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  1. #1
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    Sep. 22, 2010
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    NY
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    Question Thin soled TBs

    My farrier said that my 5yo OTTB is pretty thoroughly bruised due to thin soles, enough so that he didn't even take out the tool to measure sensitivity. This came as somewhat of a surprise to me, considering he's had three cycles (18 weeks) with this new farrier who put pads on and what I assume is an anti-inflammatory packing. It's orangey and almost looks like matted hair. He explained that he is very thin-soled, but still, I'm shocked that he's that bruised with pads on after 18 weeks.

    He commonly throws shoes because his feet have softened up from moving out to pasture board (but the benefits it has had on his brain seem to far outweigh that at the moment) but my trainer describes his feet as "typical sh*tty TB feet". And not in a mean way, she has god-only-knows how many TB's.

    Has anyone had experience with extremely thin-soled horses? I started him on SmartHoof Ultra but I know that isn't going to help me right now. I asked my farrier about Keratex or things of that sort and his response was "it won't hurt him." Which wasn't really promising. What are your experiences?

    Every time we take a step forward it feels like we take two more back. I've never been a cry-baby but I feel like I leave the barn in tears every other day! Please let us run out of issues soon

    Amy

    "I decided I am going to live, or at least try to live, the way I want,
    with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure."



  2. #2
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    Oct. 17, 2009
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    Unionville
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    Default

    All I have to say is that I sympathize. My mare has very flat front feet and I always feel horrible for her when things go awry and she gets footsore. Since her issue is flat feet, we just have to keep shoes on her. It's a simple solution, though. I'm sure that others will have more specific advice but I just wanted to say: I feel you (foot) pain!
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant



  3. #3
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    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
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    Default

    I'm afraid I do not have any great advice other than to curse the TB breeders who don't care about hoof quality. I just lost my older TB to what ultimately was too little foot for too much horse.

    Anyway... you can try a few things: Keratex hoof hardener works well, but you have to not use pads so you can apply it daily. There isn't a lot you can do to increase the actual thickness of his soles - that's genetic. But you can make what is there tougher, and that's the catch-22 about pads. They protect the foot, (and was he in plastic or leather pads?) but they trap the moisture and do not help create the callous that going without does.

    What I do with my horses is let them go as bare as they can all winter when they are in less work. let the foot grow and toughen without nail holes. Totally barefoot is ideal, but not always possible. Next best thing is rim pads so the sole is exposed but the shoe and pad lift him off the ground a bit more so hopefully he won't bruise. You will have to be careful about the footing. And if you take the shoes off entirely, be very aware of his soreness level. It's best to time it with a nice snowstorm so the ground is soft. (you're in Rochester so I can give you that advice)

    In the summer I suck it up and put pads on because a bruise and abscess is not worth it to me. You can hope that the winter gave him enough foot to help get through the summer. Supplements can help him grow new hoof, but it's not likely that you can change his genes - any more than you can suddenly start growing thick hair by using a new shampoo and eating eggs (or whatever is supposed to grow human hair) .



  4. #4
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    Apr. 11, 2001
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    Tennessee
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    Keeping the feet dry can help the brittleness that makes it hard to keep a shoe on. It's the wet, dry, wet, dry cycle that is a problem and dew on the grass can be a big culprit. With a horse with a huge problem we keep them up at night to keep them out of the wet grass. I will also slather vaseline on the hoof as a moisture block before I wash them. I like Keretex on the hoof wall as well.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    12,456

    Default

    Been there, done that. Sorry to say it is usually a long road.

    We pulled Vernon's racing plates shortly after we got him as a 3 year old to give his feet some time to grow and recover. We got him at the end of a wet fall, so the pasture was nice and squishy (perfect for baby TB feet). Then we got a nasty freeze and newly barefoot Vernon with thin soles got quite bruised.

    It took the better part of 4 months to get him comfortable again (and a large part of that was in the sand in Aiken).

    It took well over a year before losing a shoe didn't mean buting him for a few days. It was almost as long before just the act of trimming him (let alone putting shoes on), didn't require some buting. Shoeing him often felt like brain surgery...very delicate.

