Conformation and soundness

I’m going out to look at an 8yo OTTB soon. The owner told me his feet flare because he is wide, which I am taking to mean that he is base wide. They told me he is barefoot right now (and not in work) but that they recommend shoeing him before putting him in work.

I have only seen pictures of him from the side so I cant really tell the extent of it, or if it goes along with any other faults like toeing in/out.

In a very general sense, would this have any effect on long term soundness? I am looking to do low level dressage and maybe a bit of jumpers (posting here because its a bit of both worlds).

If I like him I will have him vetted and discuss it with the vet, but I wanted some opinions on it.

In my experience flare is related to poor trimming choices, including infrequent trimming. it can also be a sign of founder, of course.

I’d get a farrier to look at the horse if you are experienced enough to evaluate. Also ask nicely about the trim cycles. If he’s been getting trimmed every 3 months you have your answer there.

They mentioned that frequent trimming helps! I will definitely ask them about it more.

I’m under the impression that if he foundered, he would be lame. Is that incorrect?

Not necessarily, if he foundered in the past he may have recovered but still have wonky feet and the potential to do so again. That said, it’s more likely that he just needs consistent, correct and/or shoeing. I have one that is like this (he toes out mildly and is a bit base wide) and it’s not a big deal at all. He is barefoot and sound at 15 and does fine on a six week trim cycle. If he is let go too long he will flare and then get quarter cracks.

They all flare if they go too long between trims unless they are moving a lot on truly harsh ground and keeping the walls worn off. Really only possible on desert mustangs.

For other horses flair is natural and part of the hoof trying to break off and self trim.

Once a horse develops flare it might take several correct 4 or 5 week trim cycles to get the flare fully gone. An 8 or 12 week trim cycle can perpetuate it.

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I bought a 6 year old OTTB 2 years ago who flared mildly on both fronts but more on the right. He also toes out on both fronts but more so on right.

Vet pointed it out at PPE but also said his feet were super long and he was super thin with no muscle. 2 years later, you wouldn’t believe those crooked feet belonged to this horse. Putting muscle on his chest and shoulders helped his legs look a lot straighter. My farrier has also done a really good job with him and he’s now been barefoot for 14 months. He grew totally new (bigger) feet in the front and the flare disappeared with new growth and trims.

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Flare is frequently a problem seen with unbalanced trimming or worse yet, shoeing.

A radiograph of those front feet would be a good idea in a PPE. orses that can go barefoot while being competed are rare, except for some BN.