The other scenario is the horse is far too precious to be born outdoors and the dam gives birth on a luxury, deep, banked up, straw bed. They spend the first couple of weeks in this clinical, totally unnatural and detrimental environment. Detrimental because the first 24 hours after birth are crucial to the development of the hoof. The continued confinement does nothing to help develop strong tendons and ligaments at the pace nature dictates either. The beautiful foal only gets to see the light of day when paraded out for shows or anyones viewing. See * above.........
In the case of the very precious youngster, who´s boxed hooves are often literally boxed by the time it comes of age (!), they too are shod, with little thought for correcting the angles - after all that is how they have grown and the foal is moving around “perfectly fine” on those hooves. Those infant hooves have never benefited from freedom and the correct wear, so they are already overgrown, and by proxy of the confinement in a stall probably suffering thrush, thus further speeding the contraction of the heels due to the poor health of the frog.
Now, farrier education is somewhat lacking here, but more and more do exist who are getting themselves properly informed on the anatomy and bio-mechanics of the hoof. Many, however, are like many horse owners and have never seen stunning, naturally beveled, low, balanced feet. When they do the lack of accompanying education leaves them to believe they have worn away too much! So for all the education many now seek and receive, they aren´t seeing truly healthy hooves and how they function, therefore have no idea what to model their trim on.ª
Then, for reasons of budget or lack of thought or “Grandfather syndrome” they are not re-shod again for weeks (in some cases months), thus being left to get taller, and with the frog and heels being completely incapacitated they become more contracted. Perpetuating the cycle. It was very common place not so long in the past to not have a horse re-shod until it began to lose it´s shoes. This could be anywhere between 8 weeks and 3 or more months. Do not forget that these long cycles and long hooves will also then be disguising other pathology´s. White line disease, deep thrush infections, internal imbalance of bones, ligaments and more.
So again the hooves continue their cycle of becoming more contracted. I would add here I had a client some years back who bought their horse to me to resolve various issues. After a few months the beautiful boy was well and truly on the road to whole horse health when his owner suddenly realised his 17h horse was now only 16.1h (yes, that is how ridiculously overgrown his hooves were) and despite being over the moon with the improved health and performance of his horse he did not want one so “small” so returned to shoeing and permitting his hooves to become Topino again. Very sad indeed.
In summary, there is only one reason for Topino hooves. Now, lets get educating.
ª Lack of knowledge of what a healthy hoof truly looks like is not limited to farriers here in Spain. The world over there are farriers and owners who have never had the opportunity to see a truly healthy functioning hoof and are totally unaware that what they see, daily, is not correct. Apprentices learn via what is presented to them, what is available, as do owners.