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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sound isn't always pretty

This horse had been lame for many months and was deteriorating when the carer decided to have the shoes removed and try barefoot.  X-rays showed an eroded 'ski tip' pedal bone.  Laminitis had obviously been a problem for a considerable time, disguised by the shoes.  Despite veterinary intervention, no one had offered dietary advice other than that the horse needed to lose weight.  This was true, but for a classic fatty the question was how?

It took a while for the carers to make the emotional adjustments required (it was hard for them to stop feeding sugary treats) - but they really applied themselves and 8 weeks 6 days later, on a diet consistently mostly of soaked hay the horse came sound. 

The horse is now in full work and has beautiful movement.  The hooves?  well they have deteriorated a little this past February (it's caught a lot of people out) so the grazing muzzle is going back on.  The horse though is still sound.

Note, although the feet aren't as good as they could be, they are a major improvement on the recently deshod version.

Just deshod

March 2010


Lexa said...

What a great improvement!

One of my horses has always been prone to cracked hooves and we've tried different supplements and products for the hooves, but none of them seem to really last. On her first ride outside of the year since the snow melted, she's now stuck with a pretty large chip that will take at least 2 trimmings to grow out. Any advice on what to do in the interim and how to possibly strengthen her hooves? I'd appreciate it if you could email a response back to me at, since my blogger email is out of date.

Although I'm still new to it, I really love reading your blog!

Sydney_bitless said...

That is great. Now I see a lot about laminitis and foundered horses being fixed by barefooting, what about navicular?

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Southern England, United Kingdom