Natural trim transition techniques
 
 

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Natural trim transition techniques

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  • Trim transition problems
  • Walking on a gravel driveway horseforum

 
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    06-13-2011, 12:45 AM
  #1
Foal
Natural trim transition techniques

Somewhere around a month ago I had my horse trimmed so he could go barefoot. When I got the horse he had shoes on. The trimmer told me that he will need a transition period of up to 1 year to be fully 100%. But looking at my horse he figured 6-9 months. Some things he suggested were to get some boots ordered up so I could ride him during the transition. He said to tie him on the gravel driveway starting at ten minutes a day and work him up to 2 hours a day to get his soles callused. I hadn't done any of that yet and about 2 weeks after the trim, on June 4th some friends called me to go on a cattle drive. I put the renegade boots on the fronts and left the backs and it didn't go so well. The reason I did this was the trimmer told me that they rarely have problems with the back feet after a natural trim, just boot the fronts and you will most likely be fine. I kept him in the ditches as much as I could, probably 75% of the riding was in the soft ditches, but by the end of the day he couldn't hardly walk on gravel. There was a lot of wincing going on. Anyway fast forward to yesterday, I took him out for the first time to start the transition by tying him on the gravel. I left him tied for an hour and when I was leading him back to the pen he was wincing again. Probably a stone bruise? Should I let him rest for another week and try again? Also the trimmer said some things to do for the transition were to put gravel around the water trough and gravel around where I feed him so he has to walk on it to drink and eat. Does this sound right? What size gravel to use? Also, how do I tell when he is ready to ride without boots in the rough stuff? Just take the boots with me and try him after a couple months?
     
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    06-13-2011, 01:01 AM
  #2
Yearling
So...your farrier said tie him on gravel and you rode him instead - not a trail ride, a cattle drive. The farrier said tie for 10 minutes and you tied for an hour for his first session? How are you confused that he's sore?!

You just said you failed to do what the farrier instructed...listen to him now with rocks around the water trough. Allows for short intervals of stone training. I would make sure to pick his feet daily, more than once if possible - wouldn't want a stone stuck in a front frog. I imagine 1/4 down/fill (standard driveway grade) would be fine?

Good luck with the transition...hope it's smoother from here on.
     
    06-13-2011, 01:14 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by EveningShadows    
So...your farrier said tie him on gravel and you rode him instead - not a trail ride, a cattle drive. The farrier said tie for 10 minutes and you tied for an hour for his first session? How are you confused that he's sore?!

You just said you failed to do what the farrier instructed...listen to him now with rocks around the water trough. Allows for short intervals of stone training. I would make sure to pick his feet daily, more than once if possible - wouldn't want a stone stuck in a front frog. I imagine 1/4 down/fill (standard driveway grade) would be fine?

Good luck with the transition...hope it's smoother from here on.
I'm not confused, I know that I didn't do what he said. I thought by riding in the ditches and the fact that he said they rarely have problems on the backs would be good enough. For me it was a trail ride, the 7 others on horses did most of the work. I'm not a cowboy, I went along to visit and have a fun time. Thanks for the advise though. Should I give him another week before I try again?
     
    06-13-2011, 04:19 AM
  #4
Trained
Hi,

First & foremost, get yourself educated about what you're doing & the hows & why's of what's happening to his feet. Hoofrehab.com is one great source to begin with. Learn the pros & cons of different principles, approaches, etc, so you don't just have to take someone's word for whatever. There is also many more important factors than 'transitioning' gradually. Most of them - like diet & environment - are your responsibility as owner.

I find it curious that the trimmer said your horse *will* be 100% sound in a year, let alone better. Either with much more information than we have, he knows your horse's feet are already very good and his management is optimum too, that he lives on rocky ground, exercises a lot, etc... or he's overly optimistic or likes to encourage his owners to be. As said above, there's a lot more to it than just pulling shoes & 'transitioning' and due to any of those factors, a horse may or may not be 100% in all terrain ever, let alone 6 months(another reason for doing your homework). Not meaning to sound negative, just realistic. Not all horses can cope bare in all they're asked to, period. So saying, I do believe that keeping horses shoeless is generally the far better option for them. Just that many will need boots or such for some of their work.

While giving the horse a substantial amount of time(but starting gradually) on gravel is a good idea if you want them to get conditioned to it, there's gravel & there's gravel(for eg. 4" deep pea gravel is generally comfortable for hooves in any state), and also it depends on the state of their feet as to whether they need to grow stronger before even starting to work on conditioning. If for eg the horse is thin soled, there's little protection against stone bruises. If they're weak heeled, they can get bruises in the frog, sensitive heels can cause them to 'tippy toe' and bruise toes, set up excess leverage on toe walls & other bad mechanics that can lead to further injury. Therefore it's important to keep them well trimmed and comfortable, for optimum hoof function so they can exercise their feet properly & build strength & health enough so they may *then* start 'transitioning'.

