having hoof problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-14-2011, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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having hoof problems

I got my 6 yr old TWH gelding in April.

Up until three months ago i have kept him with shoes on.I decided to go bare foot thee months ago because of the heat here,I wasnt going to riding so i didnt see the use for them so i just opted for trims.Well this last trim the farrier found a Bactria in his frog.Kinda like thrush but in one foot.I did all that i was supposed to with the meds and stayed off him for 3 weeks and that foot is now fine and went out to ride yesterday and now he is favoring a back leg.Didnt seem to have anything wrong with his hoof but i got off and the vet is coming out anyway tomorrow to do shots so i will see what he says.But i called the farrier and she seems to think that he might have thin soles.We have only had problems when the shoes came off so i am having her to come out this week to put them back on but my reasoning for this post is to see what you thought.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-14-2011, 08:43 PM
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Not sure what to tell you....but maybe give it a little more time. My TWH stays barefoot, but I ride her with easy boots. On the other hand, my wife's horse has soft hooves, and stays in shoe's all but during the coldest part of the year. What's the farrier think?
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-14-2011, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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The farrier is the one that said maybe thin soles. I had just never heard if that but I'm new at this so that's nothing new to me.
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-14-2011, 10:13 PM
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Some horses need shoes, some don't. If you've got one that doesn't then God Bless You. If you've got one that does then provide them. It would be a cruelty to fail to do so.

Good luck either way.

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post #5 of 16 Old 11-14-2011, 11:13 PM
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Thin soles come from a shoer removing to much sole while trimming. Sometimes it's done on purpose and sometimes by accident. When you see a shoer remove sole then press down on it with their thumbs they are testing for give to determine if more can be removed or not.

FYI, it can take up to 1.5 year for a horse to adjust to going from shoes to no shoes though most adjust in 6-12 months. Some of that time is building up wall and sole thickness back up from being shod.

Personally I wouldn't be to anxious to immediatly throw him back into shoes unless the vet recommends it. Could be a simple pulled muscle or stone bruise instead and he just needs a bit of time. An Xray will tell you if he has foot issues that corrective shoeing will help.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-14-2011, 11:48 PM
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Because a horse carries 60% of his body weight on his front end, it's much more common for horses to experience discomfort in their front feet after having shoes removed. Therefore, I would honestly be surprised if your horse is lame in a hind foot three months after his shoes were removed. When the vet comes out tomorrow, he will more than likely check that foot with hoof testers. Depending on your horse's reaction to this test, it will show whether or not his soreness could be caused by thin soles. If the vet determines that that is not the problem, I would just cancel the appointment with your farrier. Barefoot IS good - circulation in the lower legs is enormously better when a horse is barefoot - so if your horse can be comfortable barefoot, I would pursue that path, because in the long run, it will preserve his soundness.
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 09:42 AM
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There is a tremendous mythology that surrounds "barefoot" horses. Most of it is questionable and a lot of it outright wrong. It flows from the fallacious concept that the "feral horse foot" is somehow an "ideal horse foot." It's "natural," so it has to "right." Yes?


The domestic horse is not a feral horse. It is the result of 10,000 years of human intervention and selective breeding. It works more, is handled more, does more, and needs more human attention to keep it sound. As to the "natural" argument, iron shoes and de-worming medications are equally "un-natural." I'm amazed that the same people who routinely subject their horses to de-worming have no issues with its "un-naturality" and then react dramatically when someone suggests an iron shoe for a sore-footed horse.
If you wish, substitute "human trimming" for the "iron shoe" and you get the same result. Human trimming is not "natural."

Neither shoeing/trimming nor de-worming are "natural." Both are essential to good equine health.

We have 13 Marchadors at present. Three are in work and shod; the rest are bare-foot. Three of the bare footers do light work as lesson or trail horses. They do just fine for that work. But each of them would be shod if we did any more than the light work we do. Why? Because I've owned them long enough to know how their feet handle work.

We also regularly pull and re-shoe over the course of the year as horses, particularly the mares, move in and out of work due to pregnancy and lactation. In my experience the "transition period" between shod and barefoot never takes more than a day or two and usually not even that (they walk off sound from the farrier). If a horse isn't at least "pasture sound" within 72 hours after shoes are pulled then a re-evaluation is necessary. If within a week they are still "ouchy" and palliative measures like Durasole or other products have not helped then the HORSE is telling you that they are not a candidate for barefoot and you should put the shoes back on.

There is NO WAY I would EVER allow a horse to stand in pain for YEAR while HOPING that they will toughen up.

