Reply To: Soft Soles

Colorado horse rider
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My PRE mare came barefoot and has near perfect feet according to my barefoot trimmer, vet and farrier. I kept her barefoot for several years and used easy glove boots, but even with boots she seemed a bit ouchy on hard surfaces and rocks when riding. You could see her stepping short on hard ground, frozen ground with ridges, etc. when she was not being ridden. I was told she just needed to get used to the hard surfaces by the barefoot trimmer. Eventually she became short even in good arena footing with boots. I called my vet and we did X-rays of her front feet to see what was going on. All was good except she had thin soles, about half the thickness my vet said was needed for a barefoot horse in Colorado. She suggested gel pads and shoes for her front feet and that made an instant change in how my mare moved and her willingness. We did two cycles with pads and then tried just shoes. She was still ouchy on rocks when trail riding even with shoes, so have gone back to gel pads with the shoes. I have to disagree with the barefoot trimmer, as some horses just need support and protection as they are thin soled. She had never had her soles trimmed by the barefoot trimmer I used, just shed her soles. So I would suggest having an x-ray to see if there is something else going on or just thin soles. Brisa may have been able to go barefoot if all our ground was soft, but that’s not the case here in Colorado.