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Hoof question

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  • Hoof question

    I recently bought a pretty chesnut TB who is really chill and a blast to ride. He did come with one caveat, he can't wear back shoes. Apparently, he is hysterical for the farrier and will kill anyone that tries to stick nails into his back hooves. She also insisted he be drugged for his front shoes.

    I am worried about the wear and tear on his back hooves. He has some little chips now that he is getting back to work, and I don't want them to become bruised or sustain a major chip/crack.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • #2
    Does your farrier think he needs back shoes? What does he say about the quality of the horse's hooves?
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    • #3
      This is very interesting. My own chestnut TB that I've had for almost four years just recently became quite adamant that he can no longer wear hind shoes. He basically becomes a hysterical, quaking mess if the farrier attempts to shoe him behind. Anyway, he has been without shoes for a few weeks now and his hind feet look absolutely horrible during the transition. He seems to feel fine about them though, and I think he will be fine to continue without them.

      Presumably, your horse was ridden prior to you owning him, correct? And always did fine without the shoes? I'd think he will remain fine unshod behind.


      • Original Poster

        For the past 2 years he's been pretty much a trail horse. I'm sure since he's gone *about* 5 years without back shoes, I'm making myself hysterical over nothing, but with my luck I have to be overly cautious.

        I'm going to have the farrier take a peek at him next week to make sure his hoof quality is good. My old OTTB had such horrible feet, they were like pudding. It took me 6 months to get them to harden through supplements and reducine treatments. I'm probably working myself up due to my past experience, but just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts.



        • #5
          I agree with above, tell the farrier your concerns and see what they say. I bet he will be just fine without. It sounds like you are experienced wih helping build stronger feet too, so I'd lean that direction. Many times what looks ugly to us, especially in this weather, is perfectly healthy and functional for the hoof.


          • #6
            Funny, I also had a chestnut OTTB that suddenly developed a dislike for hind shoes! Her problem turned out to be severe arthritis, and the farrier had to keep her back toes on the ground when he trimmed her. I hope your problem is something less severe!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Im Natives Last View Post
              Funny, I also had a chestnut OTTB that suddenly developed a dislike for hind shoes! Her problem turned out to be severe arthritis, and the farrier had to keep her back toes on the ground when he trimmed her. I hope your problem is something less severe!
              Well, hard to say. We're currently trying to run down possible causes on mine. I can say for sure that he does not have severe arthritis in his hocks or stifles, as I have recent radiographs of those.


              • #8
                How is the horse when you pick his feet? What if you hold them up for a whole minute, or a little high, or a little out to the side? Can you produce this 'crazy' response? If so, I'd be having the vet out to check out his hind end, SI and back.

                If you can't produce the response, I'd treat him like any other new horse and have a sit down with the farrier to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of his current set-up, and whether it will suit what you plan to do with him. If the farrier thinks he needs hind shoes, certainly warn him of what you've been told- but I wouldn't take it as gospel if you haven't seen it.


                • #9
                  For chips/cracks, get a rasp and have your farrier show you how to use it. That way, you can maintain his back hooves between trims.

                  Of course, make sure his diet has enough copper, zinc, etc. to build healthy hooves--good nutrition is key to strong hooves. And, personally, I don't put much stock in topical hoof oils/goops--I'm a believer in Keratex Hoof Hardener & Hoof Gel and not much else. No topical is going to truly improve hoof quality.
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                  • #10
                    Funny, I have a TB mare that can't wear back shoes either. Not only was she horrible for them, but they were making her chronically abscess.
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                    • #11
                      If he has to be chemically restrained for front shoes then there should be enough chemical in him to get back shoes on if needed. Regardless, as everyone else has said, talk to your farrier about this.