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boot/hoof frustrations- sorry again!

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  • boot/hoof frustrations- sorry again!

    My 13yr old TB is barefoot right now. He is in light work- I ride in the arena quite a bit, but I do like to go out hacking and show a little.

    It has been 2.5 months since I pulled his front shoes. He has been barefoot behind for over a year. And all summer he was lightly ridden barefoot and even foxhunted a little like that. And he was pretty sound, great on grass, just made sure to walk on rocks.

    But I have just been having a heck of a time now and I don't know why. I'll put pictures up later today but I can't understand why he is NOT comfortable in boots. I even have pads for them and when I am not in the ring and not on grass he moves like a hackney. I only have front boots for him and I am wondering if he needs hinds- but he has been barefoot behind for so long. And it's hard to tell where he is sore exactly when he moves so badly. I don't want to put front shoes on him at this point because I want to know what the issue is. I have been working on some thrush in front, I treat them daily, but he isnt sensitive to a hoofpick- so I'm not sure how much that is effecting him.
    I called the easyboot people and the lady was surprised that he was still sore with the boots on. Apparently horses many times are brand new with boots and pads on. I am going to give them another call because I don't know if it;s the model that isnt a good fit. I have plain easyboots and they are OK, not great. I loved the epics for my other horse, but they are too big for my TB.

    I just need some support/advice, whatever. If anyone would be willing, I would love it if you could PM me for a more in depth conversation. Thanks a lot!

  • #2
    I don't mean to alarm you, but you should consider this story as you decide what to do.

    My horse has been bare behind for a long time, but I pulled his front shoes for the first time this past December. He was being turned out on soft ground, stall was soft, aisle way was matted, I figured all would be well. The farrier agreed that the horse could (and should) go back to work as soon as he was sound at all 3 gaits on the lunge line (barefoot) and sound under saddle (with the boots and/or pads of my choice).

    The horse got 2 weeks of rest, then was ridden for about 3 weeks very lightly--mostly walk/trot in an indoor arena, with Thinline pads and Cavallo simple boots. Everything was going great, no signs of short striding or lameness. Then one day, all of a sudden, he came up 1 out of 5 lame on a front foot in the middle of a trot circle. My trainer was there at the time, and neither of us saw him take a bad step and we saw no evidence of tendon problems. Just all of a sudden NQR.

    I did not ride him for the next few days and did preventative treatment for abscess and/or tendon problems. After a few days of gimping he came sound on the lunge line, but I didn't dare ride him. I called the vet out and the horse hoof tested sore along the toe area in an area that's typical of bruising due to the barefoot transition. The vet suggested just waiting out the bruising until he was sound again, but she did give me the option to x-ray on the offchance that there was inflammation of the bone.

    And I'm glad I did the x-rays, because he had just the SLIGHTEST bit of inflammation. You can barely see it on the x-rays, but it was there in both front feet (in fact it was every so slightly worse in the foot that he wasn't lame on). Sole depth was fine, angles were fine. The vet said to put the shoes back on for at least 6 to 12 months. I have not had any lameness problems whatsoever since the shoes went back on.

    But if I'd waited longer, I could have been dealing with chronic pedal osteitis. It didn't feel good writing the check for x-rays, but knowing what was up = priceless.
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Mar. 13, 2010, 02:05 PM.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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    • #3
      Doe he need boots?

      I'm afraid I can't be of any real help, but, just to ask the dumb question, does he indeed need boots on the fronts? Maybe for the work/terrain you have in mind for him, he'd be okay without boots, esecially with a couple weeks of Durasole?

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not sure from your message, but did your horse just come up unsound after 2.5 months of doing okay?

        It could be that your horse's soles are getting bruised. Once they are bruised, even with the boots he may be sore, or he could be bruising behind. Some horses never have a thick enough/tough enough sole to go barefoot (I had one of those).

        I've had my TB barefoot since Oct. He transitioned pretty easily but there was still some bruising on his soles that my farrier found. It took him longer than 2.5 months to be riding sound without boots on the trails.
        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Bogie- No, he didn't just come up sore. He just has not improved at all as far as toughening his feet. I haven't really ridden him much out of the ring because even with his boots he is tender. In the arena I do not use boots because the footing is rubber.

