I just transitioned my thoroughbred to barefoot. He has the worst feet and has had all sorts of problems in the past (severe white line disease, abscessing, flaring, bad chipping/cracking). Honestly I was pretty nervous about taking his shoes off but my new bane has all the horses barefoot so I was willing to give it a try. He was extremely sore the first few days, then I ordered Keratex Hoof Hardener and appied daily. There was immediate improvement. When that ran out I bought Durasole because it’s cheaper and I liked I could put it on his frogs because I figured they might be sore, getting more pressure than they did in shoes. He was totally sound in 3 weeks and walks across gravel like it’s nothing. My barn owner was amazed at how quickly he transitioned (she’s seen many).
Keratex can be used on the soles and walls, Durasole can be used on the sole and frogs. Both have very fast results and work much better than turpentine in my experience.
I also bought a pair of Easyboots to ride in, as soon as I got them he was comfortable to walk/trot, a week or two later canter, then was able to start jumping again. I bought the Gloves but there are a bunch of different styles and brands.
I think it also helped that it has been very dry so his feet are getting hard rather than being softened by mud. He’s also out 24/7 so walking around constantly, constantly toughening his feet, never just standing in a stall.
I think it is good your pasture is rocky. Are there areas that are less rocky, too? As long as he has somewhere rock-free so he can have some relief he will be fine. Rocky footing actually help toughen feet.
So definitely try boots, and definitely try Keratex or Durasole – your horse will thank you
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