Barefoot Clydesdale - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Barefoot Clydesdale

An acquaintance of mine has a Clyde that's barefoot. She's moving her horse and asked me for some guidelines. I picked up a hoof and lordy! That's a mighty big flat foot! At 4 weeks everything is overgrown. He gets a stone bruise every few months.

So, I know one thing. Roll the edges. I don't know how flat the feet really are because I don't know if his sole has ever been exfoliated to live sole. Or should that be done at all. But his soles are "lumpy" or uneven spots. Why is this? It does not look like uniform growth. Maybe old abcesses?

She wants to find boots for him but can't. I don't think she knows how expensive they are.

For my own knowledge, how does one approach a big flat foot like that? Would one exfoliate the hoof to live sole just to get a baseline? I'm not sure that leaving all that sole for "protection" is doing him any favors.


From my own horse, she was stumbling over pebbles and stuff with sole left for protection. I did exfoliate to live sole and she developed hooves of iron overnight, nice concavity, and no stumbling. It was pretty dramatic.
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 06:03 AM
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Yes, if it wasn't obvious to me what was going on, I would be inclined to exfol some sole, to get better 'landmarks'. BUT he may have very thin soles if they're so flat & overgrown looking, so... proceed with caution. I also don't believe in trimming sole routinely either, as you've no doubt heard. Without even seeing feet, can only give you generalisations.

If they're 'pancaked', I'd probably give it a couple of trim cycles to measure for boots(& stay on surfaces that don't hurt him in the meantime), as he'll likely have smaller hooves when they get neat & tidy. Speaking of the Easycare range, the large boot sizes are only about $10 dearer than smaller sizes. Don't forget second hand boot lists & forums too.
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 01:10 PM
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Those draft feet are big, aren't they? I shod a Belgian mare in school that wore size 7 shoes - you had to put one side in the forge at a time, because they wouldn't fit!

I also agree with finding some live sole, even if it is just at the toe quarters, just to use as a guideline. Flat feet often times equal flat coffin bones (often associated with thin soles), so I would not pare away at the sole to make it concave - just find what's live and move on. I might also leave a freckle of length on the quarters, then rasp them thin when you bevel from the top. This way, he can wear away the quarters on his own, as opposed to being set down ground right away. I have found that this helps my paint with extremely flat feet/coffin bones.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 01:22 PM
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I've always been under the impression that because of their size, their feet will always be flatter? Bigger feet, more weight, possibly lower coffin bone due to their weight. That's what I've always thought. Now I'll need to bug my farrier LOL.

But I'm with Loosie on being very wary about removing sole. They could be thinner as they are flatter, so every bit counts. But on the other hand, varying thickness in areas on a flat foot could easily cause jamming up into the sole?

And watch your toes! My farrier told me of a farrier who lost his toes when a clydesdale haphazardly stomped at some flies. Eesh.

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post #5 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 01:52 PM
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I know a herd of 20 Clydesdale that are barefoot, I found their hoof is a lot smaller than you think once you get it under control. The owner swears that drafts are great barefoot because the regrow so quickly and doesn't bother them when driven on pavement or gravel roads. Their feet are not suppose to be flat or flared just like any other hoof, or at least this 20 horses don't, they just look like large hoofs just like my 800 pound pony.

I should mention I don't trim feet or anything, just going by this small farm, and their owner who trims them barefoot himself.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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The Clyde is not my customer. He has a farrier but the woman is moving to another barn. I think boots are the way to go. Also, hopefully she'll have a trimmer/farrier that knows how to keep that hoof together.

Aren't those Budweiser Clydes barefoot?
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post #7 of 31 Old 01-28-2014, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by princessfluffybritches View Post
Aren't those Budweiser Clydes barefoot?
Dunno, but have you seen the Youtube ad with them & the donkey?? Too cute!
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-29-2014, 08:12 PM
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My percheron mix had very flat soles for ~2 years until I brought his toes back, and to do that I had to get pretty aggressive. I pretty much made it so he walked on his sole, frog and heel buttress and all other hoof wall (and bar)was relieved. The extra sole he had eventually started cracking out on it's own after a couple trims like that. Now he has nice concavity, so his trims are more maintenance with a light bevel. You can't carve concavity... well, you CAN. But you shouldn't. It's faux concavity.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-30-2014, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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If I expose live sole without trimming into it, the sole already has the shape of concavity. A build up of sole and compression of it is not what "wild " horses do. They exfoliate on a daily basis- IMO we should not be leaving sole to be compressed into concavity. The live sole never gets a chance to harden up like it should . When you trim to live sole, the softest area is the freshest sole next to live sole. That's what I want hard as a rock. And that's what I get a day or so later.

IMO a healthy hoof/ wild horse model exfoliates daily, not every 4-6 weeks.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-30-2014, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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This trim was 4 weeks ago exfoliating to live sole. Looks like the pic distorted the toe and frog. The toe is not that long and the frog is not that skinny.
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Last edited by princessfluffybritches; 01-30-2014 at 12:18 PM.
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