Vet is recommending shoes...
My horse is barefoot, and has been for the year I've owned him and we've never had an issue with it. His trim isn't perfect, his toes are still a little long and heels underun, but I've been doing a lot of reading up and trying to work on it with my farrier.
Couple weeks ago I posted a critique thread just to see how I'm doing, for the most part you guys said what I've seen, long toes and heels needing work still...and you pointed out my farrier is right handed and doesn't balance perfectly (lol I still am amazed that you guys could tell that!). But also said his feet looked strong and healthy.. Wellllll, two Sundays ago, I rode, and he was AWESOME! Couldn't feel a thing off in his steps. Then Monday I got on, did his warm up at the walk and everything seemed fine, asked for a trot..and immediately felt it wasn't right. So I stayed on a few more minutes trying to feel it out where its coming from. I decided it felt like it was from his back right. So I got off, and I couldn't really find anything wrong so I decided to give him the week off...thought maybe he rolled funny who knows.
Well after that week, I put him on the lunge and he was still off, not as bad, but it was there. So I called the vet. They made it out today, week and a half has passed now. He was still slightly off on the right hind. Vet checked him over, and used the hoof testers. Said his toe was sore and his heels were really low and sore, and toe bruised. She said I need to put shoes on him...She wouldn't give me any other alternatives, just shoes. I normally ride him in easy boot gloves, but likeeee a month ago he ripped a gator on his back one so I hadn't been using the back boots...we did go on a trail ride without the back boots...so maybe it started there? Is shoeing really my only option? I can afford it if it really is what he needs but I just feel like my farrier would of said something if his hooves were that bad that he needed shoes to be sound?
This is my thread with the pics, I linked it to the 2nd page where I got better pics posted.
I called my farrier but had to leave a message, I'm interested to see what he says. I feel like I should have more options...am I wrong?
Also, I know you can get inserts for the easyboots for extra comfort, if I can keep him barefoot, is that something I should look into?
Some horses just cannot be sound barefoot from what I've seen. I have 2 horses, one is barefoot and has been all his life-completely sound.
My new one NEEDS shoes. If he isn't shod at least in the front, he's off.
I get him done all the way around just because we have trails that are rocky and our arena isn't sand, it's dirt.
I would get him shod only in the front and see how he does. You could try Keratex hoof hardener, I hear that works well. We've tried it with my sore one, but ultimately he needs to be shod.
Trust me, it's very disheartening. I went from having no problems with my first boy to problem after problem with my new one because he would come up sore. Also, the weather has not been helping us here in VA.
ETA: the shod one has long toes and underrun heels, too. Oh the woes of trusting farriers..........
Now that we've got him shod all the way around he hasn't come up sore since.
If the vet just said he needs shoes w no clear and detailed explanation I would call and ask for one and why 24/7 iron shoes would be more advantageous than 24/7 boots. There may well be a thought out and very well founded reason. If not, I would personally question her "finding".
It could just be a stone bruise. Especially if he was sound before and suddenly became lame after a ride.
I've been "doing barefoot" for 8 years now and have had stone bruises only twice, both right after an active ride, on two different horses. I gave them a couple weeks off (and bute for the first few days) and they healed and have been fine.
It doesn't necessarily mean barefoot has failed, even a shod horse can get a stone bruise if they hit a rock just right.
If you DID shoe him but still wanted to do barefoot, let him go a shoeing cycle and then, when his feet are long, pull the shoes and try barefoot again. Just don't let the farrier carve out any sole. It takes a long time to build sole callous again and a lot of farriers will trim the sole when they shoe.
If the horse has been sound for a year barefoot and is suddenly lame on one foot, I don't think that means he can't go barefoot. It probably just means he bruised or otherwise injured that particular leg.
Yup, shod horses can even get stone bruises.
Basically, caring for hooves is serious business and very tiring.
"no hoof, no horse"
Obviously you are a responsible horse owner. You have taken many steps. Depending one how long and what ground you rode him w/o protection a time or two, it probably didn't help matters. It is very believable that the current state of his feet require shoes or boots 24/7 for the moment, or maybe always. I would just want to know can his feet be rehabbed with balanced trims, 24/7 boots or shoes, or casting, whatnot and diet, or not? If not, why not? I mean, is she just saying get shoes on him b/c he currently needs 24/7 protection (makes sense) or will always need protection?
His diet is...1lb of triple crown 30% once a day, farriers formula plus, smartprotect ultra (he has lymes and its supposed to help boost his immune system and help prevent flare ups), then him and the mare hes out with get maybe 4-6 flakes of hay to share and then they are out on pasture.
I believe she's saying he needs the shoes for the protection, she vaguely mentioned pads, and to help his heel grow. I feel like shoes wouldn't help his heel grow though...but I'm thinking equisocks may be a good place to start?
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