Shoeing the box foot

Kenzo

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I'd like to pick your brains and appeal to either any farriers on here or those who have a wealth of experience when it comes to 'correct' shoeing, corrective shoeing or remedial shoeing...I'll quote all three to keep everyone happy.
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I know farriers can't work miracles on something that will never be right due to poor confirmation but if there is anything that can be done to help improve things then of course I want to be on the case asap not only that but I'd like to know that who ever is shoeing my horses gives a dam and goes out of his way to help improve things for the horses comfort, well you expect that from any farrier anyway but you get my drift.

The thing is, I'm not really convinced or too sure (as I'm no expert myself) that the farrier who has has been shoeing this horse (before I took him on loan and since he's been on loan) is doing his best or lets say helping the situation.

He's not my own farrier you see, as I was advised to keep using him because he always shod this horse and 'knows' about his box foot and the history of it etc, so I agreed with the owners that yes that was probably for the best rather than swopping to my own farrier, at the time it maked sense.

But now I'm more familiar with the horse (as I've been riding him since spring time but didnt actually take him on loan till Oct) and the fact that I've been told that he's occasionally bridle lame (I think its possible ring bone giving him jib and down to his foot but they said no its nothing he passed a 5 stage vetting...long story) but anyway back to the subject again he's been sound as a pound and noticed that he tends to be (I'm finding a bit of a pattern now) that he's not totally sound when and close after he's been shod, now I do think there is more to it than that but I do think that with a good farrier things could be better.

So this weekend the farrier came I asked questions about the box foot (are there any ways to improve the foot or different ways to shoe something like this etc...basically expecting some kind feed back, knowledge...or just something at least) but I just got nothing
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which didn't fill me with confidence, only thing he said was that he had soft soles and that he was sorry for catching him, yes he cut into his sole and the poor horse was bleeding
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, now I don't know how often this happens but in all the years I've watched horses and ponies being shod and with our own, I've never seen this before, yes accidents do happen I appreciate that but what with laming him last time, finding out that he's always foot sore after been shod, my friends horse had nail bind for nearly two weeks and he didn't even come to take the shoes off (this was a while ago) and then not giving me any feed back or info about remedial shoeing I thought that's it, no more
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, I'm asking the owner if I can have my own farrier to him from now on.

Not only that but its clear to see that the hoof quality has improved no end since I put him on biotin for the last 6 months, no more cracks or brittleness, his shoes are not falling off every other week (like they were back in spring), his hoofs are much stronger and people have commented on his box foot looking better but only when he's in need of shoeing again (when he's got a bit more length on it), he's also been a lot more sound too when he's got more length on them (this is the pattern I'm noticing).

I don't think he's just foot sore because he caught him, because he seems to feel it on both, (he's not lame on one particular leg ,just short in both I'd say in trot) but he's fine in walk, but I don't just think its because he caught him, I know for a fact he's be the same purely because he's just been shod.

So I'd like to know what a good farrier should be hoping to achieve or look for when shoeing a box foot or how to help the way the horse holds himself, I agree in this case its not just the foot, the horse does have a slightly crooked pastern (its hard to explain without actually showing you a photo...I'm making it sound worse that it is) but I personally think its ringbone (which makes sense as it's a common thing to develop from a dickey foot) and I did ask the farrier if it looked like ringbone (to see what he said) and he said probably...again thats all he said.

He's not my horse but of course I want to ensure that I do all I can to keep him in shape, healthy and comfortable as he loves going out, he's really come into his own now and he's like a different horse so I need to know myself that he's been shod correctly to prevent any further problems in the future...even when he goes back to his owner, he's only 7 and years of poor shoeing could have long lasting damage that can't be rectified.

Sorry for any typo's (well more than usual) I can see as I've not got my contacts in due to eye infection so everything is blurrrrrrr!

Anyway as usual any feedback/advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you
 

ecrozier

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Our youngster has a slightly boxy foot. We knew this when buying him obviously and he passed vetting with flying colours, I also got the advice of our own vet (he was from quite a way away so took lots of pictures for our vet to see) and our trusted and excellent farrier. Both said that as the horse is sound and was born with this foot as it is, that whilst yes it it a risk, everything with horses is, and its not an uncommon problem in WBs, and the level of 'boxiness' is fairly minor so he was worth the risk (I suspect we would never have been able to afford him had he been perfectly put together and from a 'posher' home!).

