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telzata
Hopefully this will be an informative discussion on a subject that is not well known to some horse people. I know that many breeds can have this, NOT just the arabians. Have you seen any particular examples in any particular bloodlines????

Does it hinder the horse movement in any way? Can the foot be helped in any way by a farrier? Any other comments on this topic?

Heather
bterlaan
First, define clubfoot. For me there is nly one true clubfoot and that is the one which is casue dby contraction of the deep digital flexor tendon, causing the heels ro be raised. It may go together with a hoofbone that does not run parallel to the sole anymore (like in laminitis). I don't mean the flexor tendons, which cause buckling of the fetlock joints. I also don't mean the result of always having one foot behind when grazing, wjhich casues one foot to be a bit steeper than the other. In a true clubfoot the axis of the foot is broken at the crown.

It does hinder the horse in its movement and it can only be helped by a good farrier if you are quick about it. If you wait till the horse is a year old, you are too late.

One reason for clubfoot development is copper deficiency. That was the reason that in a stud farm I once visited roughly half of the horses had clubfeet or something like it. Copper deficieny is obviously not inherited. However, I did wonder why only half of the horses had club feet, whereas all of them must have had the copper deficiency. So I think that there must be some other factor that makes horses susceptible to copper deficieny. It is known that in the absorption of minerals heredity plays a role, and horses with a good absorption will suffer less from minral deficiency than horses with poor absorption. Perhaps that was the reason, I don't know. It is certainly not a simple recessively inherited trait, because then it would occur much more often in a recongnisable way. I think more than one factor plays a role, reason whhy its occurrence is rather erratic and nobody seems to know exactly where it comes from. If there is some inherited trait, I myself would look for it in the mineral absorption of the horse. However, it is clear that you would not see clubfeet caused by eg copper deificiency in an environment with enough copper. In those circumstances you would not be able to recognize poor absorbers.

A very experienced vet once told me that he was convinced that 95% of clubfeet was caused by injuries during the growing age. A horse with an injured leg and would redistribute its weight so as to spare the wounded leg. This would cause a bad distribution of weight and overloading of the non-injured legs. If this situation went on for some months in a period of serious growth, eg in a yearling, that overloading yould cause a clubfoot.

So summarizing, people tend to call something a clubfoot which isn't one, it is hinders the horse, it is not clearly inherited, copper deficieny or injury may cause it. This is my knowledge in one sentence. I'd be inetrested to hear more.
Georgia
Hi bterlaan and Heather,

Good topic, I'm hoping to learn something on this one. I don't ever recall seeing a horse in the 70's and early 80's with a club foot. That doesn't mean there wasn't one, I never saw one.

I was just wondering if a copper deficieny causing 50% to have club feet ...wouldn't you supplement copper?? <_< and not have any with club feet?? Wouldn't you think if the club feet was not genetic and then if the problem is not being able to absorb minerals in horses would be a genetic disorder?? I've also seen a lot of horses that have been born and grown up not under the best of feed / care circumstances and not have club feet!?!

I would definately have to look at the bloodlines of that farm vs other farms with the same breeding. I bred & trained race horse for over a decade and not once did I have an injury cause a club foot, I would think that would be rare, if possible..

My brother was born with a club foot, had to wear a brace and special shoe. Never was a good runner although he could hit a baseball out of the park, the only way he got a run. Genetic?? I don't know. don't know of any others in my family with one. A defect, yes in that he was born with a disability. Possibly his feet didn't develop properly because of a copper deficieny in my mother??. Although I was born 2.5 yrs prior to my brother, no club feet. If 50 % of my family was born with a club foot, a genetic disorder, I'm sure the doctors would say so no matter what the underlying cause was. At 50% my family was prone to the problem, I'd say.. Maybe 50% of my family couldn't absorb copper!?! Then what is the genetic disorder, copper absorbtion that causes club feet.

