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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2010
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    35

    Default UPDATED 6/17: Worried my new purchase may have major feet issues

    I recently just moved to the Carolinas and purchased a TB from a well known trainer in the area. I was fortunate enough to have him on trial where he was 100% sound. I fell in love with him and had him vetted and he passed. I also had his vet records along with two sets of xrays from 07 and 08 showing no change or any issues. Therefore I was POSITIVE that I was buying a sound horse.

    He is used to wearing steel shoes all around and with the perfect footing out at the barn I was going to try and just have him shoed in the front with aluminum since he is hunter. I know that since he is used to having hind shoes that he would be quite sore behind so I have put turpentine on his heels to harden the sole, hoping he wouldnt be as sore. After a few days he doesnt look ouchy behind anymore, however watching him in the crossties yesterday he had his right front set out in front and resting his hind left. When I would move him around he ended up in the same position constantly keeping the right front significantly forward. It was too hot to ride at the time so I lunged him a little and on harder ground. Going around to the left he was fine.. around to the right I noticed some ouchyness in thr right front just as I expected.

    So, duh,... I change his shoeing, and he goes from being 100% sound to ouchy... but WHY was he always resting the hind left and pointing the right front... and why would be sore on the right front from me pulling his hind shoes? The farrier that I used is apparently one of the best in the area and does all the shoeing for some major "A" barns. He was precise and looks to have done an amazing job and identicle to the way he had his feet shaped before.

    Basically I'm starting to stress out since I have never had a horse with feet issues and since I had xrays and a pre purchase exam that I was buying a sound horse. I am considering putting the back shoes back on, but I am very concerned with his right front.

    Thoughts?? Comments?? HELP??
    Last edited by hunterandeq75; Jun. 17, 2010 at 10:26 AM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
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    AreaII
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    Default

    I have a lot of horses come in that have suspensory injuries or lameness up front. Most times it is caused by being sore in their hind end- and throwing their weight up front - thus making the front end unsound.

    I would look closely at his hind end and maybe you'll need to put shoes back on to see if he readjusts with shoes?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2010
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    35

    Default

    So when his hind heels harden up and arent sore anymore, will he then rock back on his hind end and lighten up the front again? How much time should I give his hind heels to harden before I throw the back shoes back on?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2006
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    822

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    Why is it you feel it is better to go barefoot behind?

    It seems to me that if this horse is a hunter he is being asked to do a job he would never choose to do himself and therefore a natural barefoot will not be protection enough. We ask horses to do unnatural things and as a result natural feet are inadequate. If we want to jump and we want a sound horse we are more likely to achieve this goal with shoes...IMHO.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2001
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,963

    Default

    Personally, I'd shoe him in the way he was when he was 100 percent sound . . .



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    CT
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    Why take the hind shoes off? He was sound and happy with them on.

    All the x-rays and PPE guarantee are that the horse was sound on the day they were done. If the horse is off RF, get the vet out to find out whats going on. Could be something simple like a bruised sole or an abscess- or it could be a compensation injury from taking off the hind shoes. You just don't know until you get someone out to see. I'd definitely put the hind shoes back on though.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2007
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    3,928

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    Personally, I generally feel that working horses who need shoes in front probably need them in back too. That may not be true of your average backyard trail horse who moseys along on his forehand all the time, but a balanced working horse would probably benefit from shoes all around if he needs them at all.

    Was there a particular reason you changed the shoeing protocol?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
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    Illinois, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hollyhorse2000 View Post
    Personally, I'd shoe him in the way he was when he was 100 percent sound . . .
    Yup.

    If it aint broke, don't fix it.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2010
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    Default

    If a horse NEEDS the shoes I am more than happy to have him shoed all around. However I changed it up for him since he has good solid feet and where he is kept has great footing. I figure if a horse CAN go barefoot and be happy, why not? I am also not looking to pound him into the ground or even take him away from home often. I have had many horses ( including my other current two) that are either barefoot because they have amazing feet or just shoed in the front since he goes heavy on his front end. Its was honestly a gamble that didn’t go well.

    So with that said, how long would his hind soles be sore for typically? Should I give it another week, and if he is sound- then go from there? Or immediately put the hind shoes back on and just accept it was a stupid move?



  10. #10
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    Aug. 30, 2007
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    Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterandeq75 View Post
    If a horse NEEDS the shoes I am more than happy to have him shoed all around. However I changed it up for him since he has good solid feet and where he is kept has great footing. I figure if a horse CAN go barefoot and be happy, why not? I am also not looking to pound him into the ground or even take him away from home often. I have had many horses ( including my other current two) that are either barefoot because they have amazing feet or just shoed in the front since he goes heavy on his front end. Its was honestly a gamble that didn’t go well.

