What to do (Hoof Woes)
The happiness of having my lease horse delivered has been dampened slightly by his feet being worse than I remembered.
I knew he was flat footed, but I didn't realize just how bad. I noticed when walking him to his new paddock that he was tender on the fine gravel of the driveway. This afternoon I tried again, and it was worse - he was in obvious pain and was reluctant to move. Took him back into the paddock and he was okay, trotted him in hand and he was horrible. My poor boy.
I have been considering trimming him barefoot and getting him hoofboots - a big investment for a lease horse, but it is so worth it. I really don't think shoes will give enough protection.
Here's a photo of his back left hoof, which isn't as bad as the right but was easier to see in a photo.
Suggestions? I obviously need to get this dealt with before I ride him.
Ask your farrier what he/she would recommend.
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Yeah, probably should have said - I will be calling farriers for advice but wanted outside opinions too. I don't have a farrier that I trust yet so I'd like to have 'reference points' in case the ones I ask are just after a profit/easy fix.
Talk to other local horse people and see who they recommend in your area. Not all farriers are out to make a quick buck, and get a certified farrier.
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Pics or no pics, you already know he's in pain. Shoes with pads would probably make sense for at least until he's comfortable again. Hoof boots are not logical for an ouchy horse in that they are not supposed to be left on 24/7 and you're guy sounds like he needs full time help.
Thanks MBP, I hate recommending getting a horse shod on this forum because of all the barefoot gurus, but seriously, if the horse is tenderfooted, give him a set of shoes.
I'm thinking the barefoot movement has finally made its initial run, all the incorrect of overstated info has worked itself out, and what is left is now a well intentioned objective with realistic expectations of the eventual outcome.
Put shoes on him. I don't even think you need to invest in pads. Shoes will do wonders for him.
At least it looks like he has a nice frog and no thrush!:D
I am going to "sound like a broken record" (no one under 45 knows what means) BUT:
Diet WILL help toughen his hooves up. He may never be able to be ridden without shoes but diet helps.
My 25 yo TWH has always been flat-footed and very tender; he always wore shoes.
He was diagnosed Equine Metabolic Syndrome in 2007 and his diet under went a major major change.
About a year after the change to a very low starch diet, I noticed he went gaiting across the gravel drive without missing a lick.
I decided to bridle him and go down the road to see what he'd do barefoot on the road. To my surprise he went down the road at a pretty good lick and stayed in stones in the center of the road.
I would still shoe him if we were hard trail riding but changing his diet to as low starch as I can get it, has surprisingly strengthend his soles to allow me to ride him barefoot for all the more I do around here.
Both the vet and the Trimmers told me that, while all my horses have great hooves, the best hooves in the barn belong to the two with metabolic issues:shock::shock:
Hopefully you find a farrier you can trust:-)
An no, we are not anti-shoes. All my horses are barefoot because (A) I can't ride anymore (B) two of them never did need shoes to go "4-wheelin'.
If I were still riding like I used to, the other two horses would take turns having a set of shoes put on. I would rotate them to force me to ride them both:lol:
Anyway, along with hoping you find a trustworthy and knowledgeable farrier, at least give some thought to a change in diet:D
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