I don't know, just throwing out thoughts and questions. smile.gif

Georgia
cvm2002
I would have to argue that there is no positive correlation *specifically* between copper deficiency and club footedness. We do know that copper and other trace mineral deficiencies in the mare while she gestates increases the risk of ALL developmental orthopedic diseases (flexural deformities, angular deformities, OCD, etc). Simply supplementing prenatal vitamins will NOT eliminate the problems all together, however. I personally feel there are a number of factors that play a roll in the "birth" of a club foot, and unfortunately, I think genetics DOES play a very strong roll.
Elixir
bterlaan,

Great definition of a club foot! The term is OFTEN misused. The equine club foot is about as rare as a human club foot. Thanks for the good info.
Susan
diane
QUOTE (cvm2002 @ Apr 10 2005, 09:42 PM)
I would have to argue that there is no positive correlation *specifically* between copper deficiency and club footedness.  We do know that copper and other trace mineral deficiencies in the mare while she gestates increases the risk of ALL developmental orthopedic diseases (flexural deformities, angular deformities, OCD, etc).  Simply supplementing prenatal vitamins will NOT eliminate the problems all together, however.   I personally feel there are a number of factors that play a roll in the "birth" of a club foot, and unfortunately, I think genetics DOES play a very strong roll.

I agree with this post.
And concur with bterlaan's thoughts. A mare I bred with a club hoof (at least my vet thought it was and this filly as a weanling was operated on) was born at a time I was not supplementing my horses diet with a 'natural' additives. Since then, even with this mare who was bred to stallions with no known 'club hoof' inflictions (not saying there wasn't any) her foals didn't show any signs of her disposition. And yes I was supplementing 'natural' additives - including copper sulphate. I'm still supplementing copper sulphate but where possible am doing it ad-lib so the horses take what they need, when they need it. A maternal half sister to the above mare does not show the tendency of club hoof at all but she has 'developed' fading pink skin syndrome (another sign, apparently of copper deficiency). Since accessing ad-lib supplementation (including copper) the FPSS is, wink.gif, definitely fading biggrin.gif
Recently (better late than never) I had the soil tested for my/our land. The results came back really positive for the land biggrin.gif Interestingly, slightly off-topic, I read somewhere where paralysis ticks are not found in my region (a very small region which is being reduced slowly). It was also mentioned that paralysis ticks will not live in soils which are adequate with copper suphate! All kind of makes sense. huh.gif
diane
QUOTE (Elixir @ Apr 10 2005, 10:12 PM)
...The term is OFTEN misused.

Re the equine club hoof - I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. People looking for faults will find them, nothing is perfect.
bterlaan
Georgia, some more info I got from the stud farm involved: it was a very tricky thing: they had tested the soil and it was not deficient in copper. The problem turned out to be that the copper was present in a form that was not taken up by the plants and hence by the horses. So it took them a long time before they got the idea that it might be a deficiency. In fact they asked a university to look at the problem and it was them who found out about the form of copper. I have no information from a later date and I don't know if they supplement their horses with copper now, but I suppose they do. In fact his story made me have the blood of my horses checked for minerals now and then, which is the only way to know what is going on in the horse. And even then, I read that the blood values are no guarantee that everything is OK in the organs, but it is the best we can do. It is a fascinating subject, since leg faults are always an issue with horses and if they can be caused by minerlal deficiency it is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Georgia
Hi all,

Just a few more questions:

Are there any states that are identified as having a problem with club feet more so than others?
or copper deficiencies?

How prevenlant is this problem?

What do you think is the difference from the 60's - 80's and from 90's to now?

Many Thanks
Georgia
anitae
I'd like to add to bterlaan's comment regarding the benefit of having a farrier jump on this problem:

A friend of mine bought a long yearling (18 mo), SE, as a family trail horse. He had a "clubby" foot -- xrays showed VERY minor bone deviation, but the external evidence was classic (high heel/bulge in the front hoof wall). We'll never know WHY, but here was an othewise wonderful horse with a minor, but developing problem. My friend has 3 other horses of very similar breeding -- no evidence of problems.

