Preventing horse from stepping on his nails.

My horse has gotten into the habit of stepping over with either front foot and pushing the inside nails down on the opposite so they are eventually pushed out of the bottom of the hoof. We put bell boots on him and that fixed the problem, but they rubbed him so badly after a week that we had to take them off. I believe this only happens when he is walking around in his stall, so I was thinking of purchasing some sort of boot to cover the hoof and avoid any contact with the fetlock area. I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced this problem before and what you may have done to remedy the problem. Would you recommend one of these boots? This is what I was thinking…

Or this…

Sounds like your shoer isn’t seating the clinches properly rather than a problem with the horse.

I did think of that, but the nails on the outside of the front hoofs as well as all of the nails on the hind feet never have a problem. It is only the insides of both front feet. Perhaps it is a combination of the two.

Is it possible too that the hoof is not balance properly? I realize saying that makes life difficult for an owner. But not all shoers are farriers.

I didn’t think of that. We will have his feet done next week, so maybe we will gradually change his angles. Thank you for your suggestions!

You would have to replace those hoof wraps every few days. They are just nylon. I have a pair I bought to keep poultice on an abscess. I used both in a week, both had holes in the toes and were falling apart only worn in a stall.

Dumb question for you - are you sure the bell boots were the right size? The only ones I ever had rub were the ones w/ fuzz at the top. My TB has lived in his bell boots for the 8 yrs I’ve had him, (and before that) due to bar shoes, and he has never gotten a mark…

Would duct tape over the nails help his hoof slide over the nails instead of pushing them out? Maybe not a good long term solution as that might be bad for the hoof wall over time, but maybe you could alternate between this and bell boots?

The clinches are sticking out too far if he is able to grip them and push them down. They should be totally flush with the wall. Either the farrier isn’t finishing them properly, or they’re popped. Does the horse do this immediately after shoeing?
If bell boots rub, try a different kind/size. I’m not sure that bell boots will cover the clinches, though.

Agree with 2tempe…it is likely the type of bell boot that is causing the rub. I only use the gum rubber type and have had various horses in them 24/7 with never an issue. The Davis type bells, on the other hand, can cause horrible rubs.

The average horse owner is totally unaware of the many details of properly executed shoeing. Clinches should be set into and filed flush and smooth with the hoof wall and you should not be able to feel them with your hand sliding over the clinches. The edge of the shoe should be slightly beveled or rolled so that if the horse should tread on the opposite foot, the shoe will slide over it rather than catching. A finished shoeing job should have NO SHARP EDGES ANYWHERE that you can feel with your hands. This is very basic elementary stuff that should go into every shoeing job. It also happens to make the job look spiffy, but the reals reason for doing a proper finish on the shoes and clinches are safety and preventing the exact problem that is the topic of this thread. If your farrier (person calling themselves such) isn’t getting these little details right in the job, chances are that there are even BIGGER PROBLEMS you should be worried about.

Thank you, everyone.

The bell boots were as gummy as I could find and I made sure that there were no edges around the top that could rub him. I live in PA and this summer so far has been very very wet. Between the weather and my horse having four white feet, I think we are just having trouble keeping his feet dry and perhaps the softer foot is making it more difficult to keep the nails in. We never have this problem during the drier and even winter months.

I am starting to believe that our farrier might be partially to blame as well. We will have his feet done this Tuesday and I will be particular attention to how the clinches are set and filed and if he rolls the shoe at all. This only seems to happen a couple weeks after his feet are done, so I want to believe it is a combination of the weather, the soft feet and the clinches.

Funny, I saw this thread and didn’t understand how it was possible. Now I know, thanks Tom. You’d never know there were nails there after my farrier finishes. He fills the nail area with putty that matches the hoof, then coats the hoof with a sealer.

OP - four white feet and northern mud, yeah I guess I can understand the bell boots irritating…