Soft Soles

This topic contains 25 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  RatedG 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • rhonda_welzel127106915
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    All of my horses have been barefoot for at least 9 years except my 4 year old which she has always been. But has anyone told you about a Homeopathic remedy called Calc Fluor start out with 30 C. You give the horse 6 pellets 3 times a day (they are about the size of b b’s and they taste good so they like them.) I have the greatest success with even the weakest hooves. What it does is build hoof wall. They will get so hard your farrier will ask you to stop using it for a while. They are very reasonable to feed. It will take about 3 months for you to see a BIG difference and after that it is all uphill. mainly because it works from the inside out!Let me know if you need me to send them or email me at and I can tell you where to buy them yourself. It is unbelievable more people don’t know about them but a lot of people won’t try Homeopathy for any reason. LOL

    Bill R
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    We got a mare a little less than a year ago with a similar problem. We put her on Smartpak’s Ultra Hoof supplement for a couple of months, and our farrier was impressed by the turnaround in her hoof condition. We have stopped the supplements for now as the summer grass has replaced grain in her diet, but we plan to resume this maintenance once the fresh food is buried by the snow.

    Nevertheless, in spite of this improvement, our first trail ride of the year left her sore for a couple of days, even refusing to walk across the gravel drive on the way to the barn. Since then, I purchased a pair of EasyCare’s Easyboot Trail for just her front feet. These seem to do the trick. She doesn’t mind wearing them, and we have gone on several trail rides since they arrived…some over very rocky terrain…and she seems no worse for wear the next day.

    Hope this helps…Happy Trails!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    We have a nationally certified natural hoof practitioner who has saved horses from being put down due to serious hoof problems including at least one with a coffin bone having broken through. Our horses have great feet. Nutrition is crucial to good feet. The comments from the natural hoof practitioner are right on. We use Omega Fields Horse Shine which is a good supplement for hoof and coat. Other than that only pasture grasses, Bermuda hay, and pellets or cubes of combined Bermuda hay and alfalfa soaked in water to soften them and mix with the Horse Shine. We’ve been adding about a coffee mug’s worth of Safe Choice Original. The WonderMares, Miss Brandy and Lady Sadie are doing great. We also use front Cavallo Simple Boots. We wish you and your horse all that is good. Please, please, please give Barefoot every opportunity to help!

    Snickers Mom
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    A quick glance at some of the other responses finds me agreeing and disagreeing. A certified Natural trimmer can help (Is your farrier taking off sole?).

    What got my QH gelding over the hump was hoof boots. I tried several different brands and found that for him SYMPLE boots worked the best. There are now many brands. Hand walking him on pavement for 20 minutes a day for several weeks also really helped to change things.

    Not all horses can go barefoot but the right trim with the aid of boots for riding can help. It requires a commitment on the owners part and some people are just not willing (sometimes not able) to make that commitment.

    Good luck.


    Colorado horse rider
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    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.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    I don’t know of you’ve been able to find an answer to your problem or not, but I will share with you our experience. My husband has a 17 hand 1400-1500 lb Hanoverian warmblood. He could never keep shoes on. We really wanted our horses to go barefoot, but the warm blood had soles that were very thin. Our vet did not recommend that he go without shoes. We were rather insistent because we felt it would be healthier. We ride only for pleasure. While we did use front boots in the beginning to protect his hooves, the vet told us about aluminum shoes. They are temporary shoes that allow the sole to grow in thickness. We went through several rounds of those, but they are a tad expensive. However, they did the trick. The thickness of his sole doubled. Together with a terrific farrier, a hoof supplement, regular trimming (natural trim farrier and every 6-7 weeks) we have had both our horses without shoes now for @ 7 years.

