Help For Footsore Horse

Rebecca and Joe

Writing to see if anyone has any help ideas for my boy. Had a myriad of issues last year investigations into cushings/IR something metabolic can be seen in the case history. I added dex supression test results into the files section as I couldn't see a place to put results in the case history. So far all those coming back normal that I am aware. This year he seems to be doing much better except for footsoreness. He had several rounds of formahoof on his back feet to help deal with the groundparalell/negative p3 angle in his back feet. Then several rounds of easycare easyshoe performance as glue ons on the front and easycare lovechilds glued on the back to ease the transition between formahoof sets and after the last round. All shoes were removed by Dec/Jan and he did well over the winter on full turnout despite some really nasty ice storms we had in Feb. Booted for riding but otherwise barefoot. Started noticing him having bad steps behind on gravel and a little hesitant. Now he came up quite sore on hard ground and gravel with his latest trim. Working with barefoot trimmer trained by Ida Hammer if that's helpful info. At this point looking at another round of glue ons to keep him comfortable while we figure out what brought on the discomfort. Pics in the files are three days post latest trim. He did have an abscess on RF that blew out recently, but did not show up as severe lameness, just a desire to land very toe first and a very hard as stone frog. DP has been good and all other things seem good and normal. HR the last few days since trim has been 42 bpm though, normally he sits around 34.

So I'm wondering if this is just a normal thin soles issue as it seems like he may have lost sole since the shoes came off (visually from hinds, collateral groove looks less deep on fronts) and he just can't handle barefoot? Or if I should be looking somewhere else?  I had his diet balanced by Kathleen Gustafson for his winter diet (alfalfa/orchard mix hay) and planning to get balanced to pasture as well. Have been wondering if I should look at iron, as he is a dark bay but his winter coat turned reddish and he has the faded tips of main and tail. Our area has clay soil and hard water although I'm still trying to find an iron test kit for the water. 

Any ideas or input would be appreciated. 
Rebecca and Joe,  Lexington KY, 2020

Case History:

Sherry Morse

Hi Rebecca,

At a glance he still has extremely thin soles and his hoof quality shows that there are issues going on probably with the diet which is reflected in the coat changes.  As far as testing for iron in your water a quick Google search came up with the following resources: and (list of KY certified drinking water labs as of 2017)
Sherry and Scutch (and Scarlet over the bridge)
EC Primary Response 
PA 2014

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Rebecca,

Did you end up putting him on pergolide/Prascend as a trial to see if it helped?

Agree with you that his sole depth is most likely compromised all around, which is going to make him tender footed. Anytime you see this he should be in padded boots as that will both protect AND help him develop more sole. Any boots should have an aggressive bevel added to the treads of the boots both at the toes and heels. No boot has enough straight out of the box. 

The rads from May 2020 show some sinking, thin soles, long toes, underrun heels, ground parallel coffin bones with the resulting HPAs being broken back. They also show significant pastern arthritis, which is being aggravated by trim issues. From the current pix, his heels remain quite underrun all around (he's standing on his heel bulbs) and his toes are still too long horizontally. This is most obvious on the fronts, as both have dished dorsal walls and a large vertical crack that appears to be running from the ground up toward the coronary band. There is wall flaring on each foot. LH shows some lateral wall collapse. RF frog appears to have been trimmed fairly aggressively, which can cause tenderness from removal of the entire calloused frog layer. Any type of appliance is only a going to be a band-aid unless the underlying trim is corrected first.

As long as his heels remain underrun, his toes too far out ahead of where they need to be and wall flares are present, his soles will remain thinner than they should be.

The reddish winter coat is common just before shedding out and faded tips on the mane/tail are from long ago as new hair growth is going to be coming in at the base, not the tips. If there was an issue of iron overload, tight mineral balancing will take some time to effect body-wide changes depending on how severe it was/is. Kathleen Gustafson is excellent in the balancing department, so discuss any concerns you have with her when you have the next balancing done. You can also have blood work done to test for body-wide iron overload by sending it to Kansas State University to get ferritin, serum iron and TIBC results.

Jan 2005, RI

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