Barefoot for a year but still footy?

NooNoo59

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My boy has had his shoes off for 12 months plus. he is on a low sugar diet, he is trimmed by a equine podiatrist who says he tests at 2-3 all the way round each foot. he is currently on a trial run of prascend as he has raised levels so I have stopped his supplements so that he is just having the prascend I will reintroduce them once the vet has agreed. I hacked him out today for about one hour without his boots on and he was reluctant to move forward unless he was on smooth tarmac or grass, any uneven or gritty surface he was not happy on. Surely by now he should be able to cope with all types of terrain or am I missing something?
 

flirtygerty

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Can't offer any advice, except pass on the advice I was given by Cptrayes (I think) and that was get my lad out walking as often as poss to stimulate the feet, because my lad is a woose, I use disposable nappies gaffer taped to his feet, this is after 7 months being bf.
I will watch this post with interest
 

cptrayes

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If your horse has Cushings it can be extremely difficult to keep them happy, and it may be better to shoe if the pergolide does not work quickly. Lots of people on Phoenix horse.myfastforum.org have experience that they can offer you.
 

NooNoo59

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So even if his feet are good then the cushings will make him footy? He has been on the drugs for two weeks how long before I know if its going to stop the footiness? I really don't want to shoe if I don't have to, have boots but no pads, would the pads help? only have boots for the front, would he need them for the hinds as well?
 

LadyRascasse

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I have no experience of barefoot cushings horse but I found that NAF cushinaze really helped my cushings horse (main ingredient is chaste berry which you can get off line for about 1/3 of the cost) Might be worth a try if the drugs aren't working
 

NooNoo59

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The trouble is I don't know how long it will take the drugs to kick in, have no experience of this at all. Is chaste berry the same as agnus castus? LadyRascasse - is your horse shod?
 

LadyRascasse

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Yes it is, he was shod yes, I lost him 2 years ago as he lost sight in both his eyes but until then he was in full work, jumping going XC etc 100% sound, touch stiff in winter but nothing you wouldn't expect for his age (24). I would give the drugs the same amount of time to work that I would a supplement with is 4 weeks if no sign of improvement then I would try something else, unless your vet says otherwise.
 

NooNoo59

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Interesting, I took his shoes off to help with a lameness (ddft tear in hind foot) has made a huge difference to him moving better etc and sound but on a surface and tarmac. Thought he had LGL before Christmas and treated accordingly but he was very lethargic, so therefore tested for EMS (negative) and then Cushings which was positive levels were 70 should be about 25 at this time of year, has been on Prascend for about three weeks and is much brighter but still footy over uneven/gritty surfaces so somethings not right as my trimmer says he feet are excellent. I have worked hard to get the barefoot thing right but after a year he is still uncomfortable I wonder if I am going to have to shoe again which could be a negative thing with regards to the fact that he moves so much better now - oh I thought I had this all sorted and am now wondering what to do for the best.
 

LadyRascasse

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Just a thought (I have never done barefoot so feel free to ignore me) but have you looked at his diet? I believe that any diet high in sugar can cause the footyness. Alot of commercial feeds are high in sugar to make them palatable so if you haven't already I would have a look at that.
 

JillA

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As regards time scale for the benefits of Prascend to show, you would be best asking on the Yahoo ECIR group or the similar one on Facebook.
My horse isn't cushingoid but has had then sensitive soles for a long time. I discussed with Sarah Braithwaite at Forageplus as a consequence of a forage analysis. She suggested supplementing with the protein methionine since my late cut forage would be short of protein. I haven't ridden him due to the bad weather but yesterday he was hooning around his paddock squealing, so I guess he must be fairly comfortable with his feet! Worth a try and not hugely expensive - will take a while to feed through to his sole quality though, and you need to check how it interacts with Prascend, if indeed it does.
 

