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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new gelding had his shoes pulled last week. He was sore today walking down the gravel driveway to the barn, although he was fine in the pasture and on other soft footing. My trimmer said he will toughen up in a few weeks, although with how wet everything is, it might be longer. I'm looking at boots for riding now, although I messed up the measurements because I didn't realize I need to do mm vs inches so I'll probably have to get new measurements. But I feel bad asking him to walk where he's sore, and we have to walk on gravel to get anywhere. Has anyone had luck with a hoof hardener in that situation? The trimmer recommended Venice turpentine.
 

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@boatagor: So sorry to hear about your boys tender tootsies. Our boy CANNOT walk on gravel without shoes on all 4. Over a decade ago we lived in a place that had gravel driveways throughout the entire property from the barn to the riding arena & from the barn and to the street. Luckily, there was the thinnest edge of grass that we could walk on. People would laugh and say it looked like our 16.2 boy was practicing on the balance beam.

Did your farrier tell you to avoid brushing venice turpentine on the frog? It will dry out and harden your horses hooves soles. In my opinion there's a fine line between dry and too dry when it comes to hooves.
 

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I used the kertax hoof hardener when I pulled my geldings shoes.. for him it didn’t work but I know others who swear by it and said it did wonders! Hoof boots helped a bunch with my gelding, especially in the wet, so he doesn’t get abscesses.

same with @Horse & Dog Mom, my gelding can’t walk on gravel, even sand or grass without shoes.

I think in a few weeks his hooves will harden up, I’d be careful though and watch to make sure he doesn’t go lame.
 

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I had the same problem when I first got my Halfinger 2 years ago. He only had front shoes and while I was riding one of them came off, long story short the farrier came out a few days later and pulled them off and didn’t put new ones on, in the fear he would keep pulling them off. I went on gravel a few days later and his feet were very sore after, I talked with the farrier for a little bit and she suggested “Fiebing’s improved hoof dressing” I got it at tractor supply, if you can’t find it in any horse stores near you I would try Amazon. Anyways it worked really well for him and to this day I still use it. It hardens the hoof and prevents cracks.
 

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It's a pretty common practice for the farrier to remove a lot of sole to apply shoes. Hopefully no more sole was pared away after the shoes were removed. Some barefoot trimmers will wait a couple of weeks after pulling shoes before they'll trim because so many horses are automatically sore right after pulling the shoes. But your horse may have a bit of "hoof knife induced" tenderness. I've used hoof hardeners a number of times, like right now, I just quit using Keratex. It causes the hoof to retain dead sole that would normally exfoliate, and that's what it's supposed to do. But it makes me nuts when it comes time to trim. But that's just a personal problem. I don't think it really made much difference in my circumstance. But the products are readily available, albeit expensive. Probably worth giving it a try, especially if your trimmer suggests it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She said she didn't trim much at all since she was pulling shoes. He only had fronts, and was fine on the gravel with his back feet before, so I'm hopeful he will be okay barefoot after they harden. I just feel bad lol. Dylan was never sore when we pulled his shoes, and he had them all around. He also had a big stone lodged against his frog the other day and was really sore until I removed it, and was galloping around the next day like nothing happened. He's a more stoic type than Georgie.
 

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We pulled all 4 shoes two months ago. No riding right now. No soreness either based on what I've observed. No hoof treatment recommended either. It's extremely dry here even for it actually being the dry season.

I asked our farrier how he plans on trimming going forward if we don't go back into shoes. He said that initially he doesn't go too far with trimming and that our horse's hooves will tell him what they need and he (the farrier) will adjust what he needs to do based on our future riding (hopefully) plans.
 

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I had Skip’s shoes pulled last farrier visit since it was going to be awhile before we had any events, and he was really lame the next couple of days after the trim. Lame enough that I called the farrier and said you have to come put his shoes back on! He wisely said give it a couple more days and he was right, he was fine after that.

Sometimes I panic, but my farrier is usually able to talk me down from the ledge

Hopefully Georgie just needs a few days to acclimate.

I’ve never used Keratex but I’ve heard/seen good things about it.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had Skip’s shoes pulled last farrier visit since it was going to be awhile before we had any events, and he was really lame the next couple of days after the trim. Lame enough that I called the farrier and said you have to come put his shoes back on! He wisely said give it a couple more days and he was right, he was fine after that.

Sometimes I panic, but my farrier is usually able to talk me down from the ledge

Hopefully Georgie just needs a few days to acclimate.

