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Old 06-23-2011, 07:52 PM  
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Flat soles?

Farrier said Katie has flat soles and she should not be ridden on gravel. What does "flat soles" mean (I think I understand the concept) but what causes it and what can I do to help with it? Is it a food/grass issue? From being FAT? Or from lack of exercise?

Katie was being to big of a butt for me to ask about it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:58 PM  
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I think it's just how her feet naturally grow. If you need to ride her on gravel you can put shoes on her. That's my understanding of it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:34 PM  
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It can be genetic, but very often, due to diet and low grade laminitis, with P3 getting lower in the hoof capsule (ie, dropped sole )
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:06 PM  
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Just for what it's worth, our paint mare was barefoot before we got her and her feet were literally flat. There was no concavity at all. Her soles were also thin enough to push with your thumb. She was always lame intermittantly, and xrays confirmed the thin soles. Even with shoes, she was tender on gravel or uneven surfaces.

When I changed farriers, he started putting pads on her and voila! A new horse! No more tenderness and completely sound. She has worn pads and shoes for over 3 years now without a single incident of lameness or any problems whatsoever. My farrier knows what kind of packing to use and when to change to another kind, depending on weather conditions and ground moisture. The mare has never had thrush, white line, or any problem, even with the sole of foot covered for this long of time.

I believe she just has genetically thin, flat feet. She has those little, pretty quarter horse feet, but they just aren't very good. She would have been the "main course" a long time ago if she were a wild horse. So shoes and pads have worked well for her and it is such an easy solution for what was such a frustrating problem before.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:55 AM  
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I am thinking it could be from weight. She is and has always been FAT (a 5-6 on the scale). She aint gonna like it but she is getting a feed/dry lot. (horsey weight watchers)
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:50 AM  
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Your horse will not get flat soles from being fat. Being fat could cause issues that lead to a flat footed horse (like laminitis) but that is about it.

If this is a recent development I would take x-rays to see if the p3 has sunk/rotated (laminitis).

If the flat soles are not a new development, then chances are it is genetics.

Flat feet could also be caused by a bad trim job (ask me how I know )

If your horse's genetics dictate flat feet then there is very little you can do while keeping the horse barefoot. Boots can be used when riding on rough terrain. Otherwise you are looking at putting at least front shoes on.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:02 AM  
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My mare has flat feet, totally genetic, I put shoes on her and she's great. A diet won't solve flat feet, some horses were just not bred with fantastic feet as a priority and need a little help from us.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:35 AM  
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This was her first trim with this farrier, no one else has ever mentioned flat soles. This lady is a "barefoot" trimmer and will/wants to work with her clients to best serve the horse.
It could have been a bad trim from the last guy. (I dont know enough to say)
Farrier didnt mention shoes (she will be back in six weeks, we are FINALLY on a schedule). She is pretty much a pasture pet so maybe that is why. I will see what she says when she comes back. We may be making a trip for X-rays.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:00 AM  
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Being a pasture puff shouldn't affect concavity of the hoof.
The normal possibilities for flat feet are:
rotation/sinking of p3
environment (in sand, mud, snow)
bad trim job
lacking diet
genetics

You just have to figure out which one. i'm guessing it isn't environment or a lacking diet...
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:48 AM  
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Being a pasture puff shouldn't affect concavity of the hoof.

Sorry: I meant MAYBE that was why the farrier did not mention shoes. Her pasture has no gravel....well a small place does. So I figured since she was a pasture puff maybe she didnt need shoes at this time. I will def ask and see if she thinks we need x-rays or not.

If there is a "sinking" what will that mean for her future? Shoes/boots?
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:39 AM  
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Can you post pictures of her feet, both side view and solar?
While it is true that flat feet can be genetic, it is also true that often flat feet are due to low grade lamintis, where the horse never is obviously lame, but where P3 progressively sinks in the hoof capsule, taking the sole with it, and the sole becoming thin
Ask me how I know!
Diet and lack of excerise can certainly be a major factor
I would be suspicious of a horse that is obese and on pasture, as to diet being a very major factor
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:47 AM  
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I wish Mark G could chime in here...his advice has always been excellent and well-written.