    So with that said, how long would his hind soles be sore for typically? Should I give it another week, and if he is sound- then go from there? Or immediately put the hind shoes back on and just accept it was a stupid move?
    Either way, your current plan is not working. Boot him in back if you don't want to put the shoes back on, or put the shoes back on. He's telling you he's uncomfortable, so he needs protection on those hind feet somehow.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2007
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    IL
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    You said--"I figure if a horse CAN go barefoot and be happy, why not?"

    This horse is NOT happy barefoot. Put the shoes back on.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Not only would I put his shoes back on but I would take him back to the farrier that was shoeing him before when he was sound to have it done.

    Seriously... It sounds like you are making a big mistake on principal alone. And FWIW lots of hunters go in steel and lots of horses are more sound in steel than aluminum.

    This is coming from someone who has four sound barefoot horses.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 22, 2006
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    My horse has strong hard feet that grow like crazy but he has to have shoes even on very soft footing. I also prefer for horses to either be barefoot all the way around or shod all the way around if they are working. It is likely the reason the horse had shoes all the way around in the first place.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
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    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    And FWIW lots of hunters go in steel and lots of horses are more sound in steel than aluminum.
    Keep in mind aluminum does not offer anywhere near the support to the hoof that steel does. Your horse may need the support that aluminum just cannot provide (it is too lightweight and 'gives' more than a steel shoe).



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
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    5,177

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    Did you take new x-rays when you purchased him or did you depend on the pics taken in '07 and '08? I'm not clear from your post.

    Where did I read that aluminums can cause problems in some horses because they disperse vibration or something differently than steel? I've never had a problem, but I remember reading something about it.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Boston Area
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    If you want to see if your horse's hind hooves will toughen up your best bet is to put him in hoof boots behind to get him through the transitions. That could take several weeks. It really depends on the horse. I pulled my horse's shoes last year and he walked off sound; my other horse was never comfortable barefoot even after a couple of months.

    You made two significant changes: aluminum in front & bare behind. Now you have a problem and you're not sure which change caused it.

    Hoof boots (especially when you're riding) will alleviate some of the soreness so you may be able to tell if the problem is with the aluminum shoes.

    I would not say you necessarily bought a horse with hoof problems. You bought a horse that was sound, changed his shoeing protocol significantly and now you have a horse that is sore. There's a difference.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
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    Agree with Eqtrainer.....take the horse back to the previous farrier and have him shoe the horse.

    You certainly have the option of shoeing your horse in the new manner...however, he may be lame for weeks, months, never move the same way in this new shoeing protocal.

    If you can keep the previous farrier for this particular horse...I would.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
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    5,334

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    I agree that you should probably go back to the way he was shod when he was sound. Too often, I think we make changes with horses' feet without thinking through all of the possible ways that it may impact them. Changing in their shoes can change everything about the way they move. Even if they are moving "better" that "better" moving can place stress on areas that were not previously stressed, leading to injury or soreness elsewhere in the body.

    I've been rehabbing my horse from a suspensory injury for close to a year now. We're back in full flatwork now and he is (so far) staying amazingly sound. He's wearing natural balance shoes in front on a vet recommendation following the suspensory injury and we brought his toe back a bit. My vet looks at his feet pretty much every two months and gives the thumbs up on how he is being shod.

    Despite all that, someone suggested to me last week that I should put aluminum shoes on him in front to see if I can get him moving better. My jaw almost hit the floor. I couldn't believe that someone would think that we should change something now after all we have been through to get this horse sound. I said, "no way, he's going the best he has ever gone in his life - I ain't changing a thing!"

    Not only do I think you should get him back into his usual footwear, I agree with the other poster who said that you should get his former farrier out to do the job. If the horse had a track record of soundness when being shod by that farrier, it sounds like he is a safe bet. Also, if it were my horse, I would have the vet out to check him out and make sure that no acute damage was done as a result of the change in shoeing.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 6, 2000
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    Amherst, MA
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    I'd put the shoes back on him, at least for now, and then if you want to take him barefoot behind, I'd wait until you can give the horse some downtime. I'd also prepare by having some hoof boots handy for the first couple of weeks of the change-over.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky



  20. #20
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Lucama, NC
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    In the "Carolinas" this is totally the wrong time of year to pull shoes! The ground gets SUPER HARD and depending where you are you could have a lot of rock on top of that. When I want to transition a horse from sheos to either barefoot or no rear shoes, I do it in the wintertime. With hard ground, stomping flies, etc you are not doing this horse a favor! Put him back into steel shoes all the way around, or, maybe find a WIDE WEBBED aluminum on front and see if he is OK with that, but honestly I wouldn't be doing it this time of year! I have many horses here that go barefoot until June, then get front shoes til October and go back to barefoot. They just can't hold up to the hard ground in the heat of summer.



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