She is a 20+ yo Morgan mare who was grade 5 lame and retired.  The original diagnosis for the lameness was navicular. With the prescribed bar shoes, she pulled a sesamoidean ligament within 24 hours. The shoes were removed, and a second opinion diagnosed the ringbone. The treatment prescribed was retirement, with the advice to give bute the day before if the owner wished to ride her.

Within seven months of correct trimming she has regained complete soundness and gets regularly ridden.


The long toe was  later shortened.

Improvement in the quality and appearance of the coat is visible (not so coarse, has more shine), as a result of the increased circulation to the hooves and legs.

The lateral cartilage is no longer so prominent and pushed up out of the hoof capsule, now that the heels have been brought back even with the widest part of the frog, and the walls in the quarters have been shortened. Such a displacement of the lateral cartilages can lead to ossifications such as sidebone, or contribute to ringbone. Most importantly the steep pastern has taken on a better angle by virtue of the heels being lowered and brought back even with the widest part of the frog. This steep alignment is the factor that most contributes to and predisposes a horse to developing ringbone, as it puts excess and unnatural strain on the extensor tendon; its attachment  point becomes inflamed and eventually stabilizes by calcifying.


  1. Do you visit the Rhinebeck area frequently? I will soon be moving my horses, likely to Tivoli or Ghent. Do you go to those areas?

    I had a wonderful farrier who cured my horses of underrun heels, flat feet, bullnosed hoof, flares, and helped my severely clubfooted horse(due to severe high ringbone).Since I moved further north and my farrier moved to Massachusetts, the farrier where we currently board has reversed everything and they’re getting worse. My ringbone guy had a severely atrophied tendon due to a man who called himself a “barefoot podiatrist” who a few years ago felt it was best not to trim that hoof at all as “nature knows best?” He left that heel untrimmed and trimmed the other heels down to the bulbs on both horses — crippled both of my horses for a whole summer with his severe trimming methods. My one guy was trimmed so he was walking on pink sole which led to severe problems – and huge vet bills. The long heel would not allow my guy to get his heel down, causing pulled extensors with 10 weeks of stall rest & the tendon atrophied since he couldn’t get his very long heel down. The new farrier helped a tremendously. Then we had check ligament surgery a year ago that brought it back down again, but the current farrier is of the same thought — let the heel grow long. So here we go again — ugh! Am moving my horses as current farrier will not cooperate with the surgeon’s instructions to “keep his heel as short as possible, lowering it slowly over time.” After surgery, heel down and walking well. Not now! Heel is being kept 3 inches long. Please advise.

  2. Hi Cheryl and thanks for your inquiry. I do travel to the Rhinebeck area and I have sent you an email directly with more specific information (the email associated with the account you posted this message from). Please do check there. Thanks! Christina

Leave a Reply