Just pulled his shoes off..
 
 

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Just pulled his shoes off..

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  • I took my horses shoes off and now he is sore. how long to harden feet
  • My horse got his shoes removed and now he want walk

 
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    08-13-2009, 12:00 AM
  #1
Started
Just pulled his shoes off..

I just pretty recently purchased a new horse that had front shoes. I've never had a horse who had shoes but I've always heard that almost any horse can go without them, and since my guy has pretty good feet we decided to pull them off and see how he does. That was about a week ago, and ever since he's been walking funny and stumbling a lot, and in the last few days has developed quite a bit of a limp, even just at a walk on normal footing. So I haven't ridden him at all, obviously (though he seems to have little if no issues at all with running around in the cushy arena footing when I turn him out..)
Now, my farrier told me that he shouldn't be affected by the change at all, but I thought I'd heard somewhere that it can sometimes take quite awhile for horses to adjust, which makes more sense to me.

I'd just like to know, should I be concerned at this point? If not, when should I start if this persists? Any input at all is helpful. I really don't know as much as I should about the subject of shoes

Thank you so much
     
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    08-13-2009, 12:10 AM
  #2
Green Broke
This is what I was told by my farrier when Chinga threw a shoe and I ended up getting them removed and having to get them put back on a week later, my farrier told me that it would take him awhile to adjust but he didn’t adjust and kept getting sorer and sorer in the feet so I had to get his shoes back on.

Possibly your horse might still be adjusting what type of ground are you on if its hard or rocky ground your horse might take longer to adjust. You may need to get shoes put back on, some horses just need shoes.
     
    08-13-2009, 01:08 AM
  #3
Trained
A week is not long enough for a horses feet to toughen up. It can take months.

Rocky pony, if he has had shoes on most of his life they will be very soft. It will take quite a while for them to harden up. I think you can buy some kind of ointment to brush on the soles that helps? If he is not lame or sore in the arena, then you should be fine to ride him there.

A lot of people put gravel or rocks around the horses water trough to make them walk on, it helps toughen up the hooves and improves circulation. Walking on roguh ground is actually good for horses feet :]

All my horses are barefoot, live and work in rocky country and are fine with it.
     
    08-13-2009, 02:41 AM
  #4
Started
That's a really interesting thought, about walking on gravel actually being good for him. I was trying to avoid the gravel paths around the ranch when I could, but I'll definitely stop doing that. Thanks! =)
     
    08-13-2009, 04:00 AM
  #5
Trained
Hi,
Firstly I'd advise you(well, everyone) to do your homework and learn about the principles of healthy feet & factors involved. It's not just about whether to shoe or not. It's a holistic thing & management & diet are very important factors too. Hoofrehab.com barehoofcare.com ironfreehorse.com are among some of the god sites out there to learn from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyxpony    
since he's been walking funny and stumbling a lot, and in the last few days has developed quite a bit of a limp, even ......
Now, my farrier told me that he shouldn't be affected by the change at all, but I thought I'd heard somewhere that it can sometimes take quite awhile for horses to adjust, which makes more sense to me.
Curious that your farrier would say that, as the vast majority of horses have some kind of difficulty when shoes are first pulled. Perhaps he's never had experience with pulling shoes for bare??

Your horse could be having issues for a number of reasons; bad trimming/imbalanced feet, weak/sensitive heels, thrush, thin &/or flat soles, laminitis or other metabolic issues, lack of exercise, contracted feet, bruising/abscess, not being conditioned for the terrain he's asked to work on..... As you can see, it's not just about 'toughening up' his feet and he will benefit from some hoof protection for the time being. Even if it is just the lack of 'toughness' - ie weak heels/digital cushions, if he's tender, he's not going to be moving correctly - may walk on his toes. This can lead to serious probs and also doesn't help the horse 'condition' those heels. So using boots will help him move correctly & therefore help strengthen his feet too.

So... considering the above, yes, walking him on gravel etc is good generally BUT not always to begin with, and considering your boy's already more than tender, I wouldn't advise you walk him over gravel just yet until he's become stronger.
     
    08-13-2009, 05:02 AM
  #6
Started
I'm really confused about why he said it, too..it was our first time with this farrier as we've been struggling to find the right farrier for a long time (someone good but affordable), and I was pointed towards him by a few of the people around the stable so we gave him a try. I'm thinking the search is going to have to go on.

I don't really think there's a way it could be anything but having his shoes removed..I know that there are other things that can happen, but since this is an issue that appeared in an otherwise healthy horse right after having the shoes pulled..it only makes sense. All I really need to know is how long I should wait before deciding that he needs the shoes back. But I probably should be careful about suddenly walking him on the gravel a lot. Maybe I can ease him into it by walking him on it a little bit and then slowly increasing it? I've been keeping it down to just making the walk between his stall and the arena for turnout since he's been sore.

