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Grass, stress or fever rings/ribbed hoof
Last Post 20 Oct 2010 05:06 PM by missyclare. 6 Replies.
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imachicadeeUser is Offline
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18 Oct 2010 09:03 AM

     

    So I'm looking at buying this really cute little reining horse. When I say cute, I don't mean teddy bear cute, of course. He's bred well (son of Skeets Peppy by Hollywood Jac 68), well trained and has a pretty good mind. He's got a few NRHA dollars under his saddle as well. He's been out to pasture for a few months and just needs to be brought back. I rode him all day while the owners (friends of ours) needed help working cattle, and he was a blast!
     
    Anyways, the only thing that has caught my attention are his feet. He's shod all the way around (no slide plates because they do so much other stuff with him). No corrective shoeing or anything like that. They said he's been shod all his life and when they took the shoes off, he was tender (as to be expected, he needs them toughened up - no big deal) so they've just left him shod. All of their other horses are shod all the way around. But the problem I see is that there are several horizontal rings that look approximately 6-8 months old (the current owners bought him in February 2010, so it aligns with that time). The rings are ribbed, and are parallel to the ground. They do NOT curve towards the toe like i've seen in laminitic horses. There doesn't appear to be any noticable dishing, although the ribs tend to go inwards instead of being raised. Does that even make sense :) ? There is no heat and the horse is not visibly lame. Although, I have noticed he tends to drag his front feet when he walks, and occasionally trips with unlevel terrain. This didin't seem to happen at other gaits. I'm not sure if the two "symptoms" are related, but i think he's just a little lazy. He seems otherwise healthy. No cresty neck, he'll probably fill out a little bit with regular feed and exercise (since he's been on pasture for a few months), but like I said, he appears healthy and happy.
     
    I'm getting my farrier to look at him on Wednesday afternoon, and he deals with a lot of corrective shoeing and laminitic hroses, but I want to get everyone's opinion and experiences. Mainly, I'm so anxious I can barely sleep because I like this horse a lot, but I'm not buying him if there is a problem. I need answers! LOL The horse is currently on pasture and is being fed 12% pelleted feed. I don't think they are feeding him a lot since he's on pasture right now.
     
    What are everyone's thoughts and experiences with what's commonly known as grass, stress or fever rings??

     

    imachicadeeUser is Offline
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    18 Oct 2010 09:04 AM

    Sorry, I don't know what is up with all the spaces....Silly computers!!!

    FloridaHorsemanUser is Offline
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    18 Oct 2010 10:46 AM
    Sounds like stress rings. They'll pop up anytime there's a significant change in the horse's environment. If they appear to coincide with his change of ownership I'd be pretty confident that's it. I had a major ring pop up on my mare's feet after my dog died. They were yard companions. ~FH
    Equi SearchUser is Offline
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    18 Oct 2010 11:31 AM

    If the horse is out at pasture all the time, it may be due to very rich grass.  My pony started getting those rings on his feet a couple of months ago.  I had been letting him out for about 5 hours a day on a very large pasture (I think around 20 acres) with fairly rich grass; he can't be let out any more because he's prone to laminitis.  I noticed these rings and I wondered if it was the grass, so I backed off, and now that the grass is almost completely gone and he is on free choice hay in a "dry lot" (my one-acre pasture that won't grow grass) the rings have grown out.  It took a couple of months for them to grow out, but they did.

    But then, I've also seen stress rings--I had an AQHA mare who threw rings even though she was on very limited pasture access (couple of hours a day) due to bad feet and a very, very hot personality (FH knows who I mean :) ).  I kept her separated from her favorite mare and my gelding most of the time, with limited turnout in the dry lot with the pony so she could have some social interaction.  It actually really helped her attitude, but I did notice rings in her feet about the same time, due to the stress of the situation.  Maybe it wasn't a good idea......but I sold her, so I'm sure she's happy now.

    imachicadeeUser is Offline
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    18 Oct 2010 12:44 PM

    Isn't is amazing how many things can affect their hooves?? I mean, when we get stressed, our toenails don't grow funky! I find it so interesting. But at the same time its like OMG so many things can affect their feet!! No foot, no horse right?! In this case, I hope it was a stress related problem, but with him, changing owners in February also meant hello green (well winter green) pastures. But i guess because of the time of year, I shouldn't be overly concerned that the rings were caused by founder (whew!). In your cases, was there just one ring or were there several? Several would indicate a constant "event" to me, but i guess it depends on the horse on how long it takes them to acclimate to their new environment. I hate that, but sometimes it's right on target...."Depends on the horse." LOL :)
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    18 Oct 2010 02:07 PM

    In both conditions, there were at least two rings on each front hoof.  I think the mare might have had three rings on one hoof, but I didn't count them so I don't know.

    missyclareUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2010 05:06 PM

     A change of owners + a change in diet = stress.

    As long as the newer hoof growth above these rings is flat and smooth, then the event is over and just needs to grow out. 

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