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Discuss Small feet cause navicular???? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

And the last line from the article: Possibly there is a correlation as the incidence ...
  1. #11
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    And the last line from the article:
    Possibly there is a correlation as the incidence of navicular lesions and clinical signs appear to be much greater with this type of foot than with the low heel and crushed cushion with negative PA.
    Dr Redden is extremely careful to use the word "possibly" because he does not include all the other contributing factors in that breed industry. This includes stalling and overfeeding halter babies, poor shoeing and training that creates an artificial "toe first bone damaging movement" for WP horses.
    I have not had a single horse, including a lot of hard working roping and ranch quarter horses in my shoeing my practice in the last fifteen years who developed navicular issues during that time, not one. Why? Because the trimming and shoeing I do is designed around the proper function of the hoof, not the show ring. And I refuse to work for halter breeders and halter trainers because the tend to ruin those babies foot bones early in life.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ReinaEquina's Avatar
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    Thank goodness. Thats what I was hoping, I hear people constantly saying this and I had a gut feeling it wasn't true but didnt want to stick my head out on the block lol. My horse is 15.2-15.3 thoroughbred built horse, not huge bone to begin with and he's got "small" feet. I've had multiple people be like "Oh my gosh he's got really short toes..." and compared to most other horses that are shod or trimmed traditionally, yeah he does but he's got the heels to match and if I grew his toe more it would only flare. Im at a barn where more horses are big-ol warmbloods with huge pie plate like feet, which is good but not when it's unnatural. Ill have to post pictures to see what you guys think of his hoof size relative to body size. And Patty, isn't navicular more prevalent in QH's due to many having those ridiculously upright pasterns?
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    The average QH doesn't have ridiculously upright pasterns any moreso than other breeds do. It's in certain areas and bloodlines. high-end modern-day Halter horses do, some WP lines...

    But then you have to accept that legs change as a foal grows, too--- if they're eating a sketchy diet, they could be developing "contracted tendons" and maybe they don't get severe enough that anyone notices, especially if they're used to seeing lame horses. So it becomes a management thing.

    The fact remains that show horses with upright pasterns/post legs and poor hoof balance are pretty much guaranteed to develop navicular.

    It has nothing to do with the breed, everything to do with how the hoof functions.

    I know a mare who has navicular. She's five. She was diagnosed at age 4. She hasn't done anything in life except get green-broke and stand around.

    She was viewed as a 2-3 yr old by someone I trust to evaluate hooves. The mare had post legs, upright pasterns and stiletto heels from a very young age. She is a big bodied mare and has good bone size, but her hooves were totally out of whack, undeveloped...

    Mare was diagnosed... I saw her hooves the day after a reset by a farrier I know caused another horse's demise due to navicular. The hooves looked like they hadn't even been trimmed in months. 4 inches of heel, 5 inches of flared toe, broken-forward HPA... shoes fit to the flares.

    So is that conformation, or is that plain old bad management of the conformation?

    I vote the latter.
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    I disagree that small feet can't be a contributing factor to the development of navicular. It's a matter of psi - you can have very healthy feet - for their size - but be much too small for the forces of the body above it.

    That said, the *major* contributor to are poor trimming leading to contracted heels, and that's independent of the genetic size of the foot.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member ReinaEquina's Avatar
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    Sorry I should of specified, it's the halter horses for the most part that have the upright pastern problems. Be hard for a cutting horse to have upright pasterns lol.
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    JB--- but show me a (decent, average-conformed) horse who lived a minimum of 8 hours a day outside in a good-sized paddock or field, barefoot and properly-trimmed low-starch lifestyle for their entire life who had small (horizontal plane) hooves that developed heel pain and/or was diagnosed with navicular.

    I have seen several shod-as-2-yr-old horses from racing, halter, western pleasure, HUS backgrounds who have truly small hooves. These horses as 3-5 year olds don't show anywhere near the same development or size of hoof-- particularly in the heels. Their hooves still look like foal or yearling hooves.

    As I'm sure you're seeing with Gizmo, young properly trimmed horses who have plenty of daily outdoor access to run around show a steady development in size and shape of hoof from the bottom. In my own, I see heel expansion, increased size of frog, and a larger overall hoof when viewed from the bottom. Thicker hoofwalls, thicker bars, short heels, big frogs, little or no distortions, nice angles. (Granted mine aren't particularly upright anyway).

    They're coming 5 yr olds now--- they have adult hooves. Most of my horses who have been barefoot for a long time or all their lives, show nice big hooves for their bone structure, particularly when you're looking at the coronet circumference compared to the pastern.

    The grey nerd, Wisher and Gooser have fairly small hooves. Grey nerd's conformation is wonky and he is rather upright. So far, his only hoof-related lamenesses have been from abscesses. I would anticipate a problem from him due to his confo, but so far, nothing.

    Gooser, as we know, has had laminitis problems. He's 20. He xrayed clean in 2009. His problem is limited to poor hoof growth and a thin/flat sole due to subclinical laminitis. Not a problem while he's on Simmerdown.

    Wisher is fine-boned, and her hooves match her bone structure. She has the closest thing to "mustang hooves" in the barn. Compact, thick, tough. The odds of navicular or heel problems on her are pretty much limited to thrush. I don't even think she's even had an abscess in her life-- at least not one that's caused lameness.

