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Re: [RC] The nutritional guide to lame babies - Lauren Horn

First off, I'm not talking about a true, extreme  club foot, I'm mostly talking about a "semi-clubfoot" that comes in degrees and is in conjunction with a low heeled hoof. I've seen pictures of 'foundation' arabs that have the same thing. I've seen a picture of Abu Farwa that showed his high heel/low heel fault. IMO, this has been bred into the breed because breeders don't care. I see it in some lines more frequently than others.
Have there been published studies on the nutritional cause? If it is nutritional, why only one foot?  How come I don't see the high heel/low heel as frequency in other breeds? I rarely see it in warmbloods and I see lots of warmbloods in my area.  Europeans don't allow horses with hoof faults to become approved breeding horses. Do only arab breeders over feed?  I'm not saying nutrition doesn't play a role but I do believe very strongly that genetics do. If it is genetics that  preposition a horse to over sensitivity to imbalances in the diet - it still is genetics. Why knowingly breed for it?
Club feet can skip generations so just because a club footed mare doesn't produce a club footed foal doesn't really prove anything.
I've had to deal with three arabs over the years with this type of hoof structure and it is something that I really feel strongly about. There are so many issues that come with this structure and like other things, it really can become a problem with the sport of endurance. It is something that needs to be exposed, examined and fixed. It is a fault and it should be treated as such, especially for the halter horses that go on to influence future generations.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2003 10:28 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] The nutritional guide to lame babies

Excuse me, Lauren, but nutrition and early environmental influence are the main factors in club-footedness.  And likewise, "I have no doubt about this."  The genetic component seems to be an over-sensitivity to imbalances in the diet--indeed, some families are much more prone to them, given bad management.  But horses with "all the genetics in the world" for club-footedness will NOT produce club feet if the horses have BALANCED diets and are not overfed.  It is becoming prevalent in our breed primarily because babies tend to grow up one of two ways--either undernourished with imbalanced diets and no foot care, or in "show" feeding sorts of situations where they are heavily grained and "pushed."  There isn't much in between.  And either one is a recipe for club feet, especially if the youngsters are comfined, to boot.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2003 9:49 AM
Subject: [RC] The nutritional guide to lame babies

I strongly disagree with Linda's post about club footedness being related to too much food (nutrition). Although I know nothing about morgans one of my big pet peeves in the arabian breed is the frequency that I see horses with club feet, or mostly high heel/low heel. THIS IS GENETIC. I have no doubt about this but I won't rule out other less frequent causes of this major fault.

[RC] The nutritional guide to lame babies, Lauren Horn
Re: [RC] The nutritional guide to lame babies, Heidi Smith