The farrier came every 10-14 days for 6 months, then showed my friend how to rasp to keep the heel down, while he continued to come every 5-6 weeks for the next year to keep the shape and leveling exacting right. They really kept on top of things. Now the horse is 5 years old; xrays show NO deviation and you have to look very closely to see there is a slight inclination toward long heel if he is not trimmed regularly. This seems to be a farrier success story dealing with a mild case caught early (probably would have been even easier if caught when less than a year old).

Just another example of why it is important to have good farrier work on babies.

Anita

Anita
Andante1
my jury is still out on this one, some bloodlines have a higher incidence of uneven feet than others:-)

Riding soundness is the most obvious upshot of a 'club' footed horse. Using a good farrier, or getting into barefoot trims (ironhorse.com? or is it ironhoof.com?) in order to create balanced foot shapes in your horses feet is very important. HOWEVER, my farrier cautioned that people have to be careful not to knock off too much heel, otherwise they place too much strain on the tendons if the horse has legs of different lengths.

My mare was club footed, (more descriptively, she was very narrow in her off fore compared to her other feet, and higher in the heel), in her case this led to severe assymetry over the spine, muscle deterioration, behavioural problems and severe pain scenarios. She was physically unsound by age of 10, unrideable and dangerous to handle because of the pain. I put her down and don't regret doing that, however she was a more extreme example.

Another gelding had one foot a size smaller than the other foot, with the heels approximately equal off the ground and good frog development in both feet. At 10 years old, vetchecked and horse is perfectly sound, with no pain scenarios.

My veterinary chiropractor mentioned that you get that, some horses will be club footed and yet still be sound within themselves. They appear to have compensating conformation that allows them to get around with that clubby foot without problems, and yet other horses, like mare, are never sound and have a very tough life as a result.

Club feet are something we would all do well to be aware of and try not to breed on. I do feel that quality foot management is a must, as the saying goes, no foot no horse, and it is extremely true. There is a wealth of information out there on the internet regarding correct management of horse feet, and being able to recognise good foot care over poor foot care practices is a must for anyone who has a horse that they wish to keep sound.
barbara.gregory
Several years ago I saw a mare who was expecting her 13th foal and she had a club foot. I was told that none of her foals had ever had any foot problem, certainly foal number 13 didn't.

My colt has a foot which could almost be mistaken for a club foot although he had normal feet until he was about 18 months old. He then moved to a yard where he had no turnout and just stood on dry shavings 24/7 with some walking out in hand for about 6 -8 months. The heels on his front feet have contracted and I doubt they will ever come correct again, a great shame. We humans have a lot to answer for!

regards

Barbara
elociN
From www.gutenberg.org a very usefull and interesting free e-book

Title: Diseases of the Horse's Foot

Author: Harry Caulton Reeks

Release Date: February 21, 2004 [EBook #11204]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



FIG. 83.—THE CLUB-FOOT.

Symptoms.—Even in its least pronounced form the condition is apparent at a glance, the alteration in the angle formed by the hoof with the ground striking the eye at once, and the heels, as compared with the toe, appearing much too high. When the condition is slight, the wall of the toe is about twice as high as that of the heels, while in the most marked form the toe and the heels may in height be nearly equal (see Fig. 83). When congenital, but little interference with the action is noticed. Such animals, by reason of their 'stiltiness,' are unfit for the saddle, but at ordinary work will perform their duties equally well with the animal of normal-shaped feet. When acquired as the result of overwork, of contracted tendons, or other causes, however, the gait becomes stumbling and uncertain. The body-weight is transferred from the heels to the anterior parts of the foot, and the shoe shows undue signs of wear at the toe.

Causes.—Upright hoof is undoubtedly hereditary, and is even seen as a natural conformation in the feet of asses and mules. When hereditary in the horse, however, it is certainly a defect, and is associated commonly with an upright limb, and a short, upright pastern (see Fig. 83).