At whatever stage, when taking your horse bare over terrain you're not sure if he's up to, err on the side of caution, allow him to pick his way and always listen to him & quit doing what you're doing if he's not comfortable. Don't wait for real difficulties which could signify bad bruising/abscesses. If you can't/don't want to take it at your horse's pace, just put boots on.

Your trimmer is right that *generally* horses do tend to do fine without back boots. However, there are lots of ifs & buts & exceptions, of which it seems your horse is one. Sounds like 4 boots are the way to go, and that your horse may not be even up to driveway jaunts barefoot either yet. If your drive has deep piles of pea gravel, or you can add some areas of this to his paddock hangout areas tho, this is *generally* fine even for tender feet.
     
    06-13-2011, 04:25 AM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by EveningShadows    
I imagine 1/4 down/fill (standard driveway grade) would be fine?
Unless the horse's feet are already thick & healthy, sharp crushed rock can be too harsh. 'Pea gravel' however is something like small river pebbles, which aren't sharp and don't compact, so they move around under the horse's weight. A good gauge of type might be to go to the landscape supplies, take your shoes off & see what you're comfortable walking on!
     
    06-13-2011, 09:25 AM
  #6
Yearling
Loosie, your suggestion for the horse owner to walk barefoot on "pea gravel" and from 3/4-1/4 inch Lime Stone is a good suggestion. However, "pea gravel" is not in lack of sharp edges. "Pea Gravel" is measured in the refining stage as 3/8 inch in uniformity. It is milled, staged by refinery and several levels of uniformity for mined chat piles of years of quarry workings. Rounded rock the size of "pea gravel" is found in creek and stream river beds/waterways and a very good resource.

I am sorry to feel the way I do for those who prefer to let/ask their horse to go barefoot. I just have seen on numerous occasions a lot of tender-footed barefoot horses on long trail rides. It just defies logic, on my part to ask a horse to go tendered footed anytime anyplace.

If anyone wants to "flame me" for my insights I accept those responses.
     
    06-13-2011, 12:23 PM
  #7
Yearling
Sorry OP, for some reason I thought you weren't understanding why what you were doing was making him sore...read it wrong.

Personally, I don't understand why a horse needs a YEAR to adjust to life without shoes? My horses have been without shoes for years, but not the typical "barefoot" method...I trim the callous and keep the frog clean, but they've never been sore like what's described here. I'm just trying to imagine subjecting my mare to a YEAR of soreness and toughening her feet...and it makes no sense when there are other solutions. And no, I'm not talking about shoes...but each to their own. Will stop posting in this thread because I don't agree with it.

Plus not agreeing with barefoot is much like protesting NH - death sentence.

Good luck with your horse's feet - hope he comes around fast for you.
     
    06-13-2011, 12:49 PM
  #8
Green Broke
I'd hesitate to make a sore horse walk on stones to drink. You want them to drink as much as possible, not hold off for any reason.
     
    06-13-2011, 01:14 PM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha    
I'd hesitate to make a sore horse walk on stones to drink. You want them to drink as much as possible, not hold off for any reason.
I agree.
     
    06-13-2011, 07:12 PM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by candandy49    
Loosie, your suggestion for the horse owner to walk barefoot on "pea gravel" and from 3/4-1/4 inch Lime Stone is a good suggestion. However, "pea gravel" is not in lack of sharp edges..... . Rounded rock the size of "pea gravel" is found in creek and stream river beds/waterways and a very good resource.
OK, that's what I mean & that's what's known as pea gravel here. So to save confusion, perhaps we should say at least 4" deep of not sharp edged, non compacting stones of around 3/8 - 3/4" in size.... Like river pebbles for eg.

Quote:
I am sorry to feel the way I do for those who prefer to let/ask their horse to go barefoot. I just have seen on numerous occasions a lot of tender-footed barefoot horses on long trail rides. It just defies logic, on my part to ask a horse to go tendered footed anytime anyplace.
Agree fully. Don't be sorry for your view! A lot of people don't seem to be given the whole story & they are just told - & believe - that it's just a matter of forcing a horse to 'get used to' the terrain they want to travel on. It can indeed be like that, but if the horse is too uncomfortable to do this, not only is it unpleasant for him, but he will be moving wrongly, possibly doing more damage and not developing his feet anyway. So IMO comfort is one of the biggest considerations in taking a horse bare.

Quote:
I'd hesitate to make a sore horse walk on stones to drink. You want them to drink as much as possible, not hold off for any reason.
Most definitely. Pea gravel.... sorry - at least 4" deep of not sharp edged, non compacting stones of around 3/8 - 3/4" in size - is generally pretty comfortable, even for lami or otherwise tenderfooted horses. If still in doubt about a horse that's in a really bad way, I'd put it in other areas & see how they went before putting it around the water source.
     

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