toughening the sole? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-20-2014, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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toughening the sole?

The sub for our usual farrier suggested I try painting something on my boys soles to toughen them up- he has very flat feet, and gets owie easily. I swear he said keraflex but I am only seeing that on line as a natural sub for glucosamine- not painted on hooves. Has anyone got any ideas? ( I could be wrong on the name... it happens!) Is there something that would toughen them up? I usually keep him shod on the fronts in the summer- has very under-run heels and he looks and feels better ... but come winter and the shoes come off he is back to flat and the ice is hard on his feet.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-20-2014, 02:14 PM
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My instructor told me to put eucalyptus oil on my horse's soles to toughen them. I just got a bottle of oil from the pharmacist.

I put it on about 2 or 3 times a week, just on the soles, and keep him off soft ground for a few minutes to let it soak in.

It certainly helped my horse, his feet have gotten much tougher, he's more sound on rough ground (he's barefoot).
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-20-2014, 04:17 PM
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Keratex Hoof Hardener - this stuff works wonders, just use caution when applying not to get it on sensitive tissues or on yourself.

I have seen a horse go from having soles that moved with thumb pressure to having no hoof tester response in a matter of a few weeks. It is good stuff and worth the money.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-20-2014, 04:43 PM
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My barn has had luck with Durasole. It's cheap and easy to apply.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-20-2014, 04:45 PM
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I've seen that Keratex stuff work on a trail horse at the stables I used to work at. I've used Venice Turpentine to harden feet up too.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-20-2014, 04:45 PM
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Durasole all the way!
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-21-2014, 07:01 PM
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I don't like the whole use of heavy chems for this purpose generally, but interesting that eucalyptus helps.

If your horse has such thin, flat soles, they need to be protected until they can *grow thick*, not just made harder - it's not his soles that need protecting, but the structures which are so thinly covered inside. Interested to know whether you're addressing this & the paint is just a temporary measure, whether you're protecting & supporting his feet too, whether you just have regular rims with the soles bare?
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-22-2014, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by cebee View Post
.................. I usually keep him shod on the fronts in the summer- has very under-run heels and he looks and feels better ... but come winter and the shoes come off he is back to flat and the ice is hard on his feet.
fix the under-run heels and the issues you are seeing should clear up. to me, a farrier that allows under-run heels is not a good farrier. i'd be looking for a new one.

an under-run heel also 'stretches' the whole hoof forward. this in turn 'stretches' the sole and gives a horse flat feet. a horse with an under-run heel and a stretched forward toe will have his leg and hoof angles all out of whack and this can cause lameness and other issues.

taking a horse out of shoes and expecting them to quickly adapt to being barefoot, especially on ice, is not a good idea. i would think about getting some hoof boots for him.

is there a reason he is shod in front for warmer weather?
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-22-2014, 01:19 AM
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I would boot him when I'm using him and give him a year or more to grow a new hoof. My 14 year old gelding had front shoes on since he was 2 before I got him. I had them pulled, got some well fitting boots for riding and now this spring about a year and a half after getting him he is totally sound at all gaits on all terrain including rocks and gravel. Before even with shoes he was extremely uncomfortable on rocks, had a very thin flat sole and terrible feet in general. With the help of an experienced barefoot trimmer you can't tell his feet from my appaloosa who has never had shoes and is totally comfortable and sound barefoot.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-22-2014, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! I usually shoe him in the warmer months since he does get sore, esp on rough surfaces. Used to use pads as well but now I rarely ride on gravel so he is pretty good with just shoes if I stick to the nearby trails which are soft. I do not shoe in the winter as I rarely ride once the snow falls, and I dont want ice building up on his shoes.
We have tried wedge shoes with him, to bring the heel up, but once the shoes are off he goes back to his normal under run heels. Have been thru .. I believe this is the 4th farrier, and he seems the best with him... he has poor feet. I am hoping if I can keep his sole ( and of course everything underneath!) tougher he will not get so footsore on the ice in the winters as well.
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