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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

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tatti

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 1082

tatti says:

Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

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!!!!

Attached images:

  1. Left front  
  2. Right front  

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kezza81

Joined:

Mar 12

Posts: 148

kezza81 says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

 Dont panic! Its normal for them to feel a little warmer when they go barefoot as the whole hoof starts to regain function and feeling. Apollo had shoes on the front last year. I took them off and he was fine for a few weeks then became really footsore. He has really good feet so they didnt crack but he was hobbling a bit on tracks (fine on grass). My farrier recommended a few diet changes in the way of replacing his carrot and apple treats with handfuls of fresh herbs instead and uping the biotin levels and he got better pretty quickly. When you go bare foot its not just a case of taking shoes off , you have to "feed for feet" and also adjust the way you ride to give them tie to build up strength within the hoof. 

 

have a look at www.thenaturalhoof.co.uk or www.barefoothorses.net  for some useful tips

a pony is a child's dream and an adult's treasure.

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kezza81

Joined:

Mar 12

Posts: 148

kezza81 says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

 oh as for management, i would leave him out as much as possible and if you do stable at night just use his normal bedding (as long as its not paper or cardboard as when wet it can cause cracks and thrush) . toughening up takes time and the whole american walk them on gravel/stable them on it is not very fair. short walks on roads will help if done gradually and riding on grass will be softer for him but still encourage the hoof to function and help build him up. dont necessarily avoid stony paths but keep walks along them short so he doesnt bruise.

a pony is a child's dream and an adult's treasure.

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kevinhiatt

Joined:

Aug 10

Posts: 5619

kevinhiatt says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

Tonka went barefoot this due to arthritis and picking feet up for farrier, he found it strange at first, then the rescue ex-racehorse was barefoot to start but problems and needed shoes, now Sabrina is only shod on the front which she has been I am told most of her life, the upside is it hurts like hell when kicked but not as much as if having shoes on, I still lost my front teeth.

Gypsy Gold does not chink & glitter.It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.Tonka & Lara my beautiful horses RIP, Nelson,Chloe & Kitty the cats.

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RonnieXXX

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 6

RonnieXXX says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

Ronnie has been barefoot all his life, was wild on Bodmin so has had chance to develop naturally, his feet are Amazing!! never any problems and they look so neat and tidy. So because of this I've taken Harri's off, now he is 12 and always had them on, he has been rather footy and went a bit lame but I'm leaving him to sort it out himself, he is out 24/7 and I'm keeping an eye on it so hopefully he can remain shoe free for ever! Although if someone took away my shoes I'd be raging!!

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Micki

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 3576

Micki says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

His feet will need time to toughen up before you start to really notice the difference. Also until he has grown out the nail holes then his feet are alwsys at risk of chipping up to them as they are a weakness that has been put into his hoof. He will toughen up, you need to remember that. He will have better feet and better movement without shoes on, it just takes time. If hoof boots help him them use them.

Danser had her front feet shod from 9 months old as she had a very bad club foot so need shoes on to sort it out. I never thought i would ever be able to let her go without font shoes on but she has been barefoot for 10 years now without any problems, so it shows even horses that have been shod young, and yours i doubt will have been shod as young as her, can go barefoot.

. .A horse is a thing of such beauty. . .none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor. ~Xenophon https://www.facebook.com/browbandsandbracelets

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alrees

Joined:

Nov 09

Posts: 630

alrees says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

 Give him time, regular trimming and a good hoof supplement in his feed or hoof oil/rub and they will be fine :) gradually build up is work slowly on hard ground. I use to have a show cob who was shod on all four since he was a four year old, he never went barefooted even when it was winter and he wasn't ridden much. I got annoyed with having him shod every 6 weeks, so I removed his shoes, he was a bit sore for about a week but he got use to it, took a good couple of months for him to be fine on hard ground. x

~Beauty is in the eye of the beholder~ ~Never judge a horse by its past,always look at what it can do for you in the future~

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stellazing

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 547

stellazing says:

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

When I got Colours just over a year ago I was told he'd always been barefoot but found out he'd had at least front shoes. I decided to stay barefoot and see how he went. He hobbled around on stoney tracks but was fine on grass and roads. A year on and he still feels the stones but much better. He is always a bit footy going from paddock to stable acros concrete, especially if it's been wet in field but my farrier said this is normal.I'm going to try giving him some magnesium and also use  keratex hoof hardner recommended by farrier. Don't worry yourself, stick with it for a bit and although you might feel mean they need to work on hard ground but not so much he's hopping! Road work is great for getting the hoof hard without the pain of stones. Good luck!

'The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man'

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jenhavocmanny

Joined:

Apr 12

Posts: 677

Re: Anyone barefoot and how did they find it?

I used to have a Welsh sec C pony mare who was barefoot all the time, she was fine on most surfaces, except very stoney ones, and I just let her take her time on these, not asking her to go any faster than she wanted. 

I'm going back a few years, before hoof boots were available, but if it was now and I needed to use them in certain situations, I would.

 

I now have a Connemara cross pony who is barefoot, but wears boots whenever hes ridden. Hes ok most of the time on most surfaces, but is much more forward going with boots on.

 So, if it helps, I'd use boots whenever yours needs to.

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