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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
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    CA
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    Default Need recommendations for newly barefoot horse - Durasole, Keratex, VT?

    Hi all! I just pulled Apollo's shoes for the winter yesterday (he only had fronts on, has always been nekkid behind), and the poor guy is very sore. He'll walk comfortably on soft ground, but anything even remotely hard leads to a noticeable limp. I suspect he hasn't gone barefoot since the first time he was shod.

    Overall his feet look good, they're just sensitive. So, I'm looking for suggestions to help make him more comfortable. There looks to be lots of positive feedback on Durasole and Keratex Hoof Hardener here. Is there one that is significantly better than the other for my situation? What about Farrier's Fix or Venice Turpentine?

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,621

    Default

    Read all of the threads on this. I've been through this. Durasole all the way.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,261


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,566

    Default

    Durasole or Keratex... whichever you can get your hands on faster.

    This is why I tell clients who want to pull their horses shoes to begin sole prep at least 4 weeks PRIOR to shoe pull, as well as boot purchase.... I point them to either Keratex or Durasole. This way there's some tough-ness on shoe-pull day and, if needed, boots handy.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
    Posts
    2,891

    Default

    I love Keratex...sounds like your guy may need some boots until the Keratex kicks in...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Horses like this, I prefer to Trim, do a white lightening treatment, equipack and cast once. The casts stay on for 5 - 7 weeks and when they come off, my recommendation is to not trim for a few days. By trim three their feet are in fantastic shape, the process seems to accelerate every positive aspect of barefoot while minimizing the downside of pulling shoes/sore feet.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2011
    Posts
    818

    Default

    I just pulled the front shoes off my guys a few months ago since they're now 99.9% retired.

    I did Keratex on the hoof wall and the sole for 6 weeks. Never saw them be ouchy. I've never used Durasole, and so I don't know the consitency, but with the Keratex which is about the same consistency as water, paint it on, 5 mins it's dried. No standing around in the cold waiting for it to absorb.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Thanks guys! Unfortunately none of the local tack stores carry anything potentially helpful, so I'm stuck ordering online. I have some Durasole on the way. In the meantime, he's comfortable in his turnout and will happily gallop around as the ground is fairly soft there, it just means I'll be sticking to riding him in the soft grassy areas outside the arena for a while.

    We're looking at a reasonably wet winter this year so the likelihood of riding is slim, I just want him to be comfortable. If I can't find a way to reduce the ouchiness, I'll just have his shoes put back on. Thanks again!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    Boots?

    It can be hard to transition, especially if you don't have a lot of control over the footing. Imagine having your own shoes on for years then trying to walk across a gravel driveway or uneven ground. It takes time to build up the callouses on your own feet. It can be done, but you do a lot of ginger walking in the mean time!

    Often, not saying in your case, but often, farriers will take off a lot of sole and toe callous when they're putting on shoes so some of that natural protection is gone. It takes time.

    To avoid stone bruises and possible abscesses, you may want to consider boots. But if it's really wet and muddy in some places and hard in others, it's going to be tough no matter what.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
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    CA
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    Default

    I'm considering boots, but I'm honestly not looking to transition him permanently to barefoot. My biggest concern with boots is the footing in his turnout; although it's largely in good shape, there are a few muddy spots where losing a boot is a concern. I'm not comfortable with leaving him stuck in a stall all day when the turnout is perfectly useable.

    Part of me is wondering if this was such a good idea, even for a few months. I'm going to try the Durasole, and if there's no improvement, however small, after a week or two, I'll probably end up just calling my farrier and having him put shoes back on.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    Default

    If you're planning to keep him shod and this was just a way to try to save some $$ during the off season, I'd spare him the transition and put shoes back on him. You may find yourself dealing with even bigger bills when he abscesses due to bruising.

    I keep my horses barefoot when possible so I am not trying to push you towards shoes. But if it's purely a $$ thing, you might be $$ ahead putting them back on.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
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    CA
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    Default

    It's not a $$ thing (honestly, the difference in price is only $10....not saving much there!) so much as an "I know it's good for their feet to have a break, so it can't hurt to try" sort of idea. Still hoping it will work out, but I'd rather him be comfortable than telling myself that it's supposed to be good for his feet to go barefoot for a bit.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    Default

    I'm just going to put this out there---not a vet, not a farrier. I've trimmed quite a bit but I'm not a pro. I have a pretty good handle on hoof physiology but I'm NOT a pro at all.

    Okay.

    I'm not sure where this "good for their feet to have a break" thing came into play, but I don't really see any empirical data supporting it unless you have an otherwise healthy hoof and are just trying to transition long term.

    If you think about how shoes work, we are essentially, in most cases, boxing in the elasticity, tapping in to the hoof wall with nails--but the wall is dead anyway, and we're elevating the foot a bit so that the sole and frog don't touch the ground as much.

    We're essentially taking away a lot of the normal function of the hoof as far as dispersing energy. But we're not (usually) damaging the hoof wall in some irreversible way because it's already dead.

