View Full Version : Terrible Tootsies!

26-03-00, 09:49 AM
Hi there, am just wondering if anyone out there has any significant experience with horrible Thoroughbred feet? I know it sounds discrimnatory to single out Thoroughbreds like that, but I feel it is high time to be realistic! I am currently lookig at a lovely Thoroughbred mare for dressage purposes. She is a very genuine horse, as is the owner. However, I hold grave concerns as the girl has admitted to me the horse finds work on hard hard ground difficult and hence she has primarily worked her on grass. Wonder what she'd be like when trying to do roadwork on reasonably tough ground? That said, there is nothing glaringly terrible about her feet; they are certainly not crumbling away on the spot. They are, though, very flat and hence the heel is quite close to the ground. Any suggestions or advice?

26-03-00, 12:38 PM
It's a shame that TB's, wonderful as they are in most respects, have a few pretty bad faults. Not all TB's, of course, but more than most other breeds.
I have 2 TB's with terrible feet, which we are combating with medicated hoof grease and corrective shoeing. You need to be diligent, but you can keep them sound with good regular shoeing and moisture therapy in the form of hoof dressings and wet ground around the trough in summer. Biotin in the feed can also be a help. good luck.

28-03-00, 03:02 AM
I've just been going through contracted heels with my TB which resulted in incredibly sore shoulders and what appeared 'girthiness'.
We are now slowly back on the road to recovery - corrective shoeing can help; the shoes that we are using are called 'kirkharts' (sp?) which are available from Classic Horseshoes in Windsor (NSW) they just post them to you COD. I just bought the flat type (they come in 8 different variations) and what my farrier does is bevel the inside edge of each shoe to allow for more concussion through the hoof. These shoes are stainless steel and lovely and wide which seems to help big horses a lot more. Hope this helps..!

28-03-00, 04:48 AM
My husbands wonderhorse eventer has all of the problems you describe. As his other qualities more than made up for this conformation fault he felt it was worth purchasing him. All problems are manageable if you are prepared to use corrective shoeing and spend the extra money on managing the problem.

We have had this horse for 3 years now and through trial and error as well as using the best farrier, vet and utilising specialists at the Uni (all which must be paid for at expensive consulting rates) the horse has remained sound.

You also have to accept that if the conditions you are competing on are less than perfect you may have to withdraw and lose your entry fees.

The additional overhead in "operating costs" for this horse over our others is around 25% extra. If you are prepared for the extra costs and effort and all else is perfect with the horse then it makes it a simple decision.

28-03-00, 07:05 AM
As I have had and continue to have problems with a thoroughbred and his bad feet my policy on looking at horses is now start at the feet before I look anywhere else. If the feet don't pass the test I don't bother looking any further. This may sound harsh but there is no point having a super talented horse if you can not rely on him to be sound or shod when you need him to be. It takes a very good farrier to keep this sort of horse correctly shod and then if you have to move or your farrier moves you go through the same trouble again locating a competent farrier. It is a lot more expensive to keep them as they require expensive supplements and have to be shod more often and with expensive farriers. Thats just my opinion, good luck horse hunting.

Jan Heine
28-03-00, 07:30 AM
Janet I couldn't agree more! If you are looking to buy a horse which already has problem feet then you are starting out with a problem. Someone posted that you can count on 25% higher expense keeping a horse with bad feet - I think that may have been on the generous side but count on at the very least 25%! A horse which is "down on the heel" requires highly specialised shoeing which MUST be done, to the day, usually every four weeks. You will have problems competing the horse because so many of the surfaces that we work on in Australia are hard (by virtue of our climate and the fact that most of our competitions are outdoors)and you may also run into the problem of a hard surface to be training on. Janet and others are correct when they say you will need to feed hoof supplement such as Biotin and this is VERY expensive and the feet will need constant care on a day to day basis. We have a thoroughbred with these problems and he is always sound but we work very hard to make sure he stays this way! But he can be sore from nothing more than a tiny piece of rock chip - something the other horses don't even notice as they walk over it. If you have not yet purchased the horse my suggestion would be to keep looking - you will find the right horse - but to start off buying a problem is not a very wise move.

28-03-00, 08:15 AM
Thanks very much for all your helpful suggestions and advice - this forum is a fantastic resource when you are not 100% sure about something. I have, in fact, decided to continue looking, primarily because I do not believe, from an economic point of view, that a horse with such increased maintencance costs is a sound investment. Perhaps if she were a Grand Prix proposition, then yes, but at my current level of riding I think I would prefer toa llocate such "extra" money to lessoons or compeition expenses. Thakns once again for all your help.