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Sunday November 27, 2022
Category: Ask The Expert
Hits: 30619


Q) I have had two horses within the last two months diagnosed with inflammation in the navicular bursa. i have had a problem with my farrier taking too much sole out. Could this problem be caused by to thin of sole? 


In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses Navicular Bursa inflammation.


Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"Inflammation of the navicular bursa sac would not be associated with trimming too short.  The navicular bursa lies between the deep flexor tendon and the navicular bone, and provides lubrication for the tendon passing over that bone.  A thin sole would cause hoof pain and potentially lameness, but not in the navicular bursa."


Q) Hi there, have been asked to look at a horse with low under run heels, flat soles and migrated long toes with negative Palmer angle due to previous shoeing. What would you suggest? Bring the heels back to the widest point,bring back break over, heart bar to spread the load on the heels or heart bar wedge or wedge pad backfilled with silicon to spread loading and support flat soles? Look forward to hearing from you...thanks

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses a corrective shoeing for a horse with under run heels.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"I like to use a heart bar on these type of feet.  I will also float the heels to get rid of any bent tubules, and fill in around the frog plate with Equipak."


Q) We have a 20 year old TB mare. She had a high bow on her right last winter. The vet recommended a shorter toe. We passed the request along to the farrier. He said there is nothing wrong with her toe but shortened it anyway per vet request. Recently, I noticed a squaring of the toe on her left shoe. Also, there is a lot of wear on the toes of her shoes, especially the right side. I worry that she might be pre-navicular, but the farrier says there is nothing wrong with the wear, its completely normal. We plan to get the vet out soon, but I am curious. Could her problems be due to improper trimming by the farrier? Is it ever normal to have uneven wear on the shoes?

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses uneven wear on shoes.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"Uneven wear is not uncommon, and does not mean bad farriery.  Especially when dealing with a horse that has any sort of lameness issues.  If you look at people's shoes, you will see that very few wear them symmetrically, yet that does not mean there is a problem.  You do have to be careful playing the vet against the farrier.  A good farrier will know a lot about what is going on on the bottom of the foot."


Q) My horse is being treated for "loss of bone" and a torn suspensory ligament. After MRI he was also diagnosed with "moderate navicular". He has been treated with Tildren. It's been two months now. The first vet recommended a wedge pad for his high/low syndrome and the "stem cell" vet said take the shoes off completely while he's on stall rest so they can spread out. Since he doesn't seem to be getting any better I'd like to shoe him again and see if that will help. My question is do I need to use pads or can I get away with an aluminum wedge?

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses how to shoe a horse with moderate pain in the navicular.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"I personally would much rather use a wedged shoe without the pads if I can get away with it.  The aluminum navicular bar shoes are a pretty good shoe for horses with pain in the navicular region, and I use them more often than I would a wedge pad.  If there is any foot tenderness with hoof testers, I will often do a pour-in with Equipak as well."


Q) My 15 year old mare has a slight case of white line disease, i would like if you could send me on info on how to get rid of the disease and how to prevent it in the future. As i live in Ireland and we have alot of rain, the fields always tend to be wet, and my mare hates stables.

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses treatment of White Line Disease.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"I like using a solution called White Lightening.  Begin by having a competent farrier do a resection if needed, and then use the White Lightening according to the directions.  It is a bit labor intensive, but I have had tremendous results with it.  On a side note, I think that hot fitting goes a long way towards keeping the horse from getting white line disease.  It's not proven, but horses in my business that get hot fit all the time rarely present with white line disease.  Every time the horse is shod, the flora, fauna, and bacteria are killed by heat."


Q) My vet recommended I try steel horseshoes on my horse that are called trailers. Have you heard of these? My horse needs the added support for his heels. 

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses horseshoes known as trailers.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"A trailer is created by extending the lateral heel of the hind shoe so that is comes behind the foot at roughly a 45degree angle.  It is used only on the outside heel of hind feet.  If applied to the inside heel, the horse can interfere and hurt their opposite leg.  If used on the front feet, it will likely get stepped on by a back foot and cause the shoe to come off or the horse to fall.  I use them on horses that overreach, or on some horses that are cow-hocked.  You do have to be careful that the trailers are not extended so far that they become leverage on the heel instead of support."


Q) So my horse foundered on all 4 and has rotation in her front feet, will she be able to overcome everything will regular visits from the farrier?

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses a very difficult case where a horse has foundered at all four of its hooves.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"That is a really tough question, and one that cannot be answered directly.  There are horses that have only the slightest amount of rotation, yet they don't respond, and end up having to be destroyed.  Then, there are others that look like there is no way for them to recover, yet they become sound and usable again.  If you have a very good farrier-vet team, the horse responds well, and you do everything that you are told to do concerning you horse, there is a chance.  Be aware that even with all that, there is also a chance that the horse will not recover.  Sorry that this has happened."