I’ve never used Keratex but I’ve heard/seen good things about it.


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I do tend to get upset and then talk myself off the ledge, lol. She said he probably didn't need anything but I could try it if I wanted. It's worth a shot at least!
 

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I believe Keratex has been helpful on my horses. But yes it is quite expensive.
 
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It probably feels a lot different for him, so that also may be why he looks more 'sore' or tender than he really is. It's like us wearing shoes for a long time, then going barefoot & learning how to walk barefoot!

I would give him some time to adjust to it, he should in time, but if you want to give him some relief, some boots wouldn't do any harm either. I like Cavallos.
 

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The soles do harden up naturally but if walking on quite sharp gravel, the horse might get some nasty bruising before that happens

It might be worth wrapping the feet with a pad of something that will protect them short term - cut an old towel up or anything like that - hold in place with vetwrap and some duct tape

I find that Scoot Boots to be the best for horses that are going to wear them in the field for any length of time as they don't tend to rub the heels.
 

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If a horse is to be ridden on gravel or rocks then the sole should only be cleaned up. Removing the callouses will make them sore. That being said it is extremely rare to see a barefoot horse who does not wince at gravel
Eh, I don't know. Of my four, only Rowan is ouchy over rocks, and that's only in one foot and only sometimes. His feet were neglected along with the rest of him, and I think his feet being allowed to get over an inch too long contributed to his flat-footedness and thin soles. I hope his feet get better.

Moonshine was tender over rocks off and on when ridden, and sometimes without a rider. But that was mostly related to one of my old trimmers, I think. Teddy has never been sore over rocks, but he's not ridden at all.

And of course Pony has hooves of iron. The farrier said he had "one percent hooves," which is a little nugget I took in and treasure. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dylan's never been sore on gravel, shod or otherwise. I thought he was sore after a trim in November but determined it was more of a joint stiffness issue.

I assumed Georgie had shoes because most people here throw them on proactively if they're trail riding, but maybe he had them because he truly needed them. We will see. I ordered a different hardener, from Red Horse products, after talking to my trimmer about it. She hasn't used it but loves their other products. Their artimud/hoof paste is the only thing that's worked on Dylan's thrush in years of trying different things. It has good reviews and it's a spray vs a gel or something you have to paint on, which I prefer. Should be here Friday.
 

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I used the kertax hoof hardener when I pulled my geldings shoes.. for him it didn’t work but I know others who swear by it and said it did wonders! Hoof boots helped a bunch with my gelding, especially in the wet, so he doesn’t get abscesses.

same with @Horse & Dog Mom, my gelding can’t walk on gravel, even sand or grass without shoes.

I think in a few weeks his hooves will harden up, I’d be careful though and watch to make sure he doesn’t go lame.
Kertax works great for me during the winter when it’s wet. If you were using it during the summer or when the ground is dry it might have not worked as well.
 

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My new gelding had his shoes pulled last week. He was sore today walking down the gravel driveway to the barn, although he was fine in the pasture and on other soft footing. My trimmer said he will toughen up in a few weeks, although with how wet everything is, it might be longer. I'm looking at boots for riding now, although I messed up the measurements because I didn't realize I need to do mm vs inches so I'll probably have to get new measurements. But I feel bad asking him to walk where he's sore, and we have to walk on gravel to get anywhere. Has anyone had luck with a hoof hardener in that situation? The trimmer recommended Venice turpentine.
Being a professional Farrier for 55 years. A horse after trimming should never walk off sore and I mean never. Especially if the horse has never had lameness problems in the past.

So now it is time to see why the horse is sore, the way you do this is by x-raying the hooves (all four). Some front-end lameness can be caused by hind limb lameness. Do not be guessing, you can spend a lot of bucks guessing. You need to ID the problem at once and work to correct it. Too much hoof wall removed too much sole removed, hoof angles not trimmed to the conformation, of each leg or total conformation of the entire horse (Dr. James Roony's "The Lame Horse" (covers the 7 sub-systems of the horse), lameness starts because of joint problems in the one, two, or three P bones, or maybe farther up the leg in the knee or shoulder.
 

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i live in southern ca and ride on sand and rock. gravel on the driveway and other high traffic area is common. we pull shoes on every horse we get and turn them out for a week to acclimate to their new surroundings. some will come in tender, never sore. in another week or two they will generally be fine. have had some take a month to toughen up, kind of like me when I start going barefoot in the summer. only had to put shoes back on one. generally just takes patience.
 
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