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Hoof problems..

This is a discussion on Hoof problems.. within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Durasol hooves
  • Hoof problems after going on alfalfa pellets

 
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    05-25-2009, 06:26 PM
  #21
Weanling
I would see if your vet would sell you some formaldehyde and iodine (50/50 mix) so you can spray it on the cracks and on the soles. It will help combat fungus and bacteria that is growing up in there. Don't let it come in contact with the skin as it is very irritating.....don't panic if it does get on there because it does happen and none of mine have shown any injury from the occasions it has run quicker than I anticpated. I have also gotten it on my skin with no ill-effects. Apply it once weekly with a spray bottle.

I like dac's hoof supplement. Hoof Health - Omega Horse Solutions
     
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    05-25-2009, 08:47 PM
  #22
Trained
Solo, his walls will get stronger, not weaker by going barefoot, and his soles will get tougher. But it does take time. Think of going barefoot yourself as a little kid -- those first few times across the gravel driveway in the spring were killers, but by June you don't even notice right? That's because your feet callous. So does a horse's sole. And the more wear on the walls, the more they will grow and the stronger they will get. Again, though, it does take time. If he's a bit ouchy, lots of people use hoof boots. Although I have transitioned four horses and none of them were ever more sore without their shoes -- right from the start they were fine. Well, wait, yes they were a bit ouchy on the gravel for a couple of days. I was also in the training process for each of them at the same time, so they were just being led around anyway. Within a week though there was no difference on any terrain. But all horses are different. Just keep paying the good attention to yours.

People are probably telling you the walls will crumble because what does happen is that if the hooves are allowed to grow too long they begin to "self-trim" and chips will break off. You want to avoid that and regular care will see to it for you. You sound very interested and that's so nice to hear. Why not check out some barefoot sites on the 'net? There are lots of them. Two very reputable sites are www.hoofrehab.com and www.jaime-jackson.com . I personally go more for the first site, but jaime jackson has done oodles of research and is very informative.

Barrelracer brought up a good point about preventing bacteria growth, although I don't go for the formaldehyde. I've never used it. Iodine, yes. I have also used 50/50 cider vinegar and water, a weak chlorine solution (maybe 10/90) and peroxide. I tend to use only the cider vinegar one repeatedly -- daily if needed. The others only once every couple of weeks if really needed as they do kill all the good stuff along with the bad. Betadine (iodine and sugar) is popular also.

I'll tell you that this works. My girl Lisa's feet are now a full inch wider than they were when she came and probably about 2 inches shorter! I kept her old shoes as a reminder of what people do without thinking. So keep your horses old shoes and check it out in a month or two. Then keep the shoes and next year when you are advocating barefoot to others, you'll have a demostration readily available! OK, ok... I'm getting a bit carried away now... I'll go calm down...

Let us know what comes of this please.
     
    05-25-2009, 09:05 PM
  #23
Weanling
One thing that has worked well for my horses with cracks is that my blacksmith actually opens up the crack so that I can clean it out. He'll use a little dremel and just open it so I can get a horseshoe nail in there to clean it. Also, my horses are barefoot, when a crack happens, he will nip a notch back right on the crack at the wall so that the wall where the crack is bears little pressure on the crack. All have grown out when he does this.
     
    05-25-2009, 09:17 PM
  #24
Weanling
Northernmama is right they are sometimes ouchy at first like if your nail is long and then all of a sudden short. Keep a horse file on hand to catch chips before they peel off. You can ride in soft dirt , grass or with the boots. She is also right about the hooves getting bigger. My AQHA is 16 hh and 1300lbs and had very small feet for his body they have gotten wider and shorter and now look well porportioned for his body! Please keep us posted I can't wait to watch his transition.
     
