Thank you. I've been considering putting him barefoot (As I've heard that helps with horses having issues with sidebone...) After the vet looks at him I'll consider it more.
Yeah, just try to educate yourself as much as possible & you'll be better able to make appropriate decisions for your horse in his situation & know how to make it work. The thread in my signature link has some more links & info to help get you started.
I've always had my horses shod and not sure how to transition into barefoot and what kind of care would be needed to help transition?
With him, you might not be 'transitioning' to bare, but using boots instead of shoes. How old is he by the way? Initially at least, it appears to me this horse will not be comfortable on his feet and has little effective 'armour', so he'll need protection/support. His feet will get gradually stronger as he's able to use them comfortably & correctly and may become quite healthy & strong. Depending on diet, environment, etc, then I may start to 'transition' him to going bare. *But* realistically, I don't think you can 'turn the clock back' and create fantastic 'rock crunching' feet from a long term damaged set. You can improve, but not always 'fix'. Also depending on his management, it may not be conducive to his developing strong enough feet to go everywhere bare. Therefore you could be looking at always having to boot him on some surfaces at least. Not meaning to put a dampener on it - I'm all for shoeless, esp for 'problem feet', but I don't think it helps to go into it with rose coloured glasses either.
One horse we had that I tried went lame because he was barefoot, another had his hoof constantly chipping and wearing down too fast. I've heard of supplements can help build stronger hooves...
That one horse may have had thin soles, 'sub clinical' laminitis, his feet weren't conditioned to rough surfaces, etc. Learning to know what you're dealing with & providing adequate protection when necessary is so important I reckon. Constant chipping can be due to incorrect/imbalanced trimming, leaving walls too long, infection or metabolic/nutritional probs causing the walls to be extra weak. Wearing down too fast can be due to weakness too, but I find it's not overly common but is often perception - people are used to seeing peripherally loaded hooves - soles jacked up off the ground, either by shoes or long walls and when they see walls worn down to sole level they panic. Also depends on the environment I reckon as to whether walls should be level or longer than the outer sole.
Yes, diet & nutrition are very important to growing healthy, strong feet. In that thread you should find some relevant links on that subject, but safergrass.org & feedxl.com are 2 goodies.
I know of a barefoot trimmer that already comes to our stables. If I want to switch I know she specializes in barefoot and shaping the hoof up well. I'm just tired of switching farriers because of bad work!
Yeah I'd tend to err on the side of finding a good barefoot trimmer rather than a traditional farrier myself, but there are bad, ignorant & ill-informed BFT's abounding out there(not to mention a few different approaches), just as there are bad farriers, so do your homework & learn what to look for, & if you find a good farrier, they should do just as good a job as a BFT. Just that IMO they either don't tend to know, or at least don't impart much on issues of diet, nutrition, management, etc which can also be vital parts of the 'puzzle'.