Barefoot and abrasive surfaces.

PapaverFollis

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Is it possible for hooves to genuinely wear away quicker than they can grow if the horse is worked on rough surfaces all the time?

Just had (yet another) different farrier who almost insisted we put shoes on because of how much the feet had worn.

The problem is that her new Cavellos were a wierdly tight fit, despite being the same size as before, so we've been leaving them off more. The school surface is a horrible gravelly sand and the roads round here are rough tarmac and in just a few weeks her feet had worn and become quite mis-shapen. She breaks over slightly to the outside so the inner walls wear a lot less an get a flair on them.

The answer will be boots for work I guess or sticking shoes back on. I don't want shoes on partly because I believe feet are healthier without and her feet are very tough and "shouldn't" need shoes and partly because I'm having trouble getting a reliable farrier... it's just finding the right boots is tough because her feet are big! Plus the surfaces wore the fronts of the Cavellos away really quickly! And in many ways just having shoes back on... easy.

I'm not really sure what I'm asking as per usual.

Are there some environments where shoes are just necessary?

Plus I'm grumpy because he chopped loads off her frogs and that's not good is it?
 

ester

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Sounds like F's breakover.
If left it would just move further over.
I trimmed him ever 2-3 weeks when he was working properly and we were covering some mileage.

Up for doing it yourself?

If the horse isn't sore it's really not an issue, with him sole height would match wall height and at least the first cm or two of sole would also be in use (though he was pretty flat). Not sore, all fine :p
 

Michen

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Yes. Mine got sore last year when I upped the road work and his feet became very short. I’m sure if I had been able to do it really gradually then the feet would have caught up, but there isn’t a way of doing that without turning around and I wasn’t willing to do that with a young hot horse that used to have a huge nap on him.
 

Gloi

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I can walk my pony as far as I want on the roads no problem but as soon as I start doing any roadwork in a faster gait they wear faster than they grow and he starts getting a bit footsore. I have to use boots part of the time to keep the feet the correct length and then there is no problem. Last summer when the weather was so dry and he was living in a hard dry field the feet got harder and tougher and he didn't need the boots but through the winter they seem to have softened a bit, hopefully next summer will be dry and they'll get harder again.
 

PapaverFollis

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Diet is forage plus a token feed of speedibeet with her supplements in (vit E oil, Alcar, DeTye and Drink, MgO and salt). She's been on and off hoof mender and pro feet as I can't work out if they make her muscle sore or not.

I think they were bordering on her getting a bit foot sore from the wear, which is why I got this farrier as my other one let me down and I wanted a trim asap to get the boots back on! If I can keep the boots fitting she can work in them. But they rubbed her heal when the flair pulled them forward...

I'm leaning towards rasping them myself with a radius rasp and just getting a farrier every so often to make sure the basic balance is right.
 

PapaverFollis

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Do I need to do anything to help grow her lovely frogs back?

That's a good point Gloi, her feet will be at their softest right now which is probably why they have worn more.

The school is very abrasive though. She went right through the toes of the Cavellos in not a huge amount of time. Long enough for us still to have got our money's worth from the boots but it seemed very quick.
 

ester

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yes it does bugger up boot fitting, though less so with cavallos (not a great fan tbf :p). The times I was using boots more - like going on hols to lots of stony tracks I was definitely better with a fairly fresh trim.

I've never used one of the rider/radius rasps as most people don't seem to like them- though some do. I started with a blunter spare from my trimmer. She checked it looked ok a few times for me and that was that. (she was travelling about 1.5h to us after we moved so it seemed a good plan all round and I was super familiar with his hooves and what they did and didn't need by then)

Ah just seen your point about the school, that can be an issue- we had a rubber topped sand so didn't seem too bad, actually could have done with some wearing probably!
 

PapaverFollis

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If I could get other boots that go big enough I'd try sonething other than Cavellos! I think she'd get into the top size of Scoot boots too to be fair and they're next on the list to try. Her feet are big, round/wide things too so most boot brands won't fit!