My QH gelding developed flat soles from a bad trim. I have learned to manage his trims so that he doesn't lame up.

His hooves are done 5-6 wks (should prob be more often) because he is
rasped only with nothing taken off the sole. We have been able
to keep him sound this way.

My farrier suggests shoe-ing him but, for several reasons, I want to
avoid it.

I had xrays done and the results were unremarkable with no signs of rotation. Due to our sandy soil and my light riding, the vet recommended remaining barefoot.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:27 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bella grace View Post
This was her first trim with this farrier, no one else has ever mentioned flat soles. This lady is a "barefoot" trimmer and will/wants to work with her clients to best serve the horse.
It could have been a bad trim from the last guy. (I dont know enough to say)
Farrier didnt mention shoes (she will be back in six weeks, we are FINALLY on a schedule). She is pretty much a pasture pet so maybe that is why. I will see what she says when she comes back. We may be making a trip for X-rays.
If there's anyone who can help build concavity back into your horses' hooves, it's a well-educated natural barefoot practitioner. (There are hoaxes out there, as well as with traditional farriers, so watch out and maybe get some reviews on each one). My friend's TB developed TERRIBLE flat hooves AFTER being shod for a couple of years to the point that the apex-of-the-frog area was really "puffy." (P3 was sitting very low at this point and sole was oh so sensitive) people said this horse "couldn't go without shoes" until his poor flat feet just blew out and couldn't hold a shoe anymore! A barefoot practitioner has been working on him now and with proper trimming, diet, and some GOOD excersize, the concavity, as well as toughening of the sole is coming back and he is moving once again!

Also, overweight can lead to a low-grade laminitis (I think someone had mentioned it already) which can cause a flat-footed horse, so might wanna watch out for that too. And some excersize. The main thing is *what is the horse telling you.* Is she lame when she walks on gravel? There are actually naturally flat-footed horses on there that have pretty tough lil hooves and can handle what most people think they can't. So more than anything, listen to what your horse tells you. If you're wanting to ride on some gravel during your ride, talk with your barefoot girl about this and get her to help you out. May not be able to do it overnight but gradual adaption is the key.

Good luck!
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:50 PM  
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My 20-something TWH has genetic flat soles.

I always had to shoe him all the way around to ride.

He was diagnosed with insulin resistance four years ago and underwent a complete diet change.

I often leave my horses loose in the yard and I could not believe my eyes when I asked him to "get to the barn" and he took off down the gravel driveway in his intermediate gait and never missed a beat.

There was a point in time he couldn't even cross the drive without gimping, much less hot-foot it 40 feet down the middle to the other side of the barn.

Did the change in diet do anything for the flat sole? Not at all, his soles are still flat.

It did harden his sole way up to where he can hit a good lick going down the gravel drive, regardless of his insulin resistance, which should be playing havoc with his hooves but hasn't so far. I have taken him, barefoot, a couple miles down the road and back without any issue. The Gloves I bought him are still in boxes in the closet because he doesn't need them.

A change in diet might not be the answer for every horse, but I can say, without question, it pretty much gave my IR horse a new set of hooves that don't need shoes.

Flat soles aren't a death sentence by any means if they are well cared for
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:13 PM  
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Thank you for that testimony walkinthewalk! When you asked him to "get to the barn" did you mean he was barefooted at that time? I have only known of a few flat footed horses before but most are barefooted and well cared for. And they do really well.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:13 PM  
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My mare was barefoot and flat as a pancake when we got her. My wonderful farrier has actually been able to get some concavity to the hooves now, and along with pads on the front, and shoes all around, she is good on our rocky, hard terrain. You gotta work with each animal as an individual, taking into consideration both their anatomy and the type of footing they will be on. With my mare's thin soles, making her go barefoot or even with just shoes would be asking for an abscess.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:36 AM  
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Thank you for that testimony walkinthewalk! When you asked him to "get to the barn" did you mean he was barefooted at that time? I have only known of a few flat footed horses before but most are barefooted and well cared for. And they do really well.
Yes, he was barefoot. The insulin resistance exploded his hock/ankle arthritis, so his riding time is now limited to short hacks. He hasn't worn shoes in over 4 years.

