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.
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.
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.