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bridgetmarie 05-10-2012 09:35 AM

My Appaloosa has tender white hooves, any suggestions?
Hello all. My appy has white feet that are apparently very tender. I did not know this until he came up lame about a month ago. I have only owned him since about mid-December. He is barefoot now and has been since I started riding him in early Februaury. My vet thinks he has a stone bruise and she said it should go away on its own in due time. My questions are; what is an average amount of time for this kind of lameness? Should I put shoes on him? How aften do I apply venetian turpentine and does it really help to harden the soles? Some people have suggested trying hoof boots on him which I have used only a few times on an older horse that had navicular issues before and was ridden very lightly. We mainly trail ride which involves riding on the street quite a bit, do little jumps out on the trail and I wanted to do the hunter pace with him but we are not quite there yet. Thanks for any and all feedback. I am a first time owner and have endless questions...

Cowgirl140ty 05-10-2012 09:43 AM

All 3 of my apps have all 4 white feet. And i have the opposite problem. They are really hard. Alot of times how their feet are, is from what they are eating. Have you tried hoof supplenents?
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PaintHorseMares 05-10-2012 09:47 AM

A sole bruise can take a few weeks to heal up. Venice turpentine or iodine does help toughen up the soles. Keeping the feet dry will considerably reduce any lameness..soft soles are more tender. In the long(er) run, make sure your farrier does not trim the toe too short or remove any sole, especially if your horse is thin soled. Often these horses need more frequent (e.g. 4 week), less aggressive trims.

bridgetmarie 05-10-2012 10:11 AM

I have been giving him biotin as a supplement to promote healthy main, tail and hoof growth. cowgirl do you keep your horses barefoot?

Cowgirl140ty 05-10-2012 05:11 PM

Yep. They are all barefoot. Only 2 are rideable as one is a yearling. They get a little gimpy over rocks on occasion but never come up lame.
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loosie 05-10-2012 09:25 PM

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Firstly, it's nothing to do with hoof colour. There is no strength inherent to the pigment, which is only in the outer layer anyway. Pics of his hooves - check out signature link - would be helpful if you want specific opinions/suggestions on his feet. Diet & environment are 2 huge factors in hoof health/strength. So providing us with info on these factors & his lifestyle would help. I see you supp with biotin. That can indeed be helpful for hoof growth, but there are a range of other nutrients that are important & often deficient/imbalanced, so I'd look into that too. is a good source for nutritional/diet info & help.

Stone bruises are common with horses - shod or bare - worked over hard/rocky ground if they have thin soles. Bruising can last weeks & can also develop into abscesses. Shoes won't help him, aside from palliatively, without pads at least & I believe hoof boots are generally a far better option for the horse.

If he lives in a wet environment, his hooves will be softer. While chemical hardeners can definitely harden soles, what is needed is for them to *grow thicker* to provide adequate protection. I wouldn't use chemicals, but if in a wet environment, I'd endeavor to provide at least some dry ground for him to hang out on. Soaking his feet regularly in a strong saline solution can help dry them out too.

bridgetmarie 05-13-2012 07:58 AM

Hello, I'm getting so much conflicting information it is hard to know what to do. I had a ferrier look at him and she said that yes he needed shoes. We live in Massachusetts and the ground in his turn out is very rocky and hard when it is dry and about 3 inches of mud when its wet. I only trail ride him which involves walking miles on the strett to get to the trail. The ferriers opinion was that the trimmer was trimming his feet wrong and leaving his heal too long which was causing pinching in his toe witch casued the bruising. He is getting worse, not better. It has been 4 weeks. I bought easycare backcountry trail boots and am waiting for them to come in the mail. But some people are of the opinion that I should shoe him to prevent new bruises and help heal current bruises. Someone said he needs to be up off the sole in order to heal. I don't know what to do because last night he was almost imobile. Everyone says Appaloosas have notoriously bad feet he needs shoes and then they say if I put shoes on him they will never toughen up.. Is it true that a sole can tough up? So confused and my horse is suffering!!!!!

PaintHorseMares 05-13-2012 08:30 AM


Originally Posted by bridgetmarie (Post 1497777)
I don't know what to do because last night he was almost imobile.

Is it muddy/wet right now?

Skyseternalangel 05-13-2012 08:39 AM

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Bridgetmarie, try hoof boots first. You can get inserts for them if needed.

I had the same problem, except my horse didn't come up lame.

Try Durasole to strengthen hoof soles and make sure he's on nice dry ground.

Put him on a hoof supplement and his hooves will be better in 6 months + as it takes awhile for new growth.

Take picture of your horse's feet and post them on here so you can get more opinions on the state of his feet.

Shoes are a last option, in my mind. It causes new problems like hooves aren't as easy to clean or if they aren't seated properly. Try hoof boots first and get some durasole. It's only ~$13 and it does make a difference.

Have you been riding him on hard ground? I think if you can find nice soft ground that's dry and turn him out there for awhile it would help him.

What is his diet like? What do you do with him? What's the weather like there? What's his living situation?

Saddlebag 05-13-2012 08:48 AM

Try to find a well recommended farrier to do your horse. He/she will do what best suits the horse. The good ones are very much in demand.

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