Update on feet

To decide to go barefoot with your horse in Ireland is daunting. Shoes are the rule, barefoot is still very much the exception. Unfortunately this means that our equine podiatrist is a 5 hour drive away and you really have to take responsibility for your horses feet into your own hands. Fortunately I am not doing this on my own and on Sunday Maíre came over with Ben and Rosie, so we could have a look at our horses’ feet together.

Minnie’s feet look the best. She hasn’t had shoes on her hind feet for most of this year, her front feet were shod once, so she has little nail damage. She was quite sore when the front shoes came off, but she is improving.

This is what Minnie’s feet look like now.

There is no sign of chipping, but I remember they did chip when the shoes came off initially at the beginning of this year.

Looking at the soles of her feet, there is a noticeable difference between her left and right front.

Here is her left fore.

And her right fore.

The heel bulbs are much closer together here and I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that this is the leg with the damaged tendon.

Her hind feet are doing really well. Here is her left hind.

And her right hind.

It is almost a year ago since she damaged her tendon, I will get her checked out and if the vet says that all is well now, I will get hoof boots for Minnie’s front feet and then hopefully she will be ready to start her rehabilitation.

Cassie was walking really well from the moment the shoes came off, but her feet had extensive nail damage and they are now chipping.

Here is her left fore.

And her right fore.

Here is a side view.

There is a quarter crack there, but it is very shallow, so I don’t think it’s anything to get worried about.

Her hind feet are a bit better. They are chipping too, but they are not as rough looking as her front feet. Here is her left hind.

And her right hind.

Cassie has nail holes that are very high up, so it will take a long time before all the holes have grown out. Initially I was hoping that she might not need boots, but now I am not so sure.

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2 thoughts on “Update on feet

  1. Don’t worry about chipping – chipping’s good. It takes the stress off the hoof wall, allowing it to break where it needs to, to relieve pressure. The quarter crack on the RF looks like it’s in a place where there’s more hoof wall than in the rest of the foot – hopefully the extra will just chip off, which will stop the crack from getting bigger.

    I’d rather have a horse with chippy hoofs than one with rock-hard hoof wall. I think it’s safer for the foot in the long run.

    The nail holes are not going through anywhere important. There’s lots of extra wall where the nail holes are on the outside of the LF. And the nail holes in front are far ahead of breakover. Remember, the tip of the coffin bone is about 3/4″ ahead of the true apex of the frog, and breakover should be about 1/4″ in front of that – miles back from the nail holes in the toe! If she’s sound, no need to put boots on.

    Minnie’s RF narrower heel may be because she’s been unwilling to weight that foot as much.

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