2005 Richard Klimeshl ©
you have any knowledge on the proper way a horse is to be shoed when turned out
My vet does not like
that my horse has short shoes in the front; however, the farrier insists that
this is the correct method for all day turnout so he does not put pressure on
the hoof and trough a shoe. I have a Palomino, he is in with 5 horses. I have
owned him almost a year and and he seems to have a weakness in the front right
hoof. He has a crack and a piece of hoof missing (maybe a half inch) on the very
front part of his toe to the shoe. It just seems to get to the boint where is
is almost grown out and he will trip again and create the same problem over and
over again. It does not extend up the hoof but concerns me a great deal.
am afraid that he trips because the shoes are short and this problem is becoming
repetitive. Can you provide some guidance on how he should be shoed.
Your vet is right for recognizing
that "short shoes" are not good for your horse and your horse is lucky
that you are concerned enough to look for other options.
a horse is being turned out all day or not, if he needs shoes then he should be
shod for optimum balance and support. You can find out what that means here: Good
Short shoeing is when the
heels of the shoe are held very close to the heels of the hoof. This practice
can adversely affect movement and lead to lameness and permanent hoof problems.
For proper support of the hoof the shoe typically extends back past the heels
and is wider than the hoof at the heels to allow the hoof to expand as it grows.
Many farriers use short shoes and fit
them "close" (leaving no expansion room) to minimize the risk of a horse
stepping on a heel of the shoe and pulling it off. This is a risk, but is not
as big a one as most people think. You can find out more about lost shoes here:
If you are not riding your
horse, or if you are only riding on soft footing, such as an arena, your horse
might be better off without shoes than being shod with short shoes.
consideration is that barefoot would make a safer situation for the other five
horses that your Palomino is turned out with - being kicked with a shod hoof can
cause a more serious injury than being kicked with a bare hoof.
the crack and chip on your horse's hoof ( I am assuming it is on a front hoof
). It would be imprudent of me to suggest a shoeing option without seeing your
horse, but what you describe - a crack that does not extend up the hoof wall and
a 1/2" chip missing near the shoe - does not sound that uncommon or serious...for
a barefoot horse. But for a shod horse to have a chronic crack, and especially
a chip that won't grow out, makes me wonder if there is something going on inside
the hoof wall that is weakening it.
horse could be tripping because of short shoes, but I can't see where tripping
would prevent the crack and chip from growing out - the shoe should protect the
hoof and if the hoof is healthy the crack should grow out in one or two trimmings.
advice to you is to find the best farrier in your area and have him/her and your
vet get together with you to examine your horse and devise a shoeing/trimming
plan. Here is an article on finding and good farrier: Finding
And here is a website
to help you find a farrier in your area: Find
Best of luck!