I wonder if there's a decent barefoot trimmer who would come this far up a few times. Ive looked but not had any joy yet. Radius rasp only because I can't see myself successfully brandishing a normal rasp!
 

laura_nash

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I've never used one of the rider/radius rasps as most people don't seem to like them- though some do.
IME the rider rasp is useless and the radius rasp is good. I use my radius rasp all the time for a quick tidy up, especially on my pony where I struggle to avoid jabbing him in the belly with a normal rasp, or to finish up after I've had to do a bit more (with a normal rasp).

When I started doing mine myself I had a good trimer out every 3 months or so to check, then graduated to sending photos, now I just get in contact if I have a concern.
 

laura_nash

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Hoof Armor

http://www.hoofarmor.com/

fantastic stuff - Pete Ramey recommended to me for my ex -racer - it's been a god send.

Slight faff to apply, but lasts a couple of weeks at least.

It is available in the uk - give me a few minutes and I'll find it.....
I think it was this that someone in the UK was prosecuted for applying, FRC claimed it counted as "shoeing". Not sure it got to court, but unless you know a good lawyer I'd get a farrier to apply it if you wanted to try it.
 

ester

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I think it was this that someone in the UK was prosecuted for applying, FRC claimed it counted as "shoeing". Not sure it got to court, but unless you know a good lawyer I'd get a farrier to apply it if you wanted to try it.
nope that was hoof cast, applied with screws, that caused an abscess
 
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https://www.hoofmanshipshop.com/shop


Definitely not shoeing!

I think you you might be thinking of hoof casts, which are a slightly grey area in some peoples opinion. Hoof casts are a bandage which sets-similar to that appiled by the hospital if you break a bone. They stay on a hoof anything from a a few days to 2 weeks max.


Hoof Armour is a clear, thin dressing you paint onto a clean hoof. It is practically invisible. It contains kevlar and also has anti fungal and anti microbial properties.
 

ycbm

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I think it was this that someone in the UK was prosecuted for applying, FRC claimed it counted as "shoeing". Not sure it got to court, but unless you know a good lawyer I'd get a farrier to apply it if you wanted to try it.

That was hoof casts, if I remember right, which he was prosecuted for because he also put fixings (screws, I think) into the horses hoof to keep them on.
 

Goldenstar

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Sometimes when you up the wear you need to reduce the work for a while .
I Think I would try the FP performance balancer and see if you get an issue as it will be the best way to boost growth .
I would not be leaving the feet unbalanced unless you have a recent set of xrays that gives you a reason for doing so.
I think you need to find a more conservative farrier if you can .
Recently I have been brave and spoke to my farrier when he made Fatty very sore and he was very good about it and trimmed very much more conservatively
the next time .so perhaps you should try talking to him .
I think my first step would be a week off followed by reduced work and see how you go boots are IME usuallly problematic but another brand might be called for .
Farriers are trained to shoe it’s not surprising that their go to when a bf horse gets a bit sore .
 

mule

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Hoof Armor

http://www.hoofarmor.com/

fantastic stuff - Pete Ramey recommended to me for my ex -racer - it's been a god send.

Slight faff to apply, but lasts a couple of weeks at least.

It is available in the uk - give me a few minutes and I'll find it.....
Sorry to jump in, but how effective is this compared to boots in the early stages of transition for a horse with very thin soles. Could it be used instead of boots?
 
