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Just went semi shoeless - have questions

This is a discussion on Just went semi shoeless - have questions within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Powered by vBulletin soft tissue management
  • Conforming surface for barefoot horses

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    11-04-2011, 12:39 PM
  #21
Foal
Horses are designed/adapted to live outside and constantly be moving reguardless if it's arid or not. Constant movement is essential to proper development of those soft structures. I'm not arguing what you said about palmar/plantar angles and your examples of shoes that help protect those weak structures. But that's treating the symptoms of under developed structures. On the other hand I think the barefoot folks do a good job addressing the causes and treatment of weak underdeveloped soft tissues through their barefoot managment protocol. I don't think it should be so readily dismissed as "barefoot brigade nonsense" or "idealistic barefoot dogma".

This is my most favorite quote on the shoes vs barefoot debate.
"Shoeing is a necessary evil that cannot be denied. Shoes fitted and applied in the best-known method are detrimental to the free functioning of the foot structures. Every nail driven into the wall of the hoof destroys a number of horn fibers and tends to weaken the main weight-bearing part of the foot. The shoe raises the frog from the ground and interferes with the functioning of the horny frog and elastic structures."
The Cavalry Horseshoer's Technical Manual, TM 2-220 War Department March 11, 1941 chapter 1, section I, paragraph 1b.
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    11-04-2011, 08:56 PM
  #22
Trained
Guys, this is not intended to be a barefoot or not discussion. I've been researching the pros and cons for over a year. I'm middle ground on this issue. I decided to try it. It's my horse and my choice. Knock me or don't knock me for my decision. I don't give a crap. All I am asking for is help either in interpreting what's happening with my horse since they were pulled.

Today when I got the barn, he had obviously not moved at all. His hind legs were puffed up which is not uncommon for him. It's reason he is on pasture board and not in a stall. He did not want to move at all. I finally got him moving with a bag of carrots, got him walking on the hard surface until the puffy ankles went down, put hoof boots on his feet and left him to graze for 2 hours at which time he traveled a good distance.

Below are pics of his feet on day one. Any idea of how long a road I'm looking at with these feet?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hind.jpg (50.7 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg righthind.jpg (54.9 KB, 101 views)
     
    11-05-2011, 12:16 AM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Zimmerman    
Horses are designed/adapted to live outside and constantly be moving reguardless if it's arid or not.
Who said they weren't?

Quote:
Constant movement is essential to proper development of those soft structures.
What soft structures and why bring this up?

Quote:
I'm not arguing what you said about palmar/plantar angles and your examples of shoes that help protect those weak structures. But that's treating the symptoms of under developed structures.
Who said anything about treating symptoms of under developed structures? No, you didn't argue with what I said about palmar/plantar angles but I noticed you didn't answer the questions either.

Quote:
On the other hand I think the barefoot folks do a good job addressing the causes and treatment of weak underdeveloped soft tissues through their barefoot managment protocol. I don't think it should be so readily dismissed as "barefoot brigade nonsense" or "idealistic barefoot dogma".
Apples and oranges. The topic isn't about "under developed soft tissues"; it's about a horse that presents an unidentified level of lameness as footing firmness is decreased; said lameness becoming apparent after the hind shoes are removed.

Quote:
This is my most favorite quote on the shoes vs barefoot debate.
"Shoeing is a necessary evil that cannot be denied. Shoes fitted and applied in the best-known method are detrimental to the free functioning of the foot structures. Every nail driven into the wall of the hoof destroys a number of horn fibers and tends to weaken the main weight-bearing part of the foot. The shoe raises the frog from the ground and interferes with the functioning of the horny frog and elastic structures."
The Cavalry Horseshoer's Technical Manual, TM 2-220 War Department March 11, 1941 chapter 1, section I, paragraph 1b.
It's a fine manual; I've read it and have a copy here. The information is also more than 70 years old. Much of the information is very good and still valid today. Much of it is not. Either way, it has little to do with the original posters topic/questions.

Cheers,
Mark
     
    11-05-2011, 01:17 AM
  #24
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Guys, this is not intended to be a barefoot or not discussion.
Not sure what "guys" you're writing about but I was never unclear on your questions or intent.

Quote:
I've been researching the pros and cons for over a year. I'm middle ground on this issue.
Apparently your horse is only willing to share that "middle ground" if it's fairly firm.

Quote:
I decided to try it.
Fine. You didn't answer my first question. Why was the horse shod on the hinds to begin with?

Quote:
It's my horse and my choice.
It's a shame that horses don't get more of a choice in such decisions but I don't deny anyone their property rights. As you said, it's your horse, your choice.

Quote:
Knock me or don't knock me for my decision. I don't give a crap. All I am asking for is help either in interpreting what's happening with my horse since they were pulled.
You asked; I answered; albeit choosing what I thought was a more interesting/educational venue. It was your choice to ignore that response.

Quote:
Today when I got the barn, he had obviously not moved at all. His hind legs were puffed up which is not uncommon for him. It's reason he is on pasture board and not in a stall. He did not want to move at all.
Maybe researching the "pros and cons for over a year" fell a bit short.

