Friday, May 18, 2012

Feets! (comments requested)

Ok, so I finally took some (crappy) pictures of Prairie's feet.  I wanted to get shots of her before she gets trimmed again so I can see her maximum wear patterns when she's left to her own devices..

Some of the pictures were too bad to even post (they looked equally similar to a hoof as they did to a blurry photo of Bigfoot..), but this is a start and I'd love to hear thoughts/feedback.

Bear in mind that these were taken 6 weeks out from her last trim, so much of the small flares and uneven edges have just started showing up in the last week.  I'm most concerned about her right hind, which has the least even wear (she's losing her outside edge much faster).  For the most part her angles look decent, and her heels/frogs are big and seem to be doing their job.

I believe I mentioned before that our farrier (**Not a barefoot specialist, but a pretty savvy guy**) wanted to throw hind shoes on her to keep her balanced.   Since she had only had a week at our new barn ( in the new footing) I was reluctant to turn to shoes so quickly, but if I have to in order to keep her comfy, I will.

Anyway, The Feet:

she's standing base narrow here, but there are front feet.  The inside flares on both hooves just showed up this week..

Hinds (I may or may not have been under my horse)

Hinds - from the right side

Hinds- you can see that dropped edge on the right hind..
All four feet are nicely cool (not icy, not hot) to the touch and her pasterns/fetlocks never have fill or are warm..

Now for individual feet (sorry for not a matched set of pics.. but the Bigfoot-blurry-ones didn't seem that helpful to me :)

Left Front
Right Front
Right front
Her right front is "cuppier" than her left, but overall I like her left front a little more.  I didn't brush out her right front all the way (for shame, why do I even bother with pictures!?) so that's the weird mass on the right side of her frog, not some mutation. :)

Left hind pics are extra blurry, but oops.  Again, sorry for not brushing the sand out.. not sure what I was thinking...
I've never thought her left hind looked weird - until this picture.  The sand is throwing it off a bit, but... man, this just looks out of balance to me

Left hind.  Mostly even wear..
Right hind
Right hind...
So those are her hooves.  Her gaits haven't changed at all in the last month, so there's nothing hugely alarming that suggests pain or discomfort to me.  But she also isn't as... sensitive as Pia, so I worry that something would have to get bad before Prairie made a fuss..

Right now she is stalled at night, out on hard grass/gravel during the day and being ridden on a sand/rubber ring with a reputation for being difficult on barefoot horses.

Happy Friday!


  1. Some horses fuss less because they care less. I'm not saying it's an excuse for treating them poorly, but some horses straight up aren't bothered by that sort of thing. Everything doesn't have to be completely perfect all the time.

    Also, I'm terrible at feet. :-/

  2. Not an expert, or even a novice at feet, but her fronts look much nicer than her hinds. I think (don't quote me!) her bars need to be taken back a LOT on her hinds. I'd say she could have a good chance of staying barefoot though with a barefoot savvy farrier. Which, I know because I'm looking right now :-/, are very few and hard to find on the west side of the mountians. I want my kids to have more than a "pasture trim" and I want someone who freaking knows what they're doing to trim their feet for true natural balance

  3. Her feet look pretty good to me, but I'm not an expert. I wouldn't worry hugely about the uneven wear - she's wearing them how she wants them, which is good.

    She does have a lot of bar on the hinds, which your farrier will take down. However, I have heard of situations where barefoot jumpers on mostly sandy/soft surfaces tend to grow more bar because they need it for the footing. It will be interesting to see if she's OK after the bar is taken down.

    Wish my horse's feet looked that nice!

  4. I agree with jenj, I don't see anything that looks too bad and I wouldn't worry about the wear at this point either. If you are looking for more insight, you might email them to smazourek over at because she is quite knowledgeable in that area!

  5. PS. It's hard to tell from pictures how deep that crack in her LH heel is, but I might treat it with some thrush stuff - she might have some infection in there.

  6. Just noticed that the bars are long on the hinds. You could ask to have them trimmed and then see if her movement changes or if she grows them right back again. If she is sound and moving well, I would not worry too much. Good looking feet are not as important as functional feet. Maybe a six-week cycle is too long for her. You could try shortening it to four or five weeks and reassess.

    Why is the arena footing difficult on barefoot horses?
    If it is very deep, it is difficult on all horses and may just be easier to tell with the bare ones, because they can give you more feedback.

  7. Does she normally stand toe out in the back like she is in the photos? If she does, how straight does she move? If you want to do some reading - head over to Rockley Farms blog, and they have some interest posts int he key posts section on shape and balance and why the 'perfect' foot isn't always right for the horse.

  8. The flare and uneven wear is probably just from her conformation. None of what I see is overly concerning, certainly nothing that would require shoes at this point. Ask your farrier if they can show you how to keep it in check between trims. The bars will probably take some time to decompress and trim back fully (some never come back all the way, again due to conformation). The biggest concern I see in her feet is that there's the potential for thrush in her one sulcus. There shouldn't be a crack there, and it invites thrush. Try using No Thrush in the crack, and that will clear it up very quickly. Horseloverz has it.

  9. Pete Ramey's website is a great resource for barefoot trimming. Here is his article on bars I haven't read it but so far everything of his I've read is spot on. It might have an answer as to why the bars are her rear hooves are so overgrown and what to do about it. There is a TON of info on his website. I can read for HOURS and not even scratch the surface. Anyway sorry I'm not much more help than that lol. I'm still learning myself. :)


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