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Stepped on Clip - What now?

Hoping for some insight and a little handholding. Mare cannot go 6 weeks between shoeing in the summer but intersection of a rural area, limited good farriers, and good farriers having busy schedules means I’ve been pushed to 6 weeks.

Yesterday front right was audibly loose. I should have taped it but I didn’t and am still kicking myself. A SOS went out to the farrier. I checked her this morning. Shoe was loose but seemingly stable. Four hours later she had twisted it and stepped on the clip.

25+ years of being in horses and I’ve never had an abscess much less a stepped clip. It went pretty solidly into her true sole over white line. Farrier pulled shoe, flooded the hole with durasole, and said he predicted 48-72 hours timeline for abscess.

I’m scouring COTH, which means I feel empowered and terrified. She’s out 24/7. What’s the current consensus? Bute? epsom salt pack, baby diaper, boot? Flush the crack with diluted bedadine or hibiclens? Leave open? Keep covered? Do a hoof dance? Animalintex Hoof Poultice Pad plus boot?

She’s the goodest of girls and has been doing beautifully under saddle so I feel awful that I didn’t take the simple step of taping the shoe, which likely would have saved her from this.

ugh, been there!

I’d pack with a weak betadine solution, stuff a cotton ball in there if there’s enough room, otherwise soak some gauze and stack it on top, then a duct tape boot. I would say no to a diaper because you want the liquid to stay on/in the wound, not soaked into the diaper. Alternatively you could saturate the diaper.

Animalintex is great if you have it

Since it went into the sole, I’d treat it like an abscess hole, which means some level of antibacterial stuff, with protection.

If she’s sore, the diaper will help, and then make a duct tape bottom to keep it from shredding

If she’s not sore, then the gauze/Animalintex + a duct tape boot can be enough

A duct tape boot would also let you put an actual hoof boot on top, and that can be soreness protection as well


Thank you for the quick response!

The farrier put her shoe back on since the clip hole is solidly to the inside of the shoe.

It sounds like:
bedadine soaked diaper OR animalintex (any benefit to both at once?) since she’s ouchy
ductape boot
neoprene external boot (maybe with backup tape because, horses)

Since there’s a shoe, I wouldn’t use a diaper, it will probably “eat” the diaper fairly quickly. I’d pack with soaked gauze, just fill in the whole sole, then duct tape boot

The shoe thickness of gauze may provide enough relief.

Do you have a hoof boot big enough for this?

Neoprene boot - like a medication boot? You’ll probably have to keep her stalled for that to last more than a few hours.

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An old remedy but I’ve had luck with Ichthammol packed into hole, cotton ball, then boot or tape.

I would get some clean trax and do a treatment on it. you can order it on amazon.

My mare has done this twice, once on a front and once on a hind. She half pulled the shoe and then stepped back down on it.

One time the clip went into the white line, the other it went into the sole. Lucky me, neither time it abcessed.

Oh gosh, I feel for you. Been there, done that. In my experience if they step on a clip, they always abscessed. Usually within 2-3 days.

I think yours and JB’s plan is a fine one. It’s what I do.

Side note - I had a horse that was barefoot that did really well with those old-school Easy Mac hoof boots. Well, he’s gone – but I still have his hoof boots. They are the world’s best diaper-boot protector. I also have all my horses out 24/7. Occasionally one will abscess although it’s been rarer in the last ~7 years (since I changed farriers, whoddathunk? :wink: ) and when they do, I pack the hoof with Animalintex or a weak betadine solution, wrap with a diaper, and then vet-wrap. The metal clips on the inside of the Easy Mac boots adhere really well to vet wrap, and the boots themselves rarely get lost in the pasture.

Hope your girl is feeling better soon. Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t know any tape that can withstand the force of a horse stepping on their own shoe - the tape would have hid the looseness, but wouldn’t have stopped the shoe from being wrenched.

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My gelding came in dead lame once and it was diagnosed as a fractured cannon bone to the tune of almost 2k. Turns out he too had stepped on a clip, went in the white line and we didnt put the two together. To say I was relieved when he popped an abscess a few days later was an understatement. I also found a new vet!

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This thread is timely. My guy pulled his shoe half off and stepped on the clip, wedging it between the hoof wall and white line. It was actually the first time I’ve had a horse do this :dizzy_face:

Thanks, all, for your advice here! Currently following @JB’s words to the OP (and growing more gray hairs)!

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We keep hoof boots of multiple sizes around for this reason. If a horse loosens a shoe, I’ll try tightening it first. I have the tools for doing that. If I can’t tighten it, I pull it and put a off boot on the horse. Before I put the hoof boot on, I rasp the edges of the hoof, put an animalintex pad, wrap with vet wrap.

It’s a personal peeve of mine but I don’t understand how people leave horses with loose shoes on.


Figured I might as well update! We came out the other end with zero issue. There was a subsequent thread about me having to pull her other shoe with a flathead and pliers but that’s a story for another day.

Protocol we did:
Flush the entire bottom of the foot with providine iodine, pack with Epsom paste, diaper, full roll of vet wrap, and a market shares worth of gorilla tape. This would hold for 12 hours of turnout before she would start busting through on the shoe rim no matter how much tape I used. I kept it up for 6 rotations/72 hours and the vet said if I’m not seeing anything at all to let the foot breathe and stop fretting.