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So I’m taking care of this girls horse while she’s off at college and they told me that the horse has bad feet. For starters, the horse is huge and her feet are so tiny. She loses shoes a lot and her hooves crack so I have oil to put on them but should I not ride her as much or does that not have anything to do with it? Any advice???
 

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It might help if you would post some pictures. All of my horses are barefoot, but it's my understanding that improper shoeing can cause a horse's hooves to contract, at least at the back. I suppose it's possible that that could be part of what's going on here. I suppose it's also possible that this horse is just from one of those lines where they were intentionally bred like that. Was she meant to be a halter horse?

Have you thought about pulling her shoes and trying to let her be barefoot? Especially if he's not being ridden much?

Anyway, do post some pictures (including pictures showing the sides and sole of the feet with the shoes on) if you are able -- I think it would help people give you more appropriate advice.
 

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Do you know what breeding she is and did they mention if "bad" feet means they are high maintenance as in they split, she throws shoes, she has thrush or is she sore on them? That would be the main concern I would think.

If she's in aluminum shoes and you are in a wet area - I would switch her to steels. your an also have the farrier do a few things such as a roll the toe. I'm not a farrier obviously so you would definitely want to speak to a professional about that type of option.

Does she wear bell boots? They are helpful if she is stepping on the back of the front shoes with her hind feet.
 

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I think oil is a waste of money. At least, I have never heard of it actually doing anything for anyone. Dry feet are good. If the hooves are splitting and cracking, it's likely nutritional. Riding shouldn't have anything really to do with it either. I've ridden all my horses barefoot (booted in rocks) and I still have to trim a lot. Something major is going on with the hoof quality. Being a big horse on tiny feel doesn't help though.
 

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As this is not your horse, you need to do as the owner advises basically, if you want to continue looking after & riding the horse. Hoof oil doesn't help, and is likely doing more harm if there are already cracks, but if that's what the owners require... And you don't say who is responsible for the farriery, how often, who comes, whether the owners require the horse to be shod. If I were responsible, firstly I wouldn't be shoeing, but I'd get some hoof boots for the horse if she needed extra protection for what I wanted to do with her.... but perhaps owners organise it all & insist she is shod, so...

If a horse is shod, particularly if they lose shoes more than in a blue moon, I strongly advise the 'looker after' has the appropriate tools & knows how to remove a shoe - because serious damage can happen if a horse is left in loose or half off shoes, and farriers can't always drop everything and make an emergency visit the second someone rings. I would not ride a horse with loose shoes, or if the horse were lame/uncomfortable without shoes(generally wouldn't ride a horse WITH shoes, if they were lame without), and depending on state of hooves, state of cracks, I may not ride the horse, on hard ground at least, even if he weren't lame.
 
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