    He pulled a lot of shoes, and his feet were crap, so he often pulled some foot, too. Epoxy was used at least twice to give us something to work with. (Never had to resort to glue ons, thank God).

    It took a combo of Farriers Formula, a very good diet, a VERY good farrier, and a whole hell of a lot of patience, but now at 6, he's got a decent set of feet. He keeps shoes on much more reliably (knocking on wood like crazy), and even managed to spend part of this very dry, hot, hard summer WITHOUT pads (but I freaked out on the last cycle and asked for them back!). The last couple of times he's pulled a shoe, he still farted around his field sound and happy (instead of looking like he had a broken leg). It's a time thing...it just takes time.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 15, 2008
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    Greensboro NC
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    Default

    Ive got the same problem with my new guy. Farrier just did pour in pads and the difference has been AMAZING! My horse is finally sound and his grouchiness has disappeared. I have put him on Farrier's Formula but he hasn't been on it very long.



  7. #7
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    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    Default

    I have a TB with terrible feet too. No sole and no heel. We have him in wedged pads and tried about a hundred different things before finally settling on what we're using now (wedged heels using equilox on the shoe and then a pad between the shoe and the foot). The pad definitely helps with the sensitive feet/bruising issues.

    The big key for my guy was just figuring out what he liked on his feet. Once we figured that out we haven't had any real issues.

    I have seen a pretty decent difference with hoof supplements (on him and on several other less-than-stellar-footed horses over the years). I use Glanzen (www.horsetech.com), but anything with enough Biotin in it should do the same thing.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 21, 2005
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    Baltimore by way of NC by way of DE
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    Default

    My OTTb has thin soles. He gets glue ones. They are different from glue-ons I have ever seen previously. The shoe has a gel pad that only goes around the shoe so you can still see his sole.

    The shoe also has a mesh sock so they glue the shoe/pad onto the sole and then their is glue put on the hoof wall and the sock is bonded to that.

    So they dont fall off, they get extra cushion and the rest of the sole can breathe.

    my horse only wears them on his fronts, but they seem to have worked well we are on month 3.

    here is a picture from my farrier's website - http://www.andrewgrimm.net/category/uncategorized

    Scroll down to "Glue-on Shoeing" I guess what my horse gets is the "cuff style" that he is writing about the picture to the right you can click on to blow up is what I am attmpting to describe.
    \"A smart lady knows its ok to change her mind, a damn fool never does\"



  9. #9
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Maryland
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    Default

    Did this guy race, and if so, when did he come off the track?

    I see a lot of TBs with nice feet, actually - it's just a matter of getting them there. Some will never have nice feet, of course, but a lot of them it's just about getting their feet balanced and the heel back where it is supposed to be, and keeping toes and flares in check (especially if they raced, while it's getting better, you still see a lot of weird shoeing at the racetrack).

    Anyway, I guess I'm saying there is hope, but it depends on the individual horse and how magical your farrier is

    I do have a lot of love for keratex, and also for Magic Cushion (though if the horse has pads that won't do much).
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 1999
    Location
    Bucks County, PA, USA
    Posts
    820

    Default Durasole

    I've become a fan of Durasole.

    My horse (a CANTER horse who caffeinated knows quite well!) had pretty thin soles. We put him on Farrier's Formula, and Durasole whenever I remember (again, you can't have pads on and use the Durasole, though!) -- not quite every ride, but close. My farrier (who IS a magician) was pretty convinced we would need pads at some point this summer, but each time he checked, he was happier and happier with his hoof quality. Made it through the summer with no pads, really good growth, and a happy farrier!
    Post your XC reviews at www.crosscountryreview.com today!
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~ Mark Twain



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2010
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    NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilary View Post
    I'm afraid I do not have any great advice other than to curse the TB breeders who don't care about hoof quality. I just lost my older TB to what ultimately was too little foot for too much horse.

    Anyway... you can try a few things: Keratex hoof hardener works well, but you have to not use pads so you can apply it daily. There isn't a lot you can do to increase the actual thickness of his soles - that's genetic. But you can make what is there tougher, and that's the catch-22 about pads. They protect the foot, (and was he in plastic or leather pads?) but they trap the moisture and do not help create the callous that going without does.