Among other causes, we may enumerate sprains or wounds of the flexor tendons, or any disease of the limbs for a long time preventing extension of the fetlock-joint, such as sprains or injuries of the posterior ligaments of the limb, splints or ringbones so placed as to interfere with the movements of the flexor tendons, or, in the hind-limb, spavin, keeping for some months the fetlock in a state of flexion. In the very young animal the condition may be induced by an improper paring of the foot—cutting away too much at the toe, and allowing the heels to remain.

Treatment.—When the condition is congenital, no treatment at all is indicated. It might, in fact, be said that interference would tend rather to minimize than enhance the animal's usefulness; for, in this case, the club-shaped feet are in all probability due to faulty conformation above. In other words, the upright hoof is in this instance but a natural result of the animal's build, with which useful interference is impossible.

Where the upright hoof is a consequence of excessive paring of the toe, or insufficient removal of the heels, the condition may be remedied by directing attention to those particulars, and preventing their continuance. At the same time, a greater obliquity of the limb axis may be given by the use of a suitable shoe. The shoe indicated is a short one, with thin heels and a thick toe. In some cases the abnormality may be remedied by the use of a tip. Whatever method is adopted, care must be taken not to attempt too positive a change in the direction of the limb at one operation. The process must be gradual.

In cases where the abnormality has been brought about by wounds to the flexor tendons, the alteration in the direction of the limb is often so great as to produce 'knuckling over' of the fetlock. This, to a very great extent, may be remedied by the use of a shoe with calkins and an extended toe-piece (see Fig. 84).
Jareach
I knew a mare (on a farm with 20 horses) with a club foot, 3 of her 4 children who where born on that farm had a club foot (as shown on the picture in above message). Because the ferrier came every month to take care of these horses with special shoes they where able to have a nice life. They even won prices on shows. One mare became a very nice riding horse, one a breeding stallion in USA and one mare was to small when I left that farm. I don't know what became of her. So I think it is inheritable for a large extent. I am no expert at all, but, eventhough the horses had a good life, I would not breed horses with is problem.
Regards,
Jareach
HLM
Dear Georgia

al this bothers me too. I have seen so many club feet at the EE, coming from various states. What I dont understand is, that other breeds from such states dont have this problem.
and going back in time, dont remember a clubfooted SE either.
Of course, as you all know, I have my own thoughts on how conformation and mental faults come about. But let's not get into this one now, just let's try to solve the problem by recognizing facts.

Have a nice day
Hansi biggrin.gif
Guest
QUOTE (telzata @ Apr 10 2005, 06:33 PM)
Hopefully this will be an informative discussion on a subject that is not well known to some horse people.  I know that many breeds can have this, NOT just the arabians.  Have you seen any particular examples in any particular bloodlines????

Does it hinder the horse movement in any way?  Can the foot be helped in any way by a farrier?  Any other comments on this topic?

Heather

i've seen it in a grade horse and he was successfully used as a riding horse . i've also seen a FEI Dressage school master who was severely overe at the knee but that's not a cubbed foot. BARB
Guest
QUOTE (Guest @ Apr 11 2005, 01:38 PM)
QUOTE (telzata @ Apr 10 2005, 06:33 PM)
Hopefully this will be an informative discussion on a subject that is not well known to some horse people.  I know that many breeds can have this, NOT just the arabians.  Have you seen any particular examples in any particular bloodlines????

Does it hinder the horse movement in any way?  Can the foot be helped in any way by a farrier?  Any other comments on this topic?

Heather

i've seen it in a grade horse and he was successfully used as a riding horse . i've also seen a FEI Dressage school master who was severely overe at the knee but that's not a cubbed foot. BARB

Hindrence of movement depoends on the severity of the clubbed foot meaning how bad it is i personally would not buy a horse with clubbed foot
Guest
QUOTE (bterlaan @ Apr 11 2005, 12:36 AM)
Georgia, some more info I got from the stud farm involved: it was a very tricky thing: they had tested the soil and it was not deficient in copper. The problem turned out to be that the copper was present in a form that was not taken up by the plants and hence by the horses. So it took them a long time before they got the idea that it might be a deficiency. In fact they asked a university to look at the problem and it was them who found out about the form of copper. I have no information from a later date and I don't know if they supplement their horses with copper now, but I suppose they do. In fact his story made me have the blood of my horses checked for minerals now and then, which is the only way to know  what is going on in the horse. And even then, I read that the blood values are no guarantee that everything is OK in the organs, but it is the best we can do. It is a fascinating subject, since leg faults are always an issue with horses and if they can be caused by minerlal deficiency it is definitely something to keep an eye on.

