The goal of any hoof care appointment should be to leave the horse more comfortable than it was before. If a horse is sore following a trim, either too much, or too little, has been done for them.
This point excludes a horse with a known ailment that is going through active rehabilitation and potentially even trial and error to regain their soundness and comfort. This topic is for the horse who is sound, but sore for a few days following a trim. Once may have been an honest error, but continued soreness after a trim is a problem.
Common trim related ailments that can contribute to post-trim sensitivity include:
- Improper angles or wall length for your horse’s conformation or comfort
- Excessive sole paring (especially on already thin-soled hooves)
- Too aggressive of a trim (either at the toe, or heel and especially when transitioning out of shoes)
If you are concerned about your horse’s quality of movement, your trimmer should be too.
Horses are very individualized and there is no one size fits all solution or method of trimming. If, after 2-3 trims your horse is not remaining comfortable after a trim despite technique changes, you should consider pursuing additional diagnostics. More hidden causes to continued soreness could also include:
- Brewing laminitis
- Thrush (remember horses can have dry thrush too)
- Dietairy deficiencies
- Issues with internal structures (such as a crushed digital cushion, contracted heels, etc).
On the flip side, your role as the horse owner is important too. Leaving trim cycles too long (more than 6 weeks) forces your farrier to take off as much hoof as possible, changing angles dramatically within minutes. This places strain on tendons and ligaments which can make the horse sore in other ways.
If this information has intrigued you, we take a deep dive and talk about all of these issues above, ways to correct them, as well as how to approach a potentially uncomfortable conversation with your farrier AND your role as a responsible horse owner in our Hoof Care For Horse Owners course that is available virtually on-demand. Access The Course Here Now!
As always, happy horsing around!