Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chrome's Hooves

Okay, I said I was posting something exciting today, but I wasn't able to get it ready in time, so I'm posting about Chrome's hooves instead. I don't work tomorrow so I'll get it done then.

Anyway the reason I'm posting about Chrome's hooves is because my new farrier has definitely made some great improvements, but it feels like progress has stalled out. I've learned a lot about hooves, but I have a LOT more to learn, so I'm asking the barefoot trimming experts(or if you know one who wouldn't mind looking at my pictures) out there to chime in please. I would appreciate an explanation on what I'm seeing and advice on where we should go from here.

Chrome still has clubby rear hooves (all his heels look high to me) and really short toes. He has a lot of concavity and his frogs look like they need to shed (been muddy here). He is getting close to due for a trimming, so this is toward the end of his eight weeks between (going to ask her about more frequent trims because I think that's too long for him). He does toe out (but doesn't interfere) and it looks like he stands with more weight on the insides of his hooves. If you look at the last picture it's weird! I never noticed that before. Anyway here are his pictures. Sorry some of them are blurry and the camera is tilted on some. Hope they still show what they need to.

Left Fore

Left Hind

Right Hind

Right Fore

Picture from the side.

Rear view.

Hmm, the reason it looks like more weight is on the inside is because he toes in . . . I didn't realize it was that bad. Sheesh.

So any thoughts/advice??


  1. I will find the comments interesting. I know nothing about hooves. My half Friesian has big drafty feet and we have to control flaring. I think he has low heels, but I was told he is fine. I will have to take photos when he gets trimmed next time and post them.

  2. Horses' feet are not supposed to be symmetrical or look 'pretty'. They are supposed to function and adjust to the way the horse moves and is built. Horses with crooked conformation should have feet that are 'mismatched to match' if that makes sense. My horse is a prime example. Judging by these photos, Chrome actually has really NICE feet. His feet don't look clubby to me. They look well balanced and like they're doing their job very well. A lot of people get slipper looking feet with mile long toes and no heel to speak of. Sadly, that's what people get used to looking at so NICE horse feet like Chrome's look 'funny'.

  3. Dom, thank you for your comment. I had been thinking the same thing about the hooves naturally adjusting for conformation faults because I had read somewhere that's what club feet do, but his heels just looked so long! I guess the only way to know for sure would be to get some xrays just to see if the coffin bone is level. Unfortunately I can't afford to blow the money on xrays for a sound horse. And his trot has been absolutely beautiful and floaty since the weather cooled off lol. Thank you again.

  4. I am certainly not an expert, but after looking at these pics I think they look healthy. Even 8 weeks out he stands very well. You would think that if his heels were too long he would tuck under, but he is quite square. :)

  5. Wow, those are great pix of the detail on Chrome's hooves. Now, I don't know about horses, but my Mom had a Quarter horse when she was younger. She says he seems to have pretty big frogs, but your farrier would be the best judge. She says those farrier people see hundreds of different hoof types and should know if something is wrong. Boy, I don't know if she helped or not, but from my doggie point of view, I think if Chrome isn't limping or really favoring a hoof, he's probably fine.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  6. Horses take their impact on their heel, so high heels for good shock absorption are important. If he's sound, that's a great sign that his feet are doing exactly what they're supposed to!

  7. His feet do look healthy, there's nothing big here you need to be worried about for now. Yes his heels and bars are a tad high, but not terrible. His front toes are a little long, but not terrible. I would probably treat his front frogs for thrush too.

    He could use a quarter scoop all the way around to ease the hairline jamming. It also looks like your farrier tends to leave the outside heels higher than the inside. THAT could cause a problem long term.

  8. smazourek, thank you so much for your comment on Chrome's hooves!! That makes a lot of sense and I really appreciate you pointing out specifics for me. I'll bring up the outside heels thing to her. I always thought it was caused by his toeing out causing uneven wear, but if she's leaving them long I can see how that would cause a downward spiral. Thank you!!


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