Just went semi shoeless - have questions
   

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Just went semi shoeless - have questions

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        11-03-2011, 07:21 PM
      #1
    Trained
    Just went semi shoeless - have questions

    I just pulled my TB's hind shoes a few days ago. The first few days he just looked more confused than anything. He's not lame exactly but not sure how to walk either. I'm guessing he's just wondering what all that feeling is down there, probably some pins and needles stuff too. I've been walking him of varied surfaces to see what he's comfortable with. To my dismay, he likes the hard pavement of the driveway and barn aisle best, followed by the hard dirt walkway to the paddock, is very tentative about the indoor sand arena and hates his muddy paddock. I'm thinking it's more due to how the surfaces feel more than anything, but I'm just surprised that he likes the hard stuff. I expected some degree of lameness on hard/not soft, but got the other way around. Has anyone who's gone shoeless experienced this?
         
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        11-03-2011, 08:13 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Perhaps he has thin/weak soles & heels. Perhaps he's a little laminitic.
         
        11-03-2011, 08:18 PM
      #3
    Trained
    He's been out of shoes for 3 days. Of course he has thin/week soles. I wasn't expecting him to be jumping for joy on day 1. He's been shod since he was a yearling which is 8 years ago. If you're going to throw the possibility of laminitis, please at least elaborate on why you suggest that possibility and what I should be looking for. I'm worried enough about making this transition. I don't need anymore stress. I was simply wondering why a newly barefoot horse would prefer harder surfaces when I would think it would be the other way around.
         
        11-03-2011, 08:21 PM
      #4
    Trained
    WOW, way to encourage more replies, nice one.
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        11-03-2011, 08:41 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    I've seen this type of behaviour before when shoes are pulled, it is similar to a tendon injury where the horse finds soft surfaces more problematic as the hoof/pastern angles are not as well supported as they are on hard surfaces and there is greater variance of the angles that the hoof must accomodate.

    The soft sand impacts directly on the sole and effectively fills all the little nooks and crannies that would normally be free from pressure on a hard surface such as concrete; thus creating more pressure points and the 'ouchie' gait that I am guessing you are seeing.

    Bobs did the same thing when I pulled her back shoes about six months ago - sand was more uncomfortable for her to walk on than the hard driveway. Took about 5/6 days to subside then she was good as gold. I put some herbal ointment (will look up the name if you like) on to help strengthen the sole. Can't remember the brand name off the top of my head but the key ingredient was stockholm tar.

    If it makes you feel better Bobs is now totally barefoot and sound (albeit in very light work) and she has very flat feet, never thought she would survive without shoes. She has been receiving biotin in her daily feed for about a year and I reckon that's how long it took for the hoof to completely regrow.
         
        11-03-2011, 08:45 PM
      #6
    Trained
    Thank you sarahver, that makes sense. I'm glad to hear it was a relatively short recovery time too. I've been using Farrier's Fix oil on the soles which is mostly venice turpentine so hopefully that will work. Does it help to keep walking him on just hard surfaces until he's toughened up, or should I keep trying the more challenging stuff while he's adjusting?
         
        11-03-2011, 08:46 PM
      #7
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    He's been out of shoes for 3 days. Of course he has thin/week soles.
    How am I supposed to know that? Those 2 points don't necessarily go hand in hand.

    Quote:
    He's been shod since he was a yearling which is 8 years ago.
    The things people do! I'd consider that he may have very unhealthy, weak feet & will need protection, at least for a while.

    Quote:
    If you're going to throw the possibility of laminitis, please at least elaborate on why you suggest that possibility and what I should be looking for.
    With hardly any info, no pics, all I can at least elaborate to your 'simple wondering' is that he doesn't seem to be comfortable with any sole &/or frog pressure, which can be a symptom of laminitis... or other things.
         
        11-03-2011, 08:51 PM
      #8
    Trained
    Sorry, I should have given more background info. He's a former racehorse, so he's been in shoes all his life. I had been working on improving his hoof quality in anticipation of taking off the shoes this fall, but there's only so much you can do without actually pulling them. I figure most horses who go through the transition are weak at first. I took pics today, so I'll post them tomorrow when I get a chance. There's no heat or anything, so I hope there's nothing serious going on. I really am a nervous nellie about this. I just want to do the right thing for my horse. I chickened out about removing all 4 shoes. I figure I'll see if he can handle the easy two feet and maybe try to fronts next fall.
         
        11-03-2011, 08:53 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Thank you sarahver, that makes sense. I'm glad to hear it was a relatively short recovery time too. I've been using Farrier's Fix oil on the soles which is mostly venice turpentine so hopefully that will work. Does it help to keep walking him on just hard surfaces until he's toughened up, or should I keep trying the more challenging stuff while he's adjusting?
    Actually I pretty much left her to her own devices in the pasture, only bringing her out to put more ointment on her soles. Her pasture is a mix of hard/soft ground so I just allowed her to choose her own surface as she saw fit. When I rode her for the first time I chose a relatively flat grassy area for the first week of riding, second week we were back in the arena no problems
         
        11-03-2011, 08:54 PM
      #10
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    Thank you sarahver, that makes sense. I'm glad to hear it was a relatively short recovery time too. I've been using Farrier's Fix oil on the soles which is mostly venice turpentine so hopefully that will work. Does it help to keep walking him on just hard surfaces until he's toughened up, or should I keep trying the more challenging stuff while he's adjusting?
    Sara, yes, another possibility. The sand creates pressure, but not pressure points tho, unless there are sharp rocks in it.

    I wouldn't be putting oil, turps or such on his feet. They don't need to be harder so much as grow thicker, to provide the support & protection needed. Therefore I would be thinking about 'toughening up & 'adjusting' for now, until they can become healthier first. Best move is to learn all you can about hoof function & management. Hoofrehab.com & barehoofcare.com are 2 good sites.
         

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