rfsm.jpgThis is a 9 month old filly whose right front foot is clubby. It has been shod on the recommendation of several vets and farriers who believe the tendon is ‘tight’ (despite no evidence to indicate this), and shoeing it and gradually lowering the heel is expected to correct this situation.

The toe wall has begun to bulge out,  possibly  as a result of the shoe ‘holding’ the bottom of the foot while the rest of the foot tries to grow outward.


lfsm.jpg The left front leg is shown for comparison. Note the differences in the angle of the long pastern bone (P1)  in relation to the  short pastern bone (P2)







The heel is excessively high causing the club-foot appearance, and cannot be corrected on a six week trimming schedule. It needs to be lowered frequently (e.g. once a week in small increments) in order to keep ahead of the growth rate.  The rapid growth rate is indicative of a pathology that keeps the heel growing faster than the other foot.  It should be eventually lowered to about the height shown in Fig. 2 with the blue line markup.



rfoutsideb.jpg    rfmub.jpg

Fig. 1                                                           Fig. 2

 After the heel is lowered, or concurrently, the other imbalances, can be addressed. They are most likely created by the presence of a shoe preventing the foot from growing at the rapid rate at which a foal’s would, resulting in unevenness. They may even correct themselves once the shoe is removed and the heel is lowered. If not, the foot should first be trimmed at the outside toe (red line, Fig. 4), to lower the longwall on the outside. This long wall is probably contributing to the convex shape on the outside.  The inside heel (diagonally opposite the outside toe) should also be lowered so that the hairline at the heels eventually line up (Fig. 3).


rfheelmub.jpg   rffmu.jpg

Fig. 3                                                          Fig. 4

See another case of a clubfooted filly that was corrected with frequent trimming here

For a related study on how conformation can predispose a foal to club-footedness, please see this post.