Following on from my previous thread with photos of hooves after shoes were taken off, I thought I would update everyone and ask for advice from other barefoot people, particularly how they found it in the beginning. Spirit is an Ex Race Horse, TB. His feet were not that bad really when we bought him, typically flat with low heals but otherwise sound, then he begun to pull off his shoes in the field while trearing around (wasnt used to turnout!!!) and pulled them so many times (5 times in two weeks at one time) and pulled off chunks of hoof, that even my farrier suggested we pull the shoes, we had removed the back shoes when we bought him and he never had any problems without them. We had terrible problems getting him to the field from the stable and I had to used frog supports, bandages and gaffer tape, then he didnt want to leave the field that evening because he knew the stones and gravel hurt his feet, but he eventually did it. I realised I needed something to protect his tender feet so, bought some cavallo hoof boots from the local tack shop the next day. These seemed to perfect answer to get him to and from the field, he was 100% sound on grass (immediately after shoe removal) and about 70% sound on the concrete yard. No heat in feet, all seemed great.
However, he seems to have gone backwards, in soreness. After a week of shoe removal, the hooves collapsed, the hoof quality was so poor it couldnt cope and chipped off and cracked up to the old nail lines, a crack appeared at the bottom in the middle and started to go up and widen. My farrier came out and gave him a very non evasive trim, purely rasped the old knackered hoof away and then widened the crack so that I could clean and treat with perioxide with a syringe to stop seedy toe etc.
Funny enough his feet were quite cold when the shoes were first off but, now they are very warm, not red hot but warm enough, slight pulse. Not massively different to back feet though. Am becoming obsessed with him getting LGL.
He is out on grass during the day but I am brining him in at night. He is still 100% sound on grass, is really good walking out on stones with his boots on but, has gone downhill with regards to the hard concrete ground, he looks so sore walking on and he only has to do a few steps just to get him in the stable, we are putting down a thick bedding as well. He has developed some bruising to the bulb heel and bottom of hoof but, he is not flinching when these areas are pressed.
It has only been 3 weeks and perhaps I am expecting too much, but the internet is so confusing and every site gives different advice. The american site says that your horse should be rock crunching within 24 hours, should live in a paddock 'paradise' and be forced to walk over stones and gravel, some even suggest putting pea shingle in the stable. Rockley Farm in England say horse boots are not allowed as the horse will never be sound on hard ground and they have to toughen up but, If I dont use boots, I wouldnt be able to get him out of the stable, he is that footy, and would have had shoes on from a very young age being an Ex Racer. I am suposed to leave him out 24.7 to encourage stimulation and circulation of the hoof and to not stable but, another site says keep in if there is too much grass, and he does have good grass in his field.
Sorry, long story but, I am feeling low and fed up with the hole process of scrubbing the feet, cleaning the crack, checking for more chips, putting boots on and then off, feeling for heat in his feet, watching him wince on the yard. And its only 3 weeks!!!!