          To make the situation even more confusing is that he is off and on very slightly lame on his LF due to an injury of sorts to his knee months and months ago. And he has some arthritis in his RF because he will occasionally be lame on that leg. But even with those he is still very much servicebly sound and I treat him with surpass on an as needed basis. But now on top of all that, I was watching him today on the longe and he did not seem 100% behind. This is a suspicion I have had for a week or so now, but today I was a little more thorough in watching him.
          So basically I am just about ready to ship him up to the farm for him to just get turnout and forget about the whole thing. I still rode him for about 10min today and he is just getting to the point where he is behaving well and getting out of thoroughbred-winter-crazy-mode.

          I talked to my vet about it today on the phone. They know about the front leg issues and suggested that maybe the hind foot had some sort of abscess, although I couldn't really find any super sensitive areas.

          Perhaps it is bruising, I feel a little hopeless because I don't want to be hurting him and I want to find out what is hoof related and what is older getting arthritic thoroughbred related.
          And I forgot- he is 14 this year!

          Comment


          • #6
            It is possible your horse suffered from Pedal Osteitis at some point. That is inflammation of the coffin bone that leads to some degeneration. If that is the case, your horse might not do well booted, even with pads.

            I'd love to see pictures. I promise not to pick them apart (can't speak for anybody else), but they may tell some of the story. For example, if your horse has run forward toes and heels and/or bars that lay over the sole, they can be sore with or without boots. Stretched white lines or a center sulcus infection are other causes of soreness. Sometimes a horse has all of this at once. Much can be corrected through trimming and treatment of any infection.

            If the hoof form looks good and he's still sore, it would be cause to have rads done. If the horse has had PO at some point (or has it now), shoes and pads might be the best thing to do for your horse.

            I'm a barefoot person (I trim professionally), but I'm here to tell you that not every horse can keep up the level of work barefoot (even booted) that he did while shod. Others may tell you differently, but it is too important an issue to risk the soundness of your horse on an ideal. Do what you need to keep your horse comfortable.

            2.5 months is too long for a horse with no pathology to continue being sore. That he is still sore makes me wonder what is going on inside that hoof. Rads might be able to tell you.

            It does take much longer than 2.5 months to grow entirely new walls. So if the balance of the hoof was changed after his shoes were pulled, the final results of this will not yet have reach ground level. But this is usually the difference between a horse being able to go totally barefoot or needing boots. Not one that is still sore in boots with pads. That's a big red flag.
            "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              matry, thanks. I didn't get photos today, but I will get them tomrorow and get in touch with you. Thanks, I am worried about him

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll check in tomorrow evening to see if you have pics. If you don't feel comfortable posting pics here, PM me and I'll send you my email address.
                "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Probably stupid question, but why don't you just put shoes back on?
                  Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with everything Matry said, but wanted to add this too. Horses that are "sore" and then still "sore" or even MORE "sore" in boots may be sore somewhere other than the feet. As in - soft tissue. Horses don't just get sore because of sole pain. There can be lesions on tendons or ligaments, muscle pulls, or other soft tissue tears or strains. Putting boots on adds length and weight to the limb. For a normal, healthy horse that is generally fine, provided the boots fit well, and they are accustomed to them slowly as you would any other new piece of tack. But for a horse with an undiagnosed soft tissue injury, the increased breakover and weight can make the horse move even worse.

                    I trim one mare who goes like she has 4 broken legs in boots and pads but she cruises down the trail barefoot like a rock star. She has navicular lesions and the increased breakover of the boots is miserable for her.

                    I would get a vet out and do a complete lameness exam, with blocks if needed, to isolate the root of the issue.

                    Sublime - sure you could "just put shoes back on" but that doesn't aid in any sort of diagnosis or treatment plan.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by starkissed View Post
                      Bogie- No, he didn't just come up sore. He just has not improved at all as far as toughening his feet. I haven't really ridden him much out of the ring because even with his boots he is tender. In the arena I do not use boots because the footing is rubber.
                      My Trakehner never really was comfortable without shoes although I could ride him in hoof boots and pads. I had left him barefoot after he pulled his shoes in the mud and damaged his hoof walls to the point where there was nothing to nail to. Once they grew out, I put his shoes back on. He sighed a big sigh of relief and was completely sound.
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post

                        I would get a vet out and do a complete lameness exam, with blocks if needed, to isolate the root of the issue.

