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Shelly Feet

Horses can have cracks that come up from the bearing surface of the hoof, flare out, and have separations. Generally, these horses have soft unhealthy hooves. This is referred to as “shelly feet”. The number one problem in these horses is that they are experiencing too much moisture and/or the recurrent theme of severe moisture and with already poor quality feet. This will traumatize the hooves enough to make poor feet poorer!

Managing Shelly Feet

Horses with shelly feet can have intermittent lameness, more susceptible to bruising and corns and have difficulty maintaining shoes. They often have other abnormal foot conformations and radiographs demonstrating hoof positions in relation to the shoes can be very helpful. Owners and caretakers need to know it can take several months to regain some decent hoof wall. It does depend on how long the conditions have been bad for the horse. Some foot supplements maybe helpful, but can not replace normal, especially not wet, environmental conditions and good regular shoeing.