wow very interesting topic and great answer Bianca ... I'm learning alot here thanx
Guest
QUOTE (elociN @ Apr 11 2005, 12:45 PM)
From www.gutenberg.org a very usefull and interesting free e-book

Title: Diseases of the Horse's Foot

Author: Harry Caulton Reeks

Release Date: February 21, 2004 [EBook #11204]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



FIG. 83.—THE CLUB-FOOT.

Symptoms.—Even in its least pronounced form the condition is apparent at a glance, the alteration in the angle formed by the hoof with the ground striking the eye at once, and the heels, as compared with the toe, appearing much too high. When the condition is slight, the wall of the toe is about twice as high as that of the heels, while in the most marked form the toe and the heels may in height be nearly equal (see Fig. 83). When congenital, but little interference with the action is noticed. Such animals, by reason of their 'stiltiness,' are unfit for the saddle, but at ordinary work will perform their duties equally well with the animal of normal-shaped feet. When acquired as the result of overwork, of contracted tendons, or other causes, however, the gait becomes stumbling and uncertain. The body-weight is transferred from the heels to the anterior parts of the foot, and the shoe shows undue signs of wear at the toe.

Causes.—Upright hoof is undoubtedly hereditary, and is even seen as a natural conformation in the feet of asses and mules. When hereditary in the horse, however, it is certainly a defect, and is associated commonly with an upright limb, and a short, upright pastern (see Fig. 83).

Among other causes, we may enumerate sprains or wounds of the flexor tendons, or any disease of the limbs for a long time preventing extension of the fetlock-joint, such as sprains or injuries of the posterior ligaments of the limb, splints or ringbones so placed as to interfere with the movements of the flexor tendons, or, in the hind-limb, spavin, keeping for some months the fetlock in a state of flexion. In the very young animal the condition may be induced by an improper paring of the foot—cutting away too much at the toe, and allowing the heels to remain.

Treatment.—When the condition is congenital, no treatment at all is indicated. It might, in fact, be said that interference would tend rather to minimize than enhance the animal's usefulness; for, in this case, the club-shaped feet are in all probability due to faulty conformation above. In other words, the upright hoof is in this instance but a natural result of the animal's build, with which useful interference is impossible.

Where the upright hoof is a consequence of excessive paring of the toe, or insufficient removal of the heels, the condition may be remedied by directing attention to those particulars, and preventing their continuance. At the same time, a greater obliquity of the limb axis may be given by the use of a suitable shoe. The shoe indicated is a short one, with thin heels and a thick toe. In some cases the abnormality may be remedied by the use of a tip. Whatever method is adopted, care must be taken not to attempt too positive a change in the direction of the limb at one operation. The process must be gradual.

In cases where the abnormality has been brought about by wounds to the flexor tendons, the alteration in the direction of the limb is often so great as to produce 'knuckling over' of the fetlock. This, to a very great extent, may be remedied by the use of a shoe with calkins and an extended toe-piece (see Fig. 84).

thanx for the info
Interested
PLEASE could someone post a picture of a true club foot. Chop the horse off though so no-one can identify the horse and that way no-one gets upset wink.gif

I think my blacksmith has made my horse have club feet as the heels are very long when I compare to picture of other horses.

Thanks you for all pictures.
bterlaan
I think I have some very informative pictures at home in my computer, I'll look tonight.

Hansi, we have gone through this before smile.gif and I don't think we use the same definition. The true clubfoot I defined above is really rather rare, fortunately. Of course there are many horses with front feet that are not exactly the same in various degrees. And the clubfeet I saw were in SEs.

