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Yet another Barefoot thread..Barefoot trimmers needed-Update 9/8

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  • Yet another Barefoot thread..Barefoot trimmers needed-Update 9/8

    I'm hoping that this will be a source of help for me and my horse and not a flame fest by unbelievers, I'm feeling enough guilt already, no need to kick me.

    Here goes. I've transitioned one horse with (un)soundness issues successfully about two years ago, and like his feet so much I decided to try it with my newest horse, a 6 year old TB. In Dec I removed his shoes, he had a regular pasture trim until May. He was completely sound during that time after maybe the first two weeks. I don't ride much in the winter, but he was fine to ride in my ring from March-May. Sometime in May I switched to a barefoot trim. I respect my trimmer, she's done a great job with my other horse, figured it was a win/win. He's out 24/7, herd turnout with varying terrain. Sounds like a recipe for success right? Not so much. I have been unable to ride this horse since May. He's been too ouchy. It's been one stone bruise after another. I tried the old macs and they haven't helped. He's not just a little sensitive on certain footing, he's ouchy all the time. I just had the vet out for a terrible abcess on Friday. My horse was very uncomfortable, packing and soaking didn't work. The vet pared off some sole to allow the abcess to come out. He said it was huge!! . I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'm not one of those people that is 100% convinced that every horse can be barefoot, but I like to give them the option, and he's telling me that this doesn't work for him. What in your experience's could explain the difference in soundness/unsoundness? Are there modifications to the trim that can be made for horses that need something extra? His feet look lovely, well balanced, self trimming...beautiful...so why do they hurt?
    I know you're going to want pics, but I can't post them.. Thanks to all who care to reply.
    Last edited by chism; Sep. 8, 2006, 07:20 PM.
    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

  • #2
    Just asking since it's a TB....are his soles that sensitive? Maybe some Keratex? For the record, Turpentine didn't do crap for mine.
    RIP Bo, the real Appassionato
    5/5/84-7/12/08

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    • #3
      He's telling you he just can't do it. Different horses need different things. Yeah, maybe in the wild all horses can go barefoot, but some also would go to the coyotes - natural selection at work. I have one that would definately be coyote food. He could never go barefoot in a million years. The feet have been bred right out of the TB's anyway. I think 3 months is long enough to tell.

      Comment


      • #4
        Grass laminitis???

        I had a similar experience with my Thoroughbred gelding. I pulled his shoes the beginning of April. He was sound for about a month and then started to get increasingly sore on harder surfaces. This finally culminated in him being barely able to walk last week. My trimmer told me to get him off pasture that he was suffering from grass laminitis.....the pastures have been particularly rich this year because we have been getting so much rain. Within three days of coming off grass he began to improve. He's not yet a 100% , but much better. He did not founder, and there was no rotation. I'm going to leave him on a dry lot for the rest of the summer. Even though he's a fairly hard keeper, I expect he may have some metabolic issues which make him sensitive to the sugar in grass. Don't know whether this might be the case with your guy, just an idea.

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        • #5
          My mare's pasturemate has grass laminitis issues - until I met her I had no idea green grass could be bad for a horse. Because of her issues, the two are stuck in the "dirt" pasture suring the summer, and once we have the first freeze they get the rest of the 20 acres to graze on - but until that first freeze, the Paso Fino mare just can't handle the grass.
          Enjoying the scenery out on the trails with my 1993 American Quarter Horse mare, Mollys Baby Pearls.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            He's not really on grass. There's a very small amount of grass where he is, but it's mostly dirt. Whatever can grow is immediately eaten by him and his 3 friends. It's basically a mid meal snack, not enough really to make a difference. I'm thinking he's thin soled or has some internal conformational issue. The question for me is "Why would he be sound with a regular trim and unsound with a barefoot trim?"
            "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

            Comment


            • #7
              Did you get a lot of rain in late April/May? Has the ground been softer since? Maybe his feet got really soft. What does your trimmer think is the cause?
              SportHorseRiders.com
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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Yes, we had a ton of rain, but none of my other horses are having issues with bruising and abcessing. I have 5 that are unshod and 2 shod.
                "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                Comment


