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It definitely isn't just an infection that perpetuates Trooper's crack. Our corral is rocky and harder than most trails. Nothing to do about it other than move. The ground is rocks with some dirt. I suppose if I built a retaining wall and then filled in a few feet of dirt....but no other horse has the problem and that would be extremely expensive, even if the county gave me permission.

So he is constantly exposed to rocks. Not just when riding. At all times. The farrier says it is in part because Trooper is exposed to mud, then dry. Bandit loves to splash water out of the water bucket, so there is mud where they drink and super dry ground everywhere else. Which means his hooves get wet, then dry.

Plus his hoof walls are about half the thickness of the other horses. That is why his hooves have always chipped so much. Unlike Mia / Bandit / Cowboy & Lilly - all of whom had/have thick hooves - Trooper just doesn't have the hoof.

It is part of why I don't like to say boots or shoes are good or bad because so much can depend on the horse, terrain, etc. Supplements won't thicken Trooper's hooves. Tried for a year. Didn't help. Selling him isn't an option. After a dozen years, MOVING may become an option this spring.

My biggest issue with Mia, IMHO, was her need to run. She needed a LOT of exercise, including running. And she couldn't get it here. I'm finally pretty comfortable with Bandit cantering, but Bandit & I both realize he can canter a few hundred yards and then NEED to walk across the next 100 yards. Mia needed to run MILES to get her brain right. I understand. I've been a lifelong runner. I crave it too.

What Mia needed was what I could not provide her. Not here. When she went to the reservation, she had open land. Much softer footing. And when ridden, she could run 2, 3, 4 miles - as far as she was willing, really. That, plus being able to spend weeks at a time in a free roaming herd is what IMHO got her mind right. And it wasn't an option for me.

I hope to move in the spring/summer. Tucson is growing to merge with where we have spent the last 15 years. Houses are going up thick - and getting close to where we live. I hate the idea of living in a de facto suburb of Tucson. That may be the ultimate solution for Trooper. But yes, I'll try thrushbuster combined with what I've been doing. Maybe it will be enough to go from ALMOST fixing it to ACTUALLY fixing it.

Sorry if I sound defensive, but I've got a very good farrier and it has been very frustrating to work and work and ALMOST get the crack gone...and then see a 1" crack the next day. Like most owners, I don't have a perfect set up. Very few of us do. We struggle sometimes just to SEE our horses as often as we would like. We keep them in places that aren't perfect because few of us have the option of letting horses roam across open grassland. Many of you have jobs that prevent you from spending the time you want with them. Heck, lots of people lease a horse along with several others and then have to cope with not actually being the owner! That would frustrate me beyond belief! Most of us on HF try - unlike perhaps the average owner - but some problems are rooted in our options for keeping our horses. So we compromise and struggle.
 

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Well, Big Brown had won the first two Triple Crown races and was not about to pass up on winning the third. You can bet there was some extremely knowledgeable and experienced people calling the shots on that one. Bottom line, didn't work.


Hondo traveled several miles per day on turnout over extremely rocky terrain. 5 to 10 miles with the herd. The hoof grew out with dedicated care.


I'll say this and say no more. To claim there is more going on than just killing the infection, and keeping it at bay, flies in the face of every international hoof care expert on the entire planet earth.


You can take a horse to water.............
 

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"To claim there is more going on than just killing the infection, and keeping it at bay, flies in the face of every international hoof care expert on the entire planet earth." - @Hondo

I doubt any of us has met "every international hoof care expert on the entire planet earth". And the older I get, the less I believe any statement 'backed by everyone in the world'. Life just isn't so dogmatic.

I have a darn good farrier who has seen thousands of hooves. He isn't some bozo who just whacks at hooves. So I'll continue to discuss options with him. He has tried glues and was not impressed. Special shoes and wasn't impressed. I think he is at the same point I am: A horse with marginal hooves living on very challenging ground is just going to have challenges. He says Mia, Lilly, Cowboy and Bandit all have (or had) exceptional feet. Not because I'm a super horse owner or because he's a great farrier, but because they have good genetics.

It is kind of like the doctor who told me the key to long life was picking your parents wisely....

Enough said. If I need to discuss Trooper's feet further, I'll do so on my own journal. But yes, if we start riding him again, he'll need boots or shoes or SOMETHING. While Bandit, OTOH, was barefoot on today's ride and showed no need for help. Depends on the horse and the riding.
 

