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TOPIC: Narrow Hoof?

Narrow Hoof? 17 Apr 2010 15:32 #1

I have a client that has a horse that always had an upright foot on the LF. The rest of the hooves are normal. The LF is more upright and always grows heel fast. I have been leaving most of the heel on the RF(which is the height of the frog) and taking heel on the LF (upright hoof) to get the angles close to the same. My question is about the upright LF hoof. The last couple of times I have shod this horse the LF has become more narrow and elongated. I always leave plenty of expansion so its not from fitting the horse too tight. I would assume that she is not bearing as much weight on it as she is with the RF. I have been shoeing this horse for a year and half. Shod her the other day, should have taken pics, put a heart bar on the upright foot (LF) and set the shoe back were it needed to be. "Does anyone have suggestions on why the foot is becoming narrow, extremely narrow?" Has no lameness at all she is completely sound and is rode on a almost daily basis
Cody Gilreath, CF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 17 Apr 2010 15:37 #2

I should have also added that I put the heartbar on the LF to try to get the foot to spread and because she appears to have some mild rotation. Next time I will take before and after pictures.
Cody Gilreath, CF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 17 Apr 2010 16:49 #3

  • Txfarrier
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My idea of why a horse will develop an upright foot is that the leg is not long enough to reach the ground for some reason, sholder injury, spinal issue or whatever. The horse cant fix any of that , all it can do is grow heel. I have had some sucess in my experiments by padding up the upright foot, YMMV

I like to position myself above and to the rear of the animal and see if there is less muscle definition on the side with the upright foot. I don't know if this is as educational to me is it is amusing to the barn help to watch me balanced atop a trash can or hanging from the top of a stall.

In my early attempts to "normalize the feet" I had a number of horses develop elongated feet. I believe it was because they were still desperately trying to grow some heel.

I hope this helps if only to get comments from some of the more learned forum members.
Dutch Denson CF

“A bar of iron costs $5, made into horseshoes its worth is $12, made into needles its worth is $3500, made into balance springs for watches, its worth is $300, 000. Your own value is determined also by what you are able to make of...
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 17 Apr 2010 23:54 #4

Just guessing here but It could very well be some type of limb deformity or trauma of some sort from years past,but thats something you might not be able to fix. Alot of times to much leaverage at the toe can cause the foot to stretch causing a narrowing effect on the foot.Especially on a foot that grows alot of heel. On feet that are extremely differant I take the leverage(stress) away from the foot by backing the shoe up and beveling the toe of the shoe if need be.Cut the heel back to a point of some kind of normality(sometimes when you do this you will have to wedge the heels to keep the tendons and ligaments safe) and frog support.I've had good luck with this over the years and over time have gotten alot of them back into regular shoes. But not seeing the foot it's just a guess. I also need to say that I don't mean your going to make these feet the same but more natural for that specific horse. also if you want to help even out the breakover you can measure from the tip of the frog to the shoe on the upright foot(where ever you end up placing it) and place the shoe on the low hoof the same distance from the tip of that frog. ajust my opinion
It's funny how people always want the truth as long as it's what they want to hear. Tony Dingianni CJF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 01:52 #5

centexferrier wrote:
Just guessing here but It could very well be some type of limb deformity or trauma of some sort from years past,but thats something you might not be able to fix. Alot of times to much leaverage at the toe can cause the foot to stretch causing a narrowing effect on the foot.Especially on a foot that grows alot of heel. On feet that are extremely differant I take the leverage(stress) away from the foot by backing the shoe up and beveling the toe of the shoe if need be.Cut the heel back to a point of some kind of normality(sometimes when you do this you will have to wedge the heels to keep the tendons and ligaments safe) and frog support.I've had good luck with this over the years and over time have gotten alot of them back into regular shoes. But not seeing the foot it's just a guess. I also need to say that I don't mean your going to make these feet the same but more natural for that specific horse. also if you want to help even out the breakover you can measure from the tip of the frog to the shoe on the upright foot(where ever you end up placing it) and place the shoe on the low hoof the same distance from the tip of that frog. ajust my opinion


That's basically what I did. I didn't use wedges because I didn't feel I needed them for this application but I set the shoe back on the LF and used a heartbar to try and stop the rotation and give some frog support. Since this is an upright foot, I just wonder that when that horse grows so much heel during the cycle and basically no toe if it will then cause the heartbar to rotate upward and put too much pressure on the frog. Changing the amont of pressure that I have now and want there. Guess we'll see.
Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 02:31 #6

it could but probably not., but just because the foot is that way does'nt mean theres rotation or going to rotate.The reason for the frog support like I was talking about is to take pressure off the heels while wedging or to distibute weight. By cutting back the heels like I was talking about it allows you to control the foot better.but like i said you know the foot i don't. Also,how much did you slide the shoe back in relation to the frog? Is it perimeter fit?
It's funny how people always want the truth as long as it's what they want to hear. Tony Dingianni CJF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 02:37 #7

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For me its been too difficult to keep heart bars adjusted to what I thought was a proper fit to these kinds of hooves that go through so much distortion during the shoeing cycle.