                • #9
                  The more moisture you had in the spring the softer the feet will be. TB's off the track for the most part have pancake feet, no concavity.
                  I am assuming your regular farrier trimmed a pasture trim. Once a barefoot trimmer starts trimming, that person will trim for balance and address issues and correct them. In the meantime you can help those soft flat soles by toughening them up with as suggested Keratex. Movement will induce faster growth as well. Some TB's it takes longer then others. You have the choice to stick it out or shoe the horse. You could always have your barefoot trimmer work on him this winter and get some more riding in for the summer in shoes. However, when the ground gets frozen and hard you could see ouchiness if the feet have not started to change before then.
                  If you already have hoofboots, why not add some padding for the time being.
                  ************************
                  \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Chism, I've been thinking on this, too, and how to backup my statements that I've made concerning the situation and make them clearer for understanding.

                    First, the "pasture" trim is not the same as a carefully executed "barefoot trim". In the pasture trim the hooves are merely trimmed back with less than diligent attention to the balance, form and functioning of the hooves. Many are left w/long toes, long heels, imbalances, thin soles - all that affect the overall functioning of the hoof. The trim mimics what is done to the hoof prior to shoeing but without the shoes being applied. While the horse may be "sound" with a pasture trim the long term effects are not necessarily good ones, especially for a horse that is a performance horse. Pasture trimming does not generally allow for the proper functioning of the hooves which, in turn, affects the overall health of the hooves. The frogs are not developed fully which then cannot absorb concussive shock as well as frogs that are 100% and because the frogs are not developed fully, the hooves are not functining properly which, in turn, do not allow for proper digital cushion development - all part of the shock absorbtion system. That's the main crux in sound hooves ... hooves that are fully functioning with fully developed frogs and digital cushions that allow for full, correct movement of the horse/hooves which, in turn, allow for further correct functioning and growth of the new hooves. Make sense? They all work together. 2 months (May to June and June to July) is not even 1/4 of the time to grow in new, healthy hooves totally for most horses. I think I've mentioned that I've found 4 months healing time seems to be the "turn around" point in hooves that are doing some major rehabbing. During the healing time thats passed for your horse its been very wet, the hooves very soft, and in these conditions even strong, healthy, shod hooves have been getting bruised and abscessed. The 2 month time for growing is also not enough time for the frogs and the DC's to fully rehab. The lateral cartilages have not fully been restored to good, thick, healthy supports, either. This all takes time. (see next post)

                    In a following post I'll throw in some remarks from Dr. Bowker that may help to clarify further what I am trying to say here. I'll also ask you to read some of Marjorie Smith's writings on "transitioning" at http://www.barefoothorse.com that will help understanding of what goes on during the first year of healthy, new hoof growth.

                    Maybe some of it will help so you know I'm not just "shooting in the dark" here.
                    --Gwen <><
                    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here are some quotes from Dr. Bowker:

                      --------------------------
                      "We need to be trimming hooves so that more of the back part of the
                      foot--including the frog--bears the initial ground impact forces and weight,"
                      Bowker stated.”

                      "If hooves are trimmed so that the frog rests on the ground," Bowker said, "it
                      stimulates the back part of the hoof to grow more fibrous and cartilaginous
                      digital cushions, which appear to be 'protective' of the more chronic foot
                      problems."

                      "Horse feet with good environmental stimulation of the back part of the foot, the
                      digital cushion, and the lateral cartilages will respond by becoming more robust
                      structures to dissipate the initial impact energies and provide better support
                      for the horse when the horse is standing," he said.

                      “In those horses that do not have good environmental stimulation of the back part of the foot (for example, a trimmed or recessed frog, rather than one resting on the ground), regardless of the breed, the internal tissues of the back part of the foot will be underdeveloped, which will lead to internal foot problems such as ***(navicular syndrome), according to Bowker.”

                      *** and other hoof pathologies that have to do with form and function of the hooves.
                      -----------------------------------

                      The fatty cartilage of an undeveloped DC splats and dissipates with concussive force. The well-developed fibro-cartilage will be able to withstand the forces of the horse's landing and provide adequate shock absorption BUT ... again, it takes time to develop this. This is why boots are recommended for while during the "transition" period of time. I know your horse had been barefoot prior to the "barefoot trim" but the 'pasture trim', again, does not allow for proper functioning of the hooves during movement and therefore the regeneration of the DC and the frogs did not optimally occur.

