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If you remember my post about our hunter pace, May threw a shoe right near the beginning of the pace. My farrier was able to tap the shoe back on, but it became pretty clear that she had some funk going on under the shoes and into the hoof wall. I kept her shoes on through our show, with my farrier even tightening the one shoe once we were done, since he was going away for a week.

Terrible angle but naked toes!

We discussed pulling her shoes when he got back. Her feet are ridiculously hard, and her barefoot back feet have held up even better this year than they have in the past. I think a change of diet/pasture/turnout in the new barn has made a bit of a difference for her. I tried treated the hooves with white lightning with the shoes on, but it wasn’t as effective as it could’ve been. (Although, May was a superstar and just napped in her stall the whole treatment. Is it possible for that stuff to feel good?)

Then, pretty much as soon as he got back, May threw the other shoe. Our choices were – keep punching holes in new places, or just take her barefoot. She’s been on a hoof supplement for a couple of months now, so I decided we would give barefoot a go again. We don’t even have another show on the horizon until November (if we even do that one), so there is really no rush.

Tuesday, when the shoes were pulled, she had off. Yesterday, I just walked her around in the grassy field for a half hour. You could definitely tell when she stepped on something, but she was pretty happy to be doing something. This weekend, I’ll throw the hoof boots on her and see how she really feels. Obviously, there is a transition period, and I want to do another White Lightning treatment.  However, the feet already look a lot healthier just from drying out over the last couple of days.

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Because she's not spoiled enough… #easyboot #may #princesspony

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Other foot things? Durasole, Farrier’s Finish Treatment. Why Durasole? It really makes an immediately difference in how a horse feels barefoot. It also treats thrush etc. It’s super cheap and a go-to for me when taking a horse barefoot.

FarriersFinish
Worst Packaging Ever Though. Might buy a separate jar and brush for it. 

Now, why farrier’s finish. I have used Keratex Hoof Hardener in the past, and I might switch back to it (or the gel) at some point. However, the issue we have right now isn’t the strength of May’s hooves. Trust me, they’re hard. My farrier struggled a bit to shape them once trimming off the cracked/damaged hoof wall from nails. The issue we are having is with bacteria/microbes/etc getting up into the hoof and causing damage. Especially where there are still nail holes. So, enter farrier’s finish, a disinfectant/conditioner.

Once things clear up, we will probably switch to the Keratex Hoof Gel. In fact, Keratex should be used after you treat the hoof with other stuff to clear up any thrush/etc before starting on one of their products. Otherwise, you can just trap the microbes in the foot. Interesting thoughts, and something I hadn’t considered the last couple of times we went barefoot.

What are your go-to hoof products?

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  1. Ha ha…. Amber’s feet are hard and the healthiest I’ve ever encountered. Even when one spring was super wet and was the only time she kept throwing her LF shoe, she never got thrush, never has had anything wrong with her feet. I like…..maaaaaaaybe hooflex/rainmaker her feet 1x every 2 weeks? lol I’ve been super lucky her feet have rarely needed anything. Whisper on the other hand has TB feet lol. We have her on farrier’s formula to help harden them since she’s much more likely to throw a front shoe than Amber. I’ll have to suggest that Keratex to my mom tho! It may help Whisper’s feet 🙂

    1. Emily

      Lots of my thoroughbred friends SWEAR by keratex… And it would be my go-to, if I didn’t think we were dealing with a microbe/bacteria issue.

      May’s back feet, on the other hand, could probably go 12+ weeks, year round, without needing to be touched. Theyre just perfect.

  2. roamingridersite

    Gem’s feet are amazing. Literally thousands of barefoot miles on all types of footing from sand to gravel and no issues ever. I pick her hooves out twice a week and that is it. Pete gets cracks and is prone to white line so I spray Thrush Buster into his cracks a couple of times a week. Cruze…ugh…I have been liking Keratex quite a bit for his brittle, soft hooves and a feed through supplement to help the new hoof growing in. My prior, crappy farrier had recommended farrier’s barrier for him but I didn’t like how it kept the hoof softer when Cruze really needs a harder hoof.

    Good luck transitioning to barefoot with May! It sounds like she has a solid base to start from and it is nice that she isn’t sore.

    1. Emily

      Im not super excited about it because I know it can be a long road…. but putting more nails in her foot and covering up the thrush issues isn’t going to solve things! (sounds like you’re in a similar boat)

  3. nadsnovik

    I’ve been lucky thus far with horse’s feet not needing much care. I think barefoot can be great for horses! Especially short bouts of it.

    1. Emily

      Yup! I have found that, at least for May, periods of being barefoot give us a much healthier foot to put shoes on than if we just tried to soldier on with throwing nails in there.

  4. martidoll123

    glad you have a game plan in place. I WISH i could take Remus front shoes off but he is a chipper.

    Also Tate was just done a couple weeks ago (he is barefoot) and is all chipped up again. I AM NOT PUTTING SHOES ON A PASTURE PET LOLLOL

    1. Emily

      Hahahaha maybe try one of the keratex products? The ground has alternated between being super wet and super hard this year. Not a friendly combination >.<

  5. I tried to keep Bumper barefoot in the beginning but he is a big wuss and was constantly seeking out the softest ground as politely as possible. Just fronts for him now!

    That being said I don’t use any supplements etc.

    1. Emily

      Yeah. May has gone on and off barefoot before. She’s never been barefoot long enough to be 100% happy on gravel and will choose to walk on the grass instead. She’ll probably get fronts on again at some point.

  6. KC Scott

    I have a TB so I pretty much own stock in Keratex, and therefore am no help whatsoever. So glad May isn’t sore and is transitioning well!

  7. AMC

    Juice is barefoot too! His front feet have been chipping more than usual lately, but I’m trying some Hooflex a couple times a week before changing anything. He’s going on a new multivitamin that has more biotin too so that should help.

    1. Emily

      This summer has been ROUGH for horse feet. May basically stomped herself out of her shoes. Here’s hoping things settle down a bit soon.

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