Getting inspired to go barefoot

Ginger Bear

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Been reading up on barefoot for about a year umming and ahhhing.. My tb has had bad feet since an operation he had almost 4 years ago, they flare badly & grow very little.

Remedial farrier has tried a lot of stuff, the only thing that has had any impact is the resin wraps to stop the flare, they looked the best they have ever looked but I'm aware that they are only correcting a symptom by holding the hoof together & now they are off they are starting to flare again.

All this time I have read & completely understand the barefoot theory but have been putting it off as my horse isn't lame in shoes & I'm scared I haven't got the best facilities to help him to barefoot.. Our grazing is rich & our yard doesn't turnout at night. But now they are flaring again I'm running out of options & I know I need to do what's best for him.

I'm reading a book by Nic Barker - 'Feet First' to help me get inspired & have got In touch with Lucy Priory to move stuff forward..
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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Barefoot can be as complicated or as uncomplicated as you want to make it. I did it very basically and mare do with what I had :)

I tooky boys shoes off and got the farrier to roll the edges, that was it, no length taken off nothing just a roll.

The chipped and cracked and cosmetically looked horrid until the nail holes disappeared. But all through this he was found and was tolerating must surfaces. There were times when the feet looked horrendous, but he was sound so I dismissed it.

Farrier was initially out every 4 weeks got a look and roll, not to trim. I put him on a diet of drillers conditioning fibre, alfalfa cubes and era pellets both soaked into mush and mixed with beet pulp and the chaff. He was getting equimins hoof mender but I've since stopped this.

He's now on eight week checks hacks out over all surfaces in all gaits and he's been bare since July 2012 :) he's also 23 so been in shoes all his life.
 

Hen

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Don't be scared by not having the best facilities - if you have an understanding of your horse's needs and a good eye that's the only really important thing (and you sound like you have covered all of those bases already!). I took my mare barefoot and she's at livery, on very, very restricted turnout (rich rye-grass grazing and a very sugar-sensitive horse on a mainly hay diet). She is worked and/or walked every day as much as possible and her feet are getting pretty good and strong. There's so much support and advice out there.
 

Holly Hocks

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Going barefoot was the best thing I've ever done for my TB. She was written off by the vets with navicular, bilateral spavin, hind limb PSLD and arthritis in her fetlock in 2010. I took her shoes off against the vets advice as I had been reading about barefoot a lot on this forum. When she was diagnosed, the vets report from the hospital reads "This horse is unlikely to return to full work and the prognosis is guarded. This is her earlier this month at a dressage. :)



You can always use hoof boots should the need arise - I found them really useful at the start and I will have them now and use them whenever she feels a bit footy. It's also important to remember that not all horses are grass sensitive. My TB has the best feet in summer when she is on our rich, mainly ryegrass pasture! But I do bring her in during the daytime. I am having to use the hoof boots at the moment as I've noticed that when the ground gets as sodden as it is at the moment, she gets more sensitive!
 

flirtygerty

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My OH and I disagree on this subject, I am pro BF, he is anti, without being able to argue his case, so since I have the day to day care of our horses, I have them on a low sugar/starch diet, I was gifted back a 20yr old TB whose feet were so bad, my farrier said "oh god" when he saw them, TB is now happily barefoot, uses his boots less and less and OH has had to admit, this thin soled, flat footed horse is better without shoes
 

Ginger Bear

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Thanks for all your replies.. Especially about not needing the best facilities as this gives me some hope. I changed his diet in the summer to hifi Mollasses free, speedi beet & his vit supplement & since then the bullnosed hooves have grown out. So now on to the next step.......
 

amandap

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I'm reading a book by Nic Barker - 'Feet First' to help me get inspired & have got In touch with Lucy Priory to move stuff forward..
Someone like Lucy will keep you right so a very good move.

With flare etc. diet is going to be crucial, especially sugar levels and minerals. Good luck.
 
Joined
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Please don't be put off by going bare foot. Its the best thing I ever did for my heavy weight cob.