The farrier can do a lot, wrong and right. I have seen a horse that lost the "spread" of its heels because the farrier systematically put on shoes that were too small. A later, better farrier could not completely repair the damage so done.

Yet another thing was touched upon above: a growing foal needs hard ground to stand upon and develop its hooves and the hoof mechanism. If you keep a horse on soft ground only, you have no chance to correct anything that is not quite right, and the horse may even develop faults that weren't there before. It is very important to have hard ground for your horse if you want to correct something. The kind of soil or bedding makes a lot of difference.I have seen hooves grown broad and flat on different bedding or different soil. I saw that with straw vs. wood cuttings, but I cannot remember which way it went. It happened rather fast, in a few months or so, and I found it quite fascinating to see the feet change so much due to such a "simple" difference. So many things play a role!
HLM
Der Bterlaan

Well, we have sugar sand here, and have no club feet. I know exactly what club feet are and seldom has this to do with the soil they stand on. If all this be correct, than all horses in the deserts would be clubfooted.

No, I think it is enherited, the true clubfoot, that is. Of course in my opinion one never knows which sperm grows up through A.I. It does not show on the microspcope which tootsie has a problem of the sperms.

And a horse having it, is dangerous to ride, because it will stumble or worse. To me it is a bad fault.

Indeed, sometimes horses can have a difference between their hoofs, one a bit smaller or wider than the other. But this is not detrimental. A club foot is!

The arabian horse is a gallopper and should have low heels, just like a TB.

Just my opinion

Have a nice day
Hansi biggrin.gif
bterlaan
Here, as promoised, the pictures of a clubfoot. I took them from a book called "Equine Lameness" , , Wirtten by Christine King, BVSc,MACVSc.MVetClinStud, research staff of Equine Research Inc., and Richard Mansmann, VMD,PhD, edited by Don Wagoner, 1997, pages 583 (FIg. 14-29 and 586 (Fig. 14-31).
bterlaan
Here the seocnd picture. Sorry, I don't know how to put more tha none picture in one post.
HLM
Dear Bterlaan

This is a very severe case of a club foot.You can imagine that the horse can not perform with same in anything. NOne of such I saw at the EE, most all were much lesser severe.

Hansi biggrin.gif
bterlaan
Fortunately so, but I suppose they took extreme cases for teaching purposes. Once you have seen such severe cases, you'll also be able to recognize less severe cases. At least that is my experience. The book contains more bad "cases", which make your stomach turn, but it contains very useful information.
Hoogie
Thanks for those photos - I now realise that most of the "clubbed" feet I have seen are possibly more likely to be "boxy" feet. I do think it is hereditary to some extent - I have seen a stallion with one boxy foot who seemed to pass it on to his progeny some of the time - however, most of the progeny were okay and very good under saddle.

One of my own mares, of El Shaklan lines, is more prone to developing boxy feet if not trimmed often enough - when I first bought her as a weanling I noticed that I had to be very vigilant about getting the farrier out on time - whereas my predominantly egyptian mare of Asfour lines has great feet which always wear evenly. These mares appear to have passed on the same traits to their daughters. So far the aforementioned mare still has good feet - but if she wasn't cared for correclty then she could well be an unsound horse... so while genetics plays a part correct trimming and feeding is the most important thing to prevent problem feet (in my horse, anyay).
bterlaan
Without wanting to defame these lines, because I love them, and they aer truely wonderful horses, but I did notice on photos of El Shaklan lines and related lines that sometimes a rather steep front end occurs. I mean a steep shoulder and steep pasterns. Very steep pasterns may lead to boxy feet because the angle. From the same book I have two other pictures to show. But first I'dlike go back to definition: I think that many people use the term clubfoot for both types of boxy feet. The difference is of course the tendon oinvolved, which pulls on different parts of the foot, so tha tin the "true" clubfoot the coffin joint is affected and in the boxy foot (German: Stelzfuss; I don't know if an English term exists; it wasn't in the book) it is the fetlock joint.
First picture.
bterlaan
Second picture: Ooops
bterlaan
Again:
Farrier
When a foal is born, both of his deep digital flexor tendons have the same length. When the foal is trotting, standing or running, he/she creates a strong leg. On this leg is more pressure, this is the driving foot= a flat(ter) foot. Less using the other foot makes the tendon more compact. That foot, with less pressure on the hoof, is the clubfoot.
A "normal" front hoofwall makes 45 degrees with the floor. A clubfoot makes 60 degrees ore more.
The farrier can handle this hoof every two weeks to make the heels lower, so there come more pression on the heelside of this high foot. More pression means longer tendon( DDFT). The heel is going down, the hoof looks more normal. The different use of both of leggs (tendons) is still exists.

