Saturday, March 20, 2010


Short Ride On a Sore Horse

Tucker is definitely sore on his unshod feet. I took him on a very short trail ride through the woods where the leaves and footing were soft. But in the sandy arena, he is definitely short strided.

At the moment, I am betwixt and between about what to do. If I have the shoes put back on, and the weather takes a drastic turn back to wet, soggy spring, then we run into the lost shoe syndrome again. If I leave his shoes off, then I am running the risk of some sole bruising that might take a long time for him to recover from. I have him on a supplement with magnesium in it, but not the straight magnesium oxide yet. I will start that tonight and see if it makes any difference in how he feels.

We are supposed to get rain again this week, so the footing conditions may get muddy again, in which case, shoeless is the better option for the time being.

He does not seem particularly unhappy an he is playing and frolicking about with Chance and Toby during turnout, so I am not as worried as I might be if he were miserable. Still, I'll keep an eye on the situation and just see how things play out.

I don't feel any particular heat or pulse in his feet, so that is a bit reassuring.

Guess for now it's just wait and see.


  1. I think our lives with horses always seem to come down to wait and see.

  2. Maybe just give him a short time off to let his feet adjust? And of course keep up the supplementing.

    But it's good that there isn't heat in his hooves.

  3. PATIENCE! Gosh woman, you have no patience. A barefoot transition can take up to TWO years!

    If you are worried of him being sore just put on some hoofboots when you ride him ...

    Have you noticed that he is FINE while messing with Toby and Chance ....

    Courage, I am convinced that in the long term Tucker is better without shoes. Perhaps you will have to ride him with hoofboots in the summer. But the advantage of him being barefoot will always outweight the advantages of him being shod.

    You are so lucky to be able to keep your horses barefoot!

    Here in Italy I do not have the expertise and enough control over Teena' management to have her barefoot. but if I could I would, because I believe that in long term, it is much, much, much better!

    Remember that in barefoot management nutrition is a BIGGIE. In her blog Karen insisted that she did not let her horses graze at any time of the day, because of teh fructans in the grass.

    here is her blog: a mine of infos, AND she replied when you ask a question a lovely lady, and great horse woman!

  4. It took Spider a few weeks to toughen up when I pulled his front shoes. But, from your descriptions, I think he might have tougher feet than Tucker.

    If I know anything about NJ, it's that spring always has a lot of storms! I can remember being snowed on in April and it being cold and rainy as late as May. I'd probably go with the "wait and see" plan. I'd hate to put shoes on and then have him pull them off in the mud!

  5. Anonymous11:18 AM

    How about some boots? - he'll need some protection for a while, probably.

  6. Jean he either needs time, or he may be one of the horses who cannot manage it if they get daytime grass. Both are common, and until he has had at least a month more, you really won't know. But if he is not improved in a month or so, then he will have something wrong in his diet, and the most likely thing that will be is grass, no matter how little you think that you have.

    Can you bend his soles with your fingers? If so, how easily??