    05-26-2009, 12:29 AM
  #25
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo    
northernmama: Wow that was great! Thank you for showing me that! I can't believe that red line is supposed to be straight... What a difference! I have people telling me that if I take his shoes off the wall is going to crumble and he will get stone bruises and be sore and unrideable forever. What do you think of that? I just replied that it would be better for him to get used to that and me not be able to ride for a while then to keep nailing nails back into a CLEARLY distraught hoof. Do you think I will be unable to ride for a while? We have sand in the outside and a very soft dirt on the inside. His paddock is part grass part dirt and at the moment part mud.
Yup, she did a great job with the illustrations.

If you take the shoes off, he will be sore, for a while, and you may have to give him a break from riding. There's no way around that. However, taking the shoes off will help him grow MORE wall and healthier feet in the long run. Using Durasol and maybe riding with hoof boots will help his transition, and may keep him riding sound right away. If you can find a good barefoot trimmer and hang in there, his feet WILL improve.

Quote:
Question for you. The supplement I have him on now seems to have been working wonders for his feet. Could that just have been the appearance on the outside? There was such a noticeable difference from when I got him.

Farrier's Formula works, but I think adding flax will help even more. You can keep him on it and add the Omega Horseshine if you don't want to change things too much. The flax will help keep the hoof from drying out, so you won't need the topical creams. You might think about putting him on a more natural diet as well; no grains, no feed, just hay, alfalfa pellets, and a vitamin supplement. This kind of diet helped improve my horses' feet and overall well being even more! The sugars and starches in many feeds and grains can really mess up a horse's metabolism, and it will show in the feet (as well as behavior for some).
     
    05-26-2009, 04:27 PM
  #26
Foal
Barelracer Up: Thank you for the suggestion! I am going to call the vet and see what she says in terms of of what I should do with his diet and what I should put on his feet.

Northernmama: I love going barefoot! Hopefully Indy would feel the same way. We actually don't have gravel or anything on the property, it is all grass, sand and really fine dirt that feels good to walk on. The only cement is in the big barn (where he never goes anyway) and the washing rack which can be avoided if necessary. Indy actually went barefoot for about three weeks last summer when he threw all four shoes (in two days!!!) and the farrier could not come out due to a family emergency or something like that (I don't remember the exact cause). He didn't miss a beat and I even ended up working him/riding him the same as I normally do because he gets a little nutty after two days off. The vet came out and told me that as long as I started with minimal bits of work he would be fine and by the middle of week three we were doing everything like normal (at this stage in his training it was just w/t/c. We are still just working on w/t/c simple lead changes and transitions, leg yields, shoulders in, disengaging his hind quarters et cetera. Hopefully by the end of the summer we will be doing some low jumping because as you may have seen in the critique section, he seems to have a little bit of a talent for jumping). At that point I was using the cider vinegar water mix and it seemed to have helped. Is that something you would recommend starting up again?

Of course I will keep you all updated! I am thinking of starting a horse journal for Indy so that I don't have to keep making hundreds of new threads (okay maybe not quite HUNDREDS...) and only making the new ones when I have an URGENT question such as this one. I love posting pictures and things. Before and after pictures! YES!

7ponies: That is an interesting method, thanks for sharing it! I have not heard of this before but I will see what my farrier has to say about it. Thanks!

Chella: At the barn where he is they have their own set of "farriers equipment" so theoretically I could go out there and trim/shoe him whenever I want to. Not that I would but down the line maybe I will learn to do it myself! That's a smart idea about catching the chips before they peel off. Thanks!

Luvs2ride1979: At this point if he has to take a month off of riding or more, fine. What's one month compared to the rest of his life and mine? We could probably use some extensive groundwork training. I just want his feet to get better! No hooves no horse.

You were talking about switching him to just hay, alfalfa pellets, and a vitamin supplement. Right now I don't necessarily ride him hard but I do ride him a lot. Would that type of diet be okay for him? Also, are alfalfa pellets expensive? The vet really likes the way his diet is set up now but I will also bring this up when I talk to her about what I can use on his feet. Thanks!