    So the only thing we really accomplish when we pull shoes is allowing the (otherwise healthy) hoof to do what it was designed to do which is to touch the ground, expand, contract, etc. But when you have a sole and frog that aren't used to hitting the ground much, it can be sensitive.

    If you ride in terrain that is so different from your pasture/turnout that you need shoes for protection or if you have a horse who has a problem and needs shoes, I don't think that pulling shoes does much for them. And I don't think it's worth asking them to be uncomfortable when you plan to put them back on.

    I think that consistent care, consistent comfort, and consistent health is the best thing.

    But again, I'm just a random interwebz person. So take all that with a grain of salt.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
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    6,330

    Default

    I prefer Keratex over Durasole, but Im sure others have had excellent results with Durasole.

    For me, it was the application instructions.

    Keratex: Apply to lower half of hoof and sole, avoiding coronary band and frog.
    Use daily for one week then twice weekly for general hoof maintenance.


    Durasole:

    Use a hair dryer, heat gun, or similar tool to completely dry the frog and sole, apply Durasole while the solar surface is still warm and disperse with a brush (old toothbrush) until the sole is uniformly discolored, the solar surface of the hoof is fully saturated and product begins to pool instead of being absorbed. You will be amazed at the results!
    Repeat the process: Wire brush, heat, apply Durasole, spread with brush until solar surface of foot is completely saturated. After two or three applications, your wire brush will begin to skid across the sole instead of roughing its surface which means Durasole is causing the cell membranes of the exfoliating sole to thicken and swell; in effect, forming a living pad.
    Repeat the above process as outlined at least six times daily during the first week; four times daily for the next two weeks; then twice daily as long as the horse is in training. The results will be both immediate and long lasting.

    I had excellent results with keratex. I did try durasole last year, but I didnt have the time to repeat that process 6 times throughout the day for the first week...so the lack of resultd wasnt a fault of the product, just the lack of time of the applier!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2001
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    virginia
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    3,247

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    I'm not sure where this "good for their feet to have a break" thing came into play, but I don't really see any empirical data supporting it unless you have an otherwise healthy hoof and are just trying to transition long term.
    This^^^ is also mo. and I'm also not a vet, farrier or expert at all.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2012
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    CA
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    807

    Default

    The "it's good for their feet" thought is just something I've always been told. It makes sense to me, IF it can comfortably done for the horse. Maybe it's total BS and I'm an idiot for trying it. But I figure as long as the horse is comfortable, it's not hurting it to take the shoes off for a few months of the year.

    As to my horse...I called the farrier and he'll be out in the AM. Poor horse refuses to leave his paddock and is reluctant to move even there. I feel like an ass for putting him through this. Gave him a dose of bute and a pile of hay to keep him occupied. I've ordered a few bottles of Durasole to start a regular regimen to work on toughening his soles up while he's shod. Ya live, ya learn I suppose.

    Thanks for all the advice, guys.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,969

    Default

    I do Durasole on the sole and Keratex hardener on the lower half of the walls. The Keratex will (drastically, IME) reduce chipping and keep the wall from cracking up to the nail holes as the hoof grows down.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01


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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2005
    Location
    Crestwood, KY
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    Default

    I'm a believer in the "its good for their feet" thinking. IF they have good feet, and if they won't be in serious work for the winter. Also, you have to pull shoes well in advance of when the ground freezes so they aren't ouchy by then. One winter I waited too long and wanted to pull shoes after frozen ground started, farrier suggested not to due to potential for bruising/abcess/discomfort on freshly bare feet on the hard uneven ground. My horse's hoof shape over that following year changed more, and not for the better. Her heels got narrower and more underrun. Not severely so, but subtle differences I noticed from not going barefoot the prior winter like she usually does. I have a good farrier, and he managed her feet well, and she didn't have any problems, but still I am much happier with her hoof shape and quality if she spends a few months bare in the winter.

    Also, bare hooves in the winter seem to do better with traction, less thrush, and less ice balls.

    Plus of course it is nice to save the money on shoes if you aren't riding anyway. But that is not my primary reason.

    I do have EasyBoot Epics to use for when I do ride on gravel or hard surfaces during the winter. I use the EasyBoots as needed in the spring as I start getting them fit again, and once we're back into heavy work and rocky trail riding we put shoes back on.

    I used Durasole during the transition this fall, and was happy with the results. I only applied it twice daily, and still saw more comfortable horses and healthy hooves more quickly.

    I don't think pulling shoes for the winter is the best choice for everyone. But in some cases it can be, IMO.

    Edited to add: my horses don't seem sore at all on soft surfaces after having their shoes pulled. They DO seem sore on gravel for a couple weeks, so I keep them on soft surfaces during the transition, and use boots if they have to go on ouchy surfaces. I wouldn't put them through the discomfort if they were the type to be sore even on soft ground after pulling shoes though.


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