Crack­ing up

Your Horse (UK) - - ASK THE EXPERTS -

QMy horse has a quar­ter crack on a hind hoof that starts at the top of his coronet band. He’s cur­rently wear­ing heart bar shoes and sees the far­rier ev­ery five weeks. All his other hooves are healthy. Is there any­thing else I can do to help the crack mend? Jan­ice Dur­rell, Jersey Si­mon says... Quar­ter cracks orig­i­nat­ing from the coronet band are called coro­nary cracks or sand cracks. They are more akin to a frac­ture than the type that orig­i­nate from the ground, which are named grass cracks. As the hoof lands with each stride, your horse’s body­weight passes over the foot and weight is dis­trib­uted through the hoof wall. With cer­tain con­for­ma­tion, this means that the weight is un­evenly dis­trib­uted and the ex­ces­sive load­ing makes the hoof crack. Most cracks of this type are pred­i­cated by the horse's con­for­ma­tion, so race­horses tend to get front quar­ter cracks to the in­ner heel be­cause they ‘toe-out’ (the op­po­site of pi­geon-toed, where the horse’s feet turn in­wards). Sport horses, on the other hand, tend to get quar­ter cracks on the front outer hoof wall be­cause they 'toe-in'. Hind coro­nary quar­ter cracks usu­ally oc­cur on 'base nar­row' horses (a horse who stands with his hind feet to­gether) be­cause their weight load­ing is down the out­side of the hoof.

Bal­anc­ing out

Far­rier op­tions for your horse's quar­ter crack are three­fold: First, a care­ful reap­praisal of the foot to see if the hoof is in bal­ance. Many of these cases are high me­di­ally, mean­ing that the hoof wall to­wards the in­side is longer than it is on the out­side. Sec­ond, a shoe giv­ing greater sta­bil­ity to the hoof must be used — and with the heart bar shoe, your far­rier is al­ready do­ing that. It may be that fit­ting it a lit­tle wider, so that it projects lat­er­ally (to the out­side). This will help the foot to bal­ance and equalise load­ing. Third, the crack should be re­paired. This will al­low the new hoof gen­er­ated from the coro­nary corium to grow down united. There are a num­ber of meth­ods to achieve this and, if your far­rier doesn’t spe­cialise in re­pair, ask him to re­fer you to one who does.

Hard ground and in­ten­sive ex­er­cise can lead to grass cracks in your horse’s feet

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.