    What I do with my horses is let them go as bare as they can all winter when they are in less work. let the foot grow and toughen without nail holes. Totally barefoot is ideal, but not always possible. Next best thing is rim pads so the sole is exposed but the shoe and pad lift him off the ground a bit more so hopefully he won't bruise. You will have to be careful about the footing. And if you take the shoes off entirely, be very aware of his soreness level. It's best to time it with a nice snowstorm so the ground is soft. (you're in Rochester so I can give you that advice)

    In the summer I suck it up and put pads on because a bruise and abscess is not worth it to me. You can hope that the winter gave him enough foot to help get through the summer. Supplements can help him grow new hoof, but it's not likely that you can change his genes - any more than you can suddenly start growing thick hair by using a new shampoo and eating eggs (or whatever is supposed to grow human hair) .
    Barefoot is not an option for us right now. His feet don't seem to be too beat up from the nails, it's more the sole that is the problem. What a fantastic idea about the rim shoes so I can use the Keratex. I'm going to bring that up with my farrier. I think that he needs some time to toughen up instead of keeping the sole in a moist, soft environment where it is not going to have the opportunity to harden. Unless I am wrong in thinking that the sole will toughen up with uncovered use, like the palms of our hands form callouses? Whatever the case may be, I'd be willing to try that. He may be more bruised at first.. but hopefully over time will toughen up. Thanks!

    Amy

    "I decided I am going to live, or at least try to live, the way I want,
    with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure."



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2010
    Location
    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearthorse View Post
    Ive got the same problem with my new guy. Farrier just did pour in pads and the difference has been AMAZING! My horse is finally sound and his grouchiness has disappeared. I have put him on Farrier's Formula but he hasn't been on it very long.
    My friend also mentioned pour-in pads that is another idea I'd like to bring up with my farrier. Thank you!

    Amy

    "I decided I am going to live, or at least try to live, the way I want,
    with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure."



  13. #13
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    Sep. 22, 2010
    Location
    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keep1Belle View Post
    My OTTb has thin soles. He gets glue ones. They are different from glue-ons I have ever seen previously. The shoe has a gel pad that only goes around the shoe so you can still see his sole.

    The shoe also has a mesh sock so they glue the shoe/pad onto the sole and then their is glue put on the hoof wall and the sock is bonded to that.

    So they dont fall off, they get extra cushion and the rest of the sole can breathe.

    my horse only wears them on his fronts, but they seem to have worked well we are on month 3.

    here is a picture from my farrier's website - http://www.andrewgrimm.net/category/uncategorized

    Scroll down to "Glue-on Shoeing" I guess what my horse gets is the "cuff style" that he is writing about the picture to the right you can click on to blow up is what I am attmpting to describe.

    I asked my farrier about glue-on shoes and his immediate response was no. He also didn't feel his feet were bad enough for glue-ons. If we can't sort this out another way I may have to find a farrier that is willing to do these. Not incredibly popular around here, unfortunately.

    Amy

    "I decided I am going to live, or at least try to live, the way I want,
    with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure."



  14. #14
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    Sep. 22, 2010
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    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinated View Post
    Did this guy race, and if so, when did he come off the track?

    I see a lot of TBs with nice feet, actually - it's just a matter of getting them there. Some will never have nice feet, of course, but a lot of them it's just about getting their feet balanced and the heel back where it is supposed to be, and keeping toes and flares in check (especially if they raced, while it's getting better, you still see a lot of weird shoeing at the racetrack).

    Anyway, I guess I'm saying there is hope, but it depends on the individual horse and how magical your farrier is

    I do have a lot of love for keratex, and also for Magic Cushion (though if the horse has pads that won't do much).
    He did race.. 11 Starts, 1 Wins, 2 Places, 1 Shows. I guess that would be considered "lightly raced"? He came off the track last August. He had aluminum shoes on when I got him and his hoof had begun to grow over the shoe.. awful.

    Amy

    "I decided I am going to live, or at least try to live, the way I want,
    with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure."