This is all pretty new to me because almost everyone I know just keeps their horses barefoot and makes it work..and both of my other horses have been barefoot for their whole lives, as far as I know.
     
    08-13-2009, 08:47 AM
  #7
Showing
Every horse reacts differently to being barefoot for the first time. Some horses show no change at all and others just can't seem to handle it at first (especially if they have been shod all their lives). I would just give him some time to toughen those feet up and find a farrier that is willing to do a barefoot trim. If he is fine in the arena, then it should be okay to ride him there but if you are going to ride on any tougher terrain, I would suggest some kind of hoof boot for protection.
     
    08-13-2009, 10:11 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
hoofrehab.com barehoofcare.com ironfreehorse.com are among some of the god sites
Just noticed what I wrote... I gather you realised I meant 'good'.... altho I'm sure some would believe otherwise... Before I go on below, I realise that you've probably got lots of different, conflicting information & opinions to wade through & it's hard to decide who to listen to. I hope that you DON'T take my word for it, or anyone elses for that matter, but do bother to do your own research, weigh up the pros & cons of different options and come to your own *informed* decisions.

[quote=rockyxpony;376674]this is an issue that appeared in an otherwise healthy horse right after having the shoes pulled..

IME people's opinions of what constitutes 'healthy' & 'sound' feet is very subjective, based on how much understanding they have of the workings of the hooves, or how much they(& 'experts' they consult) rely on anecdotal evidence - ie horse walked fine when shod = horse is sound when shod.

Unfortunately, I don't believe it's as easy as it may superficially appear. A rim of steel provides no protection to the majority of the base of the foot(which is, after all, designed to be in contact with the ground, supporting the horse and will be doing so, shod or bare, except on level, hard surfaces), so if a horse is hobbling over rocks when bare but not obviously uncomfortable when shod, it doesn't make sense that shoes made the horse 'sound', or for that matter that the horse had healthy feet until bare. Especially as many 'hobbly' horses will still be the same for a day or so after being shod.

Given the research & testing on circulation & flexion of shod v's bare feet, I think the far more logical & likely reason for this apparent soundness with shoes is lack of feeling - blood supply & function is reduced so therefore the feet become numb. I've discussed this with people who have pooh-poohed the idea, but not one of these people have been able to give me a valid reason why they believe that conclusion is false, or how shoes work to make a horse 'sound' otherwise.

Quote:
All I really need to know is how long I should wait before deciding that he needs the shoes back.
As you've probably gathered, I don't believe that HE needs shoes at all in this situation, altho YOU would likely find this the easiest option. I believe that shoes aren't necessarily all bad, but one of the factors in minimising or avoiding the potential damage they can cause includes only applying them to healthy feet. I would want to rehab his feet and have them strong & functioning healthily before considering shoes.

Quote:
But I probably should be careful about suddenly walking him on the gravel a lot. Maybe I can ease him into it by walking him on it a little bit and then slowly increasing it?
Yes, if it's just a matter of conditioning his feet, that would work. But as I tried to explain, if there's anything else going on & if he's not able to use his feet correctly because of discomfort, it won't be helping. Better to only exercise him on footing he's comfortable & can move correctly on, &/or protect his feet with boots or such for now, until they're stronger.

If you would like to send some hoof pics, myself & other experienced people on this forum could give you some specifics about what we think might be needed. Also, as diet/management is such an important issue, if you filled us in there, we could give you some specifics on optimising your management for the benefit of his feet. On that note, you can start with Googling 'Paddock Paradise' for some ideas.
     
    08-14-2009, 07:48 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
A week is not long enough for a horses feet to toughen up. It can take months.
It can indeed take many months, and in my experience this is one of the reasons some folks go back to shoes...it can take a lot of patience to not do hard riding for months, and in my experience, some farriers feel pressured (or that it's their job) to get the horse rideable as quickly as possible. Our lead mare had been shod for most of her life before we bought her. Two of three farriers we had look at her told us she would probably have to always have shoes because she was thin soled, but we decided to keep her barefoot using more frequent (4 week) trims. It took about 6 months to get her very comfortable, but now after two years total, she can go anywhere and her previous owner was shocked to see that we could ride her barefoot without any problems.

I agree that some horses really do need/are better in shoes, but I suggest you discuss your goals and expectations with your farrier (or get a second opinion).

Putting gravel/rocks to walk on does help, but I would avoid walking on the very sharp driveway type gravel if it's on top of hard ground at the start....that's a very unforgiving surface for a newly barefoot horse.
     

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