You shoe a horse for one of three reasons: protection, traction, or therapeutic (not cosmetic) change in way of going. If you can pull the shoes on a horse and it stays sound in its intended work then all is well and good. If it can't then it's an act of cruelty to deny them.

For an interesting read on the real world of the feral horse, go to:


Click and download the pdf file; it's free. And MOST INFORMATIVE.

You must ALWAYS deal the horse in front of you, not the horse in my post or somebodyís book or video or in somebody elseís mindís eye. Do that and you and your horse will be just fine. Donít do that and your horse will be sore, youíll be frustrated, and charlatans will begin to empty your wallet with nostrums and potions. This ainít ďrocket science,Ē folks. People have been doing it for 10,000 years. There is wisdom in some of that history.

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post #8 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 09:42 AM
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One of my three Walkers has hooves like a goat and has been barefoot 99% of his 14 years with me. He also has a less-than Grade 1 Club Hoof. He's ridden in some pretty rough stuff but I would shoe him if I knew we would be riding in solid rock.

The other two have always worn shoes for trail riding.

Diet make a big difference in the strength of the hoof but it still doesn't mean that a horse could be ridden barefoot thru stones.

It takes a lot of hours of riding to callous the hooves up and some horses never get there. Many of us also don't have that kind of time, so the horse should either wear shoes or boots

If I were still hard trail riding, one of those two other horses of mine would wear shoes and they would not be slick shoes. Walking Horses have a huge stride and can slide out from under themselves in slick shoes.

I used St. Croix Rim Shoes with three borium head nails in them
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 10:05 AM
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[QUOTE=Guilherme;1233908]There is a tremendous mythology that surrounds "barefoot" horses.

I am not going to dispute anything you wrote because, sadly, I agree with most of it. And I stopped reading that article as soon as I got to the first time "feral" appeared, so you know how far I read

I only want to say that Natural Barefoot Trimming has been around for eons.

If it wasn't, my granddad would've never known how to teach it to me waaaay back in 1960

When he would tell me to "round those hooves off real nice", that was his old time way of saying "roll the toes".

I was really surprised when someone loaned me the Ramey DVD's and I found myself nodding my head up and down at the basic principles of trimming. He wasn't telling me anything I hadn't already learned all those years ago.

I was especially impressed with the his definition of the proper way to trim around the frog -- it was exactly as I had learned. I also learned to look at the hoof in sections and trim accordingly.

I didn't know all the mathematical reasons for that, but I understood that how the horse wears its hooves is dependent on how it travels; same as how people wear the soles off their shoes according to "how they travel".

I have learned and added to my trimming knowledge, without question, BUT it isn't the barefoot principles that are new --- it's the "wham bam thankyou ma'am "pasture trim" that's new.

It's new because Time is Money and shoers did not want to take the time to trim a horse properly for winter, so they started taking short cuts. That short cut became known as the "pasture trim".

I said all that because it isn't the barefoot trimming principles that need taken to the wood shed - it's the excitable folks that are convinced it's this way or the Highway to H**l for the horse, which just is not true.

I keep all my horses barefoot simply because I can't ride like I used to. As I stated above, one really does have hooves like a goat and probably didn't need shoes the few times I shod him but I knew we'd be in nothing but rocks for the next several rides.

Actually I fired my Trimmer of three years because his personal life started to affect how he trimmed my horses hooves.

In spite of some Trimmers being Legends in Their Own Minds like this guy thought he was, they aren't. I might have kept the Snotface on, had he not:

1. Sored up my young insulin resistant horse on the last three trims.
2. Miss-trimmed my 24 yr old with EMS to the point that the wall separation he is prone to got to be a big deal.
3. All four of my horses' hooves were chipped, cracked, peeling three weeks into the trim.

So the mythology in my case, had I not known any better, was that I "was not feeding my horses properly and never had been feeding them properly and it was just now catching up to them".

After three years of him being their Trimmer and doing a great job --- I think not. I was born but not yesterday. HIS personal problems got in the way and he I think he just quit caring about doing things right. Plus my 24 yr old is frought with horrible hock/ankle arthritis and it takes a long time to trim him because he can't have bute.

Anyway, don't blame the trimming principles. They have been working since way before my granddad taught them to me back in 1960. Blame the people that have tried to evolve them into something mystical that they really are not

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 11-15-2011 at 10:12 AM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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ok the vet is not happy with my ferriers work.Says heel is too short and toe is too long and he thinks the shoes should go back on.I have been researching ferriers in my area and i think i have found a good one. Best part about this .This vet recommended my current fernier.
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