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Discuss Long Hooves - a result of founder or abuse? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Just looking around I stumbled across this picture: The website claims this is the result ...
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    Long Hooves - a result of founder or abuse?

    Just looking around I stumbled across this picture:



    The website claims this is the result of founder, since founder causes the hooves to grown abnormally fast.

    I will admit, I don't know nearly as much as I should about founder.

    But, looking at this appalls me... if a foundered horse's hooves grow faster than normal, shouldn't they be trimmed more often? Is it acceptable to say that you couldn't help it, because the horse is foundered?

    I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, because like I said, I do not know enough about founder. That is why I'm asking. Please shed some light.

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    Founder does not cause fast growth in hooves, it causes uneven growth (which is what creates the typical) slipper foot appearance.

    In short, the answer is both. Assuming that that horse is foundered (which given the picture, it is very likely) that is causing the growth pattern. The excessive amount of foot is caused by neglect.

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    Founder can cause excessive heel growth.... and what appears to be little growth at the toe.
    Madness takes its toll.
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    That right there looks to me much more like neglect and very little like founder. There are no obvious "founder rings" on the hoof wall. Plus it's not acceptable (IMPO) for a foundered horse to look like that even during a founder. I know they will look bad, but not like that.


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    Agree - these look like simply neglected feet. As mentioned, foundered feet tend to grow heel out the wazoo, and not a lot of toe. A neglected foundered foot then tends to get more and more upright, eventually knuckling over.
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    I've seen hooves like this on an animal that has never foundered. If you've ever been to a horse sale/auction, when they run donkeys through over half of them have feet like this, and it's basically a horse that has "tough' hooves that dont' 'chip' off as they grow, and not getting trimmed.

    But most horses who founder (that i've seen) do have this growth pattern, I recently took in a founder case arabian mare, GORGEOUS HORSE, but had not been dewormed or trimmed in 2 years, just left in an alfalfa pasture to founder and fend for herself. She wasn't thin when i got her, because she had gorged herself on the alfalfa to stay fat. When i got her home though, she dropped over 50 lbs in a week from not having her normal rich diet. She could barely walk, and her feet looked just like this, she's had 4 sets of corrective shoes, lots of treatments and special feed/minerals and now her feet are close to being sound, believe it or not, she's about 1 1/2 inches shy of having normal shaped hooves!!
    Anyhow, alot of times, once those hooves get to that point, having them trimmed and reshaped is nearly impossible unless the caregiver is 100% dedicated to rehabilitating the animal, the horse i have, I have to go out and file/trim the soles of her front feet on a weekly basis or else it grows out further than the hoof, leaving her unable to get around...

    all in all, people who let their animals get like this should be ashamed of themselves.

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    Foundered feet don't end up looking like this. The hoof wall growth is very smooth and if it were on a normally shaped foot it would indicate very regular, even growth. Foundered feet do not grow evenly or regularly.

    Feet like this are possible to rehab in fairly short order, but it depends on how long they've been this way. The longer they are this far out of balance, the more the coffin bone remodels, and the more it remodels, the harder it is to ever get a normal foot back. Muscles and tendons also "remodel", and while often they can go back to normal with proper care, they don't always.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    The longer they are this far out of balance, the more the coffin bone remodels, and the more it remodels, the harder it is to ever get a normal foot back. Muscles and tendons also "remodel", and while often they can go back to normal with proper care, they don't always.
    I have a pony that's living proof of this. She was neglected before we bought her and her feet were allowed to curl. Not sure how long she was like that but her muscles and tendons have remodeled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    Foundered feet don't end up looking like this. The hoof wall growth is very smooth and if it were on a normally shaped foot it would indicate very regular, even growth. Foundered feet do not grow evenly or regularly.
    You don't think it resembles founder growth?

    There is a lot of toe here, but the real 'length' is in the heel. The heel is way out in front of the leg which is pushing the toe forward making it 'appear' to be long.

    If it's not founder, then what would cause the heel to grow so long and forward in this instance?

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    Dawn, if you let any foot grow without at least as much wear, it will do this. Heels and toes grow at roughly a 45* angle (roughly!!!) meaning that for roughly every 1" of forward growth there is roughly 1" of downward growth. Heels follow toes, so the longer toes get, unless you are actively trimming heels, the longer the heels also get. For many horses, this starts quickly turning into crushed underrun heels, giving the illusion of "low" heels. For others, this starts off as higher and higher heels which are ALSO running forward. At some point they get too far forward and the leverage on them starts to crush them. Continued growth means the heels keep running forward. The heels don't push the toes, the toes pull the heels
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