When the mother of this foal had a left front clubfoot, it is mostly that the foal (when female) had a left front clubfoot.

When trimming every two weeks (within the first 3 months) and later every four weeks (between 3 and 12 months, even longer) you can "make" ideal hooves. But .. did your horse need ideal feet?

Greets
Georgia
QUOTE (Farrier @ Apr 11 2005, 10:20 PM)
When a foal is born, both of his deep digital flexor tendons have the same length.  When the foal is trotting, standing or running, he/she creates a strong leg. On this leg is more pressure, this is the driving foot= a flat(ter) foot.  Less using the other foot  makes the tendon more compact. That  foot, with less pressure on the hoof, is the clubfoot.
A "normal"  front hoofwall  makes 45 degrees with the floor.  A clubfoot makes 60 degrees ore more.
The farrier can handle this hoof every two weeks to make the heels lower, so there come more pression on the heelside of this high foot. More pression means longer tendon( DDFT).  The heel is going down, the hoof looks more normal. The different  use of both of leggs (tendons) is still exists.

When the mother of this foal had a left front clubfoot, it is mostly that the foal (when female) had a left front clubfoot.

When trimming every two weeks (within the first 3 months) and later every four weeks (between 3 and 12 months, even longer) you can "make"  ideal hooves.  But .. did your horse need ideal feet?

Greets

Hello Farrier,

In my race hoses if I wanted to make a change in the angle of the foot I wouldn't go anymore than 1-2 degrees at any one time.
(these were normal feet) If a farrier was working on a club footed horse how much heel would be safe to take off at any given time. Or maybe
not anymore than every 2 weeks for example as you have stated. Say my horse had 54 degee angles I would drop any more than 52 degrees.
(or raise it for that matter).

I guess what I'm asking in short is how much heel is safe to take off at anyone time and at what intervals.

Thank you all for the information, especially the ones posting the pictures.

Georgia
bterlaan
When correcting a club foot, there are definitely limits as to what you can do, especially when the horse gets older (over a year), because the elasticity of the tendons becomes less. When you lower the heels, the effect is to increase the tension on the deep flexor tendon so that it will stretch. However, as there is a limit to its elasticity, one has to be very careful not to obtain the undesired effect of a tilt of the hoofbone so that it points down and endangers the hoof sole, like in laminits. So in an older foal, the maximum you can do is to cut down the heel back to where it was, but not more and that is not a real correction. Shoes are most probably necessary and when the horse gets older the frog will get smaller as the weight of the hoof is in its front, not at the back, with the result that the hoof mechanism does not function as in a normal hoof. Nevertheless, with proper care such a horse can lead a useful life, but not be a top athlete of course. And depending on the severity of the club foot.
Kimberli Nelson
When I was growing up a Club foot was one where the toe simply did not grow and the heel did! Everything I have heard here is about a Contracted tendon which makes the foot look clubbed, but not a true Club foot.
A contracted tendon can be changed, cutting the deep flexor and trimming the heel will fix most of these. It could be passed on to foals but is also man made.
A Club foot, where the toe does not grow is inhereted and can not be changed. You can not make the toe grow if it won't grow.
So we are not talking about a true Club Foot here we are talking about Contracted Tendons which make the foot look Clubbed. There is a difference.
bterlaan
Kimberli, I see your point, but I never heard nor read of the condition you describe here. I am not a vet, but I have read many books and talked to quite some vets by now. I used the terminology of an "official" book, the one I cited above, it is no invention of myself.