Anyway, to answer your question, I am by no means experienced but from what my farrier has said our boy's foot wouldn't be boxy at all if he had been properly trimmed right from the start, which is quite a different thing from a boxy foot that has developed for another reason eg ringcbone, poor shoeing etc. The first time my farrer trimmed our boy he measured both feet and compared them, before and after trimming, and after trimming he is only 1/8 inch different accross the width of the foot, and my farrier said that whilst it will never be identical, it should be correctable to the point where is isn't noticeable unless you look pretty closely. He's been showing this summer and no judges have commented and he's been well placed.
Basically what my farrier says he is doing is shoeing the boxy foot slightly wide to encourage the sides to spread out? But I totally agree that if your farrier isn't really offering any advice or information, and the horse is consistently lame after shoeing, something is up and I'd def try to change to your own farrier and see - it might make no difference but might just help so surely worth a go!
 

Kenzo

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Thank you EmmaC, yes I agree changing is certainly worth a go anyway despite my other reasons, this box foot is very noticable and totally different to his other front foot,the thing is it looks worse after its been shod and the fact that he's not sound either draws to me the conclussion that something needs to be done, I don't think it will ever come ok beacuse I do think there is other underlying problems there, but I'd rather do all I can to prevent anything from getting worse.

thank you
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ecrozier

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Hmm, that would ring alarm bells with me too if it loked worse after shoeing! Ours looks almost identical after shoeing then as the other one grows normally and te boxy one does its boxy thing, by the time he is due shoes its more noticable. But fortunately he does he very decent quality foot growth and farrier did say that makes his life a lot easier and will mean we can do a lot more in terms of making it as identical as possible. If the foot growth is poor it does make th job more difficult. But I'd def try another farrier especially as you have one you know already and rate highly.
Best of luck!
 

Bosworth

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Is it actually a box foot - or is it a club foot. One of my liveries has a club foot and the farrier has a nightmare with it. from underneath it looks like an Ok foot - but in actual fact it is at a horrific angle - the horse only uses teh front outside edge and the heels grow so fast whereas the fromt of the foot does not grow at all. The tendon is contracting up the back of the leg and has been since birth - he is now 13. When the farrier goes to cut the heels back the blood supply is so close to the surface that he cant take back much heel, and we occasionaly see blood. THe previous farrier would get the shoes to stay on by putting on ones that were too small and too tight causing the paces to shorten and increase the stress through the tendon. currently our farrier has him without shoes, just trimming fortnightlyto try and get some strngth in the horn quality and let previous nail holes grow down. He has had xrays taken to see what is happening inside the foot so teh farrier knows exactly what he is working with.

I personally would expect my farrier to discuss with me what he was trying to do and why, just doing the same thing every time is not necessary the right or wrong thing, but you should be confident in the farrier and what he is doing.
 

ecrozier

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Ouch bosworth that sounds horific! Hopefully Kenzo is dealing with a more classic boxy foot as that one sounds like it would never pass a 5 stage?
 

Nailed

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Your never going to trust that farrier as you dont want to. so change.

Boxy feet do look worse when they have just been shod as the angle will be more severe.
 

ecrozier

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Our boy's foot doesn't look noticeably worse after shoeing nailed....but then it is pretty mild in its severity anyway so maybe thats why.
 

Kenzo

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Thanks Bosworth and Nailed, I tell you what, I'll take some photos this evening of both the front feet, by the sounds of it you know more about box feet/club feet and will be able to see exactly what I mean as I'm not very good a describing things and no doubt be able to advise me better on what going on or what exactly it is etc and how he's been shod.

I know everyone has different opinions and what one person does could be right but wrong in another farriers eyes but like said I've not come across it before with previous horses so I can't really speak from experience in order to know the best route so to speak.
 

brucea

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I have a horse that had one boxy foot - had different size shoes too. 20 months after going bare he's fine and all hoof angles perfect, his soles have thickened evenly to about 20mm, and both front feet are the same size - but the biggest change is at the shoulders - more muscle and much more even. Always had a hollow on the boxy side, and that needed special saddle fitting (we use flair).

Maybe get a completely fresh (non shoe) perspective and get one of the UKNHCP trimmers to evaluate him?
 

TicTac

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If your horse only has one 'box' foot then it sounds like it's the same as my mare and as my charming farrier so politely put it when he first saw her.....she's got a club foot!

My farrier is a miserable old sod but very good at his job. He shoes my mare with a wide web shoe in front and extends the heel for more support. He also does a double clip. She has the typical warmblood boxy type of feet anyway but this method of shoeing her seems to suit her well. Maybe it is worth you getting another farrier to have a look at yout horses feet as boxy feet or not, he shouldn't be lame in any shape or form after shoeing unless there is a problem!
 

ecrozier

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TicTac thats reminded me, my farrier also uses double clip (quarter clips) on our boy's boxy foot. But he has only got one dodgy one and both farrier and vet called it boxy rather than club so I don't know the differing definition between boxy and club!
My farrier also used to shoe OH's previous mare with roled toes and quarter clips, and still does for my mare. In fact only my little arab has normal single clip shoes on in front, and he has very solid regular shaped feet with good growth and good angles etc all round
 
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