                      An abscess can brew for weeks and weeks ... the tougher the hoof, the longer it will take to find its way "out". During this time, because of the pressure within the hoof (think of a blood blister in your toenail - OW!) horse horse is sore until the pressure is relieved as the abscess bursts or is "dug out". Then, the horse can move again which will, in turn, promote more circulation in the hoof promoting new horn and tissue development and growth. But, it all takes time.
                      --Gwen <><
                      "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                      http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        No fair Cab....I've already gotten your input. We can take this offline if you wish....

                        I understand the theory...I realized that there would be a certain adjustment period, I've done this before as you know, but Chism was a much easier transition. It's very hard to watch your horse be uncomfortable for months, I've tried to be patient, he's had three trims and is due next week for a 4th. He hasn't had shoes on for 8 months. I haven't ridden him since May, but if you could have seen how much pain he was in before the vet came Friday you would understand my reservations. At what point do I say "I've put him through enough?"
                        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Back in January I had a farrier (yes - a farrier that puts shoes on) trim my horse that had been barefoot for almost two years at that point. To this day I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish but he butchered my mare's feet. Within three hours the poor horse could barely limp down the barn aisle, or even on soft grass. Both of her front feet were so sore she was trying to avoid putting either front hoof down. Just boots did not help her, but when I put pads in the boots that I cut out of a neoprene saddlepad she got a lot of relief right away. I had to find a non-shoe alternative to make her comfortable as there was absolutely nothing to affix a shoe to after he got done with her.

                          **Edited to add, my point above was that not all farriers have the answers either. I've also worked with one "barefoot trimmer" that I would never let near my horses again. I'm not against shoeing, I am against crummy trim jobs with a shoe tacked on.**
                          www.retiredhorses.com
                          Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
                          Paradigm Farms on Facebook

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                          • #14
                            [quote]No fair Cab....I've already gotten your input. We can take this offline if you wish....

                            I understand the theory...I realized that there would be a certain adjustment period, I've done this before as you know, but Chism was a much easier transition. It's very hard to watch your horse be uncomfortable for months, I've tried to be patient, he's had three trims and is due next week for a 4th. He hasn't had shoes on for 8 months. I haven't ridden him since May, but if you could have seen how much pain he was in before the vet came Friday you would understand my reservations. At what point do I say "I've put him through enough?"
                            /quote]

                            Well, thought others could benefit from the info, too, and directly from "the source" rather than from me spouting off.

                            Everyone has to do what he/she feels is right for his/her own horse. I haven't said to do one way or the other - just put out facts and knowledge that I have learned and can share as perhaps a help to understanding what's going on. I can empathize with you on the pain from abscesses has I've had a couple of horses go through them. They do come out OK on the other side *grin*. But you have to do what you need to do for your own horse and comfort. Again, I've found the 4th month/trim to be "the charmer" but that's without complications from abscessing. So -- there is no "pat" answers, ever, with horses. Gotta do what ya gotta do. That's all. Every horse is different.
                            --Gwen <><
                            "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                            http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by onthebit
                              Back in January I had a farrier (yes - a farrier that puts shoes on) trim my horse that had been barefoot for almost two years at that point. To this day I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish but he butchered my mare's feet. Within three hours the poor horse could barely limp down the barn aisle, or even on soft grass. Both of her front feet were so sore she was trying to avoid putting either front hoof down. Just boots did not help her, but when I put pads in the boots that I cut out of a neoprene saddlepad she got a lot of relief right away. I had to find a non-shoe alternative to make her comfortable as there was absolutely nothing to affix a shoe to after he got done with her.

                              **Edited to add, my point above was that not all farriers have the answers either. I've also worked with one "barefoot trimmer" that I would never let near my horses again. I'm not against shoeing, I am against crummy trim jobs with a shoe tacked on.**
                              Thanks for your input. I feel that I need to put this out there. I'm confident in my trimmer, it's not a question of butchery. Just a question that maybe this is a horse that just can't do it. I don't believe in one size fits all in horse care or in anything else.
                              "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It's not a matter of being barefoot, it's a matter of trimming HIM correctly. He was FINE from March to May. There was a trimmer change in May, and the horse hasn't been sound since. The TRIM changed. The trimmer has apparently not figured out what is necessary for this particular horse's feet. Perhaps s/he has been getting away with taking more or less sole, more or less bar, more or less hoof wall, more or less heel , more or less frog on the other horse, but THIS horse can't do that.