Question: Why would the toe not grow whereas the heel would? I think perhaps a retracted tendon may have to do wit hthat? It casues too much weight on the toe and too little on the heel, which is why the foor becomes clubbed as well. Could you please give this a thought? Aren't we nevertheless speaking bout the same thing?
Kimberli Nelson
Not sure if I can help here or not.
Working with horses over many years and then with the vet. I noticed that people started caling almost any trouble with the foot a Club foot. I think that over the years we have gotten rid of the genes that cause a club foot. That is why is is actually very rare. Horses are born with club feet, you can't cause them but you can cause contracted tendons.
In the old days a farrier had two types of trims. One for placing a shoe on the foot and one for a barefoot horse. In the bare foot horse the quarters were scooped out and the hairline was not wavey like you see today. It is my feeling tha most farriers don't know much about trimming the foot for barefoot horses. They are taught how to trim for a shoe.
If you look at the horses that are caled club footed horses you might see not only a contrcted tendon but a compressed heel as well. These two things will cause the heel to grow while the toe is worn down. contracted heels can be fixed but you must pare down the heel so it is very low, about 1/2 inch from the bulbs. You also need to cut the groove between the frog and heel to help expand this area and do this every week. Not every 6 to 8 weeks. I have know farriers that only cut off what has grown and actually mark the hoof and only take off that much. This is not the correct way to trim a horse, there are many factors and growth patterns that need to be considered. If the hair line is wavey, the foot must be cut to match it. I promise you that the hair line will streighten out and the foot will be flat. The horse is bout 1000 pounds and when he stands on his foot the weight will cause the hoof wall to come down to the ground.
In a true club foot, the tow does not grow and you will see growth lines around the hoof that go down at the heel and uo in the toe. I have seen only a handfull of actual club feet on horses in 25 years. They were more common back then.
I ope this makes sense and I am not just rambling...
reluctant2
Hi Kimberly,
That is exactly how I understand an equine club foot. A true club foot is a genetic issue. Contracted tendons are so often diagnosed as being a club foot by even experienced farriers that I am bewildered as to where they were educated.
Anytime corrective shoeing fixes angulation issues you can bet it is a tendon problem. The anatomy of a true club foot involves a much different foot physiology.

We have a stallion, who drags his front feet when he is confined, it is almost a conscious exhibition of boredom. Consequently, he wears down the front of the hooves. Our farrier consistenly only removes heel and only cleans up the front and rarely messes with the sole.. After a trim the hoof angle and appearance is totally normal.
When that stallion is turned out he turns into a gymnast in free excercize, no trace of dragging hooves. He is a regular twinkle toes.
There have been visitors who immediately state that they would not breed to him because he seems to have club feet. In actuality he has the healthiest hooves and thickest walls of most Arabs.

Regards,
JAL
bterlaan
I have a üproblem in understanding what you say. Again:why would the toe not grow whereas the heel would? Could you tell me some more about the foot angles of the condition you describe, please? Because if you start with a normal foot, and the toe does not grow en the heel does, what will it look like? I have dsifficulty in imagining this. I think the reatracted tendion is the cause of what you describe. I have seen a mare with a clubfoot , that is, a retracted deep flexor. This had the following effects: outside: a broken axis at the crown, a high heel, a small frog and from the inside a tilted hoof bone due to the tension of the deep flexor. The vet warned to try to correct so as not to worsen the tilt in the hoof bone. The hoof looked just as you describe above with the growth rings. hence my questio nabout the angles. Could you please elaborate on that? It is very difficult to know what we are talking about if different people use the same name for different conditions or vice versa <_< And then people strat quarelling about herdity and possibly do not talk about the same thing blink.gif language IS difficult!
reluctant2
the URL shown below discusses this in greater length and makes some interesting observations.
http://www.horseshoes.com/farrierssites/si...ot/clubfoot.htm
Regards, JAL
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