Hoof Boots?
 
 

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Hoof Boots?

This is a discussion on Hoof Boots? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Working yearlings with boa hoof boots
  • Very small pony hoof boots

 
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    05-05-2012, 09:32 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Hoof Boots?

Well pony has me incredibly worried about him (as usual, I just want to put him in a bubble for safe keeping). His feet are chipping like some off the range horse (you would never guess how much love he actually gets). But I'm too young to really call the shots when it comes to telling my parents when to call the farrier, they think I am overreacting, (which even if I am it's my baby and I know they would treat their dog the same way they treat my pony and myself). Back to pony, done with ranting. He gets bad thrush so I try to keep his feet dry as possible right? Wrong, as I just found out. Little horse has a large chunk taken out of his hoof! He is in no way looking lame, he followed me around, jumped at the sight of his feed, pivot/reared to follow me to his hay net and trotted around me. But despite his lack of pain, I'm still worried. Should I not be? My dad keeps saying he isn't sore so obviously fine but this chunk that chipped off my horse's foot so high where a portion (not much but enough to make me bawl at the sight of it, he is my baby) of the inner hoof is showing. He has an appointment with the farrier (who I have gone to since my Shetland pony, and isn't making me happy lately as I learn more and more). My horse is a week away from turning 11 and he loves life, from jumping to trailing. He has gotten me through some tough days and I can't imagine life with out him. So now he has me thinking hoof boots? Does anyone have any suggestions on boots that can help with founder, hoof cracks, and are usable in both jumping and trail rides? Any comments on any of this would be insightful, I'm just so worried about my baby boy! I love him a ton and would hate to see him retired or worse.
     
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    05-05-2012, 09:41 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
It is perfectly natural for a horse's hooves to crack when the foot gets a little long.
Stop getting het up about it and it will trim out fine.
Horses feet need moisture, nothing better for them than water.
     
    05-05-2012, 09:45 AM
  #3
Showing
Take some pictures

Good Hoof Photos - How to take Good Hoof Photos

And we'll be able to assess what's actually going on.

And I wouldn't let him rear at ALL while you are around.. that's very dangerous.
     
    05-05-2012, 01:56 PM
  #4
Weanling
Are you the one in charge of the pony's day to day care and diet? If you're concerned about the potential for founder, if your pony is overweight or has foundered in the past, I would suggest getting some good background knowledge about founder - maybe you can call up your vet if you're concerned and describe your pony's living situation, weight, and ask for their advice on the best regimen for him. There are a ton of excellent reference materials on the internet too.

Ponies are usually very easy keepers and prone to founder so I think it's very commendable that you're concerned about those issues.

If your pony's hooves are chipping, maybe he could benefit from a biotin supplement. I don't think your parents would take up issue with you discussing your concerns with your vet to ask for suggestions and advice on how to improve any care concerns you have. You can also call up your farrier too and ask him/her what, if any, hoof supplements your pony may need.
     
    05-05-2012, 02:13 PM
  #5
Foal
-I can't use water, he gets thrush so I use Thrush buster for that.
- he gets 6 ounces of a biotin supplement (Dumor hoof)
- he is fed in addition to the supplement grass hay about 1 flake or less
- and he is on a very small amount of grass (just very short)
And up until I thought his feet were lookin bad he was doing round pen work to get back into shape and was actually making progress (he had previously been in a large bahaya grass field with high sugars) I think he might me IR?
     
    05-06-2012, 05:23 AM
  #6
Weanling
I'm wondering, when you say he's on a small amount of grass, if it's pasture grass, I.e., if he's turned out to graze, that may not be suitable for him if you're concerned about founder or think he could be IR. I'm not clear on what you were saying about his diet regimen, so please correct me if I'm misinterpreting something.

If he's IR, you can learn what the average symptoms are from many sources online or by asking your vet.

Another thing to mention about feeding: feeding by weight is the only way to ensure your pony is getting what he would need according to his weight requirements, and adjusted of course based on any special needs and considerations.

If your pony has light pigmented hooves, they tend to be more brittle for some reason. I don't know if your pony has been regularly shod or not, and you mentioned you think farrier work might be a contributing issue.

As for hoof boots, I personally like the Boa boots and Easy Boots.

