Originally Posted by smrobs
I guess I'm still wondering how a horse with "perfect, healthy" feet can be ouchy in an arena with no rocks in it
Without addressing the original posters question, or targeting her horse... Even the healthiest of hooves sometimes need a period of time to harden up to new/worse terrain. Generally speaking, if the feet are use to a nice arena, it wouldn't be a shock to see ouchies on an occasional rock out there. Again, not addressing the original posters horse, just speaking in general.
This was the case with our mare when transitioning her from shoes over to boots and eventually barefoot. We've had a couple different trimmers (through a move out of state) who've both commented on what great feet she has even directly after removing the shoes. But she was still ouchy when we first removed those shoes and began the transition. We noticed she had more of a hard time with gravel roads. It took 6 months of slowly building up hardness (or maybe you could call it a callous?) on softer roads. She can handle it all now with flying colors. It's been an amazing process to watch unfold.
It's also been so interesting studying the mustang and having them as a reference point as we transitioned over to the barefoot world from using shoes.