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TOPIC: Spreading a Narrow Hoof .

RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 18 May 2011 23:34 #31

  • brian robertson
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Often, on Show horses, with a narrow hoof, I will fit a bevel shoe on it. I match the ground surfaces on both front shoes so one doesn't sink (narrow one) into the footing more than the other. The only riders that seem to notice what I have done are dressage and reiners.
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 19 May 2011 02:53 #32

  • Joey Aczon
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BS-Horseshoeing wrote:
This is an interesting thread since I worked on one today I'd like to see his hind feet spread some and take some pressure off of his contracted heels. Which I think is putting alot of pressure on the medial and lateral cartilages. This horse is about 16 1, 1150 lbs, QH, and put together from leftover parts. His back is really long and he's a bit cowhocked. His hinds have been contracted sine I started working on him a couple years ago but they have opened some over time. The central sulcus of the frog was deep and closed and full of thrush and it's now more open and dry. The horse is very sore in the heel bulbs and if you push on the back of the cartilages. He's had many different setups including straight bars, egg bars, wedge pads with IM for support and all those just make him more sore. If I shoe him a bit to tight and close to the frog with the heel check and the frog gets pressure from the shoe after a few weeks he get's real sore to, we don't let that happen.

Right now he is in Delta Challenger 8 mm hinds, slight rolled toe, with short heel extensions to the back of the heel bulbs for support. Inside web along the frog ground out so no pressure, and fit with about 3/16" expansion on the inside, and 1/4" on the outside. Shoes are boxed and safed and he keeps them on. Center of heels on the shoe are about 1/4" inside the toe nails maybe a bit more, that's why I feel he's contracted.

He's shod every 5 weeks and I take 3/8" to 1/2" off each trim. He's rideen on trails 5 to 7 days a week ranging from hard pack dirt to deep sand in the dry washes. Not head bobbing lame just sore and ouchy. After working a few minutes he's pretty good to go but it does hurt him. I can make him react just by squeezing with my thumb and forefinger on his heels bulbs and cartilages.

So, will any of what is being discussed here help spread these feet? Slippered shoes, heel springs, IM in the sulcus, bar shoes, shoes fit wide?

Or is this horse just destined to be like this for life? It has me scratching my head cause I can normally get them to spread a bit and be comfortable, but this one has me puzzled.

On a horse like this I like to use a x-heavy leather pad and some Sil-Pak. Sil-Pak is really soft and the leather will flex to make for more of a "passive" support. Id try him a couple cycles in something like that to see if I could give some relief to whatever is causing the soreness. IMO, if they're sore you have a hard road to get them to heal. Get him comfortable first.

Also, get behind the horse and sight down the pastern. Look at the foot in relation to the coronet band. If you see hoof all the way around the coronet you probalby aren't going to see much improvement. I try to fit the shoe so that when it's nailed on I can see the boxing on my shoe.

Just my 2 cents on it.
Joey Aczon

Over-specialize and breed in weakness... It's slow death. :cool:

"I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." — Gibbon
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 19 May 2011 10:14 #33

  • Show Shoe
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I've noticed with the leather pad that you probably wont get much hoof expansion. If you look at a leather pad after you remove it the the hoof is indented in th pad which I would think restrict hoof expansion. I've had good luck with horses that are sore in there bulbs and bad heel pain is to use a heartbar shoe with a pad and cut it to float the heels but so that the pad is still on the bar so the frog bares the weight and pressure is relieved from the heels. Doing it this way I think a leather pad would be fine. IMO
Jeremy Lacroix
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 19 May 2011 22:21 #34

  • Gary Hill
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Get the frog engaged and healthy and you will not usually have contracted heels, you can have low heels but not contracted....:eek:
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 19 May 2011 22:47 #35

  • Joey Aczon
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Show Shoe wrote:
I've noticed with the leather pad that you probably wont get much hoof expansion. If you look at a leather pad after you remove it the the hoof is indented in th pad which I would think restrict hoof expansion. I've had good luck with horses that are sore in there bulbs and bad heel pain is to use a heartbar shoe with a pad and cut it to float the heels but so that the pad is still on the bar so the frog bares the weight and pressure is relieved from the heels. Doing it this way I think a leather pad would be fine. IMO

IMO, soundness and comfort are primary concerns, contraction is secondary. I obviously haven't seen the situation myself, but generally IME the horse has to get comfortable before you can expect to see any kind of structural changes.

Even at that, a contracted foot generally begins to spread at the hairline first, the expansion at the ground surface doesn't come till later, and not without some persistance.
Joey Aczon

Over-specialize and breed in weakness... It's slow death. :cool:

"I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." — Gibbon
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 19 May 2011 22:56 #36

  • reillyshoe
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Joey Aczon wrote:
IMO, soundness and comfort are primary concerns, contraction is secondary. I obviously haven't seen the situation myself, but generally IME the horse has to get comfortable before you can expect to see any kind of structural changes.

