Barefoot?

Amy567

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It follows on from another thread about a horse being intermitently lame, and someone suggested barefoot, and having read Rockley Farm's website etc, it seems that it works for some horses. The horse I have in mind is a 15.2hh TB mare with a sandcrack in one of her hooves that goes all the way up to her coronet so it's forever there, however it's been dealt with and hasn't reached the bottom of her hoof, and hopefully never will :) She has front shoes with Quater clips due to this sandcrack, and wondered if barefoot would be a big nono for her, due to this sndcrack. She was off for a year with lameness and thought that it could be an option if she ever becomes lame again (she's sound now, and has been for a year :D)
 

Bikerchickone

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There's loads of barefoot threads on here, have a look through and I'm sure you'll be able to find out more. Also if you ask for suggestions on barefoot trimmers in your area you could contact them to come and have a look. I don't know enough to tell you one way or the other but it's probably easier to ask for a professional who could help you. Good luck. :)
 

tallyho!

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If you could post a photo, we could at least see the extent of the crack and how it could have formed.

The crack actually needs to grow out and if you say you want it to never reach the ground, I don't really understand your logic. Sandcracks that appear at the coronet are often because of unbalanced feet and weak walls or wet to dry to wet weather conditions. Whether you stay shod or not, the most important thing is this HAS to grow out or your mare will be forever in pain, even if sound. The crack will continue down the hoof as it grows unless you get that balance sorted! Barefoot will not make the crack bigger IF the hoof is well balanced by someone who knows what they are doing but shoeing and possibly even stapling to prevent it spitting as it grows down will help.

You may not be doing this, but, avoid putting on oils or creams on sandcracks as you can start an infection by trapping in microscopic fungus and bacteria. Just keep it clean.

Also, you might consider a diet that is more suited to growing a stronger hoof wall. Look forward to seeing photo.
 

HuntingPink

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One of my geldings had a crack that ran the whole length of the hoof. 18 months barefoot and the crack has gone and his feet look much better than they ever did. He's still a bit unsure being ridden on stones paths but will go over them happily without a rider. He's a chunky TB.

If you're going to look at barefoot look at EPAUK, AANHCP or DAEP trimmers. The EPAUK trimmers have the best course, a 2 year diploma, and they're the only ones that I would trust with a problem horse but for horses without major issues the other two are fine.
 

Amy567

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Thank you for all your answers, it's very helpful. I can't post a picture of it because I'm at uni 400 miles away from the mare, my sister rides her too :) never taken a photo of it. Both the vet and the farrier have said that because the crack originates from the top of the hoof, it'll never grow out and if it reaches the ground it'll always be that length :confused:

That's the sole reason she has quarter clips up front, essentially to hold her foot together so it doesn't start growing apart if it does ever reach the ground.

It's about 3/4 of the way down her hoof and we bought her with it, she was neglected before we bought her and had mud fever up to her belly, she was in a poor state, she was so undernourished that her cuts couldn't heal or even scab over :( Her sandcrack will eventually reach the floor, which is why she has remedial shoeing to basically stop it from splitting the hoof, or that's what they said. Whether I'm being played for a fool or not, I don't know :)
 

Amymay

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What was the reason for her lameness? And what does your farrier and vet think about removing her shoes?
 

Miss L Toe

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Any horse with hoof problems needs a special diet, use the barefoot diet, including Pro Hoof, cut out sugars, increase fibre and add micronised linseed for condition and B vitamins.
Regular exercise and farriery.
I, too, would be wary of changing the regime radically, but would be looking for improved hoof quality, it will take two or three months before you can be sure the new diet is working.
I will be honest and say that the only pony [with a sandcrack], I nearly bought was turned down by both my vet and my farrier [world class] without a second thought due to a sand crack, and vet advised me not to use her to breed from either.
I took her hunting for an hour and she went lame on the foot. She went back to her owners, with a new set of shoes.
 
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Amy567

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There was no reason for the lameness, though the lameness wasn't in the hoof with the sand crack, so it hasn't caused any major problems, she was 5* vetted before we bought her and 5* vetted after her lameness, no one suggested the sandcrack would be cause for concern with correct treatment (Hoofbeat) and shoeing (Quarter clips) and she passed 100% both times. She is also prone to tying up so we have her on low energy halage and that's all she gets atm, with a bit of grass throughout the day, she hasn't tied up since, though I could suggest a different diet (I don't buy the feed, so it's a bit more difficult to just change it haha :)) but *touch wood* she hasn't gone lame on the hoof with the sandcrack :D

Thank you for all your advise though :D
 

amandap

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Imo any horse can go barefoot and also imo it is the best way to grow better hooves. However, you need to research and get a supportive team around you. Diet and correct movement are key. If you decide to go the bf route think of it as a period of rehab so you can 'go with the flow' if necessary. :)

Here's another blog which is a great resource. http://barefoothorseblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/in-eye-of-beholder.html
 

Amymay

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There's always a reason for lameness.

I suppose if your farrier that having the sandcrack will cause no issues, there's no reason not to try.
 

