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strengthing the hooves
When I did the pre-purcahse for Sonny we found out that he has senstivie hooves, but the vet said that if we keep shoes on him when we ride on rocky ground that he'll be fine.
I'm not really opposed to shoeing a horse, but I'd perfer to have Sonny kept barefooted.
I was going to try to build up the strength of Sonny's hooves, so maybe that will solve the sensitivity problem.
What stuff could I feed Sonny or apply to his hooves to get them harder? I know it takes approx. a year to get them stronger, so I am prepared to stop trail riding (or use a lesson horse) until Sonny's hooves are better.
Anyone else had a horse with sensitivity? What do you do?
There's a post here about hoof supplements--I love the one my horse's on. He was born and raised by a farrier, and had all four shoes when we bought him. The only advice we were given by his owner was 'don't take his shoes off'. Well, he kept throwing them (and half the hoof wall) so he went on a supplement. What a difference a year makes! He's barefoot and not tender at all!
I guess I'm lucky, but my mom's a pharmacist, so when we decided to look for a supplement, we researched all the different brands. My mom picked Master's Hoof blend because she thinks it has the most blend of vitamins and minerals and amio acids for the price. Horseshoer's Secret is another favorite and I'm sure it works just as well, but it's missing a few of the things in Master's'. I know that I tried Master's', and it works... but that's just my two cents there. :)
Also, I'm a big believer in 'stressing' the hoof to get it to grow stronger. If a horse stands on soft grass all the time, why would his hoof get stronger? It doesn't need to. So if you can, just walk him on pavement or something a little harder, like concrete. Don't get him sore! Just don't avoid those places. :)
You also don't have to stop trail riding... they make 'horse sneakers' that are made for horses with sore feet, so you can boot 'em up and take them out on the trail! They're a little expensive though, so you'll have to be careful when you pick them out (The simple hoof boot... made by...um. Cavelli? I think. Is very good, as is the easy boot epic.)
Taking a horse off of shoes immediately is not always the best option, because sometimes the horse can be so sore and ouchy that the hooves just rip themselves apart. Try to wean him off of shoes, and use the horse sneakers if you can, and I would personally put him on a supplement.
His pasture isn't grass, infact I don't think they'll be any grass this summer, sadly, in his pasture. It's just dirt. His pasture is one of the farthest away from the indoor arena, so we have to walk up a gravel walk way to get him up there. It doesn't seem to bother him just walking up there, and I'm thinking that I'm going to have a friend ride him while I walk him up to see what happens.
I definately want to put him on a supplement and price does not matter. I've already spent over $1000 on him (just on stuff for him, treats, and fun stuff haha) so I'm willing to pay for something that people thinks works really well.
For the Master's Hoof Blend...since Sonny isn't grained, he's just on hay, would I just give him the oz. required, or would I need to put him on grain daily for it?
Hehee. The easy boots DO look confusing... I know the other brand looks more like a sneaker and only has two strips of Velcro (but, they're more expensive. :roll: ).
As for the supplement, you could just give him a handful of grain like a 'treat' so he'd eat it... No grain necessary, really. If you are planning on working him moderately though, I would try to put him on a little of grain... just so his muscles have that extra protein to perform and build muscle.
supplements are the best but they take up to 12 months to start really having an effect on their feet
in the meantime you can use barefoot boots like easy boots, old macs (have heard these arent the best) and...grrr cant think of the other name lol
my tb mare has really crap feet due to the fact that she is a tb. they are flat, brittle and just...crap! lol anyways, ive had her on a complete supplement for 6 months and recently started wearing easy boots when going out for a ride and she is doing really well :D
just realised someone had already mentioned the boots lol that will learn me for not reading the whole thread hehehe
Sonny, if you want boots for riding I'd recommend to look into easyboot bare. I saw them couple weekends back and they look and work amazing. On other side Old mac's look terrible and takes forever to put on. I remember reading about walking horse on hard surface like or gravel for strengthen the hoofs, but he may be very sensitive to that.
We keep our girls barefoot and they all have great feet. I can see the delema of having a horse with bad feet and trying to get them great. Our farrier doesnt remove hardly any sole or frog unless there are tears/flaps and we plan on bringing in rock for around the water tank. I think that in itself should help harden the feet more than any supplement. When we had an old time "stick shoes on em" farrier they would be ouchie for a week or so after a trim. Now they have no ouch period to work through. I have the easyboot epics for really rough stuff. The only problem I have is the cables breaking but they are cheap and easy to replace. You might look at the bares as they just have a cam lock I think.
Go to this website, if you are interested in keeping your horse barefoot!
Try using Keratex Hoof Hardener (www.Keratex.net) it keeps hooves dry and hard in wet weather and helps strengthen the soles and walls to prevent cracking and chipping. It works for barefoot or shod horses and also helps keep shoes on in the mud. I use it 3-4 times a week along with a daily hoof supplement.
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