                        Sublime - sure you could "just put shoes back on" but that doesn't aid in any sort of diagnosis or treatment plan.
                        Yeah I might end up putting the shoes back on, but I would like to get to the root of the problem like you said.
                        Back in December he had fronts on and was sound (other than the front leg issues off/on lame, but that was a different kind of lame, not tender) He would stride out great. I have photos from today I will post.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Ok I tried to re-arrange the photos so the order makes sense, but I couldn't. However I labeled them all, that should help.

                          http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a2...h%2014%202010/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                            Sublime - sure you could "just put shoes back on" but that doesn't aid in any sort of diagnosis or treatment plan.
                            But what if the diagnosis IS sore feet, bruising, etc, and now a sore body from trying to compensate? Shoes would then be an ideal solution/"treatment".

                            I just figure that if the horse was sound in shoes, and went lame/sore when the shoes were pulled, and no other changes were made, it's a no brainer. But maybe I'm oversimplifying, hard to say when you can't see the horse for yourself.
                            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am curious to learn what the hoof experts see in these photos. To me, it looks like the hoof is unbalanced (as seen in the shape of the coronary band) and there's some flare. Not sure if that would cause the issues that the OP has experienced. I see lots of horses with flare that seem to cope fine.
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                Putting boots on adds length and weight to the limb.

                                the increased breakover and weight can make the horse move even worse.

                                the increased breakover of the boots is miserable for her.
                                OP:

                                I have some thoughts about your photos and will share them shortly but I have to address something first.

                                A2:

                                This is just too rich to pass up!! Really, did you figure this all out on your own?

                                I think you owe someone a public apology!!
                                Last edited by RidingAllDay; Mar. 14, 2010, 08:13 PM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I have a horse with similar hooves. He is MISERABLE in boots. They all "bite" into the heel bulbs. Then he moves weirdly and makes his shoulders sore. I have shod him in Epona shoes and he is very comfortable and useable.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The photos show feet that aren't very well balanced. Poor heels in particular. There seems to be a lot of exfoliating sole left on too.

                                    When were they last done??

                                    I'm thinking you need a decent farrier out.

                                    If the horse was o.k. previously why did you change his routine?
                                    Last edited by Thomas_1; Mar. 14, 2010, 08:23 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      starkissed:

                                      I believe your horse would be best served in 4 shoes, not just fronts. The palmar processes are digging into the Digital Cushion and the bar laminae.

                                      The right hind is filled with serum and the coffin bone appears to be resting on very thin soles.

                                      I think the feet need Impression Material and shoes.

                                      The horse will do so much better!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                        I agree with everything Matry said, but wanted to add this too. Horses that are "sore" and then still "sore" or even MORE "sore" in boots may be sore somewhere other than the feet. As in - soft tissue. Horses don't just get sore because of sole pain. There can be lesions on tendons or ligaments, muscle pulls, or other soft tissue tears or strains. Putting boots on adds length and weight to the limb. For a normal, healthy horse that is generally fine, provided the boots fit well, and they are accustomed to them slowly as you would any other new piece of tack. But for a horse with an undiagnosed soft tissue injury, the increased breakover and weight can make the horse move even worse.

                                        I trim one mare who goes like she has 4 broken legs in boots and pads but she cruises down the trail barefoot like a rock star. She has navicular lesions and the increased breakover of the boots is miserable for her.

                                        I would get a vet out and do a complete lameness exam, with blocks if needed, to isolate the root of the issue.

                                        Sublime - sure you could "just put shoes back on" but that doesn't aid in any sort of diagnosis or treatment plan.
                                        Welcome back!

                                        You know it could just be that the boots don't fit and are making the horse unsound because of the way they're affecting movement.

                                        I'd suggest get a farrier out and get the horse checked and inspected non weight bearing and weight bearing and then get the feet trimmed and balanced and if necessary get some shoes on. I'm thinking having seen the photos that some decent protection might be a plan.

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