Club Hooves on Performance Horses is a serious concern! Something that experience has shown us, comes with many downsides and we highly recommend you don’t flirt with them. Particularly in the ‘Performance Horse’. They detrimentally affect many aspects of Horse Ownership:
They are normally Born with the condition, which can be brought on by all manner of things, from Feeding of Mares to hireditary. This article is only a general warning to you so we won’t get into the technical issues of this.
We all know it takes a lot of work and a long time to reach the stage of flying changes. Club Hooves or a Club Hoof can and does often waste all of the effort.
A Horse with a Club Hoof is like a Car with a different Brand of Rim and Tyre on one Corner, normally a front. Not only is the Horse not perfectly balanced but it faces more wear and tear as time goes on. Club Hooves affect Dressage, can produce one sides Horses, evasive Horses and more. Certainly ‘late changes’ is on the Cards.
THE VETERINARY IMPLICATIONS
All manner of unwanted symptoms can arise in such Horses, like:
- Tenderness in the Hoof
- Propensity to Abscesses
- Ringbone, and more
- Lameness and more..
There can be much more management required and much more expense, to keep a Club Footed Horse working soundly. They can require special shoes, protective Boots, protective Tips, Wedges and all manner of other gimiks to keep them from going lame.
In my experience, as a Farrier and a Problem Horse Trainer, is that if they are going to be managed properly, they need attention every 3 Weeks when other Horses are probably being Shod normally at 6 or 8 Weeks. The key is 3 Weeks!
They normally need a shoe kept on them for you cannot afford wear of the toe. The Heels have to continually be knocked down.
Many DO NOT cut them back viciously enough on the Heels. That is the secret. You have to be brutal. Continually knock the heels down and hardly touch the toes. They can be managed this way.
Sorry to have to say this but the Breeding Industry is like ‘Dad’s Army’ in this Country. The can’t ride a Horse, they Breed it, horse goes Lame, they Breed it, Club Hoofs or not!!!! It happens from the Back Yarders to the Most Well known Studs in the Industry. It would boggle Your Mind if I could relate some of the things that I have seen.
You Breed from a Mare with a Club Hoof and you get a Foal with one. You use a Stallion with a Club Hoof and you will get Foals with Club Hooves and they wonder why Europe wins the Gold Medals?
Here is a so called Top Victorian Stud Sale.
Breeders who Breed from or to such Horses are ensuring the failure of the Performance Horse Industry in this Country.
The Horse belonging to the Hoof on the right here, disappeared after Prelim and was sold twice after the Stud. $25,000 and then $18,000.
Here we get back to my long held view that the Hooves of Foals should be checked on Day of Birth as they are often crooked and trimmed every two weeks from thereon. Club Hooves can be drastically influenced if done early as can the Crooked Legs that are allowed to Grow across the Nation. That means Halter Breaking them on Day 7-10.
Steer clear of them Folks, like the plague!!