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supsup

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Mine definitely wears his hooves too rapidly (and then goes sore) on our very abrasive terrain (lots of sharp gravel). Anybody who has ever rasped hooves will admit that horn is much softer when wet, and I think it can be too much to expect the hoof growth to keep up with wear if you are frequently riding with moist/soft hooves (UK weather...) on abrasive surfaces. I now consistently boot up, and my gelding can wear through the toes of his front boots in 4 months when in full work, and wears the tread off his Gloves in about 6 months behind. Given that other people use their boots for years, I think that's a good indication of how abrasive our terrain is.
I also tried the "no trim" approach for a while a few years back, and ended up with a similar problem of the medial toe becoming a bit long and affecting boot fit. I went back to rasping that corner of the toe back for a better fit, and it didn't affect his soundness either way (i.e. he was no more or less sound having his hooves left entirely alone vs. giving a light trim to keep that medial toe in check). I trim him myself these days (and have for years), and despite booting for virtually every ride, there's nothing to take off for pretty much 8 months straight from autumn into spring (clearly, his hoof growth is slow anyway), and only needs the odd tidy up (mostly removing snags/chips, and keeping that medial toe in line) over summer.
FWIW, I have put shoes back on in the summer in some years simply because it removes the hassle of having to deal with boots, and very much enjoyed the break. I don't like how his heels start to creep forward in shoes over the season, but can't honestly say that it's done any harm in the long term (always going back to bare/booted for the winter, and heels come right back under). I keep coming back to boots though because I really like the independence of not having to rely on a farrier. If there's a boot malfunction I can fix it myself easily enough, I'm saving money and don't have to reserve a Saturday morning every 5 weeks for the farrier.
 

PapaverFollis

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Thanks for the input everyone. I think we do have really rough roads. And the school is awful. She has really tough feet, every farrier has commented that they need their sharper tools. And they do grow but could look at nutrition to get better growth. A break from work has to be a last resort because of the muscle thing. But I'm not sure I could get growth fast enough to match the wear unless they change the school surface.

I'm going to persevere with boots. I've put pads in the Cavellos this morning and they fit much better so I wonder if they're actually too big when the foot is not flaired, which is why we got the rub. Does mean Scoots might be an option... I've found a barefoot trimmer 2 hours away but also have another farrier to try so have messaged the farrier for now. I'd prefer a barefoot sympathetic farrier just because they have more tools in the toolbox if that makes sense. I find trimmers can be as dogmatic as some farriers. And I don't like that.

This is, 110%, the worst thing about the move up here. I loved my Cumbria farrier. ☹
 

supsup

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If you haven't tried it already, you could give the Easycare Boa/Old Mac Gaiters a go. IME, the gaiters that come with the Cavallos are pretty rubbish (tend to ride up and not cover the heel bulbs properly). The ones from Easycare have an insole that the horse stands on to keep them in place, and they cover the entire heel bulb and pastern area with neoprene. This might resolve your rubbing issues, and help to give you a more snug fit. I found that the Cavallos can be a bit tight over the heels for horses with very large heel bulbs, in which case adding another layer wouldn't really be helpful. But it sounds like there's plenty of room in the boots still in your case.
 

TPO

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The Far North East of Scotland.
Nick Hill is in that area iirc. I didn't like him when I tried him way back in 2010 but he does appear to have a large customer base.

If you google I'm sure you'll find some sort of directory. I might be getting the surname wrong but there was a Bonnie (Meland??) who was part of something named along the lines of "Barefoot Works" that had a further three trimmers. I couldn't tell you the exact area but I remember them all being "up north".

Barefoot Magazine website used to have a link to various trimmers. My current trimmer is really good (9yrs later and countless trimmers and farriers down the line) and she comes all the way over from the Isle of Mull so even if someone appears out of your area it might be worth contacting them just in case they travel.
 

PapaverFollis

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I think there's two over to the West but they're 6 or 7 hours drive from where I am! Someone has just popped up near Inverness though so if my final farrier is also not good will be trying her.

We seem to have mostly got away with the frog trim although she's more ouchy on the stones than she was... which makes me rage. But boots and pads are working for when she works for now. Got the next farrier coming in 4 weeks so we'll see what he says and go from there. If the yard ever manage to resurface the school or we get our own place we may not have the wear issue as much...
 

Goldenstar

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Hoof growth is at its slowest this time of year so your issues may resolve when growth speeds up as summer approaches .
I would certainly consider trying the forage plus performance balancer get the winter one and try it with a little linseed that’s the thing that really gets my horses feet growing .
 
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