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I let Shan's hooves go too long last winter and she developed toe cracks in both front hooves. I can believe that microbes/thrush/whatever played a part in that, due to the awful muddy conditions at the stable, sink your whole foot in sort of mud. Anyway, I never treated them with anything but just kept up a monthly trim, and they are fully gone. I was actually just reviewing the pictures from the last trim and I think those hooves look very good (pictures which I mean to send to you via PM @gottatrot , so you can critique me :)


Every horse I knew (Shan's tough mustang hooves included) would chip and crack on the rocky Arizona trails. Almost all of them were shoed, some used boots. Shan would always chip without something on her fronts. (Edit to add: So hearing of horses that need nothing on rocky trails is amazing to me, and perhaps more of an anomaly in the horse population than something achievable by every horse) I can certainly see how rocky conditions can cause chronic and seemingly unsolvable issues for a horse with genetically weak hooves. On the other hand, treating (as often as feasibly possible, as circumstances allow) the hoof(ves) doesn't seem to me like it would hurt.


But I don't mean to carry on a conversation that's drawing to a close. :)
 

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"...some problems are rooted in our options for keeping our horses. So we compromise and struggle." -bsms

That is actually a huge, philosophical part of keeping horses. Hearing about horses kept on hard, rocky ground with less great hooves makes me think about how many different compromises people have to make when keeping horses.

This comment has nothing to do with any comments in particular. It's just to say I've been learning lately that my own perspective of horses is sort of a "culture" based on my own experiences. I am trying to understand that everyone has their own culture like this.

So what may be rather easy and one dimensional-ish to one person might be a complex, multi-faceted problem for someone else.

I'm thinking of how in my climate horse diets require some science, and others think it is ridiculous to make it complicated. Some people have headaches that an aspirin takes away, others have to keep track of and avoid multiple triggers to prevent debilitating migraines.

Some horses shape up after a harsh reprimand, others take months of work to reshape a behaviour.

For me, putting a natural fibre girth on my horses removed all chafing issues. Simple. Phin, @PhantomHorse's Arab requires a complex and dedicated routine to prevent galls.

I guess my point is that a hoof crack can be easy or difficult, single factorial or multi, and all of us know best the factors that play into our situations.
 

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That was an excellent point @gottatrot and just what I was thinking. Sometimes I think people forget that aspect a bit too easily.

@horseluvr2524 I am worrying a bit about that. When you said maybe they are the anomalies... Zeus is a fjord, and I have heard they have insanely good feet. Working on his feet almost proves that. They feel like trying to run the rasp over rock. It’s a different feeling... the other horse my big girl ran barefoot this year didn’t face the same extreme footing that Zeus saw....

In any case I pulled Cashman’s shoes and I’m going to try running him barefoot for a time. If it works it will be great (our horses always run barefoot over winter, so it’s no test until springtime), and if it doesn’t I will have husband tack shoes back on him. I’m going to try and not overthink it.
 

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@Knave


If your horse is fine everywhere else, maybe just boot him when he's on the rocky stuff. I know booting is an extra step in tacking up and some people prefer shoes for that reason. But there are some boots out there that are very quick to put on. From my experience, Cavallo boots are quick, easy, pain free.
 

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Naw @horseluvr2524. I am willing to do that with Bones because there are reasons he must be barefoot, but anyone else it seems more of a pain to me than it’s worth. I know they don’t take long to put on, but when it’s 3am and everyone is fidgety I don’t love it. Bones never seems trippy, but I worry when things get harry anyways.

I did have a few wrecks with his last set of boots at the end too. They were slick because they just wore down that way eventually, and we got in a bad fall that would have been a huge problem on any other horse. Narrowly we hung on a slick mountainside, and he put a lot of thought into it before he tried to get up.

Those are cavillos, and they were great until then, but the expense of buying them and the added effort, plus my little lack of trust, combine to make shoeing easier for me.
 

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I got the size 3 slim scoot boots and they seem to be the perfect size for Hero's front hooves.
As others have said, using the measurement chart resulted in getting a size too big. I'm glad I got the demos first.

I didn't try them on the hind hooves since I was mainly concerned with whether the demos should be returned. So I have to see if the hinds will need another size down.

My first impressions of the scoot boots are that the low profile is very nice. I like how the soles are more flexible. Putting them on is easier than Renegades. Taking them off takes about three seconds.

Since they have less moving parts and no cables, I am sure they will be my favorite boot.
 

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FWIW

I was searching around for trimming schools/programs in Arizona and stumbled upon TLC Hoof Trimming in facebook. After reading her philosophy I wanted to share for anyone that might be near Tucson, AZ where she is located.

I was impressed that a visit by her would be money well spent. Wish she was in my area.

