Natural Trimming Series, Part 4: The Frog


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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11 Responses

  1. Regina says:

    I love! your informative articles! I learn something new with each one. Thank you and keep up the good work!!

  2. Becky Love says:

    Hi, in the sources section, the last two items access the same URL. Does the link for the last one need to be corrected?

  3. Rikke says:

    Hi Casie.

    I have a gelding who’s been lame for long. I feel bad saying how long, but it’s about three years. I’ve always wondered WHY, and he didn’t seem to be sore in his joints or leg – but then I got into hoof trimming and health, and I noticed deloading of the frog and toe-first landings.

    I suspect untreated thrush, though his frog isn’t rotted away or anything like that. Considering the time he’s been lame, how would you imagine the damage is?

    Thank you. I enjoy your articles!

    • then5925 says:

      Hi Rikke,

      Don’t feel bad–I have a gelding who has been lame for about seven years. It’s not your typical lameness though–he appears fine until under saddle. Every vet I took him to couldn’t figure out why–and he went to quite a few. I’ve been doing barefoot trimming for about 3 years now, but just recently put him in boots with heel pads in the pasture nearly full time to build up the frogs and strengthen the back of the foot. It’s slow-going, but I think it’s helping. I’m also treating consistently for thrush in one foot. As far as your question goes, yes, untreated thrush or other fungal diseases of the hoof can penetrate the internal structures and result in some internal damage from what I know. Also according to Dr. Robert Bowker, repeated toe-first landings can result in remodeling of the navicular bone. But I’ve also read some case studies of horses with horrible feet who made a complete recovery. So my advice would be treat the thrush aggressively, use hoof boots with heel support if needed, and see what happens! Definitely couldn’t hurt. 🙂

      • Rikke says:

        I am so happy to hear that (well, not that you have a lame horse, but that I’m not alone).

        However, my gelding is very lame. It even quite obvious when he walks (without rider), and he doesn’t like trotting.
        I do believe, however, that I saw some periodical improvement when we had snow (thus a pretty clean hoof) along with thrush treatment.

        Currently looking into better supplements, and consider boots.
        Thank you so much. I feel horrible for him 🙁

        • then5925 says:

          How old is he, Rikke? Extreme lameness makes me think maybe something else might be going on as well. Have you had his feet x-rayed?

          • Rikke says:

            Not that old; around 10. I haven’t had any x-rays, but I am hoping it will be possible some time.

            • Rikke says:

              I’ll also mention the observations I’ve done.

              It seems to be caudal foot pain, both because of the toe first landing and the way he unloads, but also because he seemed to get more sore when i took his heels down and back (I am now letting him regrow heel and wall height, so he can shed quite a bit of yellow sole build-up).
              I can also see bruising in his white frog.
              His lateral side is more worn than the medial, which tends to flare.

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