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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm prety new on here so I'm sorry if this has already been covered

As can be seen in my barn I have a young Welsh Cob. When I bought him he had four shoes on but kept losing them in the field. With my Farriers approval I took his back shoes off and as he seemed to go ok decided to take his fromt shoes off too.

So far the longest ride we have been on has been about two miles, just walking with a little trotting and I am pround to say his feet have coped brilliantly with the different terrain. No sensitivity foot soreness chips or cracks.

My query is that with english spring summer looming does anyone know of anything that I could use on his feet to keep them in good condition, he sees a farrier regularly and I have had some suggestions but I would value all opinions please?
:)
 

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I don't know anything about supplements or anything of that nature, but maybe boots would be something to look into. .?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have heard that the BOA boots are good but we tried another type of easyboot on my aunts cob and they weren't great. any you would recommend?
 

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I've never had any. I was going to try some this year, just because I had heard so many good things.
 

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I have used the old style easy boot and they are not so great. I hear good things about the newer ones with the built in gaitors that help hold them on. A new one, called the glove sounds very promising. The thing you must remember is the boot has to fit the hoof well or it's not going to make you happy. Different shaped hooves will do best with certain shaped boots. Different soles for different riding styles. I currently use the Boa's and love them.. I ride in the flinthills of central usa as well as on rocky backroads and they do great. If extra padding is needed you can get inserts. I use those as well as the rocks here are not friendly. I can't help you with your supplement query for England weather.
 

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The best way to keep his feet in good condition is to keep his paddock or pasture varied in terrain. Put out pea gravel or river rock around water tubs, gates, and feeding areas, so he has to walk in it multiple times a day. Use small smooth rock, without sharp points, to avoid bruising his feet.

We have a product here called Durasole that works well to harden a horse's sole, if they show sensitivity. It should not be used long term, but can help while a horse builds up their feet for more tough riding. You put just a few drops on the bottom of each foot regularly. It has gentian violet (sp?), formalin, alcohol, and some other "goodies" in it. It seems to work well.
 

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I think the best thing you can do to keep bare feet healthy is to keep them trimmed, the edges rasped so they don't chip and crack, and to try to keep them out of the muck and mud as much as possible.

Right now my guys are all in the mud and there isn't much I can do about it until it dries out, so I try to clean their feet frequently and apply Koppertox (or something similar) to keep them from developing thrush.

Keeping them trimmed is very important because long feet are more prone to white line separation and cracking. And the rasped edges (aka mustang roll) will help keep them strong and prevent chipping as well.

I keep both my riding horses barefoot and just use Easyboot Epics as needed. My one horse no longer needs boots at all. My new horse (whom I got at the end of October) does fine in the mud barefoot but I have a feeling she will need Easyboots this summer for trail riding when the ground is hard.

I have done 15+ miles barefoot on the Mustang and he does awesome, but because I am a worrying sort of horse owner, if I am riding somewhere new and I think the footing could be rocky, I will still carry the Easyboots in case I need them. My neighbor's Foxtrotters go everywhere barefoot and she doesn't even own an Easyboot. So barefoot trail riding is definitely possible. :D
 

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Diet & nutrition, good trimming, ensuring there's at least a hang out area of dry firm ground in his paddock & providing lots of exercise are the main keys. Study hoofrehab.com among other great sources, for more info. I think most of the Easyboots(don't like the Edge ones) are the best type of boot I've found, esp as they sit below the hairline. If your horse has problem feet that are changing, or he's growing out flares, etc, beware of getting 'Gloves' - they are a fantastic boot, but have a very narrow margin of proper fitting, so if your horse's feet change shape quickly, you might find you need to rasp them weekly to ensure they fit the boots.

Regarding original easyboot probs(AppyT), you can buy the gaiters separately & fit them to the standard boots. I've just bought some(from the Easycare site's 'bargain bin' - $25 for boots, $13 for gaiters!) for some boots I've had a while. Have only had a prob when I've left them on him for turnout(high heeled pony needs frog support) as I think he pulls them off when he rolls, so hoping the gaiters will alleviate that prob. You can also take some pliers & flatten those teeth in the sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hey guys thanx for all the help. He has been with out shoes for a couple of minths now but the mud has been so bad! (he lives out 24/7) the land doesnt belong to me so I cant really change the surfaces, we have gravel outside of the gate and a little inside but I do bring him out and do something with him everyday so he usually gets messed about with or ridden or taken for a walk (not ridden everyday) and I try to get him on multiple surfaces usually gravel, ash tracks, asphalt, concrete and when I can sand. will this help make up for the lack of surfaces in his feild.

On boots, I have been doing some research and I am leaning towards the boa boots, can these be used in a sand areana as I have heard different things?
 

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Hi,

I know I'm lucky with where I've got my horses. Have been able to build a 'Paddock Paradise' track with electric fence on 4 acres & allowed to deposit stones & sand where I need it for hoof conditioning(& boggy areas). I've had to pay for the extra fencing(but it's portable & mine) & the gravel etc. myself. Worked on the principle of 'it can't hurt to ask' and the property owners were fine about it. Happy about the track idea, because it gives them another couple of spare acres(in the middle) to grow for hay! I like the 'pp' system because it cuts down on the amount of grazing for my fatties(I make 'dents' in the inner fence for extra when needed) and more importantly, increases their exercise. It motivates them to just keep moving, wandering(or running) around the track. Particularly important to me when I can generally spend only an hour or so every other day with them at best ATM. The more exercise the better & if they can do it for the majority of their time, v's minimal unless I'm there to play, that's great.

Yes, the more your horse gets used to different surfaces the better generally. It depends, among other things, on the state of the paddock & lifestyle & how much time they spend there v's exercising on firm ground as to the effectiveness in helping create healthy feet.

Especially if the horse has thin soles, weak or thrushy frogs tho, they will likely need some protection especially on hard/rough surfaces. It's important to keep the horse comfortable & not accept their discomfort as 'just transition/conditioning', not least because you may end up with stone bruises, etc. Sand, pea gravel & the likes are usually fine even for generally sensitive feet without protection, and are great because of their for supporting & conditioning bare feet. I'd be prepared to use boots whenever necessary to keep the horse comfortable & therefore using his feet correctly, but generally wouldn't think them necessary on those sort of surfaces.

Haven't used or personally seen Boas myself. I've found Old Macs & Easyboots to be good on most surfaces(slippery, goopy clay was a bit of a prob). Easyboots also sit below the hairline, so no chance of rubbing. Not that I've ever had that prob with the OM's either.
 

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Loosie, I mean I have the ORIGINAL original easy boots. I do not believe you can fix em.. Pretty sure I looked.

Welshie, My horses are in total mud right now. I believe if the trim is true it isn't something to really fret about. Just get the boots for rough terrain. Using in sand arenas? Not sure why you'd need to. My horses don't have issues with nicely kept arenas. ;) I don't know why they would be a problem tho, unless the sand gets in and rubs the skin at the top as those do come up to the pastern.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys thats great. I think I probably will go with the boa boots for the summer (esp. for riding distances)

we have the farrier out on friday so I am going to ask him to check for any bruising or tenderness.

this is my first thread on here and you guys have given me some great advice!! thank u so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I just got back from the yard and our farrier had a look at J's hooves and decided the only thing he needed to do was trim some dead skin off his frog (did make sure frog is still in contact with ground) so we both got a big thumbs up!
 
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