Tennessee Walker on hard surface - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-21-2016, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Waxahachie, Texas
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Tennessee Walker on hard surface

First...I have to say I have been reading for some time now and just getting around to posting my first post. We live in Texas and have 7 acres south of Dallas. I rescued two horse and they are our babies. They are both 12 year old geldings and have previously had great training. We have had them going on two years now and have got them back in great health. They had been left to fend for themselves for several years with no grooming or trimming, etc. We had shoes to help with getting their feet back into shape and they are now going barefoot. They have been barefoot for about 9 months with no issues. The Walker whether he has shoes or barefoot doesn't like to walk on gravel, concrete, or any hard surface. He walks fine on any other surface, its like he's scared on these types of surfaces.

Any thoughts to help with this issue?
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-21-2016, 04:19 PM
Green Broke
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Location: Harrisburg, PA
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It could be that it hurts him to cross hard surfaces even with shoes on. That, or he remembers that crossing hard surfaces hurt, and he's built up an association that any time he steps on a particular type of ground, his feet are going to hurt.

I'd have the vet out and test him for any residual lameness or issues that might be caused by the way his hooves are shaped. Sometimes it can also hurt them if there is not enough room for the sole when he steps down, and he's walking right on his soles.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-21-2016, 08:55 PM
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I had a similar problem when I got my QH mare. On her front feet, the soles were dropped and thin. She hated crossing gravel and would walk out onto pavement to avoid it. My farrier put her in "orthopedic padded sneakers" - a formed plastic plate under the shoe, then silicone pumped in between her sole and the plastic. It helped lift her sole into place and allowed the sole to thicken.

For quite awhile after she got her fancy sneakers, she'd still avoid gravel until I pretty much forced the issue and she discovered it didn't hurt. Well, her feet are much better now and she's in regular shoes, and she doesn't even notice gravel anymore. She will look askance at rocky areas, though.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-22-2016, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Waxahachie, Texas
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Thank you for the replies! I believe he has had a bout with founder at some point. We've had the farrier test his feet with the results being no tender spots. I'll give the vet a call.

Thank you again!
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-27-2016, 08:22 AM
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Hi & welcome to the fray!

Firstly, learn as much as you can about healthy hoof form & function. Owners learning for themselves is so important for the best of our horses, not least because there is so much new information these days, and many farriers & vets can have some contradictory & outdated opinions that you'll need to weigh up, which is better than going on blind faith.(check out thread link in signature below, for somewhere to start). Next, if you want some specific opinions/critique, rather than just generalised comments, post hoof pics(check other link in signature for what's needed), and info on his diet, nutrition & management. You'd likely get more if you posted in the hoofcare part of the forum too - you can ask mods to move this thread there.

Now, general comments... Firstly, I wouldn't call what you've described 'no issues' at all. It sounds like he has rather significant issues actually. Yes, it is quite normal for horses to have a hard time bare on gravel... just like people do, if their feet aren't strong & healthy & well 'conditioned' to these surfaces. That he is also reluctant on hard flat ground such as concrete indicates a much bigger problem though. He could be laminitic &/or foundered, although who knows without more info. If he already had quite compromised feet and he was shod conventionally with rim shoes, that is likely to have further compromised his feet, and he may need some TLC for some time before his feet start to become healthy.

I would suggest, along with other measures, that you invest in a set of hoof boots, or otherwise pad his feet, to protect & support his feet & allow him to be comfortable until they can become stronger.
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