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.
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.
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.
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?