Q: My 13-year-old gelding had quite poor feet when I bought him eight years ago. A combination of good, regular shoeing and supplements helped their condition improve drastically.
However, this year, his feet have started to deteriorate again. He has started losing shoes and his feet have started to crumble, particularly his hinds.
A large crack has appeared on the outside of his near hind that is moving upwards towards the coronet where, at some point, he has obviously sustained an injury.
What can I do to stop the problem getting any worse?.
Farrier Daniel Eades AWCF replies:Your horse’s feet could have simply fallen victim to the wet. In some cases, where horses are turned out in the field all day every day, the feet may become water-logged and fall apart.
If your horse’s feet have become just too soft to hold shoes, the only thing to do is stop turning him out for a few weeks to allow his feet to harden up.
It could be the wet conditions that have caused the crack, and you may find that he has a bit of seedy toe in his white line which is travelling up the laminae, causing the wall to crack.
If this is the case, all the seedy toe has to be cut out. Your farrier will be able to do this and if your horse does need to have a seedy toe infection cut out, he will require careful management to help it heal.
There is a product available from most tack shops called Keratex Hoof Hardener which will help your horse’s feet harden up again.
However, if it is not the wet that has caused this problem, you should look closely at whether anything has changed in your horse’s life, such as his diet or a change of yard. A sudden change or upset will usually come out in the horse’s feet.
You should keep him to a regular shoeing pattern and it would also be a good idea to put him back on the supplements you used before.
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