Scootboots. Another happy scootbooter! I was concerned at first about the lack of breakover on the toe but then finally realized the boot was so flexible that the breakover would occcur naturally through the boot at whatever location it was on the bare hoof.

Renegades were a great boot. I have four nearly new ones. They may be in trouble now and need to do some redesign.
 

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FWIW

I was searching around for trimming schools/programs in Arizona and stumbled upon TLC Hoof Trimming in facebook. After reading her philosophy I wanted to share for anyone that might be near Tucson, AZ where she is located.

I was impressed that a visit by her would be money well spent. Wish she was in my area.
That is so funny that you mentioned her. Small world. She was my last farrier before I left Arizona. I can highly recommend, she's awesome. My only complaint was that it was difficult to get her out on a regular basis. Sometimes we went 10 weeks between trims. That was probably more due to us being located in the Phoenix area. It might be easier to get her out if you live in her town.

She has some lovely Aussie dogs that she brought with her once. :)
 

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I was planning to trim hooves yesterday but a decent storm rolled in. We are having so-called "king tides" this week along with two storms, so things are pretty dramatic.

I was asleep during the very high tide a couple hours ago, but now the river is flowing out toward the ocean at about ten times the normal speed (can see it out the living room windows). It looks like it would be fun to sit in a kayak and fly but of course that would be highly dangerous. There are some birds sitting and floating down though.

So yesterday at the barn it was pushing a wheelbarrow through 50 mph gusts, and sometimes the poop was blown right off my rake. It was only sprinkling when I arrived, so I took the horses out from where they were hiding in their shelters and down the road to the outdoor arena.

Hero ran a little and rolled, but before I came back the sheeting rain had started. When I came back, the horses were both in that storm position that looks like laminitis: backs to the wind, heads down and leaning. Amore looked like she would fall over if the wind suddenly stopped. They were happy to dive back under their shelter to eat hay. Of course they were dry under their sheets but they hate getting their faces wet. I told them other horses in the neighborhood were in fields with no shelter and no rain sheets either.

At home the cats and dog were stretched out on fuzzy blankets on the couch. Kikko, who was a barn cat for ten years seems to stay near the heaters when he hears rain outside.

On our last trip north a week ago we stopped to check on a cat in the road. It was dead, of course, a beautiful orange boy. I always get mad when people let cats run near highways. It seems to me you might as well let your five year old play next to the highway or in the woods alone. 80% of the barn cats I was around died within several years. Most at my last barn were killed by coyotes. The only reason our Kikko made it before we adopted him was because he stayed near his hole in the loft and never went outside.

I guess it's like we were saying about horses, with dogs and cats we make compromises since we can't keep them in the most ideal way. But I prefer the compromises don't include an early, preventable death.
 

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On our last trip north a week ago we stopped to check on a cat in the road. It was dead, of course, a beautiful orange boy. I always get mad when people let cats run near highways. It seems to me you might as well let your five year old play next to the highway or in the woods alone.
Husband and I were driving down a pretty busy country road in northern Ohio. It was one of those roads that, while still rural suburbs, was right off the highway and very busy. I saw a little boy no more than 3 or 4 years old playing on the side of his house (no fence) less than 15 feet from the road, and no parent in sight. I was completely shocked. I mean, maybe the parent was there and I just didn't see them. But even if I was standing close by, I would not allow my child, while at such a tender age, to play so close to a busy road and no barrier between them.
 

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I spent many years horseless as a child and teen, while still being obsessed with horses. Many times I heard that the only way I could learn about horses and riding was to be around them and riding them for enough hours. But I could not accept that, since my only chances to be with horses were not on a daily or even weekly basis. So I read and read, and studied concepts about horses, riding and training. Since I understood the concepts, it was much easier for me to learn quickly each time I was able to get the hands on experience.
Many of the things that have helped my riding the most are concepts, such as when I read from George Morris, "Your security is in your lower leg." Or the concept of a fast release.
Hey, so I know you posted this five years ago, but I just read this, and had to comment on it!
This is literally my story. I am 17 and unable to get a horse, so many people have told that the only way to really know how to ride, is to grow up on a horses back. I had never even ridden a horse until I was 14, and I only got lessons last Sep. to Dec. due to Covid, I have had to stop. Thank you for this post! I have been reading ever single horse book I can get my hands on, and listening to anything anyone has to say about horses. Thank you for helping me realize that I am not the only one in this position. You have given me a lot of hope for the future! I will have a horse one day, no matter what happens. Thank you again for everything you have posted, your stories are amazing!! 😊😁
 

