Barefoot/unshod Experts - Opinions please

Kenzo

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Hi

I would like some feed back please on my horses feet.

Firstly I will apologise now if this does not make a lot of sense, typing on my phone so bare with :)

Bit of background first - he's been unshod now for a year I'd say, was shod up to then and always has been since he was 4.

Hoof quality has always been ok, well no splitting and kept his shoes on well, no heat of footyness after shoeing, so no issues shall we say.

Due to his spavin and the fact that he was doing less work I decided to try him without shoes, plus through summer and winter I was doing more with my other horse, seemed pointless having him shod to be fair, so an experiment really as well.

Brought back into work this sumner, (hacking only, walking mostly with the odd trot) all road work but kept him of stony gritty gound until his feet coped better, to be fair he's always been ok on rutty hard grass type surface and smooth grittless roads when the shoes came off, so that was good but obviously felt it over stony/gritty ground which I never rode on, last month or so he's now coping with track type ground (odd grit etc) and he seems a little more springy in trot than he used to be in shoes, he seems to feel better to ride, less choppy short stride, he's not naturally a big moving horse with a long length of stride anyway but as far as his own paces go I think there seems to be an improvement.

We have a gritty/slightly stony yard so when he's led in and out to the field he's having to go over different ground, which he's now doing well over which is a good improvement apart from when he's had a fresh trim, I expect this until his feet have really adjusted, but after a week or two he's fine again. But absolutely fine on the roads even after a fresh trim.

I don't and will not do too much road work when he's had a fresh trim, basically go with how he feels and use a bit of common sense.

So, so far Im pleased with how he's doing and coping taking into account the time it takes for the hoof to harden up and how much road work I do.

Farrier said his feet had grown quickly since his last trim which was 7 weeks ago, which was a good and he is very happy with his hoof quality, said he's got good feet despite the dry weather and him going with out shoes and ground etc.

I would however like to know more about what you think to his hoof angles and basically how they are being trimmed, if I need to make any changes, perhaps I'm blind and thinking there ok but perhaps there not... just some feed back really, I always discuss things with my farrier and he does take on my views and explains things, so any negative criticism won't be taken negatively, it will be taken in a positive way to improve his feet going forward with my farrier first.

Sorry I should of mentioned that he's on restrictive grazing for 12 hours, decent for the other remaining time, he has a mixture of herbs and spices in his all round supplement which includes seaweed, nettle, biotin plus magnesium and camomile diet chop (which is just given to mix his suppleness in with) plus cider vinegar and a joint supp.

Sorry this is long!

Right onto some quick pics I took, perhaps there not clear enought to not taken well enough but I think you will get the general idea if his feet are horrendous!





Excuse the poo in the background.

Won't let me post more than too on the same page so I'll put some more further down ....bare with :)







He
 

Kenzo

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Couple more



I know there is a little bit of grit stuck on there, just pointing out that I do pick it all out, id made no effort of washing/picking hoof just for the purpose of taking a quick pic, as this is the sort of grit that is picked up even in the yard but his feet are always 'de gritted' if one has clung on and stuck in, so this gives you an idea of what his hooves pick up, so does that mean they are still not hard enough?



Thank you for reading if you've made it this far :)
 
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The last photo is very interesting. You can see that the heel on the NF is still a bit contracted and the change in hoof wall angle on the OF.
 

Kenzo

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I see what you mean about the last photo, I need to get some of the OS front at that side too, I'll do that so you can see the other one clearly along with one fro underneath, I think as you can't see the other one fully the photo may look worse than it really is perhaps.

What do I need to do going forward then?

Many thanks for your feedback.
 

cptrayes

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Drop the seaweed unless you are certain that he needs both iodine and iron, one is bad in excess and the other prevents the uptake of copper. Mine go footie in summer without yeast, and I would recommend either yeasacc or brewers yeast.

I think your farrier is doing a very decent job, from looking at the photos, and what you need now is more of the same and time.
 
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Kenzo

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Thank you for your feedback cptrayes.

With regards to supplements, yes, I'll bare that in mind and purchase some brewers yeast, would it be better to give him what I do less often so there's no risk of him getting too much, say twice a week perhaps?

I'm a bit worried about the contracted heels though, although when you are that used to just seeing your own horses feet I guess it's easy to get a bit blind to the changes or what IS the 'ideal/perfect foot', although I did notice over the months that he seems to have less heal, should the fur line at the back of his heal be so close to the ground, I know it isn't with shoes on but still, I think it's closer than it was before when he had shoes on, (if I've explained that right).

Is there anything I should discuss with my farrier when he next visits?

Should the frogs be trimmed at all? as he tends to leave these alone.

I'll get some more pics of the front and the hinds tomorrow, no doubt I'll have some more questions too.

Thank you :)
 
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Pale Rider

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I would stop filing from the top, if it were me, farriers like to do this, but I won't rasp where a hoof doesn't wear naturally. Rasping the hoof wall weakens it and causes flare.
 

cptrayes

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He's right not to trim frogs or sole, you have a man who knows what he is doing there.

Feed 50g of brewers yeast a day. Cheapest from charnwood milling in a 25kg bag.
 

Palindrome

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It's hard to tell from pictures, but worth prodding with the hoof pick in the central sulcus. If hoof pick can go through I would put some anti-thrush product (my favourites are iodine, athlete's foot cream plus triple antibiotic and hoof paste). If there is a bit of thrush it might not help the heels decontracting. It might also explain the footiness after trim if the farrier lowers the heels. It is not normal for a horse to be footy after a trim.
Overall the hooves look good.
 

cptrayes

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It's hard to tell from pictures, but worth prodding with the hoof pick in the central sulcus. If hoof pick can go through I would put some anti-thrush product (my favourites are iodine, athlete's foot cream plus triple antibiotic and hoof paste). If there is a bit of thrush it might not help the heels decontracting. It might also explain the footiness after trim if the farrier lowers the heels. It is not normal for a horse to be footy after a trim.
Overall the hooves look good.
I missed the bit about him being footie after a trim. He shouldn't be, I agree.

Does your farrier trim sole? If so, he probably shouldn't. If not, your horse may be being trimmed too much in one go or even too often.
 
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