    Hope this helps

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Hello to LostInside…
    I agree with Chris, the barefoot trimmer who responded. Unfortunately horses who have gut problems and metabolic problems are a tough nut to crack tho. Certainly diet is important. I personally have found that my horses have less of a problem with starches than sugars, since starch is not terribly bothersome to the gut, whereas sugars are very acidy and certainly are irritating (I know from personal experience as I have intestinal ulcers). Also, I do find that adequate protein is a must, and use alfalfa pellets or hay in the diet and a high protein ration balancer that is low NSC (non structural carb) to provide this (1-2#s per day), and unfortunately right now, limited pasture but good low carb hay. That all said, my horses have improved dramatically foot wise, with lots of growth year round. It took a year. I do my own trimming (took a barefoot course) so I trim them often. One horse can ride without boots and one with. So many great boots out there! I use the Easy Boot Epics but take your pick. I also have a pair of Epics with the back strap removed which I can use for turnout if I need to, and using foot powder with peppermint keeps the hoof dryer and with less odor if the boots need to be left on for several days (clean every day!). My secret weapon for improvement in extremely and chronically lamanitic horses is the amino acid L-Citrulline (3-6 grms daily) and omega fatty acids, provided by small amounts of rice bran and flax, (or product) small amount of sunflower seeds (ground), and sunflower lecithin. (great article if you google “citrulline lamanitis” – you will see that in the test horses, citrulline levels were low and ability to convert fatty acids was lost, most likely due to gut problem!) Depending on what you are feeding, you could also look into vitamin E (I like natural full spectrum) but be sure to look at the entire diet. Coats and skin are beautiful and feet are strong with great soles, although the horse with horrible prior damage has not recovered his concavity and still gets hives from certain grasses so gut not 100%. Even with flatish front feet tho he is pretty sound and good to go in his boots. For extra squish in his boots he likes the Cavello Gel Pads. Personally I would never go back to shoes and my guys have been barefoot since 2004. Not gonna say it is easy. My horses still have metabolic issues (improved tho) and guts are not perfect, but much, much better. They are out 24-7 with access to shelter and free choice high fiber low cal hay and limited grass… not ideal but manageable and they are happy, playful and full of energy. My personal take on metabolic disease is that is begins in the gut with inflammation there, then when not addressed the inflammation becomes chronic and pretty soon the horse is sore all over and walking like a creaky old man or woman. (Been at this 40 years!) If you can fix the gut a lot of other things get better. I still have not completely cracked the code tho and prefer to not use pharmaceuticals. BTW, L-Citrulline enhances blood flow without the down side of feeding the amino acid Arginine. It also soothes the gut. How I discovered it was through my functional med. doc. who prescribed it for heart disease prevention and blood flow for me. A side effect is that is helped my gut. You can find it on line in bulk. It is in some hoof products as well. Next, I am gonna try the homeopathy that another poster mentioned…. can’t hurt!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Have him tested for metabolic syndrome. I have a handsome cremello warmblood whose dam had metabolic syndrome. We discovered it in her because she was walking short then foundered, thankfully not badly. She was getting barely any grain at the time, less than any of the other horses. When the gelding seemed a little off, walking gingerly, I had him tested and he also has it. Neither of these two can be left out on grass or they will founder. First cut hay only. No grain, just supplements. I give them smartpacks for feet, plus an ounce of California Trace twice a day. I have to worry about the same problem, and had to change farriers to get one that knew what they were doing. I can keep him barefoot almost always, and rarely glue ons in front if he needs the growth support.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Please for the love of god be careful. My horse has soft soles and we did nothing in the back, normal shoes for the front. The kid who was leasing him was galloping him in the field, when suddenly he fell breaking his coffin bone in two places because a rock when through his sole. This is not typical for normal horses. It almost killed his riding career. We tried to tough up his hooves and kept everything the same after his injury. But just last year another rock went up his sole, this time only bruising his coffin bone. The vet now requires that he wears pads to protect his coffin bone since he thinks that his soles are linked to a genetic issue. So whatever you do be careful because we use to make fun of twinkle toes and tried to do everything, until it almost ended his riding career.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    This may seem weird, but I have one at home that’s had a long-term issue with thin soles and my farrier and I have determined he started growing and keeping more sole when I put him on ranitidine (OTC ulcer medicine, aka “Zantac”) twice a day. He is not getting what would normally be a “therapeutic dose” (twenty 75mg tablets TID), but the dose I have him on (15 tablets BID) seems to be enough to maintain his tummy and help him grow sole. He is also not allowed any significant amount of grass, which seems just plain wrong, but works for him. He gets about 4 pounds of soaked Kent Dynasty Secure, divided into 2 feeds, along with his ranitidine and a twice daily dose of TractGard. My farrier saw a difference in a single trim cycle, so might be worth a try, especially if your horse has any history of ulcers, low level colic or other tummy symptoms. Of course, check with your vet to see if there might be any contraindications in your horse’s case.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Hello, use Problem Hoof Solution from Works great to toughen and thicken soles. No mess and don’t need to wait to dry. Clean hoof, squirt it on, put hoof down and go on. It’s really helped my horse. Great for thrush and abcesses too. Can be used under pads or on cotton to fill abcesses. Good luck!

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