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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Bruised and flat soles

If you read the last post you will probably realise we have had a lot of problems with flat feet and bruised soles (because of too much sugar in the diet.

The trouble with the bruises is that depending on the thickness of the sole they will show up long after the damage is already done.

So if the foot has pancaked we have a couple of options. Most horses are very good at choosing the going they are comfy on - so for training purposes, we let them go on the verge if they need to. But at a competition or on a longer ride this might not be adequate.

It took a while to find boots that worked for us. They needed to be a doddle to put on, suitable for sensitive skin and stay on through deep mud. The Gloves do this for us, although we had to experiment with fit.

In the end we fitted Power straps (not shown) and on the off (right) hind, which is a peculiar shape, we put a square of carpet tape on the hoof wall. This works perfectly, a bit like athletic tape, it is grippy but it also 'fills out' the hoof wall. Because this horse's skin is very fine we also line the inside of the gaiter cuff. A bit of bed sock is perfect! :-)

We only use the boots some of the time and at the moment, with no sugar in her diet, this horse doesn't need them at all. They are a useful option for when we have made a mistake and the horse is paying the price. Much better than shoeing because when the horse is not working her feet are free to contract/expand and wear as nature intended.

This horse is not particularly easy to fit with boots, as her feet are all slightly different and change so much, so fast, but the Gloves have worked well. I would recommend using a fit kit.

If you have a very short term or an acute situation with flat feet or similar you can make an effective, temporary 'boot' with wadding, something tough like canvas and carpet tape.

1 comment:

Cowgirl84 said...

I have had a lot of success with the Cavallo Simple Boots, both in rehabilitationg horses with hoof injury and just booting my barefoot quarter horses for riding on rocky trail rides. They are simple to put on and off and they are very durable and comfortable for the horses. Of all the boots I've tried, these are by far the best I've found

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