Sunday, December 14, 2014

To barefoot or not to barefoot.

These past few days I've been on the fence about taking Max off his shoes. I have never been comfortable with him on bar shoes but I gave them a chance to see if they would help. His feet have improved..but I cannot tell if it's the bar shoes, or the other care we've put towards his feet (farrier's formula, hoof hardener, hoof oil, sand footing vs mud etc. etc.)

"I get allll the bedding!"

I hear this a lot  -   "Not all horses can go barefoot".

In a sense I can understand that, but on the other Max's condition can't be so terrible that we can't even give it a shot? If anything.. can't we hit the reset button and see how much he can handle? He might surprise me.

The way I see it with bar shoes on he can't be outside when it rains or when it's wet because they'll fall off. He's stuck in the stall. His feet are always held together, never having a chance to expand or contract. Who knows where all the impact is going...into his joints? Maybe they will keep him sound now... but I am looking for long-term solutions, not quick fixes.

Max's ouchy foot.

Barefoot he could have boots on when he's turned out, and boots taken off when he's in the stall. He can go out every single day, rain or shine. His feet will learn to be strong again, and to breathe.

If I compare it in simple terms like that, I can see the right path.

All kinds of other details complicate it, and confuse me. Everyone else seems to have strong opinions on the matter but when it comes down to the nitty gritty the only person looking out for Max is me.

Today he started to show signs of getting better. I took him for a short hand-walk and he was excited and happy to be outside. He had a very very tiny limp, a 2 instead of an 8. Did another poultice wrap and tucked him away in his stall. The poor guy hasn't been outdoors in weeks... :(

The Cavallo Treks are too small for him I I will have to do an exchange and go a size up. I hope the process is quick!!

The vet will be evaluating him next I will have to make my decision to re-shoe him or just pull them all off and work with a barefoot trimmer.

Decisions..decisions. And none of them easy :(

In the mean time....videos...

Salt lick goodness

Enjoying some bran mash


  1. No advice on what decision you should make but I hope that Max continues to feel better

  2. Max is such a sweet guy - what a shame that you are having so many problems with his feet!! fingers crossed you can find a solution that works for both of you!

    1. Thank you Emma! Hopefully I can get something figured out sooner than later.

  3. I consulted my farrier this year about pulling Miles' shoes and he recommended against it because Miles has flat feet and I want to keep him in medium work. I really trust the professionals I work with, so maybe start there for Max?

    1. Hi Tracy! I've contacted a farrier that was highly recommended to me by a trusted friend. Hopefully he can help me find some answers.