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Leo: QH Gelding with Bone Spavin

Leo in the mist

Leo is a 20-something AQHA gelding. He was previously shown in Halter, Western Pleasure, English Equitation and Trail classes. He was also used as a trail horse for a few years. He was shod most of his riding career and eventually suffered an injury to his hock. He now is retired, barefoot and relatively happy. He has a bone spavin on both hocks that will never go away. The mobility of the joints are lost since the bones have fused together. He can still get around pretty well in spite of that.He also has an old stifle injury and some arthritis. The veterinarian determined now that the bones have fused, the pain of the injury is gone. His stilted gait is from lack of mobility, called a "mechanical lameness".

While shod, he was prone to under-run heels, thrush and had contracted heels. Since his hock was injured, the front hooves' angles changed and don't match anymore. (He would now be called "hi-low" meaning one front foot is at a higher angle than the other, but not really clubbed), This is common when horses compensate for hind end problems.  However, I have him down as a success story, since his under-run heels  and thrush problems have gone away since his shoes were pulled. He is sound in his hooves. He now has nice, concave soles, and normal heels. His foot is more narrow than probably would have been, but he was shod since an early age.


lateral view of the right front hoof

Solar heel to toe view

Leo is fed a grass hay for the bulk of his diet. He also receives a supplemental feed to up his calorie intake since as an older horse, he doesn't hold weight as well as in his youth. However, hay is the main part of his feed. He is turned out in a small pasture 24/7 and has a pony as a companion to keep him moving. His pasture is rocky, he does live in the Ozark mountains, so rocks are just part of the territory. He has no troubles in his retirement.

Solar view of hoof, note the weak digital cushion
Dorsal view of the hoof