Your pony sounds very loved and doted on. :)
     
    05-06-2012, 07:01 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by myheartandsoul    
But I'm too young to really call the shots when it comes to telling my parents when to call the farrier, they think I am overreacting,
Out of interest, how young is 'too young'? Don't tell if you don't want to. On that note, I'd do a bit of homework & show your parents what you've discovered & tell them some of the signs, best practices, etc. They might then also think of you as mature enough to discuss it. On average, 4-6 weeks is an appropriate trim schedule for most horses. Some can go a bit longer, but most are overgrown enough to benefit from a trim by 6 weeks. Leaving them to get too overgrown before trimming tends to cause feet to gradually get worse, as the farrier then will be chasing his tail in correcting problems, rather than maintaining health.

He gets bad thrush so I try to keep his feet dry as possible right? Wrong, as I just found out.[/quote]

Don't know where/what you 'just found out' but yes, a dry environment is best. Horse's feet don't cope too well in damp or wet environs and will be softer & weaker, although it doesn't hurt at all to get them wet regularly.

Quote:
My dad keeps saying he isn't sore so obviously fine but this chunk that chipped off my horse's foot so high
Sounds like you are possibly overreacting a bit, but at the same time, I'd look on that as a sign that his feet probably need more frequent care, and there may be other factors too - eg. Healthy feet don't tend to chip very high if they're only a little overlong, so the laminae may be separated or such. Your dad's comment about not being sore so obviously OK is understandable, but horses are 'programmed' to be rather stoic animals, so just because it's not obvious to a person doesn't mean they are necessarily pain free. Also it's not a very good move to ignore maintenance until such time as the horse is actually lame - that's a good recipe for early retirement from chronic unsoundness.

Quote:
thinking hoof boots? Does anyone have any suggestions on boots that can help with founder, hoof cracks, and are usable in both jumping and trail rides?
Hoof boots are a great tool, good for protecting & supporting feet when the ground is too rough for what they're up to, when workload is too much for growth to prevent excessive wear, etc. But they cannot treat founder, cracks or any such. They are generally very good for trail riding, but in some instances may not be that suitable for jumping. Generally speaking, the best hoof boot for your horse are the ones that fit the best. Easycare has a lot of info on their site on choosing the most appropriate boot, fitting, etc.

Quote:
-I can't use water, he gets thrush so I use Thrush buster for that.
- he gets 6 ounces of a biotin supplement (Dumor hoof)
- he is fed in addition to the supplement grass hay about 1 flake or less
- and he is on a very small amount of grass (just very short)
And up until I thought his feet were lookin bad he was doing round pen work to get back into shape and was actually making progress (he had previously been in a large bahaya grass field with high sugars) I think he might me IR?
Don't get the comment about water - why can't you use it & what are you thinking of using it for?

Thrush is an opportunistic infection, meaning it doesn't infect healthy feet, so is a symptom. *It may only be a symptom of constant damp footing or such. Horses with well balanced diets & nutrition are not as susceptible to these type infections, even in the face of 'bad' environments. Biotin is one nutrient which has been shown to help hoof health and growth, but it is one of many which may be deficient or imbalanced, so needing to be supplemented. Other nutrients commonly deficient & especially important for healthy hooves & skin/coat include zinc, copper, magnesium, essential fatty acids, iodine. Feedxl.com is a good & very economical resource for sorting out the confusion of balancing diets.

Re the amount of feed, depends how big the paddock is - he may be getting more than enough from the grass(& overgrazed/stressed is commonly higher in sugar), or maybe he could do with more hay. Can't guess without more info.

Good on you for looking into IR & trying to be proactive - that's much better than waiting for the horse to come down with laminitis before bothering to consider it. As with type 2 diabetes, it's a lifestyle type disease - too many calories & not enough exercise. We can all afford to get a little fat, but it's long term overweight without regular 'bad seasons' to use up those fat stores that tends to cause metabolic problems such as IR. I'd consider a grazing muzzle for him if this is an issue, or strip grazing or otherwise restricting grazing without just leaving him on overgrazed pasture. Alternately you could feed more hay & if it's not tested as low in sugars, soaking for an hour or so & draining it will leach out a lot of the sugars.

Quote:
If your pony has light pigmented hooves, they tend to be more brittle for some reason
I don't believe this at all & have never experienced anything of the sort. If it were true, horses with light - particularly appys with striped feet - would have died out long ago IMO. According to research, the only difference between different coloured hooves is the pigment, which has no inherent strength or structural properties. I suspect the myth about white feet being weaker came about because you can clearly see any damage, bruising, etc in white hooves, whereas it's hidden in the pigment of dark hooves.
     

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