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Barefoot horse may need shoes - here's my dilemma...

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  • Horse barefoot
  • Barefoot or shoes horse

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    07-09-2012, 01:10 PM
  #11
Green Broke
So to my question about Aluminum vs. Steel, anyone else have any opinions there?

1. Aluminum vs Steel on the fronts – I know Aluminum is more $ and wears down faster, but some have told me not to put Steel on the fronts because it will change the horse’s way of going…any experiences with either?

So far I've had 2 people I know tell me the difference is negligable and they didn't notice one at all with their horses and they use steel on all 4. And 1 person only puts aluminum on her horse's fronts. The trainer at the barn told me to use aluminum on the fronts because otherwise it would change her gaits, but so far I'm leaning towards at least trying all steel first, for my pocket book's sake if nothing else!
     
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    07-09-2012, 01:57 PM
  #12
Trained
I don't know what the limestone footing is like, but I'm assuming it's like walking on pavement or bedrock. I don't think I would want to be doing arena work on that kind of surface without something on my horse's feet. But not due to wear, due to traction. Any horse I've ever ridden is not confident at more than a trot on slick ground and for corners... hmmm.. never mind jumping.

I know you said you tried Cavellos on her and that they rubbed the sole. That doesn't make much sense to me, but I have never seen Cavellos live, in person. Still, it sounds more to me like either the trim wasn't right or the boots didn't fit right. I would be inclined to try a different boot. Some people's farriers stock various sizes so their clients can try something before they buy.

Also, I really doubt that the hooves are wearing faster than they can grow. It's likely a transition time for her and boots would help you to ease through that transition and maybe keep her barefoot. Generally speaking, with a proper diet, the hooves will grow as much as they need to for the given terrain but it takes a while for that to show. How long, I unfortunately don't know. I would suspect 3 months or more.

If her feet are chipping, usually that is a sign that the hooves are too long and in need of trim. If now there is nothing to trim at 7 weeks, they should not be chipping anymore. If the trimmer says there is nothing to trim, but the next day there is fresh chipping, then obviously there is indeed something to trim.

How would you feel about posting pics of your horse's feet?
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    07-09-2012, 02:02 PM
  #13
Started
I only use aluminum for specialty shoes, like the wedges my clubfooted mare wears. I just put steel shoes on my four year old for the first time, and after a day, it was like she didn't even notice they were there.
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    07-09-2012, 02:16 PM
  #14
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand    
Yes when it packs down it packs VERY hard, or if it rains a ton then it's like CEMENT until it gets dragged again! I'm not sure about pavement, as there isn't any around to work her on (the driveway is gravel and the road is too busy with a blind hill, fast speed limit, and huge ditches on either side so I'd never walk her on that).

When you mention hoof soaks, what are you referencing/what product do you use?

Also in terms of drying it certainly is (and this dry summer we've had is certainly not helping out the pasture either!). The farrier has me using Keratex which is a hoof hardener as kind of a last ditch effort to keep her barefoot but her hooves are still chipping and wearing down.
If the ground is that hard I'd be weary of putting shoes on as the she will take all the impact in her bones and joints as opposed to the hoof flexing and taking some of the impact. Everyone has told me you never want to do more then a walk on concrete or pavement with shoes on. I haven't had shoes on any of my horses in years tho so my info may be a bit out dated. I prefer easyboots if I'm riding on any kind of terrain that might make my horse uncomfortable(although so far they are all sound even on gravel)
     
    07-09-2012, 03:57 PM
  #15
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
I don't know what the limestone footing is like, but I'm assuming it's like walking on pavement or bedrock. I don't think I would want to be doing arena work on that kind of surface without something on my horse's feet. But not due to wear, due to traction. Any horse I've ever ridden is not confident at more than a trot on slick ground and for corners... hmmm.. never mind jumping.

I know you said you tried Cavellos on her and that they rubbed the sole. That doesn't make much sense to me, but I have never seen Cavellos live, in person. Still, it sounds more to me like either the trim wasn't right or the boots didn't fit right. I would be inclined to try a different boot. Some people's farriers stock various sizes so their clients can try something before they buy.

