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Re: [RC] [RC] hooves - Dawn Carrie

The article wasn't saying that it was ok for a horse to be a little "off" as in a little lame...what it was saying was, it was ok for a horse to not have matching feet, and that trying to force the feet/hooves to match might *cause* lameness or other issues, as you may be experiencing now. 
My 100 mile horse, Bear, has front feet that do not match at all.  His left front grows heel, while the right does not, and tends to grow under and grow more toe.  It appears to me that he has high-low.  And I'm thinking that his right front leg is a tiny bit longer than his left front.  But he's 9 years old, has done 3 100s, a 75, and a lot of 50s, and seems to be doing fine.  I'm thinking it might cause him more trouble to try and fix things now than to leave it alone.  I deal with it by having him reshod every 5 weeks so as to not let the right front toe get too long and the feet get too out of balance.  Seems to work so far.  If something is causing a problem, then it definitely needs to be fixed.  But if the horse is dealing with it ok, then sometimes it's better to leave well enough alone, as the horse has likely adapted to the condition.
Dawn Carrie, Texas

On 7/22/08, Kitley, Carrie E Civ USAF AFSPC 30 MDSS/SGSLF <carrie.kitley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
That's a very interesting article.  If we could just convince all the ride vets of this, then we wouldn't get pulled for being a little "off"?  I just spent a bundle on x-rays and diagnostic imaging and a "specialized" farrier, trying to get my girl's feet all even (she was low on one heel, but it never seemed to bother her much), and now I'm wondering if it wasn't a mistake.  She's now having some minor back pain after riding this weekend, that she never suffered from before.  I'm so frustrated I could scream.  I sure wish our furry friends could talk!  Sometimes I think I'm doing the right thing by her, and then I get more information and question what I've just done.

Carrie Kitley
30th Medical Group, Vandenberg AFB
DMLSS Database Sustainment Specialist (DSS)
CACI International Inc  www.caci.com
dsn 276-1077, Comm (805) 606-1077
fax dsn 276-1179
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-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of firedancefarms
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 1:40 PM
To: ridecamp
Subject: [RC] hooves

This is an excellent article from the horse.com
Here is a quote from part of it.  I think it will ease a lot of worries!
The rest of the article is:

Most horses do not have perfectly matching feet. Why? Often, the shapes of the coffin bones inside them are very different. When the bone angles vary by up to 15°, is it any wonder that the hooves are shaped differently?

Matching hoof angles when bone angles are significantly different has an inherent risk of causing unwarranted lameness because the forces within the foot are drastically altered.

If you try to make feet like these match externally, you might create a lameness problem. It's a mistake to think that forcing one to match the other or making both conform to a vague standard will make them healthier. A horse's feet can be perfectly healthy and functional at very high levels of competition without matching each other or some "perfect" standard. They just have to be in equilibrium with their internal structures to stay "happy."

--Ric Redden, DVM, with Christy West

Louise Burton
Firedance Farms Endurance Arabians

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[RC] hooves, firedancefarms
RE: [RC] hooves, Kitley, Carrie E Civ USAF AFSPC 30 MDSS/SGSLF