The Negative Effect of Metal Shoes
The dorsal view shows two highly distorted front feet. The hoof wall of both feet shows horizontal compression folds that act deeply into the coronet. The hair at the coronet is pushed up, sticks out like a roof, the coronet is not even. The hoof walls desperately try to grow down steeper but are distracted into a flare after the first two inches of growth. The two clips on each hoof increase the problem. The hoof cannot wear off on the shoe; every excessive hoof wall length accumulates and causes compression. The path for distortion is paved.
The view from the side shows what is inevitable for the hooves on a shoe. Under-run heels that lead to a severe hyperextension. The horse had trouble to walk. His steps were insecure and clumsy. Both toe walls are bent.
The medial view of the right front hoof shows how the one clip presses into the hoof wall. The horse was lucky not to be lame. The main load of that limb is on that medial side. The dorsal view shows how the lateral hoof wall flees from that center of pressure whereas all forces act upwards on the medial side. That clip will always work its way into the hoof if the hoof shape is not corrected.
Right after treatment:
Compression and leverage have been eliminated, with the correct filing technique the correct abrasion will take place in the next weeks. The horse will walk itself into the correct shape in the next months.
The solar view shows the destruction the clip left behind. Patriot had deep thrush in both front feet.
4 weeks later:
The hole from the clip can heel. Solar and palmar view show how the medial load affects the whole balance of the hoof. The lateral hoof half is being pushed outwards. The medial bulb is pushed up under the load, the heel angle is much steeper than the lateral.
The heels will grow out much steeper in the future. The hoof-pastern axis will be aligned.
Both feet seem high, the horn tubules of the hoof wall are compressed. That compression acts into the coronary band which is being pushed up. The hair stick out like roof. Especially where the two clips are on each hoof, the coronet bulges up even more. A front hoof should only have one clip in the middle, not two. The clips cause even more stiffness for the quarter walls. In addition, the hoof walls flare and bent, the horn tubules can't wear off.
The heels underrun immensely. The owner was recommended the metal shoe because the horse had flat heels. Unfortunately, flat heels cannot be cured by a shoe. The shoe will make it worse in the long term due to the over proportional wear in the heel and zero abrasion in the toe. Exactly the opposite will happen. The foot will become even more flat.
Right after treatment. There is a huge difference in the tubule orientation and the coronet. The hair sticks out less. The new hoof wall can now grow down physiologically.
I introduced Snickers in my book 'hoof physics'.
He has arthritis in his right carpal joint and is therefore forced to break over the lateral part of his toe. The medial part of his toe has become a huge obstacle which makes it impossible for him to use at all. The coronet at that spot is bulged up, compresses the corium and deflects the newly produced horn tubules in their physiological growth orientation. A vicious cycle starts. If not given the opportunity to use that part of the hoof, it will become more and more a disturbing factor and force the horse to only use the lateral part of his hoof. The deformation will continue rapidly.
Cutting that extra length off from underneath would be a huge mistake also. The horse has walked itself into that shape to compensate for existing predispositions, in this case, his arthritic knee. He needs the supporting length on the medial side. Due to the hinge joints, he is not capable to tilt, any abrupt hoof wall shortening would cause more discomfort.
Both hind feet are loaded on the inner side, the bulbs of the left hind foot are extremely shifted (red line). The dorsal view shows how Snickers is forced to turn the hoof out because of the incapability to tilt. It completely twists the limb.
The right correction with Preventive Hoof Care is to manipulate the abrasion of hoof horn, to make it easy for the horse to use other parts of the hoof as well so he can slowly walk himself into the physiological shape if he chooses so.
left hind dorsal
left hind plantar
5 months later.
The arrows indicate the change in horn tubule orientation. The hoof wall grows down straighter. Snickers is able to straighten out his hind legs. The bulbs are more leveled.
The hoof walls have not been cut or filed from underneath!
10 months later:
Right hind hoof
before 1. treatment:
after 8 months:
No matter how I tried to position the horse, he would always return into the same favored posture, putting more weight on the left leg and turning the right leg outward.
The lateral quarter wall of the hoof (left in the picture) is clearly straighter than the medial quarter wall. The slanted medial side is uncomfortable for the horse to use. Nevertheless, it toes-off on the medial part of the toe wall.
The sloping medial hoof wall is an unpleasant obstacle for the horse. It avoids standing on this levering side. Therefore, it turns the hoof outward to avoid discomfort. Thus, postural anomalies are created in the long run. The whole leg seems twisted, starting in the carpal joint (knee).
We also see horizontal lines, stress lines, that seem to be narrower, more compressed, exactly on those medial hoof wall parts.
The rings are compressed more in the section of the hoof where the greatest
leverage is at work. It is the section that has less load and usage. The horn tubules bend, cannot wear off and simply fold in wrinkles.