He is the horse in my avatar. We were dressed Plantation style for the Christmas Parade "before IR". He is now 23-1/2 and the love of my life

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Old 06-25-2011, 08:16 AM  
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Walkinthewalk,
You said that the IR exploded his arthritis. I am interested in hearing more about this. Do you know of any research that connects IR to worsening of arthritic conditions? If so, I'd really like to look at them.
My mule developed IR and extremely bad pollen allergies at the same time. Laminitis followed. After two years of treatment (major diet change, nuclear bone scans for diagnosis, allergy testing and shots, therapeutic pads and shoes) her ringbone, which had been stable, suddenly started to flare up. We tried joint injections which gave her relief for only 2 months, during which time she developed a rare cancer for equines (fibrosarcoma) which was removed with laser surgery. When the ringbone pain returned and I could not keep her comfortable any longer, I had her euthanized.
I know that the IR and allergies can trigger laminitis. But I had not known that the IR would also cause arthritis to flare up. The lameness specialist never mentioned this to me, either. I have always wondered about some kind of connection between all the conditions my mule had - she even had a sarcoid tumor several years earlier which was successfully removed and bilateral cataracts - maybe from a previous bout of uveitis (she was an appaloosa.) I suspect an autoimmune disorder, but no one can tell me of a known syndrome or condition that connects all the dots.
So I am just wondering if her arthritic flare was also due to the IR - one more dot in the picture. Please let me know of any other info you have on this. Thanks.
PS: My mule had the most beautifully concave hooves with very thick walls and soles. Her IR treatment even got her coffin bones to raise back to near normal positions and the inflammation was resolved, as verified by nuclear bone scan - but then the arthritis got her.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:57 AM  
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Dixiemom, in the beginning I can remember reading somewhere that insulin resistance can possibly exacerbate arthritis issues, but I didn't save that link.

I know the two issues sure seemed to coincide. I couldn't blame it on extreme weather because it was mid-May when all metabolic heck broke loose.

So far, I am managing him with powdered NSAIDS that are not prescription. I also bought an infrared therapy pad that I use on him in the colder months. It does seem to help but I'm not sure it helps enough for the amount of money it cost.

Good old Absorbine also comes to the rescue in the cold months.

At this point in time, he is walking out of his stall in the AM with barely a hitch in his gitalong. Someone that didn't know what they were looking at, would not know he is arthritic.

This isn't the article I first read, but it talks about "oxidative stress" and might be of some help.

http://www.timbercreekvet.com/site/v...tiveStress.pml

Of course, no veterinarian informative link would be complete without trying to sell us something, but it is at least something worth looking into

The article I read when my horse first got sick, just flat out said insulin resistance can possibly aggravate arthritis but with no explanation.

To the OP: Apologies for hi-jacking. These are pics of my insulin resistant, flat-footed guy's LF hoof taken just about a year ago. I have not kept up with pictures since I took everyone's trimming back, but this will give you an idea.

LF at 5 weeks before trim.


LF during trim (my Trimmer was still trimming for me). Lots of toe for 5 weeks, but this horse has always grown toe at warp speed.


LF, the finished product. Little-to-no concavity. They've always been this way; the difference now is that they are tough enough to go down 500' of gravel drive without missing a beat. I won't ask him to gait, I just want to test him that length to see how his "wiggies" are maintaining.


And from the top after the trim. He is a Tennessee Walker, so is naturally a bit splay-footed.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:11 PM  
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That bottom pic looks a lot like Bella's (my appy) feet.

Dont worry about the hijack Way I look at it we have have something to learn.

Actually the top pic looks a lot like Katie (the flat soled one). Bella has more of a hollowed out look....like someone took a melon-baller and removed tissue. I will try to get some pics...
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