When there is marginal hoof growth each time you come back to shoe a horse, you must determine what happened at the time of the last shoeing(s), the work the horse is doing, and possibly the ring surfaces. There are many possibilities for insignificant to no hoof growth. Let's look at one of the most common causes related to the shoeing. The hoof is trimmed too short and this causes low grade inflammation. Inflammation is the enemy of the hoof. The tissues within the hoof expand causing vascular constriction because the hoof itself cannot expand due to the rigidity of the hoof wall. When the inflammation subsides the hoof generally returns to a normal growth rate. It may take several weeks for this to occur. If you have a shoeing period of 5 weeks and the hoof requires two weeks to recover from the trim, there will be only three weeks of growth when the 5th week comes around. The growth is weaker in nature, setting the stage for lack of hoof quality. The fix for this can be a change in the trim, allowing for your horses sensitivity. In the previous shoeings, this problem has been missed or overlooked. The horse will not look lame because both fronts or all 4 feet have the same sensitivity making her look short or apprehensive and less willing to go. Another common occurrence is your horse has or developed a shallow sole depth and the horse just doesn’t have the movement that she once had. Generally trimming is the reason this occurs but consistant work on hard surfaces can be the culprit as well. This case is not usually discovered immediately unless you just started working on the horse. You may have been asked to evaluate the horse. Because it takes time for the sole depth to diminish, this situation occurs with subtle signs. I have these scenarios brought to me on a regular basis and the fix is not complicated even if you have to do more than change the trimming or address shoe applications.












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