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Going Barefoot?

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Going Barefoot?
  • I plan on letting my arabian gelding go barefoot this coming winter. I have talked to m farrier about his feet, and he gave the ok. I have been through farrier classes so I know what to look for and can do my own trims. However I wanted to know what are some things you guys do, or did to help make the change from shod to barefoot. He is only shod on the front and not the back. I dont do a lot of riding any more on hard rocky arenas. The arena and soft sand and the area around us sand or crushed rock. I was planning on giving him something to help his feeth throught the change.
  • Hope it works out for you.  My POA gelding does just fine barefoot, gets trims every 7 wks and don't have to do anything special.  I tried having my draft cross gelding go barefoot but he is very tender-footed and his feet chip badly. 
  • Will you be doing the barefoot trim, or pasture trims? Big, big difference.
    The time during the winter should be spent losing the pathology that shoes have caused. The pasture trim won't get you there. Neither will your farrier if he doesn't know how to do the barefoot trim. If not, then he won't be able to support you while you do it.
    Have you studied the barefoot trim?
  • It will be a barefoot trim. My farrier knows the pasture and the bare foot trim. Yes, I know all about the trim. I can do the trim my self, if my farrier cant make it out to the barn.
  • Sounds good then. There'll be two people looking after his feet! The barefoot trim will also help with the draft cross's feets as well. Why not see if you can improve his feets by spring as well? A good bevel and definitely some minerals will help him!
    The best ground condition mentioned is the crushed gravel. Also doing Promenade Walks on Asphalt for 20 minutes/day.
    My two top areas of advice? Minerals, free choice, or fed and if needed, boots with pads for a confident heel first landing....then move and work that trim! Good luck!
  • I got my mares hooves done on May 20th. I decided not to shoe her again after about 9 months straight of having shoes because of an abscess crack that was groing out. Well about a week before i had got her hooves done she started to limp. Then two days later her shoes came loose and fell off and thats when i called the farrier out. I thought the loose shoes was the reason for her limping .So friday she got her feet done and she still had a slight limp and we thought maybe she is just tender. Well it has been 2 WEEKS and she is still limping. some days worse then others. i dont know what is wrong. i pick her feet everyday so i know its not because something is in them. What do ya'll think it could be?
  • sometimes those abcesses can take FOREVER to grow out.  Mine had one on his heel (strange) and it was about from Thanksgiving to Easter.  *beats head against wall*
  • Hey Ladybug, a picture is worth a 1000 words, could you post some? Maybe we'll detect something.

    Need 4 pictures: Two at ground level at the front and the side, one centered picture of the bottom of the foot and a heel shot, but not too steep that we can't see the toe well in the background.

    So, I understand that she was shod for 9mths and started barefoot about 3 weeks ago, but was lame before the shoes came off? Was she overdue for a re-set at the time? Chances are, the loose shoe may have started this. With the shoes coming off for the first time in 9 months, it makes sense that she'd have tender feet. So, you might have an abscess brewing, or thrush, infection or imbalance/incorrect trim happening, along with the tender feet. She could even have high bars that are jamming into the corium of her hoof with every step, like auger logs of stones in her feet. With the shoe off and the bars still long, its very possible. This causes a major jam into the very corium under P3 and a resulting major abscess of the thankfully rare kind, cause they're nasty and take forever to blow. This is why I mostly want to see pics. To make sure that the trim she's got is comfortable for her despite the tender feet from shoe removal. It could be a combination of all these things.

    If you're seeking answers, you may just find them, we'll need pics with clean feet in order to help. So go for it, and post them, lets see if we can find anything to provide you with an answer. Pain is a real drag on life. I know that I've asked the unexpected, but you know what? I'm for the horse. I wish to try to help you help her, if I can.
  • [':)'] missyclare is my new hero.
  • i will try to get some pictures on here. What about a shoulder out of place, could that cause limping? I have checked them before and they were fine, but i checked again today and one was noticably lower.
  • Did you get up on a stool behind him and look at his shoulders that way?
    Anything's possible. Pathology tends to run a line. It can either go up the leg or down the leg. A bad shoulder can cause him to place his feet differently and you'll see the compensation on the wear of his feet. Or there could be a hoof problem that has traveled up and come out the shoulder or beyond. Even the poll isn't safe from the ground.  Pathology always seems to have a path to it.
    Take the hoof pictures, but also any others that you may feel are significant.
    Best start a new thread.
  • And while we're waiting....
    If a pic is worth a 1000 words, this one is worth a million! I just learned how to do this, which is a big deal for someone who didn't grow up cutting their teeth on the computer, lol!
    You need two similar pictures, one a picture, one an xray. The more similar they are, the better, which makes for less adjustment and more reality, but it gives you an idea of where the bones are. I can get an idea of where the bones are in the picture alone, but this one is closer to reality and its all right there in front of you. Neat, eh? (I'm Canadian, lol!)
    In this pic, the time frame of the xrays and picture differed by about 3 weeks, so there's some iffyness there as well.
    I'm excited about this, for you guys!

  • i think the shoulder thing is just because she was putting more weight on one side. Took her to the vet saturday and he tested her hoof, she is extremely sore where the abscess is growing out at. She cringed everytime he squeezed on her toe with the testers. He said she should be fine in a week or so.
  • That's good to hear. I hope it resolves quickly.
  • Great trick missy!  I'm looking at a healthy foot there?