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Last time my mare had her "dead sole" removed she was lame for a week. I leave it. Yes she has shoes on but the sole STILL protects from rocks. And to be honest, there is not allot that is dead. Her feet are hard (and dry) as rocks, who am I (or my farrier) to remove extra protection?
I see people trying to make domestic horses feet like mustangs but there is a problem with that theory. Mustangs don't get vet care or pampered. If a horse has feet problems, they die. That it, and they don't breed. So only healthy horses with good feet survive and breed. Domestic horses its not the same. We don't look at a horses feet and go "well hes got crappy feet, better geld him even though he has an amazing show record/breeding/ is sound with shoes." We don't breed for hoof quality, so when people have their horses go barefoot some just can't do it. My mare is an example of that. She was barefoot for 6 years, and all she got was bloody hooves and lame. She has had shoes for almost 3 years now and has not taken a lame step.

If you are determined think about the environment and what you use them for. Also take into consideration the horse feet.
 

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My farrier has owned Percherons - as did his father so he's got good experience with heavy draft horses and how their feet need to look so I'm lucky
I don't really know what to suggest other than correct trimming and good feed. Boots are OK but you can't have them in them all the time and if your grazing is like mine it 'grows' stones so bruising in the field would be as likely as out on a trail
Shoes might be the best option for a horse like this - at least in the short term
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Last time my mare had her "dead sole" removed she was lame for a week. I leave it. Yes she has shoes on but the sole STILL protects from rocks. And to be honest, there is not allot that is dead. Her feet are hard (and dry) as rocks, who am I (or my farrier) to remove extra protection?
I see people trying to make domestic horses feet like mustangs but there is a problem with that theory. Mustangs don't get vet care or pampered. If a horse has feet problems, they die. That it, and they don't breed. So only healthy horses with good feet survive and breed. Domestic horses its not the same. We don't look at a horses feet and go "well hes got crappy feet, better geld him even though he has an amazing show record/breeding/ is sound with shoes." We don't breed for hoof quality, so when people have their horses go barefoot some just can't do it. My mare is an example of that. She was barefoot for 6 years, and all she got was bloody hooves and lame. She has had shoes for almost 3 years now and has not taken a lame step.

If you are determined think about the environment and what you use them for. Also take into consideration the horse feet.

I sooo agree with you, KigerQueen. When shoes are needed they get shoes. Mine had 12 weeks of shoes last year because she was wincing down a limestone rocky road for a mile to the trails. We moved to a different barn and the shoes came off because of the terrain. But she was still wincing on better ground with flat feet . I removed impacted sole, her feet got rock hard and were concave as her confirmation dictated. If that hadn't worked, I would have her shod.

I don't think all feet fit into the "mustang picture" due to breeding practices and conformation. Due to breeding, many horses need shoes. I think each horse has their own required trim and the angle should be the same as the first inch below the coronary band. The rest is distortion related to lack of wear and lack of exfoliation. Every 4-6 weeks is not the same as daily.

Example, my horse is a TWH and sickle hocked. Due to her genetically created gait and anatomy, she distorts her hoof walls forward at a much faster rate.

She is not used daily and the sole material is not shed, it is compacted until it's flat on the ground. Maybe I should leave a bit of sole for protection, but it's unnecessary. She lives on grass and sugar sand (Florida).

I may have a different perspective, but the goal is still a balanced hoof with a hard concave sole, a healthy frog and no pain or lameness. Not a mustang hoof print.
 

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Well, my little haffie has "draft" feet. Lordy, they grow like no tomorrow and the frog seems to grow even faster! As you know, I am a very cautious trimmer. So, the only sole I take off is at the seat of corn so I can get some "reading" as to how much heel I should /can trim and I just bevel the wall of the rest of the little monsters. That way, I can at least feel like "false sole" isn't fooling me to a "sole plain" at the heels and the rest, if there is any (false sole), should wear/shape on its own. This may not "apply" to what you are saying, but my girl came to me w horrid feet, and I have done it this way ever since and she has pretty nice feet, now.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Missy May, there is nothing wrong with if it works, it's right for the horse (pony). Yes, I've heard those Haffies grow frog like there's no tomorrow. Interesting use of the seat of corn to gage where that elusive live sole is.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I know this thread started about Clydes and somehow got on the subject of sole depth and protection.

I hope this picture expresses what I was trying to say about excavating to live sole. I was just beginning my trim, and just happened to clean out a seat of corn and was really surprised with all that packed in sole. That's when I decided to go ahead and clean out the sole to where live sole starts. I'm trying to show the amount of sole she builds in 8 weeks. It makes her feet flat and there's a lot of sole there.
 

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The second picture looks good as far as hoof health goes. I have never taken the dead sole down to the live sole all the way around. I couldn't if I tried, not w/o a jackhammer. It would give you a clear "starting point" of where the live sole meets the wall to go forward with, if that makes any sense. Which I take it was your objective? He didn't get ouchie?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
No, in fact I think she was less reactive to stones and uneven ground. I just trimmed her feet again, 5 weeks from the last picture. Again, holy Mama! There was a lot of sole there. But she still had concavity, so I did leave sole. I'll take pictures.

As far as the Clyde goes, the lady showed me today that his bars are so long that they go all the way to the frog apex (!!!!!!) and stick out, so he can't be ridden until they're trimmed.
 

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Fluffy, the bars extending forward & sticking out are normal for a clydie. Never had any really good explanations why they're often like that, but think it's to do with added support under such heavy hoofers. So IME don't go telling her to get a trimmer to hack them away just because they're like that. Does she have a good trimmer organised do you know?
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Loosie, she has a farrier, so I don't get involved with her horse. I just look at his feet to get familiar with Clyde feet. That's why I posted here about them, to get some input on them. Thanks for the input.
 
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