My mare is shod on the front only - and regularly pulls the shoes off when I am schooling her! At least she is tracking up but my farrier is making weekly visits to put the shoes back on. He has even put on a rubber filling around the shoe to try and help - but this hasn't helped. It is really frustrating and I am considering going barefoot - although when I mentioned this to the farrier he didn't think it would be a good idea - as she does become a bit 'pottery' on hard or uneven ground. I have tried overreach boots - but this has not helped either. Any suggestions anyone?
Post by annahindley on Dec 27, 2005 13:15:33 GMT 1
How long is her toe? s her foot balanced? If the break over is wrong, then she will be unable to get the front foot out of the way in time, and so will catch it with the rear. Changing the breakover, with or without shoes, may help. Its soounds like you are stuck in a vicious circle as they hoof wall must be pretty weak with weekly nailing. I'm sure loads of people here will advocate barefoot too and recommend websites for more details.
My mare is barefoot (has never had shoes) and I'd recommend it. She was a bit 'off' going on stoney ground, but by accident I found that they hardened up when I put down 'crush and run', a sort of slate/sand mixture, in front of her shelter. Your farrier deosn't want to loose business! You could take the front shoes off and use hoof boots (Old macs, Boa, Marquis are best) when you ride on those feet 'till she's got used to the ground. How long has she worn shoes? If it has been constant with no break in the winter it could take about six months for her to get used to it. That's where the boots are handy. Find a barefoot trimmer to help you through that stage and onwards.
I'll try and get some pics - but this may take a few days to organise. She is not long in the toe - but it does worry me renailing every 2 weeks. I did think of going barefoot with boots - but someone said they were very expensive?
Meant to add - she has been shod since I started riding her as a 3year old - she is now 5. I was practicing half halts when she did it. She just seems to be getting rid of them frequently recently - not always when ridden - the last time was when she was messing about in the field. Annahindley not sure what exactly you mean by 'changing the breakover, with or without shoes, may help'. Is this something I should discuss with the farrier?
Post by annahindley on Dec 27, 2005 18:04:30 GMT 1
Hi trusue, your farrier should be able to explain, yes. He should also be able to see/calculate if the breakover is wrong, (should, doesn't mean he can!)
This is pasted off a website... "Breakover is when the foot passes the point where the alignment of the bones of the lower leg change or "break" direction during the posterior phase of the stride. When the horse arrives at the end of its reach and the toe is just leaving the ground, the bones will change alignment to the rear. This is the POINT of BREAKOVER. When the leg has extended as far back as it is going to, the posterior phase of the stride is ended and the leg begins to move forward again, beginning the anterior phase. An easy way to illustrate breakover is for you to put on a pair of flip flop-type sandals. When the heel of the sandal snaps up and slaps your heel, breakover has just occurred. I had to put on a pair and walk around just to write this column. The PLACE of BREAKOVER should occur at the center of the toe and not to either side."
I hope that helps.
If the toe is too long, the breakover happens later in the stride and the gait is altered.
This website says that forging is caused by the breakover being wrong in the rear hoof. I have heard this before, but to my mind it is the front foot that needs to be corrected - squaring the rear toes may make it happen less, but the front feet should move out of the way more quickly to avoid being hit by the rear hoof. I suppose either could be the cause - and if the toe is too long on the rear, there is a good chance it is too long on the fronts.
This is not the only cause of the problem by a long way - it may be conformation too - e.g. a horse with a high rear end will sometimes do it (hopefully they grow out of this as the front end catches up) etc etc. Don't be too ready to blame the farrier - it may be caused by something else.
I can't speak for any other situation/horse but this is a problem I have torn my hair out about for several years and in my horse's case, is directly related to how he is shod and, more importantly, by whom!!
There are only tiny differences in how farriers balance his feet and fit the shoes but this makes a world of difference. There is only one farrier who always gets it right and even he doesn't know how he does it. (I know that it is simply his years of experience and the way he sees a foot. ) Even his apprentices, under his supervision, don't always get it right.
The variables are : length of heels on front shoes, length of front toes, length of hind toes. Unless all three of these are precise, he will either pull a front shoe quite soon or he will start forging and pull off a shoe as his feet grow a bit longer.
Over reach boots make not one whit of difference, he has frequently pulled a shoe while wearing them. His fitness is not an issue as he is fairly fit all the time ie doesn't go from unfit to fit.
If you feel you can talk to your farrier about any of this, then have a chat with him to see if he thinks he could make any changes to the way he's shoeing your horse, although I have to say that if he hasn't been able to change things successfully so far, maybe you could ask another farrier for a second opinion?
You have my sympathy, it's not an easy thing to do!
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