Transition to barefoot
not sure where to post this so i posted it here.
I have a OTTB that we got a little over a year ago. We tried to transition him to barefoot when we first got him but with his other injuries and thin soles (he would bruise just walking on the grass field and dirt corral) we decided to wait a bit. Were considering it again as his hoofs are in a little bit better condition then they were when we got them.
What are some ways i can help him transition easier this time?
He will be at home with me this time so i will be able to monitor him a whole lot better this time.
Someone told me to use durasole on him to get his soles a little thicker as he has like paper thin soles. maybe that will help with him not getting so many bruises.
Also i was thinking about buying him hoof boots but can you leave those on in the pasture as long as you make regular check to make sure no rubbing is going on.
what are some other ways to toughen up a sole to transition to barefoot.
I know he may not be one of the thoroughbreds who can go barefoot but i sure as heck atleast want to give it a darn good job.
He wont be doing any real work persay. Just some trail riding and some small jumps in the field.
Durasole really does not make their sole thicker. It just makes it.... for lack of a better way to describe it, tougher. Paper thin soles will be paper thin soles. A horse with really paper thin soles is going to be miserable barefoot no matter what you paint on his feet.
Sad fact of genetics and poor breeding.
You want to take your horse that you admit has paper thin soles and is going to be in pain during this transition time and jump it?
Please tell me the point of that line is that when the horse is sound again (if it happens) you will then be doing trail riding and light jumping, but not before the horse gets sound again.
no im not stupid. He actually has to be restarted slowly. before any jumping goes on. thats just a possibility, what i hope to do with him some day. the vet/farrier actually both said his sole is thickning and toughening up alot from when we got him. we can do a pressure test now all over his hoof and no more pain. when we first got him she (vet) would apply a little pressure and he would be ouchy.
I agree that painting anything on the soles is not helpful. He needs to *grow* thicker soles. If he is bruising just in the pasture, this is not helpful, let alone nice for him & I would advise protecting/supporting his feet until they are stronger/thicker. It sounds as if he's in a bad way & I would forget about attempting to 'transition' him to go bare until you have been able to first rehabilitate his feet to a healthy state. (That's not at all meaning I think putting shoes on him would be helpful or a good idea BTW)
Boots are generally not great to be left on the horse long term, but if necessary they can be. If everything else is in order, you *should* find that with a bit of support & more exercise without risk of sole bruises, his soles should thicken up pretty soon well enough to be paddock sound bare at least. I would choose a type such as Easyboots which sit below the hairline, to avoid rubbing. He'll need gaiters with them too, to keep them on tho. You will need to remove the boots for at least an hour a day to clean & dry his feet. Vettec Sole Guard or hoof casts are a couple of alternatives to boots.
First & foremost, because I think it's about the biggest single factor is to ensure he has a healthy diet. Low-carb(low grain, sugar, starch) diet is essential. It is likely that the high starch diets of racehorses & intensively kept horses is the major factor in flat/thin soles. The horse's laminae have broken down because of it & they founder. Good, well balanced nutrition is also important, as there are many important nutrients that are deficient in the diet without supplementation.
Is he being well & frequently trimmed? Do you understand the principles involved in trimming & managing in regards to feet & soundness? If not, I would suggest hoofrehab.com & barehoofcare.com as 2 good places to start..... or continue your education, as we can all learn more.
If you would like more specific advice on his feet, hoof pix & info on diet & management will be helpful. Pix from near ground level, directly front- & side-on and a range of angles of solar pix, including sighting down squarely from heel to toe. Oh, clean(ish) feet on firm ground is also necessary.
Ugh, I don't know too many TB's who are barefoot candidates. My guys threw a shoe last week and limped for 4 days after. If you do decide to proceed, please get a pair of Cavallo boots so he can transition slowly. Just leave him barefoot for an hour a day, then move it up to 2 a few weeks later and so on.
Thank you Loosie. very helpful and brought a few ideas to mind (thats why i love forums, people mention something that i may have forgotten) I will have to get pictures of him. he is actually shod right now and due for a trim in a week.
Hope he's also got pads to protect his poor feet then? Shoes are often an effective palliative measure - meaning they don't feel the pain(at least until it's acute) but they provide no protection or support for the bottom of the feet, so the damage still goes on, despite it being masked.
no he does not. the farrier did not feel he needed them. The bruising is gone though with the shoes. it could have also been that he thru his shoes before i got him and she only had him with two shoes on. one in the front and one in the back on opposit sides. Why she didnt just pull them i have no idea. but anywho
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