Q) Hi. I am wondering if there is any special ways a horse with a cyst on the flexor surface should be shod or a special shoe that will help? The cyst was discovered when he had xrays done when he fractured his coffin bone almost 2 years ago. The fracture has since healed and he is rideable now sometimes. My Appaloosa gelding is only 6 and I'm trying to help him the best I can.

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses shoeing options to help a horse with a cyst on the flexor surface of the navicular bone.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"You don't say what bone the cyst is on for certain, but I am taking that it is on the flexor surface of the navicular bone.  This is the palmar aspect of the navicular bone where the deep flexor tendon passes over.  There is a bursa sac in this area called the podotrochlear bursa, or navicular bursa, and it lubricates the tendon as it moves over the navicular bone.  A cyst on this surface changes the shape of this area, and can cause the horse pain and discomfort.  If you increase the angle of the foot a few degrees, you will decrease the stress on the deep flexor tendon, and that should alleviate a little bit of the pain.  You can also put a rocker toe on the shoe that will decrease change break over, and should also help the horse feel better.  There is an aluminum egg-bar navicular shoe that I use all the time on horses like this.  You can get either a wedged heel aluminum egg-bar, or the navicular egg-bar.  Both will help, but some horses do like the navicular egg-bar better, and it is my first choice.  Navicular can't be fixed, only managed, so bear in mind that it is a degenerative disease.  Good luck."


Q) my horse had a wall separation. I cut it out clean an dry it, then i patch it. The first patch lasted 4 weeks now the 2nd patch wont stay on it only stayed on for week an half. Do you have any suggestions?.

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses patches.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"What sort of patch did you use?  Do you know why you had the separation?  Why did you want to patch it in the first place?  Was there any lameness?  All of these are important questions to help find the answer.  With the urethane products, it is a chemical bond.  As such, it has to be clean and dry.  With the acrylics, it is a mechanical bond.  It has to be clean.  The product also has to be thick enough to cure.  I used to try to feather out my SuperFast so that I would use less, and it would not get hot enough to cure."


Q) We have used the same farrier for the past four/five years for our four horses. The past year, our horses have been losing shoes between scheduled shoeings. In the latest incident three of our horses have lost shoes since they were re-shod one month ago. Two of the horses are at the trainers, and one is at our barn Why are our horses losing shoes all the time now? Thanks.

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses the why horses may be losing their shoes between shoeings.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"Horse lose shoes for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes it is the farrier's fault, but not always.  If you consider what a shoe goes through during the life of a shoeing cycle, it is amazing that we don't lose more shoes.  That being said, I would look at all the variables to consider what might be happening.  Do the horses have as good a feet as they had in years past, or did the diet or environment get changed?  Do you know where and how the shoes came off?  Has the farrier changed their shoeing style?  Is the farrier hot shoeing and clipping the horses to help the shoes stay on?  There is no way to give you a direct answer to this question, but with a little detective work, you may be able to figure out the cause. Thanks for this question, and please keep them coming."


Q) My horse has been quicked by the farrier. Now what?

In this edition of "Ask the Expert," Chris Gregory discusses the "Q" word.

Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School gives us the answer:

"When a horse is quicked, it is the same as you getting a cut or small puncture on your hand. Horses are usually nail quicked by a nail that is driven into the sensitive structures, or sole quicked by cutting too deep with a knife. Horses can also have punctures or cuts from sharp rocks or other hazards in their environment. If the injury does not get infected, then there is not a problem, and it should heal fine. If it does get infected, then it can be a big problem. For a horse, when it gets infected, we have an abscess. I will cover abscesses in a later entry.

Quicking a foot is a problem that is going to happen to anyone that shoes enough horses. The margin of error that a farrier has to avoid entering the sensitive structures is very small. Add to that the fact that the farrier is working on a large animal in less than perfect situations, with potentially abnormal or unusual conformation. As such, it is going to happen.

The important thing for the farrier is to let the owner know that it has happened, and to treat the exposed sensitive structure. If it has been done with a nail, the product Hot Nail by Hawthorne’s Products is an excellent solution to put in the hole. The farrier should remove that nail, leave the hole open, and put a few drops of Hot Nail into the hole. In the event that it is a sole quick, Hot Nail is fine, or place a pad on the foot with a medicated packing under the pad. No one should panic.

For the owner you should insure that the horse has an up to date tetanus vaccination, and then watch for signs of infection and lameness. With an abscess, the horse will be sore enough that it can be non-weight bearing, or a grade 4 on the Obel Lameness Scale. If a problem develops, call the farrier and they can deal with it. Since the farrier should know the exact location of the problem, there is a better chance that they can drain the abscess without having to do as much knife work as someone that does not know where the horse was quicked.

Thanks for this question, and please keep them coming."


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