I've seen them cleaning out horses hooves on TV vet shows and it's amazing that the horses just stand there while all that nastiness is carved out and the hoof opened up. I can just imagine how much better it must feel when the pus, dead tissue and pressure from all that is removed. I'm sure it's still tender to walk on for a while until it heals up, but has to feel better than when it was nasty. At the same time, I have to wonder at (some of) the owners who let the situation get that bad in the first place. Some of the hooves are so overgrown and out of shape it looks like they haven seen a farrier in years.
In my case it was a quick inspection. Very dry weather here and my horse never had built up stuff in there. So what I was seeing was a bit of dried frog which sloughs off every six weeks on its own.
WRT hoof condition they can look pretty gnarly especially if they are on rough pasture. And yes they can go for years without seeing a farrier especially with good hooves and enough room to wear them down.
IN the case of abscesses. they could be the cause of poor husbandry. Or they could be the case of gravelly soil and bits of material making gaps in the hoof wall then fungus can follow those gaps up causing a condition called seedy toe. Other infections can follow up without the owner ever understanding or noticing the condition developing.
Then there are cases of horses that get Pidgeon feaver. Or Dryland Distemper. some cases are mild just a runny nose and cough and feaver. Some cases are horrific and can cause whole boarding facilities to be Quarantined because its so contagious. Abscesses the size of baseballs can develop under arms around the jaw and internally.... those internal ones are the kicker.
But years after an outbreak a horse can develop chronic abcesses within their feet. By then they have changed owners a time or two. Sometimes they will just be off for a week or two while the abscess blows. Or it can be a debilitating condition that some owners give up on.
The horses foot is a very intriquite thing that is only in the past twenty years science has begun to understand. Oh there were experts and they were treating the hoof with good judgment and tried and true methods. But they were treating the condition not understanding the cause. Probably the only good thing to come out of the horse racing industry.
There has been a push to do natural trims and 90 percent of horses to day would not need to be shod. Plus the advent of boots to replace horse shoes when needed.
Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,
Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.
Future poultry: Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy
"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson