What Happens When Hoof Care is Neglected

In July of 2020, we had a horse come in the FootPro Shop that proved to be a good example of what can happen when hoof care is not done on a regular schedule.

Dave Farley, CF APF-I came to the shop to talk about the evaluation process he follows before shoeing his horses. It was obvious the feet had not been trimmed for some time, indicating no farrier had been scheduled to keep them in reasonable shape.

JULY 2020
Annabelle before trim.

Beyond the excessive growth, Dave could see immediately she had a problem with her right front that needed to be dealt with. The owner told Dave the horse had just popped an abscess a few days before coming to the shop. In examining the size of the break in the hoof wall, it seemed likely a considerable amount of wall undermined as the abscess worked its way up the wall. There were also indications the sole had been compromised, as well.

Dave was able to get the foot trimmed, treated with FootPro CS+ and a shoe applied, despite the discomfort the abscess caused. He recommended the owners ask their vet how to treat the open wound and to make sure to follow up with a local farrier. The abscess appeared to have been ongoing for some time to cause this amount of wall separation and the poor condition of the hooves indicated she had not had any recent farrier work done either. The question was whether that neglect would change.

JULY 2020

Fast forward to March of 2021. We contacted the owners to see if they would like to bring the horse back to the FootPro Shop to be shod by Hank Chisholm, CJF. We had no idea that she had not been done since July of 2020. You can imagine our surprise- and Hank’s- when she walked into the shop. You can see from the images that the wall had grown considerably in the months since she was in the shop but she had not received any farrier care and a large area of the lateral wall of the right foot was broken off. What was still there was undermined and significantly detached. The sole was also undermined and had cracks and separation that were going to require extra care. Hank wasn’t rattled, he just knew this was going to be a tedious shoeing job that was going to take some time to get things back on track.

We had no idea that she had not been done since July of 2020.

Have a look at the images from 2020 when the abscess first caused damage to the wall and the work Hank went through to get this horse back on a good path.

This may be a good article to share with your clients that don’t stick to a good schedule. Perhaps they’ll understand why it’s important for the health of the horse to work with you to get a reasonable schedule set up.

March 2021
Missing wall and lateral Toe quarter undermined.

We had Bobby Menker, CJF APF-I come to the shop for two follow-up shoeings on this horse after Hank got her on track for recovery. The hoof is almost completely grown back and in a cycle or two, she should be as good as new.

Let’s all hope the owners learned how important it is to keep a regular schedule for her hoof care, whether it’s just to be trimmed or to be shod.

The work that Dave, Hank and Bobby did is documented in video footage that you can see on our YouTube channel.

MARCH 2021

APRIL 2021
Hoof is growing down and a much smaller area requires the Adhere patch.

JUNE 2021
Very little patch needed to fill void in toe quarter.

This article is from The Natural Angle Volume 18, Issue 4. For more Natural Angle articles and tips, click here.

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