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spanish_walkin_wannabe

Still Tender Footed?

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Alright..I went riding a few days ago on Bucky and he's STILL tender on the gravel! His shoes have been off since Oct or so, I just don't get it. He's never had the problem before and was barefoot for the first 5 years of his life. (he's going to be 8 this June) It's only on his fronts and he doesn't seem to do it when I just walk him, only when I ride. He NEVER does this when he has shoes. I just don't know what could be wrong. Any thoughts? I will try and get pics of his feet today. I just hope I haven't caused him to have any reliance on the shoes. [Question][Question]

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Is he flatfooted, or does he have concavity? W/ my mare I started her without shoes (she had severe coffinbone rotation) on the soft pasture, and then after she was sound on that I transitioned her to my very rocky paddock. She still is slightly tender on the gravel, but builds up more callous by the day. Have him live in the terrain that you're going to ride in.

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He's fine in the pasture and walking over frozen horse turds..and it's only when I ride that I really notice it. I have no way of getting him to live in a "rocky" area. Our round pen is grass..and where we live..we rent the upstairs of a ladies house..and I don't think she'd let us dump gravel by the water trough or in the round pen. Which sucks. [Frown]

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Okay....work with me here....

As a kid, we didn't wear shoes a lot. We played outside, we did whatever, all sans shoes.

But in the spring, the driveway was always ouchy (gravel).

By the end of summer after crossing the driveway a lot, we had sufficient callous that it didn't hurt anymore.

Horses are similar. They adapt to the footing they're most often on.

I would say that MOST horses are going to have trouble with gravel if they are normally on grass/soft footing.

In order to get "used to" gravel, they'd have to BE on gravel regularly.

I don't think it's "odd" that the horse is ouchy on gravel given the fact that it's only once in awhile. Boots would be good.

Else, just ride on the shoulder. Eliminate the gravel.

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Thanks. I get it. Thing is, he never had the issue before I put shoes on him. I did a lot of "road riding" but on the shoulder or in the grass. If I took him to my friends place in big falls..we'd take the gravel and he was fine. That's what I didn't get. I guess I'll just have to ride him more down the road to build up callous until I put shoes on again for showing season.

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Pea gravel around the water trough is an excellent answer to helping to desensitize the feet. It also helps to speed up transition, if the trim allows it.

If you haven't asked her, I would. I never hurts to ask and you won't know until you do. You can say that it will not only help the feets, but will also help to control the mud in any areas that become a problem in wet weather...hey, we could put some around the trough, in the loafing area, any place where they frequently travel during the day...One load would go a long way to spreading the joy. I have heard nothing but great reports from the people who have done this and how it has promoted healthy feet.

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since oct/nov has your horse been trimmed?

the horse may be ouchy from overgrown hoof wall or if he was just trimmed maybe the ride was alittle soon for type of riding.

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You can't really expect a horse to go bare foot half the year and adjust to it that quick, it's kind of an "all or nothing" deal. It takes about a year for a horse to adjust to bare feet. (I am a big believer in natural trimming, and highly recommend it if your interested) But hey, whatever floats your boat. When you are looking at boots I recommend easy boots, I currently have the epics and I absolutely love them! They are a little spendy but they last a long time! I use them on rocky surfaces and try to make my boy go barefoot as much as possible. But yes the gravel around the water tank works great, I did that with my horse. Be careful about riding on rocky surfaces too often though, I took it a little to quick with my horse and he abscessed and almost missed most of show season. Good luck!

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It is possible that the farrier took that calloused sole off when he shod. Now that the shoes are off, all of that has to regrow. 5 years' worth of callous will take more than a few months to regrow. Putting in gravel will certainly help - as will booting when riding on rocks. Good luck!

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