How long does it take for a horses sole to thicken?

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How long does it take for a horses sole to thicken?

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    01-04-2009, 12:47 AM
How long does it take for a horses sole to thicken?

As the title states I am wondering because I have a 17yr old that as of Dec. 1st I started with my new barefoot trimmer. He must have really thin soles because on hard ground he is very ouchy. The pastures are filled with poop that is like hard marbles to walk on and he really is having a hard time. I know you are not suppose to put boots on him while in the pasture but it kills me to see him get in spots that he ends up weaving his head back and forth to try to get the impulsion to move. Is there anything I can do to help him? He is out on pasture 24/7. Once we are in the indoor he is good to go.
Any help is appreciated.
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    01-04-2009, 06:59 AM
My experience has been that it can easily be up to a year before a thin soled horse really starts to toughen up.
...but...and you'll get a lot of experience has also been that many farriers take too much off the sole making them very ouchy after trims (IMHO). Years ago on our thinner soled seasoned mare (that had been shod for years), I went to keeping her toes short and rolled over with a rasp every 3 weeks, letting her soles toughen and wear naturally, and she's been fine ever since.
...and I know many people that put boots on their horses in the pasture if they are just may need to search for them if they come off.
    01-04-2009, 10:00 AM
Prbygenny, Tho it isn't usually a great idea to boot a pastured horse if your horse is in that much pain then yes, you can boot him. You may need to add a nice pad inside as well for a time. Get the anti fatigue mats from walmart. I think they are in the exercise department. Trim them to fit inside the boot. They are much cheaper to make than to buy readymade. You would also need to use something like Gold Bond foot powder to help keep problems from developing. And change the boot daily. Meaning remove clean the boot and let the hoof air out for a while. Often they only need booting on the front hooves as most of their weight is on the front end. I would suggest the Cavallo Simple boot for this.

Be sure your trimmer does not remove any sole and perhaps may need to leave a tad longer hoofwall but with well done bevels. I'd love to see pics if you can get them.
    01-04-2009, 02:05 PM
You might have to use boots for a little while. If your horse was shod for a long time then you decided to go bare foot, your horse is starting to get more feeling in his foot, so the ground feels much different. It does take time for them to toughen up. It took my appy bout 2 months before I could leave his boots off all the time. But I still have to use them when I trail ride because it's rocky. I would have him wear them during the day and pull them off at night. That way he would still move around and get his foot functioning properly. It was a hard few months but he's doing so much better and I can't believe I was able to take him barefoot. You just need to be patient, he will get better.
    01-04-2009, 02:55 PM
Green Broke
Boots are fine, as long as you take them off daily to check for rubs and clean out the boot. I'd leave him in your indoor at least a few hours a day, so his feet can rest/breathe.

You might ask your farrier about Hoof Armor. It's an appoxy that covers the whole sole and up the walls a little. I have read about good results from a few barefooters.
    01-04-2009, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the advice. Ok so the next step is getting the boots. AppyT I looked at the cavallo and those are less expensive then the others I was looking at although easyboots is having a clearance on some of the boots they have. Any other boot suggestions? I can take them off daily for an hour or two, and on days when we have good soft snow or when things have softened up I can leave them off then as well.
L2R I will ask my farrier about Hoof Armor as well.Thanks for the input.
I really love the whole barefoot idea and unfortunatly he has been shod for almost his entire life since he was a track baby and all. I just hate seeing him in such pain right now!! This weather sucks also as the pastures are glare ice and he even slipped last week and I had to have the vet out to check him out. Thank goodness he just banged his knee pretty good, so of course he is in pain because of that too!!
I swear I will get pictures up soon, I have just been so busy with his cold soaks and wrapping and unwrapping his legs due to his injury I have totally forgotten about taking pictures.
Thanks guys.
    01-04-2009, 09:55 PM
Green Broke
You might put him on a hoof supplement too, if he'd not on one already. That will help his feet grow out faster and stronger. I have had good luck with Glanzen3 and BioFlax from Nutrition Supplements--Equine Nutrition on the Net

Old Mac's has a "conditioning pad" that you can put in the boots for short periods everyday. They are supposed to help stimulate sole growth and get the feet used to an uneven surface. I don't know if they make them anymore, now that EasyCare (EZ Boot) has bought out Old Mac's. Here's a set listed on a retail web site:
Old Mac's Conditioner Insole at 123Tack - Winning Edge
    01-04-2009, 09:56 PM
Other boots.. hmmmm, There are several different easy boot boots and I'd just suggest going to the easycare site and studying them to see if any "Feel" right to you. Sometimes the easyboots don't stay on well, tho they now have them with built in gaiters.. I have some of the older easyboots without the gaiters and have had trouble keeping them on in some cases. I have used them for tender feet, but I don't turn out booted as my pasture is too rough and I'd never see them again if they came off. Lol I also have the Boa's that I love for riding. They cost a bit more than cavallo's simple boot. One thing I like about the Simple boot is the simplicity of on/off.

You can always use duct tape, padding and vetwrap to see how well he does before you buy or before you get the boots. I do that if I am wanting to use a poltice etc while turning out. That way I dont' care if I don't find a tossed boot. Lol
    01-04-2009, 09:56 PM
Green Broke
Hoof Armor:
Hoof Armor | The Horseshoe Alternative

If you have your own place, you might look at putting gravel down in the pasture in key areas where the horses walk every day. We're doing that here in a month or two to help our barefoot horses, and help keep mud down, lol.
    01-04-2009, 10:33 PM
L2R He has biotin in his feed and if he is givin any more it would just be a waste. That was the first thing we looked at but he is on a really good feed (Progressive) so that is 1 thing I don't need to try an change. My new farrier doesn't take any sole off and did a mustang roll also left the frog alone. My boy just has really wide flat Throughbred feet that my farrier is trying to bring the concavety back to.My farrier is a Pete Ramsey fan, I don't know who that is but I have read a few things and like what I have read.
I looked at the Hoof Armor site and will be calling my farrier tomorrow to see if that might be an idea to use ( I think I will need some help getting it applied, lol)
Appy, yes I really would prefer not to use anything since he is on pasture but I just can't let him be in this much pain I hate leaving him like this.
L2R also the place I board myself and another boarder did go out in the pasture and layed watersoftener salt and then layed dirt on top of that trying to get the ice to melt and then once it refreezes the dirt will be frozen init for more grip, but of course it also snowed again about an inch so we will have to see how that goes.
Maybe I can do the duct tape thing do you know how I would do that is there a site where I can go to?

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