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Hey, so I know you posted this five years ago, but I just read this, and had to comment on it!
This is literally my story. I am 17 and unable to get a horse, so many people have told that the only way to really know how to ride, is to grow up on a horses back. I had never even ridden a horse until I was 14, and I only got lessons last Sep. to Dec. due to Covid, I have had to stop. Thank you for this post! I have been reading ever single horse book I can get my hands on, and listening to anything anyone has to say about horses. Thank you for helping me realize that I am not the only one in this position. You have given me a lot of hope for the future! I will have a horse one day, no matter what happens. Thank you again for everything you have posted, your stories are amazing!! 😊😁

This is so true! All the best to you, @AbbySmith! I hope you can make your dreams come true. When I was a little kid, I wanted a horse so badly, and nobody understood or believed me. I remember trying so hard in school because I knew if I didn't get good enough grades, I wouldn't have a good enough job to afford a horse. My whole life was geared towards someday having a horse.

And ha ha! My kids both grew up riding horses. I started my son riding at 14 months and my daughter at 9 months. They both are beautiful riders . . . and they really don't care about riding. My son got his first horse at age 4 and my daughter got hers at age 3. They rode their horses like champions under they got older, but now, not very interested. We did have a lot of good times and happy memories, and I need to be content with that. My granddaughter is 3 and is wild about riding. Maybe it just skipped a generation? Time will tell.
 

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This is so true! All the best to you, @AbbySmith! I hope you can make your dreams come true. When I was a little kid, I wanted a horse so badly, and nobody understood or believed me. I remember trying so hard in school because I knew if I didn't get good enough grades, I wouldn't have a good enough job to afford a horse. My whole life was geared towards someday having a horse.
Oh my gosh! Thank you! That is totally me! My real dream is to own and run my own horse training/boarding/riding stable, but I don't think I can do that full time right away. I am taking a grade 12 Science, and English, and I am a grade ahead in Math, so I am taking grade 12 math this year, and will take another math course next year. Should get me into whatever I want. But that's the problem. I have no idea what I want to do if it's not with horses! I can't go to school and get a bachelor degree in horses! I wish I could though. Maybe I could open a school ...? LOL! So not gonna happen!
Anyhow, I totally understand when you said "nobody understood or believed me." My mom says she knows how much I want my own horse, but I don't think anyone can understand how much I want it, unless they have gone through it like you, and @gottatrot. Okay, sorry, don't want to make this thread all about me! I will go start my own! LOL! Sorry @gottatrot!😊
 

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@AbbySmith, I’m not sure if they would be hard to get into, but some schools have colt starting programs. A girl I know is at a school where she spends most of her time starting colts and learning to market them. She was handy before she graduated, but I’m wondering if that is even a requirement at a school. You could look into it.

In my world most people grow up on horses, but I’m always surprised at how quickly a motivated young adult can become successful on a horse. They don’t have to unlearn little kid bad habits and they are usually very motivated.
 

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@AbbySmith, I’m not sure if they would be hard to get into, but some schools have colt starting programs. A girl I know is at a school where she spends most of her time starting colts and learning to market them. She was handy before she graduated, but I’m wondering if that is even a requirement at a school. You could look into it.

In my world most people grow up on horses, but I’m always surprised at how quickly a motivated young adult can become successful on a horse. They don’t have to unlearn little kid bad habits and they are usually very motivated.
Hmm... I have no idea if they have a school like that here, I live in a pretty small town, so we don't have a lot of things like that, but I will look into it! Thank you! I really appreciate it! I am volunteering at an animal rescue, and I get to work with horses there, but they rehabilitate older horses, they don't start new colts. That sounds like a lot of fun! 😃
 

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I took a aptitude test in high school. In essence, it concluded I wanted to be born independently wealthy so I could play all day and never work. Accurate enough about my interests but not much help in determining a career! Seems I was switched at birth and the whole "independently wealthy" thing wasn't an option with my switched parents....

For horses: A job that supplies the money for having horses may be a better option than a horse related job. Most horse related jobs are hard physical work and don't pay much. My farrier, for example, rides during hunting season. A previous farrier had his back broken by a horse. Many vets never see a horse, and very few have them as a main way of making a living.

A friend of mine has a ranch. His kids estimated he rode his favorite stallion at least 25,000 miles before the stallion died. They guess 60,000 plus miles during his life. But while he appreciates a good horse, he's long since decided he'd be content to never toss a leg over one again. The reality of riding every day regardless of weather using whatever horse is available at the time from before sunrise until sunset takes some of the fun out of it. I'm sure it would for me as well. And when he rode, he was concentrating on sheep, cattle, fences - not horses!
 
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