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Discussion Starter #1
My OTTB has tender soles. I'll likely shoe him next year, but don't want shoes on him over the winter.

My trainer said she uses a product called "hoofbuilder" (not hoofmaker). I haven't really found anything online that matches the name (I will look at the bottle the next time I'm out at the barn).

I did some searching on here and saw Durasole and Rickens recommended. Would one be better than the other? Any other recommendations?
 

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What about hoof boots? They work really well for my horse. We go on trail rides without any issues and she remains barefoot in her paddock and while working on sand.
 

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Sensitive soles are often caused by diet (think laminitics being one end of the scale and sore soles being the other). What do you feed? Sometimes lack of magnesium can affect sole sensitivity and copper and zinc are also important. Boots are brilliant in the meant time.
 

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Horses generally have 'tender' soles because they're thin. They commonly have thin soles, because they're unsupported, essentially 'unused'. Eg. horses who have been kept conventionally shod or otherwise peripherally loaded for some time. I believe diet, nutrition an lifestyle also play big parts.

Getting the bottom of the hoof(well, rather the entire foot) functioning properly, so it can start growing strong, & while it isn't strong enough, I'd be using padded hoof boots where necessary, to ensure comfort & protection.

People use products such as Durasole and find it helpful. So long as it's not used chronically, I doubt it does any real harm to dead keratin(don't go within koowee of live tissue with it tho), but my problem with taking this approach is that you can make the sole harder & less sensitive, but if it's still so thin & unsupported/protected, it's at the risk of bruising & such, and the problems causing thin soles may be perpetuated. I think it could be helpful in conjunction with other measures, it's just not THE answer IMO.
 

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I've gone around and around with farriers and trimmers to get them to leave a thin layer of dead sole over the coffin bone. Trim out around the hoof wall as needed. Both my horses don't grow particularly thick soles, perhaps because the sand they move thro abrades it.
 

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I've gone around and around with farriers and trimmers to get them to leave a thin layer of dead sole over the coffin bone. Trim out around the hoof wall as needed. Both my horses don't grow particularly thick soles, perhaps because the sand they move thro abrades it.

In my books trimmers and farriers should never touch the sole.
 

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In my books trimmers and farriers should never touch the sole.
In my book it's more like 'trim little if any sole/frog' and I do think many(many) farriers are far(far) to 'gung-ho' about trimming them. But there are many instances IMO where horses retain too much sole & need a little help. Cushings horses, minis & donkeys for eg frequently need a bit of sole trimmed. Horses in soft environs without enough wear can build up lumps & bumps. Or frog needs trimming because of infection for eg.
 

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Durasole and Rickens are both very good sole hardeners . Be careful handling both but especially Rickens, it is very caustic. Keep it limited to JUST the sole and off skin.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
He gets as much good quality hay as he can eat and Triple Crown Complete daily with Springtime Inc.'s Hoof & Coat supplement.

My trainer is not a fan of hoof boots for arena work although I do have a pair of original easy boots that fit him ok.

I'm not sure how correctly he is being trimmed but I'm using the best farrier that will come to my area and he's getting done every four weeks because his hooves grow fast.

Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to get some critique pics of his feet.
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Discussion Starter #11
I ordered the Durasole... then ended up getting shoes put on him today.
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I ordered the Durasole... then ended up getting shoes put on him today.
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I don't think the person who mentioned diet was trying to question what you were feeding, but probably suggesting that many horses that are sensitive to NSCs or sugars in feed can't handle a lot of grass, second cut hay, or grain in any amount.

Check out Nic Barker's book "Feet First" to see her case studies and years of research on how diet affects sole sensitivity and lameness.
 
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