Even at that, a contracted foot generally begins to spread at the hairline first, the expansion at the ground surface doesn't come till later, and not without some persistance.

Good point, I agree.
P
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 01:08 #37

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Joey Aczon wrote:
IMO, soundness and comfort are primary concerns, contraction is secondary. I obviously haven't seen the situation myself, but generally IME the horse has to get comfortable before you can expect to see any kind of structural changes.

Even at that, a contracted foot generally begins to spread at the hairline first, the expansion at the ground surface doesn't come till later, and not without some persistance.

The foot expands every time it hits the ground. It generaly spreads at the hairline first? I dont know that is true. As I've observed how a barefooted horse seems to get much wider at the bottom than the top. The pressure on the frog will help the foot to spread also and using the heartbar shoe and floating the heels will help to make the horse sound.

Pat I'm pretty familar with your work from when you were in N.H. in fact I know it well.
Jeremy Lacroix
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 01:13 #38

  • reillyshoe
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There are plenty of sound horses with narrow feet. While many hooves expand during loading, heels also contract during the later portions of stance.
P
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 01:38 #39

  • Gary Hill
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Would it be a fair statement to say that the healthy hoof expands and contracts pretty much evenly to some extend to keep the hoof sound??
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 02:52 #40

  • Joey Aczon
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Show Shoe wrote:
The foot expands every time it hits the ground. It generaly spreads at the hairline first? I dont know that is true. As I've observed how a barefooted horse seems to get much wider at the bottom than the top.

I was not referring specifically to the expansion and contraction of the foot during each stride so much as the fact that the foot needs to fill in from the top if the heels are to widen on a contracted heel horse. In regards to the individual stride, I think hoof conformation and trimming influence this greatly. That said, I still think that the foot expands at the top of the foot first, especially if the foot is lacking in frog support.

As far as the foot getting wider at the bottom, I've seen it go both ways. However, I don't know that I've ever seen a narrow foot with contraction in the caudual portion of the foot to grow wider at the base, barefoot or not. Some will flare one way or the other but the opposite side almost always ends up rolling under.


The pressure on the frog will help the foot to spread also and using the heartbar shoe and floating the heels will help to make the horse sound.

Given that the horse is specifically sensitive to frog support, (ie bar shoes and wedges with IM) I think a heartbar would probably not work too well either.
Joey Aczon

Over-specialize and breed in weakness... It's slow death. :cool:

"I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." — Gibbon
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 10:57 #41

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Well Joey like I said this was my opinion. I've done a few horses with great success this way. Also I think it depends on whether the narrow feet are genetics or man made as to how far they will spresd if they spread at all.
So your saying that expansion starts at the hairline first? I find this to be next to impossible as the bottom of hoof hits first. Is this opinion or fact? If it's fact I would certainly be interested in seeing the evidence.
Jeremy Lacroix
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 13:49 #42

  • Joey Aczon
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Show Shoe wrote:
Well Joey like I said this was my opinion. I've done a few horses with great success this way. Also I think it depends on whether the narrow feet are genetics or man made as to how far they will spresd if they spread at all.
So your saying that expansion starts at the hairline first? I find this to be next to impossible as the bottom of hoof hits first. Is this opinion or fact? If it's fact I would certainly be interested in seeing the evidence.

I'm not trying to argue, just sharing how I see things, more specifically how I see things in relation to a narrow foot.

In any case the expansion at the hairline is not my conclusion, it's actually part of one of Dr Bowkers studies that I happen to agree with. If you do a little searching I'm sure you could find it.
Joey Aczon

Over-specialize and breed in weakness... It's slow death. :cool:

"I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." — Gibbon
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 20 May 2011 20:49 #43

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I'm not trying to argue either Joey I just can't say that I have ever heard of the foot expanding at the hairline first and would be interested in the theory. Thanks for pointing out a place to find some information.
Jeremy Lacroix
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 24 Nov 2011 10:58 #44

  • wildlyfe
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The fastest way to spread a narrow hoof is to leave the shoes off and let the the foot expand on it's own. Probally not practical but most effective.
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RE:Spreading a Narrow Hoof . 24 Nov 2011 11:15 #45

  • wildlyfe
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I have seen this numerous times where I have trimmed the feet of a horse fit the shoe and then for one reason or another had to leave(with my own horses) and came back the next day and the shoe had to be widened to fit the hoof. I mean widened a good amount.
Any amount of time you can leave the shoes off is helpful even as far as trimming the horse all the way around then putting on the shoes to let the feet "breathe"(expand).
As others have mentioned full fit leave a little of that shoe sticking out on both sides a little.You might have to box the inside of the shoe so the horse doesn't step on it.
Also avoid heel nails more so in these horses to allow for natural expansion of the hoof at the heels.
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