NooNoo59

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My boy is fine on a surface and grass, the difference if I take him off an uneven road surface onto grass is immediate!
So he is footy on certain surfaces, we have all sorts of road surfaces on our hacks but I am careful where we go as don't want him to be uncomfortable. So I can boot him up but them we go into woods, fields etc and the boots are getting clogged with mud and wet. I really don't know what to do for the best will speak to the trimmer when he comes tomorrow. Might also chat with the vet as well.
 

maggiesmum

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Diet is a very individual thing, I had a Idx that couldn't tolerate any form of beet, even unmolassed it made him footy but he was fine with soaked alfalfa pellets I've since had another thats fine with purabeet and even with ordinary molasses shreds that have been rinsed clean but could not tolerate speedi-beet so its worth experimenting with.
The other thing to ask is how often is he trimmed? I know of a horse that was trimmed by an EP every 4 weeks and for one reason and another the trimmer was changed, the new trimmer said that the horse was being trimmed too often and the horses soundness improved under the new trimmer. Thats not finger pointing at any group or any particular trimmer but sometimes a second opinion doesn't hurt.
 

NooNoo59

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He is trimmed every five to six weeks, by an equine podiatrist recommended on this forum! He seems to know his stuff and the pony is much better than when trimmed by the farrier. He is coming this afternoon so will ask his opinion. He hardly takes anything off. Someone did say to me the other day that he does have four white feet and that he did not have a lot of foot, all I know is that he never stumbles now which he use to do a lot but is quite obviously feeling an uneven or stony surface. He is fed ff and top chop lite. I have three options as I can see - boot and pad up fronts and hinds if need be (problem is this does not suit the off road boggy conditions we have to ride on) Shoe poss fronts only or only take him on acceptable surfaces which is going to limit our work a lot as I don't believe it just taking a horse in the school day in day out. He is such a special boy and I just want him to be happy and comfortable and I have put everything into this and I still don't seem to have it right, feeling very frustrated right now!!
 

BethH

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Might be worth asking your podiatrist to look at putting wraps on to see if that helps in the short term, they are fine to ride in an arena but slippy on Roads so I don't know if they will work for you, but I used them to transition my horse last April and they were fantastic. For the first time since April he has been a bit footy in front over the last couple of weeks and given the winter his soles had thinned a little, so we put the wraps on and within 5mins he was moving his front end so much better looking sound and happy. They encourage foot stimulation and help with the soles and foot growth so IMHO are well worth it, not a long term solution, but very useful to get you over sticky moments here and there and will protect him 24/7 not just whilst you ride.
 

Gloi

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Is there a reason you can't just keep using his boots to hack out? I have to use them if I do a lot of road work.
 

NooNoo59

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So the trimmer has been out today, all a bit clearer now, he has some bruising showing in the white line which the trimmer feels is old which has worked its way down, he also feels he may need to be done every five weeks as he is still realigning his feet from years of shoeing. He has recommended boots and pads for the fronts for now, he also looks like he has popped a small abcess in the coronet near the heel. So I think patience and boot up as the stimulation of working will help the foot growth. Its fascinating listening to my trimmer, it seems you can see the story of the horse in his feet.
he also has bruise lines about half way down on three feet and these are historic from previous periods of laminitus. The thing is I wouldn't know all this if he had his shoes on so I am going to plough on with this as I want to know when he is not right as they say no foot no horse!!!
 

charliejet

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Sounds very similar to my horse who has Cushings and previously had low grade laminitis. As a result of this she has very thin soles, have you had xrays and or measured collateral grooves? You need to give the Prascend time to work and also get the dosage correct it may take months to see the difference in the feet so dont give up on it. ALso Cushings is degenerative so the earlier you start treating it the better chance the horse has in the long run. To me it sounds as if you horse needs boots and pads on anything but soft surfaces. I ended up having to put front shoes back on my mare as she was sore in the field at times as well.
I can not recommend The Laminitis Site enough please go and read up on Cushings and Laminitis and supporting the feet, my horse was almost PTS before I got the help and information I needed she was only 7 years old. It has taken time for the Prascend and all the other management changes but she is now back in work and doing really well. Her back feet are doing brilliantly now (left the shoes off behind and booted - she had all 4 feet affected) and I may start again barefoot infront now but to be honest she is doing so well I may just make sure her feet have a couple of breaks from shoeing over the year.
I got so angry when people said to me that I just needed to keep going and her feet would toughen up and then I had her xrayed and her pedal bone was almost on the ground her soles were so thin and it would have been cruel to have carried on. So please listen to your horse and look at The Laminitis Site and the ECIR group and get as much info as you can. Good luck with it all.
 

