stay where it is needed.

I've owned horses with both soft tissue and arthritic conditions which responded well to self trimming. I do understand the argument that a wonky foot can perpetuate soft tissue injury, it's just not what I've seen happen in the tiny number I've been involved with.

OP, most horses may prefer to graze with the same foot forward but most horses do not have a stiff shoulder on that side. I don't think you have found the cause of your mare's problem.
 

FfionWinnie

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I think if your physio has found tightness in the shoulder which may be causing the lateral landing, self-trimming would actually make the problem worse until the landings and loading is corrected as the horse will just continue to overwear the lateral side and the medial flare would start to pull the hoof capsule in. Long term, this could result in a capsule shift (if left unchecked). So, in this instance I believe regular trims, a good physio and the right work are in order. ElleBally12, might be worth checking the saddle fit too if you haven't already? I'm in Devon too :)
I'm sure your physio will get it sorted, but if the problem drags on I can recommend some good body people!

http://rockleyfarm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/barefoot-isnt-answer.html?m=1
 
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