Repeated gashes to upper leg/lower "armpit"

I’m not much of a poster here, but I am certainly a devoted reader! Hoping that COTH can help with a mystery.

A barnmate’s big (17+hh), goofy, lovable OTTB has found a new way to injury himself in his stall overnight (as opposed to in turnout). He is repeatedly managing to open up horizontal gashes just below his foreleg armpits. I will attempt to post a pic. Twice the loosened flaps have been big enough to require stitches; sometimes they are less bad and heal up on their own, only to occur again on one foreleg or the other.

Any idea what’s going on here, and how to prevent it? Owner has tried the big boil boot donuts on the forelegs, no luck. She now has them on the back legs.

Thoughts/advice/suggestions welcome, and thank you!

Does he have hind shoes? Do they have clips? That would be my guess.


I don’t recall offhand if there are clips on the hind shoes, but I will check!

Look into shoe boil boots.

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My horse doesn’t get “gashes”, but she sometimes gets rubs/skin cracks there. I think it’s from her shoes when she lays down.


If the heels of the shoe have trailers or stick out at all, see if they can be dremeled or changed out. Add lots of bedding in the stall. Probably the simplest, if possible-- 24/7 turnout.


Either the heels of the front shoe, or the toe of the hind shoe when he gets up.


Can they add a camera to his stall?


My guy gets a very mild form of this (rubs more so than broken skin) in the exact same spot. From his shoes when he lies down at night. Not sure if it happens when he is lying down or when he gets up.

I like this idea.

I agree look at all his shoes/shape. Also check for a nail clinch sticking out on a hind. Maybe didn’t clinch all that well.

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Try bell boots that fit on the larger side. Probably stiffer rubber or neoprene, to keep them from bending out of the way.

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Sounds like shoes are the primary culprit. Owner will talk with the farrier and, in the meantime, try the boil boots on the backs instead of the fronts. And we’re trying to borrow a camera setup–my trailer camera doesn’t record and doesn’t have very good “night vision,” so we’re looking for something else.

Thanks for the replies!