Donate
We are open Wednesday - Sunday, from 10am - 4pm
Visit Us
Maximus at Bransby

Bransby Horses Save Neglected Shire Horse With Hooves Left Untrimmed For Over A Year

13th November 2023

A horse left in pain and unable to move freely by his neglected ‘flipper’ feet is recovering well despite his ordeal.

Our field officers found Maximus, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the horse in the Disney Film Brave, with grotesquely overgrown feet.

We attempted to work with his owner on a number of occasions but, when they failed to get the horse’s feet trimmed, we collaborated with the RSPCA who made the decision to take over Maximus’ care under veterinary advice.

It is likely Max had been suffering and in pain for some time.

Bransby Horses’ Welfare Manager, Rachel Jenkinson, said: “The owner said they’d been unable to get the farrier to trim his feet as the horse needed sedation for this. But, his last trim had been 18 months previous.

“We always try to work with horse owners and help when there is a problem but sadly, on this occasion, we were unable to do that and had no choice but to involve the police and the RSPCA who took the case to court and the owner received a ban on keeping equines.

“We have had similar cases where a heavy or draught horse like Max has not had their feet trimmed and the damage done to the interval structures of the foot has sadly led to the animal losing its life.

“In this case we are happy to say we got there just in time and prevented Max from a similar fate.”

Max's feet before they were trimmed,.
Before: Max’s feet were overgrown, split and deformed.
Max's feet after a trim
After: Max’s feet after a trim

Bransby Horses’ farrier Scott Sykes (DWCF), said: “When I first saw this horse, he had excessively long hoof walls at the front, which were causing him to be flat footed – this would cause discomfort and a distorted gait when moving.

“His hind feet were severely splayed, ‘petal like’ in shape with excessive foot growth and the flaring had resulted in the foot splitting vertically on pressure points towards the coronet band (which is similar to the cuticle of a human nail where growth of the hoof begins). There were a total of three severe splits, one of which on the outside of the hoof wall was unstable.”

During the RSPCA’s investigation, it transpired the owner had previously been advised to get Max’s feet trimmed by them, Bransby Horses and their vet, on separate occasions in the preceding years and this advice had been duly ignored.

Horses, ponies and donkeys have their feet trimmed by a registered farrier on average every six to eight weeks.

Owners struggling to meet the basic needs of their animals should not be afraid to call Bransby Horses’ Welfare phone line, where our experts are there to help and will do everything they can to help keep an animal with its owner where possible.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 requires any horse, pony, donkey or mule for which a person is responsible for, whether on a permanent or a temporary basis: has a suitable environment to live in, has a healthy diet, is able to behave normally and is free from pain or injury.

For further information about hoof care please click here