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Pilot 01-07-2011 10:26 AM

Frozen ground making hoofs sore?
I live in Southern Indidana and we have had lots of cold weather. I keep my mare in a large pasture with 24/7 access to barned shelter. I fear the frozen ground has made her hoofs sore, for she is walking unusally slow and tiptoeing carefully. I don't understand why she doesn't stay inside on the soft straw.
I'm feeding her just to maintain her condition through the winter months. I feed her half a quart of mixed grains and a couple flakes of hay each day. She hasn't lost any weight so I've chosen to continue those rations, although she is a bit of a hog when it comes to how much she could eat. Her pasture grass is old, low and dead and I plan on rotating her to fresh ground when spring comes to allow the manure to dispense.
When I ride in the winter it is for short periods of time and only at a walk to avoid bruising her hoofs.
So what I'm getting at is that she is eatting enough to be satisfied(no lose of weight) so she isn't forced to go outside to get food. What can I do to make her feet not so sore? :cry:

mbender 01-07-2011 10:46 AM

There isn't anything dear. They are probably bruised from the hard ground. When it gets icy or if the ground is uneven they bang those hooves up pretty good. I have a mare that has white hooves and see a few bruises just from the ground. Just take it easy on her while riding. She will be ok.
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Pilot 01-07-2011 10:48 AM

Okay thanks. I can't wait until spring.

mbender 01-07-2011 10:50 AM

No kidding! I hear you!
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mls 01-07-2011 10:52 AM

She may simply be tender on the frozen ground. Just as you are the first couple of times you head outside barefoot in the summer. I would be more worried if she didn't want to walk around.

Pilot 01-07-2011 10:56 AM

Good point. I'll just let her be and watch her condition to see if it worsens to know if I must lock her inside for a couple weeks. Yeah she likes to move lol

mbender 01-07-2011 11:04 AM

I'm just giving you my opinion on locking her up. I wouldn't. There's a reason most horses won't stay in a shelter and end up staying out in the elements. She feels trapped as a prey animal if she is confined. A horse knows where comfort is and will congregate there. Being outside is safe for her in her mind.

If she becomes lame to the point of not wanting to walk or being able to get to water or food then that is call for putting her in. But, again, she may go nutty being confined. Attitude can change. And as far off as spring is she will still have to walk on that hard ground.

Just my thoughts and opinion. But you know her more than anyone!
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Pilot 01-07-2011 11:08 AM

The longest I've ever had her inside is 24hrs and she did fine but I don't know about prolonged lock up. Yea that's what I meant. If she got bad I would put her inside.

mbender 01-07-2011 11:11 AM

That's what I was getting at. Sucks to see our babies hurting!
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churumbeque 01-07-2011 11:42 AM

a couple of flakes a day is not much especially in cold weather. I am in the midwest also and I feed 6 flakes on a normal day and 12 when it gets below zero and everything in between.
It is normal for them to be tender on hard ground. I would let her walk around so she can eat the dried grass that is exposed as she needs more food.

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