Amy567

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There's always a reason for lameness.

I suppose if your farrier that having the sandcrack will cause no issues, there's no reason not to try.
We had blockers done by the vet and found out it was inside her hoof, we then had x-rays done to see if it was navicular or her coffin joint, which brought up nothing. She wasn't insured and mum had already spent so much in vets fees that we didn't want to spend £2000 and still have the same outcome - box rest, field rest etc etc- the vet thought it was most likely a small ligament in her foot that had been sprained or torn slightly, so we just went for the years field rest because she hated being on box rest, and touch wood, she's now 100% and good as new :)
 

Oberon

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It follows on from another thread about a horse being intermitently lame, and someone suggested barefoot, and having read Rockley Farm's website etc, it seems that it works for some horses. The horse I have in mind is a 15.2hh TB mare with a sandcrack in one of her hooves that goes all the way up to her coronet so it's forever there, however it's been dealt with and hasn't reached the bottom of her hoof, and hopefully never will :) She has front shoes with Quater clips due to this sandcrack, and wondered if barefoot would be a big nono for her, due to this sndcrack. She was off for a year with lameness and thought that it could be an option if she ever becomes lame again (she's sound now, and has been for a year :D)
I'm sure Dressagelove won't mind me sharing her (bumpy) story with you (with pics:)) so far.

You mentioned cracks


http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=501567
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=506832
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=508963
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=509909
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=512539
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=516025
 

Amy567

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Wow! That crack is awful! But it's so much better without shoes..... it's unfortunate about the lameness though, lets see if there's any improvement :)
 

Oberon

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I was amazed myself in the change after a month without shoes, bearing in mind those cracks were long term previously.

Dressagelove has updated me by email and the horse is getting there slowly, but I'll let her go into detail herself.
 

Nocturnal

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Imho, logic would suggest that shoeing is the worst thing for a hoof with cracks - you are forcing the horse to weight bear exclusively on that compromised hoof wall. I'm not surprised the vet and farrier say the crack will always be there - it cannot heal under that sort of stress. The horse's foot has not evolved to weight bear only on the hoof wall, but also on the frog and sole - only a healthy hoof wall can cope long term with the damage and stress that shoeing causes. My understanding is that only by allowing the hoof to function as it has evolved to, can these sort of cracks be healed.
 

Amy567

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Yeah, the mare isn't lame atm, so I don't want to make her lame again :/ after a year without her, just to bring her back into work up to cantering circles, to then ship her off to my sisters for me to go to uni, I don't want to make her lame again :/ but then again, we don't know what the reason was last time.... dilemma! haha. Also have to look up the rehab process, just so I'm absolutely sure it's the right path etc etc. Lots still to think about :)
 

TigerTail

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This TB has been shoeless since coming to live with me last may, still has this crack but has never been lame or even footy ;)

 

Amy567

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The crack is on exactly the same hoof, in exactly the same place as my mare haha, has similar feet too, so it looks like it's the luck of the draw really! :)
 

TigerTail

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If there was nothing wrong in the xrays i wonder if there was an abcess brewing, my mare has recently been spectacularly lame thanks for an abscess that came out at her coronet band, shes still slightly sore on a circle on it.
 

Amy567

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If there was nothing wrong in the xrays i wonder if there was an abcess brewing, my mare has recently been spectacularly lame thanks for an abscess that came out at her coronet band, shes still slightly sore on a circle on it.
She had two small corns on either side of her hoof, which were the original suspects, but she had no heat in her hoof, which was most odd! and why we couldn't figure out what it was...

Spoken to mum, and she said there's no point as we're selling her :( (was hoping there was a chance no one would like her and we could keep her :p) this mare was, and still is my ideal horse.... so sad we have to say good bye :(... even with her unexplained lameness, and tying up tendencies and being prone to mud fever :p
 

tallyho!

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Cracks like that are quite classically balance problems especially with hooves loading unevenly side-side. This is not to say that the problem isn't higher up in the limb... tendon problems where pain makes one move differently can contribute, arthritis can cause this too. Or even conformational defects such as minor deviations that have been artificially "corrected" through shoeing or trimming. It isn't a superficial issue. It is actually painful whether the horse shows it or not. The horse just learns to cope. Something, somewhere is off-key and the really expensive problems occur later on in life, if life ever reaches 'later' before the vet says PTS.

I am appalled the vet says for her to just live with this crack???? Sorry, but I would not take this as gospel. I would want to know why this crack appeared and how I can get rid of it. It's a glaringly obvious sign something is wrong, like seedy toe would be or navicular.
 

Amy567

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We have no information on her before Feb 2009, before that she was neglected, the farrier has done her thing with it and treated it as she would any crack. The crack is probably from being so undernourished and being kicked or something, she has really weak feet as it is, and that's on a decent diet.

The hoof the crack is in hasn't caused any problems, it was her other fore leg that caused all the problems, and her conformation is good, apart from where she fell over the first week we got her and her knees are a bit knobbly.

But the hoof has been checked, and x-rayed etc. there is nothing wrong apart from the crack :)
 
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