Re: Conan Hoof Discussion

Claire Vale <clairevale@...>

Hi Amberlee,

I'm sorry, no heel? No HEEL??? Just what did they think that huge
long structure at the back of the foot was, then?

I have to admit, the trim / shoeing was very different from the
approach I would have taken; however, if it is making him
comfortable and he's moving correctly, then it's working at least
for now. I'm not in the least bit surprised he would be lame -
probably he is / was lame on all four feet, it's just that the left
front was more sore than the rest.

Moving off like a 'big lick' horse after the shoeing would be a
warning sign to me. Those horses move like that for a reason -
their feet HURT! On the other hand, if he warmed out of it rapidly
and he hasn't done it since, it was probably just an adjustment to
the change in how they felt.

Have you had any x-rays taken of his feet? The proportions of the
pastern to hoof look like he could have an incresed distal descent
(a.k.a. sunken coffin bone). It would also be interesting to know
just how much remodeling has occurred over the years of poor balance.

The massively long toes will have created a huge stress area in the
rear of the foot, specifically in the insertion of the Deep Digital
Flexor Tendon, and around the Impar ligaments. This would then have
resulted in changed movement and stance, which will have further
altered other interior structures like the digital cushion. Added
to this, living most of his life in a stall will have prevented
normal development of the digital cushion and the lateral
cartialges, and they'll probably be more like a yearling or two year
olds than a middle-aged horse (i.e. inadequate and weak for his

It's quite likely that he has 'navicular' changes from the years of
unbalanced internal forces and resulting movement and posture
adjustments. He may also have some form of arthritic changes
(ringbone / sidebone / fetlock arthritis / etc).

Added to all of the lower leg issues, the fact that he's had
negative plane coffin bones in his rear feet (the coffin bones were
tipped backwards, instead of flat or slightly forwards) will have
placed a great deal of stress on his upper body, specifically the
psoas muscle. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to hear that
his hindquarters are sore and that he resists having his hind feet
taken out behind him.

Despite all the potential damage, there's proably no reason why he
can't become more comfortable and healthy from now on with good hoof
balance, diet and environment. With luck, in a year or two he'll be
totally sound, or at least as sound as he can be given whatever
damage he has <G>.

Good luck wth him,

Claire Vale
New Zealand

--- In ECHoof@..., Amberlee <fivepineranch@...> wrote:

I've uploaded a large number of photos into a Folder called
Conan. This is a 19 year old QH gelding we brought home 2 weeks
ago. He has been shown all over the place. Complaints from his
previous owner and farrier is that they could never get any heel on
this horse, he was flat soled and prone to bruising and thrush.
He's lived in a stall most of his life.

We immediately noticed Grade 3 lameness in Left Front. We had the
veterinarian give him a quick glance <not full exam> and he
encouraged us to correct his feet immediately.

He was a bit sore for about 24 hours after this process. He is
now still Grade 3 lame in front left (has improved slightly) - sound
everywhere else.

After this initial visit Conan lifted his legs like a TWH in The
Big Lick class!! It was amazing to watch him for the first 15

What I'd like to get around to discussing is what kinds of
stresses will have been placed on the bones, joints, ligaments with
feet like this - he's had the same farrier for over 10 years until
he came here. We plan to keep him resting in a corral for another
month before pursuing diagnositcs on the Left Front. I feel an
increase in hoof temperature on the Inside of the Left Front
compared to the rest - no pulses.

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