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Please help!
I have recently purchased a 15.3 2017 gelding. When I brought him home, he had shoes on his front feet. I do not shoe my horses, so my farrier removed the shoes when he was due for a trim. Unfortunately he has been shod since he was a yearling and now he has large cracks and chipping on his front hooves. I am unsure of what to do with such large cracks. I have been riding him almost daily, and I'm trying to lighten up, but I need to be able to continue riding him with getting lame. I have started coating his feet in apple cider vinegar, so if you are able to give me some advice that would be wonderful!
Thank you for the help!
 

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Pictures would be helpful to see how bad. Might have to give him time off to get his feet healthy. If he's getting sore you shouldn't be riding him.
 

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We used to put pine tar and a hoof moisturizer on that came in a can with a brush in it to apply it. I would think the vinegar would make them more dry and brittle.
 

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Could you describe the cracks? There are different types of chipping and cracks which would mean different things.

Is it more like a line going from the bottom of the hoof toward the coronet band?

Or is it more like chips at the bottom of the hoof?

Something else?
 

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Pics would help. See link in signature line for what's needed. And yes, if the horse is lame, DONT RIDE HIM AT ALL! if he is only 3yo you should be riding him minimally if at all anyway.

Regarding cracks & getting feet healthy, good, frequent enough trimming, good nutrition, protecting feet if/when necessary to allow for *comfortable* exercise, and treating any infection that may be there, are all important factors. ACV may be an effective topical for that, depending what bugs, but farrier may also need to resect cracks.
 

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Is it fly season where you are? I keep my horses barefoot when I can. I have one that has navicular and he is kept in shoes year around. I did try to do the barefoot route with him but it did not work. Shoes keep him sound. My everyday riding horse was barefoot until today. I had to put shoes on him because his were breaking so badly. He is stomping the flies like crazy. I was going to put fly boots on them to see how that works. If it calms him down then I'll pull the shoes at the next farrier appointment.
 
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