New horse being left in round pen due to short hoof walls, how long can he stay there - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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New horse being left in round pen due to short hoof walls, how long can he stay there

Hi everyone. I got my own horse about 3 weeks ago. I currently board him at a barn. When I got him, I was aware he needed some care and attention to his feet. When I first got him he had thrush in all four feet, short back hoof walls and shoes on all four feet. My barn has been keeping him in a round pen for the entire time hes been there. His thrush has now been almost completely cleared up, which was a big reason they said they were keeping him in the round pen to avoid his feet getting wet of the grass. My goal is to have his back shoes taken off and just have his front ones. But since he has the short back hoof walls, my barn is telling me he cannot be put out in the field and not to be trotting and cantering him. They are afraid he will throw a back shoe off... This seems to be counter intuitive with posts I read about how you need to exercise a hoof to create blood flow so it grows faster. He does not like to just walk, so I have been doing light trotting with him because he does enjoy it. I also know it can take a long time to grow a hoof wall and grow a hoof. So how long can a horse be kept this way in the round pen? It seems like he needs to be with other horses and not confined to a round pen for months and months. He is currently on hoof supplements to help the growing process. I would really appreciate any advice on what you would suggest for a horse with these problems. Do you think the round pen in the best place for him and no trotting? Or trying some light exercising and moving him to the field. Thanks everyone
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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I also would like to add that he's never foundered or anything like that.
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 12:19 PM
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Have you had a farrier come and evaluate him yet? If not, I'd get that done ASAP. Let the farrier know that you want to remove the back shoes and see what he/she says. For that matter, why not try to take off the fronts as well?

I think putting him the round pen was a decent idea to help with the thrush, but I don't understand why they won't put him in the pasture now. Are you suggesting that somehow his short hoof walls will lead to him losing a shoe? My horses aren't shod, so I am not sure I'm understanding correctly. But this is another reason to get the farrier out ASAP -- if your barn doesn't want him in the field because he might lose a back shoe... well, if he has no shoes to lose then it won't be a problem.

And yes I agree he should be out there with the other horses moving around.
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 12:29 PM
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Kicks are more frequent than strikes on herd dynamics. It may well be policy that no horses with back shoes are allowed in with others.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Have you had a farrier come and evaluate him yet? If not, I'd get that done ASAP. Let the farrier know that you want to remove the back shoes and see what he/she says. For that matter, why not try to take off the fronts as well?

I think putting him the round pen was a decent idea to help with the thrush, but I don't understand why they won't put him in the pasture now. Are you suggesting that somehow his short hoof walls will lead to him losing a shoe? My horses aren't shod, so I am not sure I'm understanding correctly. But this is another reason to get the farrier out ASAP -- if your barn doesn't want him in the field because he might lose a back shoe... well, if he has no shoes to lose then it won't be a problem.

And yes I agree he should be out there with the other horses moving around.

Sorry I should've added to my post that I did have a very experienced farrier come out and do some work on him. He recommends shoes for his front feet just to correct an angle he has on his front feet. His back feet he recommended leaving his original shoes on until he can grow enough hoof wall to take them off. So yes, my barn thinks because he has the short hoof wall he could throw a shoe. My farrier is saying that I can trot him and ride him, and has a differing opinion than the place I board him has.
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
Kicks are more frequent than strikes on herd dynamics. It may well be policy that no horses with back shoes are allowed in with others.
I would completely understand that too. But the women who owns the barn where I board keeps telling me the reason is because he has short back hoof walls and wants to limit his movement. There are some other fields at the barn that are empty that he could be put in just to have more space, but she is against that as well.
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 01:05 PM
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Are you OK with having to have an emergency farrier call out if he does lose a shoe? If so, I'd push back on her about not letting him out in the pasture. Tell her you are OK with doing this if needed. Maybe she will come out with another reason she doesn't want him out there. Maybe she'll let him out. Maybe she'll stand her ground. She may be one of those overbearing barn owner types who knows everything and doesn't want the horse owners making their own decisions. Ultimately it's your horse and you are paying her, so unless she has a really great reason (as @QtrBel said, she might be concerned about kicks, but what you said above contradicts that), I would insist that he be put out there.

Someone like @loosie might be able to better address what the farrier said. Did he say WHY this horse needs more hoof wall? Is he one of those farriers who thinks that the hoof wall is supposed to bear all the horse's weight? Or was he afraid that shortened hoof wall might force a potentially painful frog into ground contact before it's ready (due to thrush)?
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Are you OK with having to have an emergency farrier call out if he does lose a shoe? If so, I'd push back on her about not letting him out in the pasture. Tell her you are OK with doing this if needed. Maybe she will come out with another reason she doesn't want him out there. Maybe she'll let him out. Maybe she'll stand her ground. She may be one of those overbearing barn owner types who knows everything and doesn't want the horse owners making their own decisions. Ultimately it's your horse and you are paying her, so unless she has a really great reason (as @QtrBel said, she might be concerned about kicks, but what you said above contradicts that), I would insist that he be put out there.

Someone like @loosie might be able to better address what the farrier said. Did he say WHY this horse needs more hoof wall? Is he one of those farriers who thinks that the hoof wall is supposed to bear all the horse's weight? Or was he afraid that shortened hoof wall might force a potentially painful frog into ground contact before it's ready (due to thrush)?
You have made a lot of good points, I will definitely address it with the barn owner. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. The farrier believes the hoof wall will bear the weight and wants it to grow more I believe, but I will ask him to confirm. He did not mention the frogs being pressed to the ground. He is coming back out in 5 weeks so I am hoping at that point the back ones can be removed. But as far as my other questiosn go, it sounds like you think he does need excercise and out of the round pen.
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Elliemalfoy View Post
But as far as my other questiosn go, it sounds like you think he does need excercise and out of the round pen.
Yes, I absolutely believe that he does. You're right that he needs movement to stimulate hoof growth. And if you have pastures with no other horses in them, I really can't see why he shouldn't.

Maybe some other people will respond as well. I don't really agree with your farrier about the hoof wall, but I'm a hoof novice and it's not my place to comment on such things. So hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will comment.
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Last edited by ACinATX; 09-14-2020 at 03:34 PM.
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-14-2020, 09:06 PM
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If he has shoes on, than short back hoof walls shouldn't be a reason to restrict movement, because the purpose of the shoe is to prevent wear and allow the wall to grow out more, presumably? The horse I lease has back shoes on for that very reason right now, and she is in turnout and in full walk, trot, and canter work. And has yet to lose a shoe!! And her hoof wall is growing in and recovering now just fine.
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