What I have settled on is to figure which limb is shorter for whatever reason using a level across refrence points on the carpus and pad the clubby foot with a wedge and however many pads it takes to bring the legs level. I take off heel till I can see the bottom of the hair roots and pump the whole thing full of Vettec goo to provide frog support.
I dunno if this is the right way to do it or no but its working a lot better than a lot of other things I've tried/seen tried.
Dutch Denson CF

“A bar of iron costs $5, made into horseshoes its worth is $12, made into needles its worth is $3500, made into balance springs for watches, its worth is $300, 000. Your own value is determined also by what you are able to make of...
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 02:42 #8

centexferrier wrote:
it could but probably not., but just because the foot is that way does'nt mean theres rotation or going to rotate.The reason for the frog support like I was talking about is to take pressure off the heels while wedging or to distibute weight. By cutting back the heels like I was talking about it allows you to control the foot better.but like i said you know the foot i don't


There is some mild rotation in this hoof that is visible, that's the reason for the heartbar. Also, I took the heels back where they needed to be. I understand what your talking about frog support and wedges but this is a ranch horse and they could care less. All they want is the horse to be sound. Next time I will take pictures so it will be easier to talk about. :)
Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 02:44 #9

sounds good Cody. Tex I agree with ya on feet like this. I like equipak or impression material my self,sometimes Myron full support pads do the job I found out lately.
It's funny how people always want the truth as long as it's what they want to hear. Tony Dingianni CJF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 02:50 #10

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Forget trying to get the angles the same and focus on getting the HPA aligned on each individual limb.

If you are sure that the horse is completely sound, Txfarrier has some good advice above. If there is a scapular disparity, I have also had decent luck padding up the high foot/leaving it longer.

You can also go in front and look at the knees...compare the height of the two from the ground...sometimes that is revealing.

If the high foot is getting higher and more narrow, I would also pay close attention to the other foot...it is probably the one that needs the heart bar or some other form of support. I would also run a hoof tester all over the high foot and compare the response you get to the opposite. If you are suddenly seeing a change in the foot, something is causing it...may not be in the foot to be found with testers...could be anywhere between the ground and the withers.
Scruggs Farrier Service
John Scruggs, CJF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 02:58 #11

Good advise John but I don't think he's wanting to make them the same(i thought it at first too) but what he's saying is sense he's been shoeing the horse the high angle foot has been getting narrower,and wants to know whats happening and what to do about it.I'm not speaking for him but I think thats what's going on. Now maybe I'm confused.Cody,do you have support on the low angle foot or just the stood up foot?
It's funny how people always want the truth as long as it's what they want to hear. Tony Dingianni CJF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 03:05 #12

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Gilreath Horseshoeing wrote:
I have been leaving most of the heel on the RF(which is the height of the frog) and taking heel on the LF (upright hoof) to get the angles close to the same.

May be Tony, I just took this to mean that he was trying to match hoof angles.

Gilreath Horseshoeing wrote:
The last couple of times I have shod this horse the LF has become more narrow and elongated.

If he has been shoeing this horse the same way for a year and a half and now he has seen a significant change in the last two shoeings, I would think something more/additional is now going on that should be found/sought out. Maybe the horse has been high/low from limb length disparity and now something else is going on...maybe not...just suggestions.
Scruggs Farrier Service
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 03:08 #13

centexferrier wrote:
Good advise John but I don't think he's wanting to make them the same(i thought it at first too) but what he's saying is sense he's been shoeing the horse the high angle foot has been getting narrower,and wants to know whats happening and what to do about it.I'm not speaking for him but I think thats what's going on. I agree about the other foot also

Exactly. I'm not trying to make the feet the same, they will never be. I'm not necessarily looking for a shoeing solution either, I'm wondering why that foot has decreased in width.
Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 03:12 #14

centexferrier wrote:
Cody,do you have support on the low angle foot or just the stood up foot?

Just the upright foot.
Cody Gilreath, CF
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RE:Narrow Hoof? 18 Apr 2010 04:27 #15

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Since it seems that we got a sort of discussion going on here I'd like to ask a couple questions if it won't be hijacking the thread.
How do y'all figure limb length disparity? I have tried using a spirit level and mesureing from reference points on the carpus and using pads to make up the difference and also setting them by adding a pad each shoeing until level. Experiences or comments?

Back when I was still on trying to make the feet look normal and not trying to figure out what was going on higher up I used to roll or rocker the toe on the low side with the idea being to even the stride. I dunno what I think about that any more but I still do it with the idea that it needs help it can get in breaking over what is usualy a LTLH configuration. I used to use heartbars on this side but nowdays I just use the other half of the tube of goo from the club foot. Seems like the low side usualy has bulged or crushed heels from bearing more than its share of the load. Y'all roll or rocker these?

I have worked in union with a few Vets, Chiropractors and rubber hammer owners in trying to fix the cause of the club foot with varying degree of sucess.( I got a pyramid amulet from one of them that still works like a charm) Some I don't feel are fixable, for example those with total muscle atrophy around a scar shaped like a T post, but it seems like some of the NQR ones can be helped a lot. Experiences with treatments that helped?

The only thing I know for sure about these is that you are in the midst of a nest of DQs you don't EVER refer to their babys condition as a "club foot" its an "upright limb".
Dutch Denson CF

“A bar of iron costs $5, made into horseshoes its worth is $12, made into needles its worth is $3500, made into balance springs for watches, its worth is $300, 000. Your own value is determined also by what you are able to make of...
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