Q: I hack out on my 14.2hh cob mare about five to six times a week. Recently I have noticed white marks on the inside of her hind hooves.
I think this is caused by her knocking her hind feet together while she’s being ridden as her action is very close behind.
I already use brushing boots, but they don’t seem to make any difference. Is there anything else on the market which could protect her feet?
Instructor Stephanie Soskin replies: Regular brushing boots like the ones you are using only protect the lower leg from the brushing injuries inflicted by the opposite leg, and your horse’s action means she strikes herself lower down.
I would advise that you ask your farrier to examine the way your horse moves and try to identify the cause of her striking into herself.
Corrective shoeing could help resolve the problem. Talk to your farrier about the possibility of feather-edged shoes or three quarter shoes which can reduce the risk of brushing as there is less shoe to strike the opposite leg or foot.
The weight of the shoe is placed on the outside edge to try and encourage your horse into correct action.
As a quick fix for prevention, try an anti-brushing ring or “sausage boot”. This is a hollow rubber ring with a smallstrap and buckle, which can be worn around the pastern of the leg that usually gets struck to act as a barrier.
Also, as a temporary measure, an overreach boot could be worn on the hind hoof until your farrier has examined your horse’s movement and conformation and started on a corrective shoeing procedure.