Sensitive/Soft Soles?

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Sensitive/Soft Soles?

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    07-23-2014, 08:28 PM
Sensitive/Soft Soles?

Hi, I have a 6 year old OTTB gelding that I have had for a year now. When I got him he had shoes on just the front, but he ended up pulling one off about a month after I got him, so I had the other shoe removed and all four trimmed. Since then he has been barefoot.

Last year during rides rides I could feel him short stepping a bit the odd time during the trot. (Seemed fine in walk) Then other times he would be completely fine during rides.

This year he has seemed fine all spring/summer but recently he seems more tender. (Little less than two weeks ago) I noticed him limping a bit on his front just before he had a trim and it continued after. (No extra length/sole was trimmed than usual). So I thought it might be something with his legs so I checked them and didn't notice anything unusual.
So I gave him some time to rest in the paddock (softish dirt) and he didn't seem to be limping at all after a bit.

So yesterday I decided to take him for a ride. He didnt seem to be limping but on the way to the arena there is a bit of hard ground/gravel to walk on. It seemed that if he stepped on a rock he acted really sensitive and would try to "hop" off it with that foot. (Only seemed that it bothered his front hooves)

I thought it was just the gravel that was bothering him but after about 5 minutes into the ride he started short stepping a bit on his right-front. (Nothing huge that made him lame)(The arena is soft dirt with the occasional rock found here and there) So I kept it at the walk and cut our ride short.
So today I checked his hooves for bruises or anything abnormal but didn't seem to find anything. He has never been lame, just the rare limp or short step especially on gravel/rocks.

During the spring/early summer this year it rained a lot here so the paddocks were usually somewhat wet so that could have played a factor. So I'm just wondering if it could be sensitive/soft soles? And what to do? (Should I put front shoes back on? I've also heard of using Turpentine to harden soles)
Thanks so much!
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    07-23-2014, 08:41 PM
I have a mare like that! Talked to the vet and farrier. It's just the way she is. Tried boots but gave up and went back to shoes. Much better, but we still take it easy over large, coarse rocks as I am aware of her sensitivity.
Horses go barefoot over the winter so the hooves get a nice long break.

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    07-23-2014, 08:55 PM
Good to know I'm not alone, lol.
He did a bit of jumping before I got him (Part why I bought him) but they always had front shoes on.
I planning to start jumping him more soon so I'm thinking I might have to get shoes back on or try our Cavallo Hoof boots just for some protection.
    07-23-2014, 09:01 PM
Try boots for a while. For general riding they usually work quite well. If they won't stay on or the horse develops sores from their ankle grips - then go back to front shoes.
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    07-26-2014, 04:38 AM
Yes, very common, esp for OTTB's & the likes, to have thin, flat soles, so preious little 'armour plating' under the sensitive structures. It's important that you are considerate of this & protect them or manage to avoid problems. If not, you're risking stone bruising, abscessing and other problems, including joint issues that come about due to bad movement - the horse gimping along & not using himself properly.

So... it is indeed 'just the way it is' now, due I believe in a big part, to management and diet/nutrition. Due also, perhaps a lesser degree, to the horse being kept(and exercised hard) in rims that force the entire load onto the walls and don't support the base of the hoof. Learning about these factors & what is needed to grow healthy, strong hooves is vital.

So... I'd be avoiding conventional rim shoes generally, until he can grow healthy feet at least, and using hoofboots, Easyshoes or such to provide protection where necessary.
    07-26-2014, 01:24 PM
There are also chemical sole hardeners you can try. They dry and harden the outer surface of the sole so the horse can get the most out of a thin sole. "Rickens" sole freeze, or Durasole are a couple. They are very caustic so be careful in the application and never get them on skin or you. They are intended ONLY for the soles.
    07-26-2014, 02:59 PM
I tried everything for mine. Adjusted feed, used all sorts of hardeners. I ended up getting pads under his fronts and he was fine. I never left them on in the wet months.
    07-31-2014, 11:06 PM
I had a similar occurrence with my gelding. We hadn't been riding a lot so I didn't have them shoed, when we did start riding my gelding was not lame but when he would step on a stone he would like catch himself, on soft ground he was fine. I called farrier to come shoe him, he said I could ride but to stay off the rocks for a week or so. I found him thrushy about a week ago so I started using Thrushbuster. He also recommended the venice of turpentine on soles only. He also felt the two soft spots on his sole like I had.

Today I thought I would try to put his hoof boots on and since he was freshly trimmed it worked great! He moved out happily and even though we only went 2 1/2 miles he was just fine. Just wonder if anyone else has put hoofboots over shoes..

Farrier also told me to always be aware and watch for the gravel and also watch where we unload them from the trailer etc, somethings we might now think of until our horses are sore. Also want to add my horse unfortunately does not have concave hooves.
    08-01-2014, 01:33 AM
Originally Posted by garlicbunny    
I called farrier to come shoe him, he said I could ride but to stay off the rocks for a week or so. I found him thrushy about a week ago so I started using Thrushbuster. He also recommended the venice of turpentine on soles only. He also felt the two soft spots on his sole like I had.
Why did the farrier say stay off rocks for a week? What wass supposed to be different after a week? What did he say/do about SOFT SPOTS(!) on the sole?? Did he shoe your horse with pads, or were his soft soles left unprotected?

Today I thought I would try to put his hoof boots on and since he was freshly trimmed it worked great! ... Just wonder if anyone else has put hoofboots over shoes..
You can use boots over shoes, although it will void the boot warranty and I don't generally see the point of shoes if you're going to boot. I'd certainly advise providing protection/support for his thin soles on hard/rough ground, and I would definitely be padding shod feet in boots too, perhaps with a dome pad or such, or else the walls will be copping the whole load, with no support under his feet.
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    08-04-2014, 02:01 PM
My horse always has to wear shoes on his front hooves. When I first got him I tried to have him go barefoot, but he got stone bruises on his sole, so I always keep shoes on him. He doesn't limp at all now after a hard ride.

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