My pony has an equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and a number of hoof issures. This summer his feet got so bad that all his shoes fell off after 2 days, there was no hoof to nail a shoe onto, the sole/hoof was soft, cracking and crumbling, there was even no white line left. The farrier was running out of ideas with what to do with him. The vets have not been able to find anything. We considered glue on shoes but as we live in a very wet welsh valley and my pony lives out most of the time (unless the weather is very bad) we decided that glue on shoes were not the best option.

So we left his shoes off and left him in the field. All the awful dead bits of hoof came off and after a few months his hooves started to grow and the ridges in his hooves are almost gone. He is now ridden at least 3 days a week. He is wearing cavallo boots at the moment due to the stoney welsh hills. The farrier is amazed by how much his feet have imrpoved and even the farrier is recommending that I keep him barefoot.

He's fed ad lib haylage (even though he has EMS can't feed him hay as he also has ROA:mad:), safe and sound, mollasses free sugarbeet and his also given a hoof supplement. He also has solution feet used on his hooves a few times a week :).
 

fishy

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I took my mares shoes off just over 6 months ago. She is kept on a livery yard and we dont have the best facilities for barefoot. Shes doing ok, she has a trim about every 6 weeks and I use front hoof boots as and when necessary. I must add that I'm the only person on a yard of about 25 with barefoot horses and I have had a lot of negative comments. There were no soundness issues around the decision and my mare is an ISH.
 

Ginger Bear

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Thanks for all your replies.. It's so interesting & I am sort of looking forward to it in a scared way! Unfortunately my Wally of a thoroughbred has torn a muscle so is now lame & on 10 days box rest so have had to put Lucy off :-( as soon as he's better we'll be getting our backsides into gear!
 

maccachic

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Worth a try if you don't like it you can always stick shoes back on. This is what I did 5 years ago and haven't looked back. Pays to take progress photos my trimmer does it as part of their ongoing training and it really drives home the improvement made, that you don't notice day to day.
 

unbalanced

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30 January 2011
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Lucy trims my pony too and she is absolutely wonderful. I have learnt so much about feet since going barefoot and we have finally found put that my pony's recurrent laminitis was down to cushings.
I think you are local to me (se Essex) so if I can be any help let me know.
 

Lego

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Go for it! You'll only regret it if you don't try...

As long as you've done the prep work with diet - and it sounds like you have - and can keep up the exercise, there's no reason why you can't make it work. My cob had very crumbly feet, but he's now been bare behind since Oct 2012. We were happily hacking up to 25 miles per week over a variety of surfaces, and he was moving much better during schooling. He also used to brush badly behind, but has virtually stopped since having his shoes off.

We took front shoes off at the start of November I think, and progress has been a bit slower. The first few weeks went well, but unfortunately the new farrier trimmed like he was shoeing and put us back a bit. I struggled to keep up enough work for the back feet, whilst the front feet were adapting, but I'm hoping that a gentle winter will have helped, and once we get back into proper work once the weather clears and the days are lighter, he'll be fab.

I already notice he moves more freely schooling and lunging, just need to get back to working over uneven surfaces.

The hardest things for me were patience, as being able to truly work barefoot won't happen overnight, and sticking to your guns when others doubt you.
 

Ginger Bear

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Latest update.... The shoes are OFF!!! He went lame on a turn about 10 days ago, vet thought it was his shoulder but wasn't 100% convinced. Lucy Priory came out to me for the first time yesterday.. All four shoes are off my tb, he turned so much better than he had done in the last month even with no hoof boots on concrete. Lucy leant me some boots to keep him comfortable.. No more hifi, no more straw bed, lots of change but I was at the stage where I had no choice but to get the shoes off. Worried about the roller coaster ride to come but determined to get these feet improved..

The pony on the other hand had his fronts off as vet found him to be lame on a circle last week, he seems happy as Larry pinging around like a spring lamb! Obviously it's not even been 24 hours yet since the shoes were removed so who knows what the next thing will be....
 
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