4 - 2 - 4 shoeing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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4 - 2 - 4 shoeing

I had Hollywood shod yesterday. He's 10 years old and for the last 6 (which is as far back as I can trace) has had 4 shoes. Yesterday I wanted to try going barefoot on the back so I had him done that way. My thinking is that, since it's winter, I won't be riding quite as much, and with rain coming, the ground will be soft, giving him some time to acclimate.

This morning, when I went out to feed, he came up from the pasture and was dead lame on his back legs. When he was eating, he kept his weight off the left leg altogether.

I've never had a horse that was this sore after removing shoes as this poor guy is. I'm thinking that I had better call the farrier to get back out here and put some shoes on. Any thoughts on that?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

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post #2 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 10:11 AM
Green Broke
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You can't pull the shoes off a horse that has been shod for so long and expect it to be ok.... Especially in the winter when it is icy and the ground is hard making it even more painful to walk.

He is experiencing pressure on areas of his hoof that are usually held up with a shoe. That is like wearing shoes your whole life so they are soft and then on a wild hare expecting to run across a gravel driveway barefoot... not a good idea...

Question; What kind of trimdid they get post shoes? Pasture or natural barefoot? That could have a little to do with it too. Being barefoot is ouchy enough at first, but add that to the leverage of a full(non beveled) toe and it multiplies.

I think you should put his shoes back on and try again this summer when the ground is nice and soft and grassy. Then give him a break for a bit to get used to not having shoes seeing as yes, he most likey will get a little sore even then...

Just my thoughts on the matter...BTW I think Hollywood is stunning!

Ω Horses are a projection of peoples dreams Ω
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the compliment - he came with the name and sure lives up to it!

The ground here isn't really frozen and after the rain all day yesterday and last night, it's pretty soft and mushy. Soft ground and lack of hard riding was my reasoning behind pulling his shoes. My guy did a barefoot trim so it may be a problem putting a shoe back on. I'll get in touch with him latter today and see what he thinks.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 10:45 AM
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Frankly I'm not very surprised. Many horses are very sensitive if you pull shoes off after using them for too long. It'll be sensitive till it'll harden enough. Just wondering could it be that your farrier trimmed too much of wall? I'd just let him be for couple weeks to see how it'll go. Usually they adjust pretty quickly.

Just wondering why do you shoe all 4? Rocky ground?
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 11:05 AM
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Do you have boots you can put on him for a while to give him some relief? Maybe give him some bute (or the like) to just take the edge off of it?
I think its only natural for him to be sore since he's had shoes on for the past 6 years.
I do agree with you that it was a good time to remove the shoes. I know many people that let their horses go barefoot in the winter because of lack of riding.
I'd give it atleast a week to see how he's doing and then if at that point its the same or worse, I'd contact the farrier again. It will also give his hoof some time to grow in case you do put shoes back on.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks DA. I've never needed boots so I don't have any on hand but even if I did, wouldn't that defeat the purpose? It hurts me to see him in this much discomfort for the past day. If I knew he would be better in a few more days then I would keep him as comfortable as possible for now, but, truthfully, some horses just do better with shoes.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #7 of 31 Old 01-18-2010, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post
Thanks DA. I've never needed boots so I don't have any on hand but even if I did, wouldn't that defeat the purpose?.... but, truthfully, some horses just do better with shoes.
It seems a relatively common view that boots are going to 'defeat the purpose'. The only purpose I see them defeating is the owner's ideals for horses to be perfect bare with whatever we throw at them. I think this is an unrealistic ideal that often leads to unfair treatment & conclusions - such as some horses are better off shod for eg. Just because a horse has unhealthy &/or unconditioned feet so may not take everything in his bare stride doesn't mean he's better off shod.

Anyway, not saying you haven't done some already, but I would advise you learn all you can about hoof function and the factors which effect soundness & health. Learn the pros & cons of different approaches. Make whatever you do an *informed* decision. hoofrehab.com is a great place to start, among many other great sites & resources.

Your horse could be sore because he had terrible feet already and the removal of shoes has allowed him to feel them more, because the shoes were removed in such a way as to tear laminae or put too much pressure on thin soles, because he wasn't trimmed very well or just because he needs some protection, at least for the time being until his feet become strong. Or it could be that he stepped on a rock & has an abscess - before or after deshoeing - or he's sprained or otherwise hurt his leg playing in the paddock.... Therefore jumping to the conclusion to put shoes back on him is not considering the situation & possibilities fully. It is common for horses to be fine on their backs without protection, but there are still many who need it. That is not to say they need conventional metal shoes tho, which provide little protection or support to the hoof.
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-18-2010, 12:27 AM
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I know this is very controversial and I kind of half-expect my statements to be attacked, but I'm just going to tell you what I think.

If he's really dead lame..I'd probably just put them back on.
It seems like the horses that do well barefoot don't take it that hard. Sure they aren't going to be just fine and go about life like usual, but I don't think they'd go THAT lame.
I just recently went through this with my guy..he did horribly. Because everyone told me that it was the right choice, I kept trying to make it work for months and he only got worse, even with boots on almost 24/7. As soon as I put the shoes back on he was happy again and within a week went back to normal life.
I know that it's best for horses to be barefoot, health-wise and financially, that it's the ideal, but sometimes we need to step back and think about what's best for our horses and how they're going to be the most comfortable..if he's dead-lame and miserable..maybe you need to put them back on.
But of course you should take what everyone says into account and go with your gut. I'm sure you know what's best for your guy.

Good luck =)

Last edited by rocky pony; 01-18-2010 at 12:30 AM.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-18-2010, 12:47 AM
Green Broke
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Try putting some turpentine on the bottom of his feet for a few days, and give him some bute. He may have ended up with a stone bruise. Order some Durasole and use that for a while. That helped my mare transition.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-18-2010, 04:14 AM
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If he's lame, there is a reason for it. Just chucking shoes back on is only going to achieve in masking the problem, not solving the problem.

Now he has his shoes off he can feel his feet, some react quite badly to this new sensation as it probably feels a bit like pins and needles. Plus his feet are probably not in the greatest of shape (have you got pics for us?)

My guy is 3 months into his transition - he is still very tender on anything but grass, I simply use boots when he is out of his paddock. What has kept me going is seeing the huge improvement in his feet despite the tenderness - especially seeing the strong new hoof wall growing down. Remember it takes about 9-12months for a horse to grow a new healthy hoof capsule, and even longer for sole to grow, so how can you expect them to be fine after a couple of weeks on the thin-soled/walled and contracted feet they now have??

It could well be something as simple as an abscess. I suggest thoroughly going over his feet/legs looking for the reason for the unsoundness before just putting shoes back on.
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