                                Have you talked to the trimmer about this? I'm assuming so. SOMEthing needs to change in the way this horse is being trimmed. My guess, based on the fact that he was sound while getting a "pasture" trim, and not sound while getting a "barefoot" trim, is that there is now too much being taken off of one or more structures that this horse can't deal with - maybe just for not, maybe not ever.

                                My suggestion would be to leave his feet alone until he's sound. Then start trimming his feet in SMALL increments every couple of weeks and see where you get.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by chism
                                  Thanks for your input. I feel that I need to put this out there. I'm confident in my trimmer, it's not a question of butchery. Just a question that maybe this is a horse that just can't do it. I don't believe in one size fits all in horse care or in anything else.
                                  I wasn't commenting on the competence of your farrier or trimmer, more on the competence of some that I have worked with. I was hoping that my suggestions of the neoprene pads in the boots would be helpful. I tried two types of pads: full pads that just fit inside the boot, and pads cut in the shape of the frog. I taped the frog-shaped pads to her hoof and then put the boots on. For whatever reason she got the most relief from the frog pads - I did make sure they went all the way back on her frogs and even covered a bit of the heel buttresses.
                                  www.retiredhorses.com
                                  Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
                                  Paradigm Farms on Facebook

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JB
                                    It's not a matter of being barefoot, it's a matter of trimming HIM correctly. He was FINE from March to May. There was a trimmer change in May, and the horse hasn't been sound since. The TRIM changed. The trimmer has apparently not figured out what is necessary for this particular horse's feet. Perhaps s/he has been getting away with taking more or less sole, more or less bar, more or less hoof wall, more or less heel , more or less frog on the other horse, but THIS horse can't do that.

                                    Have you talked to the trimmer about this? I'm assuming so. SOMEthing needs to change in the way this horse is being trimmed. My guess, based on the fact that he was sound while getting a "pasture" trim, and not sound while getting a "barefoot" trim, is that there is now too much being taken off of one or more structures that this horse can't deal with - maybe just for not, maybe not ever.

                                    My suggestion would be to leave his feet alone until he's sound. Then start trimming his feet in SMALL increments every couple of weeks and see where you get.
                                    Read this and then read it again.. JB speaks the truth!

                                    Coming from another person who has been there - you need to just start over again. If you want to shoe him that's fine - but I would wait until you have gotten to sound again. Shoeing a horse that is lame, looking for soundness, is likely to be a big disappointment. Let him heal up and get happy again first.
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    ---
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by JB
                                      It's not a matter of being barefoot, it's a matter of trimming HIM correctly. He was FINE from March to May. There was a trimmer change in May, and the horse hasn't been sound since. The TRIM changed. The trimmer has apparently not figured out what is necessary for this particular horse's feet. Perhaps s/he has been getting away with taking more or less sole, more or less bar, more or less hoof wall, more or less heel , more or less frog on the other horse, but THIS horse can't do that.

                                      Have you talked to the trimmer about this? I'm assuming so. SOMEthing needs to change in the way this horse is being trimmed. My guess, based on the fact that he was sound while getting a "pasture" trim, and not sound while getting a "barefoot" trim, is that there is now too much being taken off of one or more structures that this horse can't deal with - maybe just for not, maybe not ever.

                                      My suggestion would be to leave his feet alone until he's sound. Then start trimming his feet in SMALL increments every couple of weeks and see where you get.
                                      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

                                      THIS is exactly how I feel. It's not working for HIM, I'm not sure why, but it just isn't. Yes...my trimmer and I have talked, She wants me to give him a couple more trim cycles but I don't think I can bear to watch him gimp around anymore. I'm really torn, if I put shoes on him then I've wasted the last 8 months trying to give him healthier feet. In trying to give him healthier feet I've given him several months of discomfort, not the end result I was looking for. I think I'll follow your advice and just let him grow out a bit before I make any decisions, maybe he'll be able to tell me what he needs then. I can't do anything for at least two weeks anyway. The vet said whether it's shoes or trim I should wait two weeks to give the hoof time to grow tissue to cover the hole in his sole.
                                      "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        At what point in the process did the abscessing start?

                                        It's just so hard to offer any meaningful input without seeing some pictures.
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