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Addressing heel and snow issues - Easywalkers, bars, pads...

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  • Addressing heel and snow issues - Easywalkers, bars, pads...

    What are the options? I'm discussing this with my farrier this week and just want to do a little research on the options so I can be a little better informed.

    Mare has been in shoes for a very long time, and her heels are just getting a little high and contracted looking, and frogs atrophying a little. I am not going to post pictures. I am not going to blame my farrier. I think it is just a consequence of having a horse in shoes for a very long time...very hard to keep a frog weight bearing and healthy. Anyway, I am looking for options to help get the frog health back (it has been better than this, with same farrier) AND at the same time maybe even address the snowballing while I'm at it.

    I have used bar shoes on another horse and they effectively crushed the heel. I am hoping that a bar shoe or a pad or something that can help the heel/frog be weight bearing again will help the frog atrophy. Any caveats on that? Is a bar or a pad better for this?

    I have seen both bar shoes and easywalkers on the farrier's truck. I know that there are many issues with easywalkers but I'm wondering if one short cycle in them might help here. FWIW, the horse is only ridden in good footing (in the indoor) and has somewhat limited turnout so I don't think they will wear down too fast. I'm not thinking of long-term use. Thoughts?

    Please don't send me over to to (unless you have a specific link!). It can be a scary place over there! I know just enough to be dangerous...just trying to gather info and be able to look into options before the farrier gets here, and hopefully be able to carry on a semi intelligent convo. with him. Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post

    I am hoping that a bar shoe or a pad or something that can help the heel/frog be weight bearing again will help the frog atrophy.
    I don't think you want the frog to atrophy.

    And am I correct in getting the message that you don't want to try barefoot with the mare?

    My own sense is that you're going to get answers from all over the map on this question. The input of your farrier is obviously key, since the farrier actually knows the horse and what the hooves look like. But, there is a part of me that is asking that if the horse's hooves began to look bad under this farrier's care, why you think this farrier can fix the hooves now.

    I'm really not trying to be argumentative; but I do think it might be worthwhile to have another farrier look at the hooves and give you another opinion.

    Good luck.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


    • Original Poster

      Oh crap! Good catch. That should read "help with the frog atrophy."

      Yes, I expect answers all over the map. Not ruling barefoot out...was actually going to ask farrier's opinion on that as well, just not sure that with the frozen tundra it's fair to try right now.

      I was actually thinking maybe a short cycle in something like ezwalkers to get the frog and heels stimulated and more healthy, and then maybe a cycle or 2 of barefoot when the ground isn't frozen solid, and then re-evaluate from there. That's the plan I was going to pitch anyway.

      But I want to hear options and opinions so I can do some more research. I haven't found a lot of feedback on the ezwalkers. I'd rather try eponas because there is more feedback on them, but it's always easier to use something that is on the truck/what the farrier has experience with.


      • #4
        I love these for when I need shoes.

        They are grippy always unlike the easywalkers. Had a horse fall on concrete at the WALK with those POSs. Not a good shoe as they are made out of two types of plastics AND are hard to put on.... Ground controls are made from skateboard wheel material completely. The grippy never wears off.

        You can use them with Equipak. Need to be reset regularly at 5 to 6 week intervals and probably need to be used for 4 to 6 months to really make a differnce. One setting wont do enough. Ive had alot of great results tho.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Trinity3205 View Post
          I love these for when I need shoes.

          One setting wont do enough. Ive had alot of great results tho.
          Were you using them to transition to barefoot, or for something else? Thanks!


          • #6
            I worked at a theater and had to have a good rubber shoe to allow the theater horses to go on stage. I tried many types before finding these.They also had to ride around in the parking areas and greet people so needed grip there also and had to be able to work in the ring to get excercize etc etc. They did a great job improving the feet of the equine we had there that had been in metal shoes or neglected feet. It of course also depends on the farriers skills. I had a great one.

            Since that experiance, I have also used them to help horses grow a better foot and be more sound bare when they coem out of them. The key is proper foot mantenance and resetting often. If they grow too long you defeat the purpose as the shoe grows away from the foot. We used them 10 months of the year and the horses went bare for 4 weeks in January while the theater was closed. None were lame at all comong out of the shoes. They also helped the arthritic kneed Andalusian we ended up with.