My Appaloosa has tender white hooves, any suggestions? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-13-2012, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Essex, MA
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Hi it's April in Massachusetts so its kind of muddy and then things"ll dry out for a few days and then be muddy again. I usually ride him on the street to the trail. We do w/t/c and small jumps. I'm leaning towards shoeing him. I did have a farrier look at him and she recommended shoes. I just have this trimmer in my ear telling me that his feet will never toughen up if I shoe him.
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-13-2012, 08:31 PM
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If it's alternating muddy/drying it is common with sole bruises to see the lameness go from very bad (when muddy) to very little (when dry). Is this the pattern you see?
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-13-2012, 09:28 PM
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Are the streets dirt or paved or rocky?

If so then hoof boots are definitely a sound idea. You should try to avoid hard surfaces with barefoot horses if they aren't used to them or they're dealing with mud in their pastures.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-13-2012, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bridgetmarie View Post
Hello, I'm getting so much conflicting information it is hard to know what to do.
We all sympathise there - if you ask 10 different horsepeople's opinions, you'll get 10 conflicting replies! It just becomes a matter of educating yourself & learning about the pros, cons, effects of different approaches in order to weigh them up.

I bought easycare backcountry trail boots and am waiting for them to come in the mail. But some people are of the opinion that I should shoe him to prevent new bruises and help heal current bruises. Someone said he needs to be up off the sole in order to heal.
Great that you've already ordered boots for him. That should do the trick to provide him with protection for riding. As for shoeing for prevention & healing, shoes do not provide protection to the base of the foot without pads as well, except in that they raise the sole from the ground an extra 8mm or so, which may take it out of harm's way if on flat surfaces. Shoes also put constant pressure on the walls, laminae and often the edges of the sole. If the sole is thin, this constant pressure can cause bruising/abscesses of itself.

Shoes, or boots for that matter, don't do anything to aid healing. That will just take time. I don't believe jacking them up from their soles - peripherally loading walls - is helpful, as it just transfers the areas of strain & damage, and taking the sole out of use & peripherally loading causes it to become weaker & thinner IME. But of course, thin/flat soles do need protection & support, as the 'armour plating' isn't thick enough to protect the internal foot.

I don't know what to do because last night he was almost imobile.
Sounds like it may have become an abscess if he's that sore. Soaking in epsom salts or such can allow horn to soften for the infection to erupt & clear. I would not generally advise getting a vet/farrier to 'dig for it'.

Everyone says Appaloosas have notoriously bad feet he needs shoes and then they say if I put shoes on him they will never toughen up.
Hmm, down to that 'if you asked 10 horsepeople' again, as far as breed traits, to a big degree IME & I'd have to say that most appys I've met, inc. a few I've owned(hence my username here) have had great, strong feet. While genetics do play a part, I believe that generally speaking, 'good' hooves are made, not born/bred. It's predominently 'nurture' over 'nature'.

I think hooves need to be/become healthy before they can begin to 'toughen up', and IME shoes are contraindicated for building/regaining health generally. As for toughening up, you can think of this similarly to toughening your own feet. If you were to walk barefoot daily, as much as you could over whatever surface, but being careful not to do damage by doing too much/too hard, you would develop thick, calloused skin on your soles that would allow you to do gradually more & more. If however, you avoided using your soles, the skin would become/remain thin & soft. If you don't use it, you lose it.
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-13-2012, 11:38 PM
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I had a Appy with terrible feet when we got him, he was very tenderfooted so I bought the boots. I didn't want to shoe, personally I just don't see how it can help but I'm not an expert. It took almost to the day 1 year for my horse's feet to get in great shape where he didn't need boots anymore. I made sure he had regular trims, watched his diet, kept him on a dry lot as a precaution although he got all the hay he wanted and was allowed to graze twice a day for about a hour. The boots weren't hard to use and other then his high stepping for the first few minutes he didn't seem to mind.
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-14-2012, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Essex, MA
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Thank you everyone for all your in put. Believe it or not all the information and tips have been very helpful. This is my first horse and my first experience with lamenss so I have been a little crazy about it. Since I allready ordered the boots and am naturally inclinded to not want to shoe I guess I'm going to just see how he goes with the boots on. And if problems persist then take the next step. I have only had him since december and I can see the line on his feet where his nutrition changed when he came to me. If it takes a year then so be it. The woman who had him before me fed him chicken feed when she couldn't afford to buy grain. So maybe there have been some long term affects from that. Sometimes I forget how sensitive these animals actually are. I ordered the new easycare back country trail boot ahs anyone tried it?
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-14-2012, 11:34 PM
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I agree about it may have turned into an abcess. And you can try soaking it. I would definately try the boots before shoeing. Because as some have said, they wont toughen up with shoes on.
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-14-2012, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bridgetmarie View Post
I ordered the new easycare back country trail boot ahs anyone tried it?
No, haven't tried these brand new ones yet, but tried the others & find the Trails & the Gloves great - as the 'Back Countries' are a meld of these 2 types, I think they'd be really good - & one client of mine who has just bought some tells me she's rapt in them.
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