Well the good news is that the first guy I emailed got back to me and he sounds wonderful. He knows a lot, has some great recommendations, isn't to far away, and is not overly priced. He may be coming out as soon as tomorrow! I am sending him the pictures of Indy's feet and we will see what he says! I will keep you all updated, thanks so much!
     
    05-26-2009, 06:05 PM
  #27
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo    
luvs2ride1979: At this point if he has to take a month off of riding or more, fine. What's one month compared to the rest of his life and mine? We could probably use some extensive groundwork training. I just want his feet to get better! No hooves no horse.

You were talking about switching him to just hay, alfalfa pellets, and a vitamin supplement. Right now I don't necessarily ride him hard but I do ride him a lot. Would that type of diet be okay for him? Also, are alfalfa pellets expensive? The vet really likes the way his diet is set up now but I will also bring this up when I talk to her about what I can use on his feet. Thanks!
As long as he's getting a lot of GOOD quality hay, then he should only need 1-4 lbs of Alfalfa pellets plus 1/2 cup of flax or rice bran to keep his weight up. Alfalfa pellets are calorie dense and high in quality, muscle building protein. My "hard keeper" TBxArab maintains well on 25 lbs of bermuda a day with 1.5 lbs of alfalfa pellets.

A grain-free diet promotes hoof health and a healthy metabolism. It's like people giving up on refined and artificial sweeteners and refined flour. We (would) be much healthier and fitter, though who can stick with that, lol. Thankfully, our horses only have access to the foods we want them to have, so we can keep them healthier and from ruining their diets .

If he loses weight, then you can increase the flax or rice bran to 1 cup, the alfalfa pellets to 6 lbs, and add a probiotic like Source Focus WT. Once his weight levels out, you can slowly reduce his feed as his body and metabolism adjusts to the new diet. Even in hard work, my horses can maintain on just 2-2.5 lbs of Alfalfa pellets a day, along with 1/2 to 1 cup of flax. I use NutraFlax from horsetech.com. Omega Horseshine is good too, or you can just buy whole flax from your feed store. You don't need to grind or soak North American grown Flax for horses.

To round out the horse's diet, you do need to add some vitamins. They all seem to work well. I have used GrandVite, Select II, Balance II, SmartVite Maintenance Grass, and Uckele's Equi-Base Grass. I didn't notice a whole lot of difference in their outward health/apperance on any of them. Next I'm going to try a custom blend from HorseTech.com of their PhotoFinish and NutraFlax products, so I can get down to one bucket. They don't charge anything extra for customizing the blends, only for the added ingredients.

This "natural" type diet really helped my horses a lot. Their overall "glow" improved, their feet and coats are better, my mare is a LOT less "marey", they both are calmer, they both have better work ethics, and my "hard keeper" is now in danger of getting FAT! Lol I don't go back to grains or commerically prepared feeds again if I can help it.

Quote:
Well the good news is that the first guy I emailed got back to me and he sounds wonderful. He knows a lot, has some great recommendations, isn't to far away, and is not overly priced. He may be coming out as soon as tomorrow! I am sending him the pictures of Indy's feet and we will see what he says! I will keep you all updated, thanks so much!
Good to hear you might have found someone. Update us with before and after photos, and let us know how tender he is after the trim.
     
    05-26-2009, 08:50 PM
  #28
Started
When you keep a horse barefoot you must be sure the trimmer is not taking off sole. Very important.. If they trim the walls short and round them well to prevent breakage and to facilitate breakover they need that dead sole. It will flake off on it's own.. Hope this guy is as good as he says he is. ;)
     
    05-26-2009, 09:23 PM
  #29
Foal
I too have had horses with cracks similar to that and the best remedy I have found besides a great farrier is horseshoer's secret and applying pine tar the hooves 2 times a week, its amazing what the pine tar can do in as little as a month...now my horses are crack free ;)
     
    05-26-2009, 10:30 PM
  #30
Trained
Here is an article by Pete Ramey on wall cracks, realy good info!

Article
     

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