  15. #15
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    Sep. 22, 2010
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    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by colliemom View Post
    I've become a fan of Durasole.

    My horse (a CANTER horse who caffeinated knows quite well!) had pretty thin soles. We put him on Farrier's Formula, and Durasole whenever I remember (again, you can't have pads on and use the Durasole, though!) -- not quite every ride, but close. My farrier (who IS a magician) was pretty convinced we would need pads at some point this summer, but each time he checked, he was happier and happier with his hoof quality. Made it through the summer with no pads, really good growth, and a happy farrier!
    I have a strong feeling that I would like for the pads to come off. I don't feel he had adequate time to harden the sole through natural use before throwing pads on. Durasole seems to be a good amount cheaper than Keratex. I'm interested in what the major differences are between the two?

    Amy

    "I decided I am going to live, or at least try to live, the way I want,
    with dignity, with courage, with humor, with composure."



  16. #16
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    Feb. 13, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I have a thin soled QH (a breed with even more congenital hoof problems than TBs, I think!) who also tends to get the ol' low heel long toe doozy. When I got him he wouldnt hold a shoe because his feet crumbled away, and he had to have acrylic set into his feet to keep them on for about a year before it started to grow out. Biotin supplements helped TONS. It just takes some time. But the difference in his hoof quality was really amazing.

    He never quite needed pads (which I think can soften the sole even more and end up causing more sensitivity problems), but even with shoes has trouble on rocky or gravely areas, and his little pink feet always show bruising even if he isnt sore (and he hasnt been footsore for about 4 years when we switched farriers). Being on a 4-5 weeks schedule to help keep a more correct shape to his feet helps, and my blacksmith is careful not to take much sole off. Bad feet are a pain, but most seem to be manageable with the right diet and farrier.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 18, 2005
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    434

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    Quote Originally Posted by ake987 View Post
    Barefoot is not an option for us right now. His feet don't seem to be too beat up from the nails, it's more the sole that is the problem. What a fantastic idea about the rim shoes so I can use the Keratex. I'm going to bring that up with my farrier. I think that he needs some time to toughen up instead of keeping the sole in a moist, soft environment where it is not going to have the opportunity to harden. Unless I am wrong in thinking that the sole will toughen up with uncovered use, like the palms of our hands form callouses? Whatever the case may be, I'd be willing to try that. He may be more bruised at first.. but hopefully over time will toughen up. Thanks!
    Is there any way you could post some pics of the feet? If the toes are long and forward (along with the heels), that will contribute to the thin soles. Even if the soles toughen up, thin is thin and you'd still be prone to bruising I would think.

    I battled with my own ottb's feet (barefoot) but he is now sound enough to event Training level--was hoping to move him up to Prelim (barefoot) but an unrelated issue (liver) came up.



  18. #18
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    Jun. 17, 2010
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    When they have flat feet, there is very little space for the various types of soft hoof packing to sit between the foot and the pad. I used a farrier from Rood and Riddle on my old horse, and he would make a bit of a bubble in the leather pad between hoof and sole - like extra pad material. Then there would be room for more equipak etc. There are some good threads on all this if you search this forum.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 21, 2000
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    Pawlet, VT US
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    Default

    I zoomed through all the responses and didn't see anyone suggesting Durasole. http://www.durasole.com/

    Concocted by a farrier from Texas, filled with warnings about how toxic it is, it seems to really work. We have a very thin-soled horse off the track who was in a state of fairly constant oversensitivity. Durasole, as directed, has made a huge difference. Even my farrier was impressed.

    Pads are a short term solution- they don't actually make anything better.

    ( I have no financial interest in Durasole, really.)
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  20. #20
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    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I went through the same thing with a horse of mine. My farrier would get out the hoof pinchers (not sure what the technical name is for it) and my horse's soles squished like foam! Very freaky. I asked about putting pads and pour in pads in, but she didn't like that idea - doesn't help the problem, just covers it with cushion. She recommended Venice Turpentine a couple times a week. What an INCREDIBLE difference in a couple months! I painted his sole (excluding frog) and the bottom half of his hoof. Not only are his soles hard now, but the bottoms of his hooves have stopped chipping away at the nail holes.



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