    Turbo... the only horse who's had to deal with heel pain. He too xrayed clean in 2008/2009 for navicular or bone problems. He has a fairly large foot to suit his heavy-boned confo, but his fronts were very contracted and underdeveloped. It took 9 months to get him 100% and landing on his heels again, including one set of shoes with leather rim pads, frog cut out. Nowadays, his hooves have expanded, they look like an average size, and they continue to expand and develop.

    We have no snow and -20 C temperatures.... frozen poo balls, pocked frozen mud, ice... Turbo is one of the few who aren't hving trouble walking on that gross rough stuff. Never would have thought he'd become THAT sound given his history, but he has.

    The better his frog got, the sounder he became. His whole body demonstrates this-- bigger trot, easier tracking up, deeper hocked lope, longer, flatter-kneed strides. Sure, training him properly helped with a lot of that in terms of muscle, but it would've been impossible to get him that far if his hooves were still sore and out of balance.

    Heel pain is a big deal because it leads straight to navicular bone problems. It's years in the making, doesn't just happen over night. Horses who never got the chance to develop a nice big hoof in their young years are prone to problems relating to heel pain. Give them a chance, and they can develop a bigger hoof.

    However, given the sheer amount of skeletal changes that happen from 0-5 year old, I'm not sure if growth time lost on the actual *bones* can be made up for later in life when the horse has reached their mature size. Does the coffin bone remodel into a larger, tougher version when the horse is more than 10 years old, if it's given the opportunity and the time?

    I dunno... horses won't genetically throw draft-sized hooves on lighter bodies, but I firmly believe in most cases of "small foot on large body/mass", we're seeing contracted, under-developed hooves, not the hooves at their fullest potential grown from birth onward through a healthy lifestyle.

    And as such... we have no way of knowing if the hoof size is actually genetic or a consistent product of its environment, or both. Given how widespread the incompetent or lack of hoofcare is for young horses, I'm not always surprised if the parents of a horse with contracted hooves also have small contracted hooves due to their [lack of] trimming and lifestyle... particularly running down through certain bloodlines who are often living the same lifestyle consistently for years.

    PSI as an issue would show problems on all aspects of the hoof, not just one particular area... you'd see coffin bone and P2 fractures, ringbone, hoof bruising, coffin joint breakdown... in addition to navicular bone damage. If it was ONLY the simple amount of weight and PSI, it wouldn't be localized in the heels, and the hoof of such a horse would be "awesome" and still develop lameness problems even with the aforementioned lifelong healthy lifestyle and proper trimming.

    Show me a horse with navicular who has been barefoot and well-trimmed with a perfect hoof and frog before navicular, and I might believe you. lol

    Otherwise, I'm still pointing the finger at poor management and trimming practices which add extra stress to specific locations and can exacerbate conformational issues.

    IMO blaming physics is a cop-out and allows certain breed industry breeders, owners, farriers and veterinarians to justify the appearance of navicular on a horse who's had two inch long heels and chronic thrush its entire life.

    That's just not right and it's allowing them the cop-out that gives people the idea to blame the entire BREED rather than human error/incompetence. Well when I see a horse with average conformation develop navicular, continue to degenerate and eventually be euthanized because the farrier has allowed and encouraged the horse's heels to grow two inches tall with a narrow, contracted frog for the last 7 years...

    It's time to blame the REAL culprits that destroyed those hooves, not the horse's breed or breed characteristics. I've yet to see a diagnosed navicular horse (in both hooves) who wasn't in need of a new farrier, like yesterday.
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    I hope IIIBarsV is right, but at the same time it is a little sad if she is.

    I know a lot of retired lame QH who are done because of navicular. One is owned by a guy who does his own farrier work. I'm curious now to see what his feet look like. At the time I knew the horse I didn't know much about feet or hoof imbalances. The guy that owns the horse is married to a vet's daughter. She told me they did everything they could to make him sound. Last time I saw the horse, he could barely hobble around his pen, and they were considering putting him down.

    I think it is really sad how incompetent many supposed hoof care professionals seem to be.

    I have yet to see a halter horse with good feet. The ones I've seen are very upright with tall heels.
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    Very educational thread.

    I know of a girl who used to ride show horses all the time who bought a 3y/o Paint mare that was diagnosed with navicular 3 months later. They kept her sound enough to show for a year before she was retired. Makes me sad. Also makes me nervous. I feel like I'm pretty careful about who does my horse's feet and I know all the ones NOT to go to, having seen the wrecks they've made some of my friends' horses' feet into.

    I was told by a farrier years ago that the big horse/small feet issue was from poor blood flow to the foot? And that there is no true navicular disease, that's just what vets use when they don't know the cause of heel pain. He said there are only three causes of navicular: navicular bursitis, navicular arthritis, and poor blood flow. Any thoughts on that? Since we have so many knowledgeable people here I figured I would ask.

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    There absolutely is navicular disease. Damage to the navicular bone certainly qualifies as ND, and you can see that on xrays. What does he think arthritis is? It's a disease

    The "oh I don't know what's going on just know it's heel pain" is really "navicular syndrome" and isn't really a diagnosis, it's just a qualification of symptoms LOL
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  10. #20
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    Lol I got the feeling this guy thought he knew more than a vet did, but I wanted to see what other people had to say that probably had done some research around it.

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