Also, I really doubt that the hooves are wearing faster than they can grow. It's likely a transition time for her and boots would help you to ease through that transition and maybe keep her barefoot. Generally speaking, with a proper diet, the hooves will grow as much as they need to for the given terrain but it takes a while for that to show. How long, I unfortunately don't know. I would suspect 3 months or more.

If her feet are chipping, usually that is a sign that the hooves are too long and in need of trim. If now there is nothing to trim at 7 weeks, they should not be chipping anymore. If the trimmer says there is nothing to trim, but the next day there is fresh chipping, then obviously there is indeed something to trim.

How would you feel about posting pics of your horse's feet?
Below is a video of the arena just so you can get an idea of the footing. As for the boots, I measured her and she actually has exact circular front hooves and I purchased the boots that she was an exact measurement for, so at least in that respect she was fit perfectly. However after I purchased them, I did hear from others than the Cavellos rubbed and sure enough, they rubbed on her as well. So perhaps it just is the brand and/or how they are made.

She's been at this barn for a little over 3 months now, and the longer she's here, the worse her feet are getting. So I'm not sure how much longer I can leave her barefoot without some lameness starting to show, but I can tell you that the longer we go in this footing, the shorter strided she is becoming and the less she is tracking up. She's never been on footing like this before consistently, she's always been in a deeper footing sand arena, so this shallow footing limestone stuff is definitely a big change for her.

I've had her for almost 4 years now and I've never seen her hooves this ripped up before. Previously she could go anywhere from 6-8 weeks between trims, and she might have 1 or 2 small chips around week 7 or 8 with plenty of extra hoof past the white line for the farrier to clip off.

Now about 2 weeks after the last trim, she is chipped up so badly it looks like I never get her hooves done, and even 7 weeks out, she has barely any hoof beyond the white line. Her frog is also changing, becoming very hard and flat, seems to be wearing down.

I planned on getting some photos tonight that I can post on here for everyone to take a look at. The farrier is coming Thursday so I'll be picking his brain on the subject then once he has a chance to look at her.
     
    07-09-2012, 04:00 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Here's the video...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSP1...3&feature=plcp
     
    07-09-2012, 04:12 PM
  #17
Trained
The footing doesn't seem to be so unforgiving. It's definitely got some movement to absorb some impact, some give for traction. It can be raked, so it's not as hard as bedrock by a long shot.

Is it pure limestone or is it a calcium mix? I'm just trying to figure out in my mind how a particular mineral might affect hoof abrasion. I don't see how in heck footing that I see in the video would cause chipping.

I'll be watching for the pics when you get a chance.
     
    07-09-2012, 04:20 PM
  #18
Green Broke
I'm not sure of the exact mix, but I do know it's the same stuff one of the local trails uses, and at my old barn when we'd trailer out and go on a ride, Sandie's feet would be all chipped up when we got back. So I know it's the footing. Also apparently others who have come to board at this barn have left because of it, and there are some who won't come and show there because of it.

But around here, most of the arenas are sand or that sand/rubber mix that seems to be becoming all the rage around here. The good thing about the limestone is that it drains really well so you don't have issues with slippery footing or giant mud puddles or anything. The bad news is that it can be harder and cause what I'm seeing with my barefoot mare. I can try to take a photo of it up close tonight but without actually being here and seeing it in person I don't know how much that would actually help.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter since I know the footing is causing all the chipping and I have 2 choices now - leaving for another barn with softer footing but whose care may not be as good as this one, trainers might not be as good, and I may not like as much...or staying here and potentially putting shoes on my mare who's been barefoot her entire 11 year long life, to deal with the footing.
     
    07-09-2012, 04:31 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Oh I found a few of her front right, these were taken about a week after the last trim where they just rasped them. They look much more chipped now, but I'll get some more updated ones tonight.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1745.jpg (37.7 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1746.jpg (38.1 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1747.jpg (29.9 KB, 127 views)
     
    07-09-2012, 04:31 PM
  #20
Yearling
Have you tried to find a natural hoof trimmer??? It costs the same to do a trim, and depending on how far they have to travel, may charge a little for distance. And i'm learning how to do a natural trim myself, plus it seems to make more sense to me. I've taken my barefoot gelding on roads and never had a problem, and since they oiled and chipped the road had to take him across that too. And never had a problem. Just a suggestion. :)
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