NooNoo59

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Thanks for that, he had xrays and mri done in July 2012 as he had a ddft tear in the hind foot, vet noted arthritic changes but nothing that he would not expect in a horse of his age. I may well eventually shoe in front but take them off at least once a year. For now I am going to boot and pad up, we cant go off road anyway at the moment as its too muddy!! The problem we have is a lot of our rides are half on road half off and some areas especially the woods are very wet and boggy which is not ideal in boots so I have to consider being able to hack out on all surfaces but lets see where we are in a few weeks once the Prascend has had time to work. Trimmer is coming again in five weeks and is always on the end of a text. May also have a chat with the vet as to how he sees this panning out. Will have a look at the laminitis sight as well as pony is now not eating the fast fibre or the top chop lite but he is eating plenty of hay, so I am not particularly bothered, again I think this another thing like shoeing that I have always done, but if he doesn't need a feed then I am not going to worry about it, might save some money in the long run!!
 

charliejet

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I have a love / hate relationship with hoof boots! Love the idea and keeping barefoot but had too many rubbing and slipping issues with them. I have just had my new pony diagnosed with Cushings and she has just started Prascend and is not eating her bucket feeds and also has become wise to the Prascend being hidden in treats!! It should just pass and if your horses weight is fine dont worry about it but there are things you can do if the not eating phase doesnt pass. My pony unfortunately has been unwell and is very thin so it is very hard that she isnt eating but all of her problems stem from the Cushings so I am keeping fingers crossed that it all settles in time. It took anout 6 - 7 months before I really saw an improvement in my horses feet although it had a fast effect in terms of her low grade lami but her feet needed time to recover.
 

charliejet

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Lol In all seriousness I have had horses / ponies all my life and I have decided that these two are my last, the lami / cushings is just the last straw for me the management of my two is so intense. At the very least I need a few years break, my husband is looking forward to going on holidays one day!
 

Rollin

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My boy has had his shoes off for 12 months plus. he is on a low sugar diet, he is trimmed by a equine podiatrist who says he tests at 2-3 all the way round each foot. he is currently on a trial run of prascend as he has raised levels so I have stopped his supplements so that he is just having the prascend I will reintroduce them once the vet has agreed. I hacked him out today for about one hour without his boots on and he was reluctant to move forward unless he was on smooth tarmac or grass, any uneven or gritty surface he was not happy on. Surely by now he should be able to cope with all types of terrain or am I missing something?
I have to confess, I don't understand the barefoot concept. I have three Shagya's who have fantastic feet and my farrier (shoes horses) says they don't need them.

I have two very footy horses who are shod and much happier for it. A brood mare who has been unshod for a year has feet which are now better than when she was shod so she MAY stay barefoot. If she cannot cope when she starts serious work, she will be re-shod.
 

NooNoo59

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No I do understand that, but I have put a lot into trying to make the barefoot work - it has improved his way of going 100% so I may have to put fronts on and I have not ruled that out as his comfort is paramount, but I am going to stick with it for a few more weeks and see how we get on. I am a barefoot convert but I am not waving a banner and saying that it is the only way to go as it may be that now we have the Cushings to content with that he will not be able to cope. But I will now always make sure that any horse I have will have a regular break from shoes as I have learnt that this is the way forward for good hoof health and to alleviate unnecessary lameness.
 

Beatrice5

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Which boots do you use - I have a recovering Laminitic in Gloves with comfort pads and he can cope with all terrain and the gloves stay on and dont rub or move despite dealing with bogs / mud and rivers. The pads I use are the easyboot / boa pads thick black comfort pads from memory the thickest ones they do. The compress into a good supportive shape and have lasted me 6 months so far.
 

Beatrice5

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Can also highly recommend The laminitis Site and forum and FB group for advice and guidance.

Would also like to rule out thrush as that can make them footy and sensitive over stones. They recommend NT dry but I have used plain athletes foot powder and Diatomanceaus (sp) earth with good reasults
 
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