Flat Soles & Sore Feet - Any Suggestions to get to Barefoot
We have been trying to transition my mare out of shoes since she's now bred and not working. She used to have pretty decent feet. When I began competing her years ago I put shoes on her because she would come home a bit foot sore if the grounds were hard and she was of course being ridden quite heavily. I could pull her shoes in the winter without issue if she was off for a period of time. She did have an injury to her hock which has caused arthritis and of course over the years she seems to have caused her to weight her front feet more than the average horse. We have added pads in from time to time and she has one foot that has an under run heal that we chase.
About three months ago in anticipation of the coming little one, we pulled her shoes. She came up sore in her left front foot, so my farrier packed and put a casting material on the foot. That seemed to work well for about two months, then she came up sore again. We figured it was just time to redo the cast and she began walking a bit sore on the other foot, so we packed and cast both feet about two weeks ago. Over the past two weeks she hasn't really improved and is now sore on both. The vet was out today and I had her check the mare, she has slightly raised pulses and was sore on her soles, but no heat and nothing to suggest otherwise. Farrier is going to come out Monday and probably put shoes back on her.
I've really been hoping to keep her shoes off, but if she's going to be sore, I'll have them put back on. Has anyone had any really good luck getting a flat soled horse barefoot. I'd love to use something other than shoes and wondering if anyone has success with any other product or maybe a different shoeing technique. My farrier is very good and I'm sure will offer some suggestions when we meet, but in the mean time for my own education I thought I'd come here to see what others have to say. Don't get me wrong I am not shoe adverse but with this mare not being in work was just looking for what other options there may be.