Ringbone-Horse lame in cold weather?

I have a 16 year old gelding with ringbone in his right front and arthritis in both hind legs however with enough turn out that doesn’t bother him. He got diagnosed in 2011 and I was told by a well known OH vet he would be fine to keep working at the level we were (working up to Beginner Novice) and just watch him. We got more x-rays taken summer of 2013 to look at progression and talk shoeing. He was very sound all summer and fall, but as soon as the weather turned cold he has be lame in the right front. 9/10 he works out of it after awhile.
From 2011:

From 2013:

We currently have him on acti-Flex. What to you guys have your horses on to keep them comfortable? Also has anyone tried the Back on Track ceramic boots?
I am just looking for suggestions to help keep him sound.


The x-rays you posted (both years) were poorly taken so it’s difficult to tell exactly what’s going on. One shouldn’t be able to see both shoe branches in a lateral film. :sigh:

Keep in mind I’m not a vet. However, I wonder where yours is seeing ringbone? If true, it’s an awfully mild case. What is painfully evident is a very poorly trimmed foot (toes waaaay too long) and poorly supported heels (short shod). Without seeing or examining the horse, and based solely on these films, I’ll bet the horse is very heel sore. What does his other foot look like? Could you post some actual pictures?

The lateral taken in 2011 shows the front of the shoe sticking out further than the hoof :disgust:. The 2013 version shows the toe stretched way too forward and the heels unsupported.

Hate to say it but if I were you, I’d definitely look around for a new farrier. You’ll really have to do your homework because there are far too many farriers out there with skills like the one you already have. And if the the vet that shot these films doesn’t see a problem with this hoof, ditto that.

Ouch, you need a new vet/farrier team that specializes in hoof care. Your horse has a very very very bad trim and shoeing. I would fully expect him to be lame. This is exactly the opposite of the direction the foot needs to go to help relieve pain from ring bone (which can’t be seen at the radiographs presented).

My mare was diagnosed with ring bone in 2004. I was told by my then vet that it was articular and high and low in both fronts. We stopped riding her. Six years later, my new vet took xrays and compared and shaking her head, said “It is NOT articular and there is barely a change.”
We started Previcox and she is fine, not lame at all. We do not ride her hard (she is 21), but she does go on a hack every week. The only time she is gimpy is when the ground is rock hard… mostly in dry conditions in the summer or frozen and irregular ground in winter (ie after rain and fast freeze). Otherwise, she is best in snow!!

and a rolled toe is best!

If your horse does have some ring bone, I agree that whats being done in terms of shoeing won’t help. For case of ringbone you want that toe much shorter, more shoe to support the heel and a rolled toe or a rocker shoe. Also, if there is ringbone, shockwave is a good option.