Over the many years this has become one of our greatest issues with horses that we see. Improper trimming, lack of trimming (neglect) to overall poor hoof health. Without its feet a horse is virtually unable to walk and it can become fatal. We have had cases ranging from the P3(coffin bone) coming through the bottom of the foot to walking on the sole, rather than the hoof wall, navicular/bone issues, creating lame horses. Finding out what those issues stem from can range from improper/poor diet creating founder to injuries, birth defects, to diseases of the hoof.
Having X-rays by your Veterinarian to establish any issues that can not be seen with the naked eye to finding a qualified farrier are important to maintaining your horse. Someone who knows what a "balanced" foot is may make the difference in life or death. Horses that have feet improperly trimmed can go on to have other health risks from infection, abscesses, deterioration of the hoof inside as well as the hoof wall itself that may make a horse either completely lame or to the point of death.
We, at Horse Feathers, do not shoe our horses. We believe in an alternative Barefoot Horse. A horses heart can only pump the blood to the knee. The blood therefore drains down the leg into the hoof and into the many capsules--laminea. The frog acting as a pump when walking heel to toe, pushes the blood back up the leg to the heart for circulation. The frog can not act as a pump when it is constricted with metal shoes. If necessary we use EasyCare Therapy Boots or similar along with starting to use rubber glue on shoes and Vettec Products to help the horses feel more comfortable.
Lack of trimming can cause huge over growth of feet and long term rehab to correct is needed but not always obtained. This causes issues with the muscles, ligaments, tendons and even into the spine from walking incorrectly.
"No Hoof, No Horse"
Horse Feathers Equine Center
Proper blood flow to the foot allows for healthy feet. Constricting that flow with metal shoes or injury/illness can cripple a horse or lead to long term damage.
Starting with X-rays of the feet can be a determining factor along with consulting with your Veterinarian and Farrier on the proper course to take to help your horse to soundness.