Quote:
I finally got him moving with a bag of carrots, got him walking on the hard surface until the puffy ankles went down, put hoof boots on his feet and left him to graze for 2 hours at which time he traveled a good distance.
Carrots, hoof boots, hand walking over a hard surface, cattle prod. Hey, whatever blows your hair back.

Quote:
Below are pics of his feet on day one. Any idea of how long a road I'm looking at with these feet?
Okay, I get it. You win. You're not seeking help for the horse. You're looking for someone to pat you on the back for having the "courage" to take your horse barefoot and to reassure you that it's okay for a horse to live in discomfort while it "transitions" from lame to sound.

Sorry, I don't sell rainbows and I don't trim unicorns. Come back when you're serious about learning why a horse, recently un-shod, might present discomfort while moving over soft versus firm ground.

In the meantime, keep a supply of carrot bait on hand, hope for dry weather and good luck with the hoof boots.

Cheers,
Mark

P.S. The hoof boots would probably provide a temporary, partial solution but I'd bet dollars to donut holes that you can't tell me why.
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    11-05-2011, 03:29 AM
  #25
Green Broke
I think it's good that he's comfortable on hard surfaces. When my guys went barefoot, hard surfaces (well, hard packed dirt roads with gravel on the top) were (and still are) their biggest challenge. So if anything your horse is ahead of the curve.

I know he's your baby, and I feel the same way about mine, but try not to worry so much. I would only boot him if I am riding, otherwise let him go barefoot on the hinds.

Don't over-think things and worry. It will either work for him or it won't, but it's not the end of the world either way. The worst case senario is you have to put shoes back on him.

My horses have been barefoot for 6 years now. At first my goal was to have them barefoot 100% of the time. Now I have come to the realization that I would rather boot them if I ride for hours at a time (we sometimes ride 5-6 hours in the mountains) and not have to worry about their feet.

But I don't mind using the boots (I normally only have to boot the fronts) and the rest of the time they are barefoot. So they still get the benefits of barefoot while getting hoof protection while ridden. So I have come to look at hoof boots as strap-on horse shoes. Similar to our own shoes. They are barefoot at "home" and only wear their shoes on if we are going for long rides in rocky areas.
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    11-05-2011, 03:33 AM
  #26
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseman56    
P.S. The hoof boots would probably provide a temporary, partial solution but I'd bet dollars to donut holes that you can't tell me why.
Because it would be similar to horseshoes. The hoof wall would be weight bearing and not the soles/frogs. (Although I believe some horses would still have sole and frog pressure depending on their hoof conformation).

Note to MyBoyPuck, I think his back feet look fine. It looks like the frogs may have been trimmed at some point (?) but they will grow and I don't see anything worrying about the looks of his hooves.
     
    11-05-2011, 03:48 AM
  #27
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Zimmerman    
The reason I so easily dismiss the idea of laminitis is a horse with laminitis would rather load it's sole and frog in a soft surface to better distribute weight bearing load, rather than a hard flat surface were it's weight is only on the hoof wall which is connected to the coffin bone by the laminae.
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Yeah, that is so, but it depends on the state of those soles & heels, whether they can cope with any pressure, and I think how mild or otherwise any current laminitic 'attack' may be. If there's little or no current inflammation say, but the soles are very thin, then they may be more uncomfortable on conforming surfaces.
     
    11-05-2011, 04:06 AM
  #28
Trained
MyBoyPuck, his feet look ok actually, from what can be told of those pics(need more to give more). Can't give you any time frame though. 'It depends' is the only answer, because there are just so many variables.
     
    11-05-2011, 10:10 AM
  #29
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Yeah, that is so, but it depends on the state of those soles & heels, whether they can cope with any pressure, and I think how mild or otherwise any current laminitic 'attack' may be. If there's little or no current inflammation say, but the soles are very thin, then they may be more uncomfortable on conforming surfaces.
Good point.

The feet don't look too bad. I tell my clients when they want to go barefoot but are hesitant, you'll only know if you try.
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    11-05-2011, 11:37 AM
  #30
Trained
Mike and loosie, that's good that at least his feet look okay to start with. Do those pics give any hint of the paper thin walls people talk about with TB's?

Horseman, not sure why you insist on being so judgemental. You'll have to chastise the New York racing circuit for putting shoes on him to begin with. I've only had him since he retired. If you must know my logic for removing the shoes, in the 4 years I've had him, he's been stiff in his hind end. It takes him 45 minutes to fully warm up and we can get some work done. He is constantly shifting his balance from one leg to the other. His legs get ice cold in winter even when his body is toasty warm. I read about shoeless improving circulation and it seemed a logical thing to try. I love my horse dearly and would do anything for him. Pity you feel the need to try to shame me for it. As I said before, really don't care. Just want expert eyes to tell me if the feet look and sound like a train wreck or if I should proceed.

Loosie and Mike, are there other pics I can get? I had to take those alone in a power outage. I could get better ones outside today.
     

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